Villa Rosa is an enchanting guest house with great views over the Mahaweli River close to the centre of Kandy. It offers excellent value and is a true taste of Sri Lankan living at its most serene, and has long been one of our favourite properties in Kandy. This charming little property has a subtle colonial flavour, a simple, intelligent ambience and a sense of shabby chic which is viewed with much affection by Red Dot travellers seeking to reconnect with life’s simple pleasures. More upmarket than a guesthouse, less style-obsessed than the more austere sections of the boutique market, Villa Rosa tempts you to relax outdoors on its private little patios and take in the soothing sights and sounds of the Mahaweli River below. Interior décor is simple and comfortable. German owned, it is well-managed by an attentive Sri Lankan team and the result is an atmosphere that is quietly efficient, friendly and private. The views over the wide, brown Mahaweli River are stunning. The only drawback of the hotel is the absence of a swimming pool, although guests are able to use the large pool at Chaaya Citadel, a nearby four-star hotel. Villa Rosa will organise the transfer.
Note: Villa Rosa, in an attempt to escape the ‘package tour mentality’ insists upon a minimum stay of two nights.
In the bedrooms, a comfortable planter’s chair and a good book are regarded as more important as an iPod docking station or HD TV – you will find neither of those modern accoutrements here. There are three room types: one single, four doubles and two family suites - all comfortably furnished with single or double beds attached with mosquito netting. Three rooms have attached bathrooms with bathtubs and h/w showers; the other three have shower cubicles. The single room can also be used by a couple. All the rooms have private balconies with spectacular views of the Mahaweli River.
Villa Rosa has observed the technological changes of the past decade with supreme indifference, although there is a TV in the communal lounge and Wi-Fi throughout the property. There is a library, breakfast room, dining room and a splendid terrace on which to slowly sip a sundowner. Villa Rosa serves Sri Lankan and western cuisine and has a small ‘wellness hut’ offering Ayurvedic massages using relaxing herbal oils. But it is the outdoors that really appeals, with myriad tiled roofs cascading down and tropical shrubs and trees which add to the simple sense of peace.
Why We Like It
A consistently praised and intimate colonial-style hotel convenient for Kandy centre but with captivating views down a steep hill to the Mahaweli Ganga
Villa Rosa benefits from stunning views over the Mahaweli River and of the Knuckles Mountain Range beyond. Kandy is about 3.5 hours from Colombo's international airport.