Need to know
Six, including four suites.
Noon; earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $222.60, excluding tax at 31.4 per cent.
Rates usually include breakfast (full English or Sri Lankan) and WiFi. Guests can borrow the hotel’s bicycles, paddle boats and canoes without charge.
Yoga devotees can enlist the guidance of a local yogi and perfect their poses on a special platform amid the rice fields, in sight of a small waterfall. Love the food in the restaurant? Have a cookery class with the chef, who will take you into the gardens to pick your produce. (Ask nicely and you might even be able to cook in the paddy fields.)
At the hotel
100-acre grounds, swimming pool. In rooms: desk, minibar, Sri Lankan bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Sleeping quarters are spread across three buildings: the first sits in the paddocks, housing three entry-level rooms; the second and third buildings are overwater, set in the wetlands and shrouded by a canopy of trees. One building holds two bedrooms, the other holds just one – the Kumbuk Chalet, which is the most private option and has its own overwater plunge pool.
We’re seasoned swimmers, but this pool took our breath away: set away from the main buildings (a short walk or buggy ride), it occupies a small depression, next to a creek and bordered on one side by a canopy of palm trees and a sea of rice paddies on the other. It’s an ‘ulpatha’: a natural spring that wells up from underground (watch the water bubbling up while you swim). Light-blue tiles contrast with the green and timber surrounding the organic-shaped oasis; next to the pool is a roofed terrace designed for sun bathing and al fresco meals.
A shawl or shirt for temple visits; green fingers for the gardens.
The hotel’s brilliant design earned it a place in Tatler’s 101 Best Hotels in 2012.
Little Smiths are welcome, but there's no babysitting or on-loan cots (the hotel reckons it’s best suited to children aged six and above).