Normally we would take a bigger hotel of some reliable chain. But in Kandy they all seemed a bit tiered. So we decided to book the Elephant Stables. We were a bit worried about the quit aggressive reaction of guest relations on negative feedback. But we ended up in a very relaxing boutique hotel with extremely kind and helpful staff. Imagine a luxury modern villa with only 6 rooms somewhere in the French Provence. You would pay a lot of money. Here it is still affordable. Absolutely four stars plus.
We booked the Pepper Room. A fresh modern room above the 'living room'. Spacious with a large balcony. Free wifi. Good quality four poster bed with mosquito net. Modern spacious bathroom (big shower / no bath). A few details we disliked, but did not really bother us:
- Low water pressure from the shower (boiler system).
- No curtains, only transparent shades (felt a bit indiscreet).
- Space next to the entry door was open (sounds from the living room freely enter the room and visa versa; if you leave the key in the door, you can open the door from the inside; we blocked it with pillows)
There could be more beds at the pool, but the pool itself is just great and nicely hot. Lunch snacks are available at the pool, but do not order the hamburger if you expect a hamburger (strange pressed meat patties). The quality of the food shows in the evening when chef Indika prepares you a lovely curry or other (western) dish. We liked to talk to him and he was very well prepared to anticipate on personal preferences.
Our personal 'butler' was Pathum. Serving dinner, serving breakfast, serving our room. Sometimes it feels as if he does not always understand those crazy tourists. It may even look if he waits at the table to get a tip, but we think this is just a misunderstanding by some guests. We felt great sympathy for Pathum. For us he was the star member of the staff.
For three days we felt completely free and relaxed. We enjoyed a true feel of vacation.
There is a lot of staff, but they were never standing in our way. No complaints from our driver concerning his accommodation either.
Location is close to Kandy. You need transport (your own driver or a local tuk-tuk). But would you really want to stay at the city centre of this hectic city or would you like to enjoy a nice garden with plenty off exotic birds?
Yes, before leaving the hotel you will have to pay. Try to settle the bill the evening before. It can take some time. During the process though, manager Nalaka is very willing to give you all kinds of useful travel tips.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Elephant Stables is a beautiful colonial era bungalow on a hill overlooking Kandy city that has been converted into a luxurious boutique hotel offering elegant colonial style living in Sri Lanka. It features a unique blend of original mid-century furniture with modern chic interiors with an exceptional level of personalized service. ... more less
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