Santani is situated 32 kilometres and about an hour’s drive from the historic and sacred city of Kandy on the former Aratenna Tea Estate which comprises 48 lush green acres within the small village settlement of Werapitiya.
The area of Kandy where Santani is located embodies Sri Lanka’s legendary beauty in its lush greenery, gently undulating landscapes and whooshing rivers. As in the past, Kandy is the spiritual centre of Sri Lanka, home to one of the most sacred relic in Buddhist culture as well as the Kandy Perahera, one of the world’s most extravagant pageants with over 100 adorned elephants and thousands of artists parading through the streets of Kandy every August.
Santani is located a comfortable 2,800 feet above sea level which means any time of year is suitable for a short or long retreat in our care. January to May we see mostly very pleasant days with temperatures between 22-28°C. We experience two rainy seasons – from September to December and between April and May. During these periods, the holistic benefits of reconnecting with the natural world also mean you may see beetles in your room and leeches when you hike in our surrounding jungle. Santani provides leech socks to protect our guests on these invigorating treks.
The best design hotels in the world work in harmony with nature and the Santani ethos personifies this. Throughout the year our proximity to nature, while restorative, may also come with some minor disturbances. Frogs harmonise within the paddy fields but are not dangerous, neither are the beetles we see in and around the rooms at certain times of year. Flies, moths and cicadas flutter about especially when they see the light and we do share our high elevation haven with some mosquitoes although relatively few. Nets are provided in every Ambalama for your sleeping comfort.
Here in our idyllic jungle setting, snakes play a vital ecological role in that pest control. Even though many types of snakes found in Sri Lanka are largely harmless and do not attack unless threatened, we understand this is a genuine concern to our guests. For this reason, paths at Santani are well lit.
In ancient times, anyone seeking inner peace could take refuge in the Buddhist meditation caves which still exist within this sacred, mountainous landscape. They would remain untouched by the outside world until such time as they wished to emerge.
We do not live in those times. However at Santani, we endeavour to offer the possibility to reach that level of silence and peace if you wish. Except for our media room with 15-seat theatre, all of our shared spaces are Wi-Fi free by design and we ask that you respect this digital-free downtime when you dine and spa with us. Wi-Fi is available upon request in your rooms.