Kandy and the Hill Country, Sri Lanka
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has updated their travel advice for Sri Lanka and are advising that travel can now resume. We've been following the situation closely and with the recent changes in security, we're pleased to say that we can support the people of Sri Lanka and once again offer trips to this beautiful country. To encourage visitors to return, the Sri Lankan government are now offering free visas on arrival to key countries (including the UK) beginning August 2019.
At a Glance
Bougainvillea is a private house designed by its stylish Danish owner
Located in the heart of the Victoria Golf and Country Resort outside the city of Kandy
The house was designed for entertainment purposes so has lots of open space, a bar and snooker table
Families are well catered for with a cinema room in the basement complete with hundreds of DVDs
The house is set amongst beautifully landscaped gardens and blends in well with the environment
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Year round destination. Because the Hill Country it so high up it rarely gets unbearably hot. The months of December to April are probably the best time to visit, as temperatures rise to around 28C during the day but cool down at night. During the monsoon season from October to December you can expect heavy downpours. June to September are the driest months here, when there’s almost no rain at all.
Call us on to start planning your vacation to Bougainvillea Retreat or take a look at our itineraries to Hill Country
Bougainvillea Retreat is just a 45-minute drive from the Hill Country city of Kandy. Originally a private house, it is contemporary in design and feels quite like a Mediterranean villa. Stays here can be either exclusive or on a room by room basis.
Bougainvillea Retreat consists of a main house and five bungalows a short distance away. The house has three rooms, two with balconies overlooking the pool area. Each Bungalow has a private terrace overlooking the garden and two of the five share a small garden which is perfect for a family or two couples traveling together.
Each room has an entertainment station with an iPod dock but there are no televisions in the rooms. For those who need a fix, there is a television in the study of the main house and a very unique cinema room in the basement complete with DVDs and film posters adorning the walls.
The Retreat has an outdoor spa tucked away outside in the garden. There is a steam bath, an outdoor Jacuzzi and the opportunity to have spa treatments in the open air.
A plentiful breakfast is offered each morning and for those who want it, the retreat can provide lunch and/or dinner. You just need to let the staff know each morning what your plans are for the day. As much food as possible is grown in the retreat's vegetable garden and eggs come from the chickens and ducks kept on site. All bread is home made. Please note that the retreat does not currently have an alcohol licence but you are welcome to bring your own and will not be charged for corkage.
In the surrounding area, there are a number of activities including golf, bicycling, walking and the city of Kandy is within easy reach. There are also nearby tea estates that you can explore.
Bougainvillea is spread over 1 acre of land and includes the main house with four bedrooms and the five garden rooms. The property can be for your exclusive use or you can book just a room, perfect for couples. With two interconnecting garden rooms and the existing master bedroom having two bedrooms in the main house, there are plenty of options for families here.
Children are more than welcome but there are no specific facilities for them. They will love the pool and games room and the friendly staff are very welcoming.
All meals can be eaten when guests choose and the chef is very flexible when it comes to different tastes.
Alice Woodford (Staff)
Literally a retreat, off the beaten track and offering absolutely breath-taking views and a dreamy pool. I would recommend staying at the back of the main house in one of the rooms with balcony access and stunning views of the mountains. At Bougainvillea Retreat guests are well-catered for with incredible Sri Lankan delicacies but also international cuisine, should you feel a little "curried-out".
Scarlett Richard (Staff)
This small Tuscan style boutique hotel is a place to relax and enjoy the surrounding views. It boasts a home from home feel and has the most amazing views overlooking the Victoria Reservoir and rearing distant mountains of the Knuckles and Hantane ranges. The infinity pool overlooking these views is a great place to away the day and relax. The friendly staff are always on hand to ensure you are looked after and for those that like to explore, the staff and local guide offer a small handful of experiences which allow guests to get off the beaten track, explore local life and stunning landscapes found within the vicinity.
Deepavali Gaind (Staff)
Bougainvillea Retreat is a Danish owned, small boutique hotel, very tastefully designed and decorated, right in the heart of the Victoria Golf Course and offers fantastic views of the hill country.
Anuradhapura Ancient City
Anuradhapura dates from the sixth century BC and is one of Buddhism's holiest sites, containing the 2,200 year old Sri Maha Bodhi tree, grown from a cutting of the Indian tree beneath which Buddha found Enlightenment.
Dambulla Buddhist Caves
Dambulla is an ancient historical site set on a large granite outcrop. The caves at Dambulla are famous for their temples and have been repainted several times in the 11th, 12th and 18th centuries with secular and Buddhist scenes.
Explore the Tea Plantations
During your stay in the Hill Country, explore the tea plantations where you can see the tea pluckers at work, visit a tea factory, or go for a walk through the rolling green hills.
Kandy Royal Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, Kandy, is renowned for its wide variety of plant species
and beautiful flowers. Of particular note is the collection of a variety of orchids.
Polonnaruwa Ancient City
The ancient city of Polonnaruwa dates from the 10th century AD. Originally planned as an expression and statement of imperial power, the city was eventually abandoned in 1288. Many of the remains are still in excellent condition.
The Sigiriya rock rises majestically from the jungle floor. It is famous for its ‘mirror wall’, so called because of its highly polished surface. Half-way up there are galleries with frescoes in brilliant tempera. Sigirya dates from the 5th century AD.
Temple of the Tooth
This evening you will visit The Temple of the Tooth. The stunning 17th-century Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) is believed to house the left upper canine tooth of the Lord Buddha himself.
Train from Kandy to Hatton
The 2 hour train journey to Hatton is a glorious way to see the rolling countryside from your observation car, as you climb into the hills and tea plantations.
Trek the Knuckles Mountain Range
Explore the Knuckles Mountain Range on this full day trek. A local tracker will guide you through the Knuckles Forest Reserve, hiking the Corbett’s Gap Viewpoint track.
Visit to an Artist's Home in Kandy
Meet with Ranju the artist during an intimate visit to his studio in Kandy. Gain an intimate insight into Sri Lanka's budding art scene and the artist behind some extraordinary pieces.
Off The Beaten Track Sri Lanka
Colombo, Anamaduwa, Wilpattu National Park, Anuradhapura, Kandy, Gal Oya National Park, Koslanda & Galle
from $5200 pp 16 nights
- Ideal for couples who are looking to get off the beaten track and explore the lesser visited and more wild areas of Sri Lanka
- Enjoy hidden experiences and surprise as you go along your journey, waterfalls, natural pools, beautiful gardens, old temples.
- Enjoy a boat safari on Gal Oya's Senanayake Samudraya Lake - an amazing place for birdwatching
Please note that the retreat does not currently have an alcohol licence but you are welcome to bring your own and will not be charged for corkage.