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The Best Hotels in Kandy

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Best Hotels in Kandy

Kandy Introduction

Set on a vast plateau and surrounded by lush green hills and tea plantations, Kandy is a serene and scenic place. It's no surprise that it was once the home of royalty, or that Buddhist monks built a temple here that's now one of the religion's holiest sites. However, the city centre is a lively place full of modern malls and roads full of colourful tuk-tuks.

Hotels in Kandy

From backpackers to luxury seekers, a diverse range of tourists visit the city, and there are Kandy hotels to suit different budgets. Around the city centre there are lots of 1 and 2-star hotels in Kandy, and you can enjoy a clean, comfortable room for a low nightly rate. Many of these hotels also offer free WiFi and a free breakfast to start your day. Luxury hotels in Kandy tend to be on the outskirts of the city, with mountain or lake views. Many of these have outdoor pools and full-service spas, making them ideal for relaxing, while rooms have features such as premium bedding, cable TV channels, minibars and coffeemakers.

Where to stay

Kandy City Centre is a modern commercial shopping complex, full of banks, shops, restaurants and cafes. Pedestrianised streets run between these modern buildings, and as well as an entertainment zone and food court, the complex contains cheap Kandy hotels. If the heat gets too much, step inside one of the stylish marble-floored shopping malls, which feature popular Asian chain stores. When you tire of the city, Bahirawakanda is an oasis of calm about a 20-minute walk away. Down winding, palm tree-lined roads you'll see a more traditional side to the city, and you can climb towards the Bahirawakanda Temple for the best views, where a giant white Buddha overlooks Kandy.

Things to see

Temple of the Tooth sits inside the royal complex known as the Kingdom of Candy. Every inch of the interior is covered in carvings and gilded designs, and the main shrine holds a gold relic, said to contain a tooth that belonged to Buddha, making it a pilgrimage for followers. The Royal Botanical Gardens were also built by royals back in the 14th century, and cover about 147 acres. Known for its colourful and delicate orchids, you can walk the neat pathways and discover fragrant exotic flowers, palm trees and ponds filled with waterlilies. If you want to learn more about the vast tea plantations that surround the city, visit the Ceylon Tea Museum. There are hilly trails through the tea plants, where you will spot colonial bungalows once occupied by the landowners, and at the heart of it all is an imposing grey industrial building. Take a tour and see the old tea-harvesting equipment, as well as the factory where tea crops are brought in.

How to get to Kandy

Bandaranaike International Airport has flights arriving from across Asia, plus a few from Europe. It's about a 2.5-hour drive from Kandy. There are also buses that run from the terminal, although they can get extremely crowded. A good way to travel in Kandy and the surrounding areas is by train. There are regular train services from Colombo, which make for a scenic mountain journey and you'll get to Kandy in just under 3 hours. Once you're at the station, there are tuk-tuks outside waiting to whisk you to your hotel.