The Flame Tree Estate & Hotel
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Flame Tree Estate & Hotel is a caringly restored walawwa set on a working spice estate in the foothills surrounding Kandy, Sri Lanka’s last royal capital, approximately 30 minutes from the city centre. The main building is decorated with a variety of art that is as exquisite as it is eclectic, ranging from European and Asian art to magnificent antique furniture, with the final result giving the property a welcoming air with much to interest the eye. Guests can relax by the infinity pool, enjoy on-demand yoga and massages, go for jungle or plantation walks, curl up in the library with a book or unwind in the garden amidst a variety of tropical plants which attract hundreds of birds. There are nine rooms and suites in total, with options to suit all travellers including honeymooners and families with younger children. A truly tranquil escape with a beautiful design in a gloriously scenic setting. There are nine rooms at Flame Tree Estate, split across four categories, each with its own unique theme.
These three double rooms are located in the main building, united by the common cool terrazzo floors and views over the spice plantation and surrounding hills. Choose The Amorous Porcupine for slick monochrome décor accented by gold Japanese lacquer and tapestries by Ena de Silva, or go for The Singing Civet which blends classic Sri Lankan architecture with contemporary décor in the form of plush pink furniture and an Andy Warhol art piece. Last but certainly not least is The Mindful Mongoose, richly decked out in rare ebony furniture and featuring a hand-painted Skane chest dating back to 1849. All rooms have a wardrobe with safe and ensuite bathroom with shower, and The Singing Civet has the addition of a bathtub.
Positioned on the ground floor, the two double rooms are spacious with a private veranda providing hill views and an atmospheric ensuite bathroom with dark walls, bathtub and indoor / outdoor shower. They have subtle monochrome décor and grandiose colonial furnishings including stately four-poster beds, a Rangoon Teak Desk and 19th-century Danish writing bureau. The Flying Squirrel showcases contemporary woodcuts of jungle trees whilst The Cordial Crocodile boasts an antique Sinhalese throne-sofa and a cabinet of Indonesian puppet dolls.
These two rooms are housed in the separate Pineapple Wing, offering plenty of privacy. Each room is spacious with one double bed and two single beds, and an ensuite bathroom with indoor and outdoor shower. The Dancing Elephant boasts contemporary local and Indian art and a bay window seating area with views out to the pool whilst The Hanging Monkey has views of the Orchid Walk from its bay window seating area and is decorated with modern woodcuts.
There are two suites at Flame Tree, each astonishing in design. The Curious Chameleon Treetops is straight out of a fairytale, a luxurious tree house-style room with burnished mahogany panels, floor-to-ceiling windows and garden views on all sides. The expansive room has a separate sitting area, large double bed and ensuite bathroom with shower, and is opulently decorated with Swedish chandeliers, gold and silver light fittings, tribal tapestries from the highlands of Vietnam and Agaria panels from Madhya Pradesh. The Loving Leopards Penthouse is ideal for honeymooners, with a private wrap-around terrace facing out to the jungle and large windows and white walls allowing for plenty of light. Gold underpins the suite’s décor, which includes a display of richly-bejewelled Kandyan bridegroom’s clothing. A highlight of this suite is the bathtub with mountain views. There is also an indoor and outdoor shower in the ensuite bathroom.
Food at Flame Tree Estate is healthy, fresh and elegantly presented, and features seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices from the Estate Gardens. You can choose to dine outside on the Terrace or in the dining room which features an antique club dining table that seats up to 16.
Just for the kids
The three loving Schnauzers and harem of goats on-site will particularly delight children, as will the extensive grounds and pool.