The stunning panoramic views from the veranda spanning the front of Rangala House extend westwards to the bowl of forested hills that surround the city of Kandy. Ahead lie miles of plantations and wooded hills all folded in together and interspersed with tiny villages, tea factories and pockets of agriculture. Roads and paths twist and turn, winding steeply upwards. At dusk the sun sets magically behind the distant hills in vivid yellows and oranges; at dawn, mist blankets the valley waiting for the sun to burn it away. Hundreds of species of birds, wild boar, porcupine, and even the odd mongoose can be spied with the telescope housed on this view-blessed front veranda that’s furnished generously with tables and chairs for serenely relaxing and dining.
This old tea plantation bungalow has been lovingly restored to create a homely and charming three-bedroom (all ensuite) homestay. Wood ceilings and furniture, lazy turning fans and tiled floors give a wonderful rustic country feel. The large stone grate is home to a roaring fire on cool nights which can take the edge off the air both inside the spacious lounge or out on the open veranda. Brimming with palms and gingers, the manicured garden leads down from the house to a shady pool, which is an excellent place to cool off in the heat of the day or after an energetic hike. Surrounding Rangala House are the Duckwari tea plantations interwoven with roads and tracks to explore; the more adventurous can trek in the Knuckles Nature Reserve a short drive away.
A full complement of six staff are on hand to ensure your stay is comfortable and can be called upon to arrange anything from a picnic to slip into your rucksack to a fresh juice or an ice cold beer. A modern European kitchen (with a few local touches) turns out some excellent western and Sri Lankan cuisine. Do try the home-made sun dried tomatoes. Rangala’s owner Anthony, and his staff team are well connected in the village so a visit to one of the local houses can be arranged for some authentic local food – beware of the chillies!