The hotel sits in semi-rural surroundings, 20 minutes' drive from Kandy. The city is famed for its revered gold-roofed Temple of the Tooth and exotic Botanical Gardens home to stands of giant bamboo, and is also notoriously busy. This nine-bedroom former manor house is one of Sri Lanka's original boutique hotels, carved out of an understated 18th-century abode. From the front, it looks like a modest single-story villa with a series of nine gentle arches and a low slung pitched roof, yet as you walk through the building, it splits into two floors around a central open-to-the sky courtyard. The natural jungle-edged setting and six-acre gardens teem with wildlife.