The dining experience is also one of a kind as barefoot dining is welcomed- you can leave your shoes at the entrance of the dining area and be greeted by tactile sensations when your toes brush against the 100 year old repurposed pine floors that were originally imported from Sweden from past life as a tea plantation.
Santani wellness retreat is located on an elevated mountainous landscape and the escapade to arrive here is half of the fun. If you decide to depart from Kandy, Sri Lanka you will move from the busy, fast-paced, and noisy city centre, to take the one and only road by car leading to Santani. This is truly an adventure in itself. Super windy roads swirl you into a moving landscape of local sites and sounds, and then suddenly you arrive at this paradise in harmony with nature. Here is where your senses will reveal in the wonder of luscious shades of green and the surrounding mountains may convince you for a split second that you have fallen into a scene from Gorillas in the Mist. The mountain views enveloping the entire property invite you to watch slowly moving stunning layers of misty thickness and soft ethereal clouds.
Think minimalist eco luxury surrounded by stunning landscapes and each mountain view room is its own self contained unit. It is like a dream tent with all the contemporary amenities and without the work involved in mountain camping. The structures of each chalet offer the least disruption possible to the natural environment and views, this design is termed architectural silence: all built structures blend peacefully into the natural landscape.
Nowhere can compare to what Santani has to offer in terms of deluxe accommodations in the mountains paired with health and spirit based activities. The design is undeniably unique. Simple, eco, and minimal luxury, the perfect amount of solitude, comfort, and bliss. The wind soundscape and mountain views shape a meditative space so naturally connective that you’ll fall easily into a beautiful pattern of being.
The constant soundscapes were the most memorable aspect for me; the breezes will transport you into a relaxed state, and the sights move between mountain views, rice fields, and the residue of the tea plantations. Every moment you spend here is time for yourself to give to yourself and surrounded in beauty, wonder, inner peace, calm and quiet tender moments to relax. Breath easier, and just be. If meditating is not an easy task, it will be here. Stay in the mountain view chalets and you will be transported as soon as you close the door behind you.
The chalet offers constant wind whispers and green mountain views, rustling trees and shifts in wind to create meditative sounds. This comes from the open panels at the top of the chalet walls where the delightful shutters allow the sounds to move through. Wind patterns constantly change and this inconsistency brings another level of delight to these wild moments in nature and relaxation. Plus you can wrap yourself up in a fluffy white robe, make some tea (they offer delicious options) and sit on the balcony in comfy loungers and enjoy. It is an experience that delights all senses.
Details and functionality greet you everywhere. From the way each building sits gracefully to not disrupt the views, the glass water bottles and ceramic containers that hold all products in the rooms, eco-consciousness is prevalent here as all the wood used in the structures is upcycled and repurposed. Morning light beams through the glass balcony doors and the open concept concrete, wood and glass structures of the space and you will be moved by the way the light plays onto these simple architectural delights. Wake up with sunlight shining through the elegant concrete shower. Bright foliage shows through the bottom glass panels connecting the walls to the floors and brings breezes in the bathroom beneath your toes.
The beds, in pure white linens and surrounded by mosquito nets elegantly hung on a four poster bed frame make sleep an effortless experience filled with cozy sensations of protection, warmth, and sounds of the natural environment. If you love napping, afternoons in these beds is time well spent.
I loved the at home feeling of dining without shoes, the wood floors and staircase greet your feet with a pleasure of sensations. Casually walking barefoot to the table when your not at home was new for me and I relished in this comfort. The dining area is also truly stunning and the 360 degree panoramic views and floor to ceiling glass elegantly enhance the natural landscape. Upon leaving the dining hall, staff move your shoes to the entrance turned in the direction of leaving so you just slip the shoes on to walk to your bliss.
Perhaps you walk to a yoga class, to the spa with a minimalist salt water pool or one of the Ayurveda treatment areas also located in this maze-like area hidden in the natural landscape as to not disrupt our views of the natural landscape. Santani offers nature walks to visit the surrounding areas, including rice fields and waterfalls. The infinity pool is another scared space to relax with fluffy golden yellow towels a colour that for me symbolizes one of the pure essences of Sri Lanka.
Santani engages us to find inner peace, listen to nature, pause, breathe a little deeper and submerge ourselves and our sense in a natural environment, thus bringing us closer to a way of being that is easy to forget in our daily lives. This dreamy wellness centre greets you to prepare for the rest of your travels through this country where you will be required to slow down, sit back, and forget the fast pace of city life.