Need to know
10 suites, each in a separate building.
12 noon but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $191.54, excluding tax at 30.08 per cent.
Rates usually include breakfast (Continental and full English).
Take part in a cookery class at the hotel, so you can treat the folks back home to Sri Lankan feasts. Just let the chef know what you want to cook (perhaps one of the curries that you had for breakfast). British owner George is an interior designer and it shows: he's responsible for the rooms' colonial elegance, and chose all the antiques and nick nacks.
At the hotel
Gardens, library, mini gym, home cinema, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: radio, iPod dock, minibar, hair straighteners, bathrobes, slippers.
Our favourite rooms
Peacock, Tamarind and Mango each have a veranda surveying the garden. Ornithologists should book the former, which is named for the attention-seeking birds that strut down to the balcony, hoping for a feathered female audience (roosting parakeets and peacocks like Tamarind and Mango’s balconies, too). Honeymooners should opt for the Dubu Suite, set on a hillside all by itself and with its own large lawn (ok, you might have to share it with the monkeys, too) and private pool, perfect for parties or horizontal sunset smooching. Dubu is the only room with a TV.
The inky-green rainwater infinity pool curves around an ancient tree in the gardens, overlooking Koggala Lake and flanked by sleek black sun loungers.
Be rubbed with scented oils in the plantation-spying massage pavilion, set in the pretty gardens. Have your knots worked out with a deep tissue massage, or go for a soothing head or foot massage. Mani-pedis can also be arranged on request. All spa therapists are male, but if you prefer a woman's touch, please let the hotel know and they'll try to arrange a female therapist for you (at an extra cost).
This is the perfect place to quietly learn a new skill (aided by G&Ts, of course): bring bridge, a pack of cards or a Sri Lankan phrase book. Come with cat treats in your pockets for Rosie, the sociable resident tortoiseshell.
It's over-12s only at Kahanda Kanda, but once Smiths hit that age mark, they're very welcome. Extra beds are $60 a night.