Karpaha Sands

East Coast, Sri Lanka

At a Glance

  • Sits on an unspoilt stretch of golden sands, surrounded by coconut groves and swaying palms

  • Time here is slow, with day beds, suspended loungers, a dreamy infinity pool and tropical gardens lending themselves to a languid pace of life

  • The spa is equally serene and tranquil, a meditative space for an indulgent massage or Ayurvedic treatment

  • The restaurant offers spellbinding views over the sea, with fresh seafood and shellfish taking pride of place on a menu of Singhalese dishes with a French twist

  • While lending itself to a beach retreat, the ancient city of Pollonaruwa and the colourful towns of Batticaloa and Trincomalee are within an hour’s drive

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

From May to August the Yala monsoon brings rain to the island’s southwestern half. The southwest has the highest rainfall – up to 4000mm a year. There is also an inter-monsoonal period in October and November when rain can occur in many parts of the island. The sea stays at around 27°C all year. Climatically speaking, the driest (and best) seasons in the Northeastern half of Sri Lanka are from May to August and for the west and south coasts, December to March.

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Insider's View

Try the fresh catch of the day, it’s caught right in front of you from the local fisherman on the beach

Call us on to start planning your holiday to Karpaha Sands or take a look at our itineraries to Sri Lanka


Looking out over the idyllic sands of Kalkudah Beach, this thoughtfully designed hotel blends gracefully into its palm-fringed surrounds, offering an impossibly relaxed stay with a tranquil spa and tantalising Sri Lankan cuisine.

Just steps from the golden sands and azure waters of Sri Lanka’s Kalkudah Beach, this rustically stylish hotel sits amongst waving palms and lush gardens, its thatched roofs and tented rooms scattered throughout the grounds. Just an hour from the Cultural Triangle’s Pollunaruwa, Karpaha Sands is an idyllic spot to relax after a trip across Sri Lanka’s historic heartland.

The tented suites of Karpaha Sands are thoughtfully constructed to blend into their natural surrounds, with stone, wood and a muted colour palette that draws the eye to the sapphire blue of the ocean and the emerald of the gardens. From the Palam Suites which sit directly on the golden sands to the Kolaya Suites with their private garden and the two-bedroom Seed Suites, designed for families and friends, the tents are spacious, light and airy. Life here flows effortlessly between the outside and the interior, with private decks, outside showers and large windows that flood the tents with light.

Whether relaxing in a suspended lounger by the bar, curling up with a book in the library, playing board games or searching out the art scattered throughout the gardens, time at Karpaha Sands is slow, contemplative and considered. Slip away to the Spa pavilion for an aromatic scrub, massage or Ayurvedic treatment before an evening aperitif in the bar in preparation for a delicately spiced, exquisitely flavoured dinner. Lobster, crab and fish come fresh from the local fishermen, organic vegetables and fruits are grown in the garden, including the ubiquitous coconut commonly used in Singhalese dishes.

Begin your day with a morning stroll along the 15km of sugar-fine sands, as fishermen in vibrantly colourful boats bring in the day’s catch, lean back against a palm to watch as the gentle waves lap the beach before wandering back to the hotel for a breakfast of fresh pastries, exotic fruits and fragrant coffee. Cool off in the sparkling waters of the infinity pool, play with the children in the kids’ pool or laze on a day bed with a good book and a zesty juice. If you can be tempted from the comfort of Karpaha Sands, the colourful town of Batticaloa is just a 20-minute drive, discover the deep water port and historic fort of Trincomalee or explore the ancient capital of Pollonaruwa.

Offering indulgent relaxation and a base from which to explore the temples, markets and forts of the east coast, Karpaha Sands is a peaceful, serene spot on one of Sri Lanka’s most postcard-perfect beaches.

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The tented suites of Karpaha Sands combine romance and practicality to offer a stay that is both private and peaceful yet also meets the needs of families. Air-conditioning and fans cool the rooms, while large four-poster beds are swathed in diaphanous netting. Ranging from 110sq.m to 180sq.m of both inside and outside space, they blur the lines between the interior and the exterior, allowing you to make the most of the balmy Sri Lankan evenings. Rinse off the sand in the outside shower after a dip in the sea, or watch the sun come up over the ocean with a morning coffee on the deck. 


Children will love the space and proximity to the beach and ocean offered by Karpaha Sands, with the Seed Suites providing two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a private garden


Whether relaxing in the spa or dining on fish pulled from the sea that morning, the mood at Karpaha Sands is restful and restorative, with the gentle breeze drifting through the open-sided restaurant or spa pavilion, carrying with it the scent of frangipani or bougainvillea. Mark a special occasion with a private candlelit dinner on the beach, or dine in the upper floor restaurant where the views of the ocean challenge the fresh seafood and memorable flavours of the food for first place. The infinity pool is a dreamy spot to spend a day, while the bar lounge and rambling gardens are equally tranquil and inviting.


If itchy feet succeed in dragging you from a day bed or lounger by the pool, Karpaha Sands is within an hour’s drive of the ancient capital of Pollonaruwa and the towns of Batticaloa and Trincomalee. A day’s excursion to Maduru Oya National Park brings elephants, sloth bears, pelicans and storks, while the east coast lagoons are a haven for birdlife.


  • Sailing & Snorkelling Excursion

    Climb aboard a beautiful 48ft catamaran, and sail along the south coast of Sri Lanka stopping at private coves to stand-up paddle board, snorkel over colourful reefs, swim or soak up the sun while your crew take the helm.

  • Tour of Trincomalee

    A visit to Trincomalee, also known as Trinco, will generally include a visit to Koneswaram Temple and Fort Frederick for a historical overview. This tour will also take in some of the lovely beaches in the area, including Uppuveli and Nilaveli.

  • Whale and Dolphin Excursion from Trincomalee

    Go on whale and dolphin cruise in Trincomalee in the months of March to August.

  • Whale Watching in Trincomalee

    Whales flock to the east coast of Sri Lanka mainly during the months of March and April and again in August and September as they continue their migrations around the teardrop isle.

Location & directions

East Coast, Sri Lanka

Karpaha Sands  is located in Kuchchaveli which is situated towards the north-west of Trincomalee. The distance from Colombo to Trincomalee is about 257km

How to get there

An 11 hour flight from London and then an hour seaplane journey to Trinco.

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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