Lasting wellness is achieved by bringing oneself into balance, with nature as well as through the nurture we give ourselves and receive from others. Meaning “in harmony with”,Santani offers a uniquely restorative sanctuary where this belief guides everything we do.
Wellness programmes in Ayurveda, detox and cleansing, yoga and relaxation combine on site pampering and rejuvenation with enlightened learning for healthy living long after you leave invigorating surroundings of our luxury wellness resort.
Designed to free the mind while treading as lightly as possible on the earth, our private sanctuaries blur the distinction between indoors and out, to encourage you to rest, relax and meditate while inhaling the purest, freshest air and living within in this pristine, truly inspiring scenery that surrounds us.
Choice and freedom are essential to sustainable wellness. Whether you like juicing, vegetarian, vegan and raw foods or you prefer heartier wholesome fare, Santani is about taking pleasure in the locally sourced, organic food you eat here.
Our healthy, nutritious and naturally delicious personalised dishes are thoughtfully prepared by Santani’s experienced, internationally trained chefs.
Harmonising health science innovations from around the world with the most effective treatments of Sri Lankan Ayurveda, Santani offers a thoughtful, sustainable approach to wellness.
We pamper your body to revitalize you here and we educate your mind so that you leave our wellness retreat with healthy habits and practices which allow you to enjoy greater mental, spiritual and physical well-being for years to come.
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.
We chose to design our contemporary dwellings based on the concept of the ‘ambalama’, which is the Sri Lankan word meaning ‘place of rest.’
Historically, pilgrims and traders moved around this sun-kissed island on foot. Simple shelters called ambalama came into being, offering these travellers somewhere safe to rest up for the next leg of a long journey.
This human need to rest has not changed; today’s travellers too are in need of a place to rest up, along the journey of life. Stylish and utterly comfortable, our interiors too are deliberately minimal.
As in ancient Buddhist meditation caves in the mountains surrounding Santani, this lack of distraction allows you to focus your mind solely on slowing it down.
To further support your efforts to ‘reset,’ our rooms do not have televisions. While digital detox is a key component of the Santani experience, we do offer in-room WiFi on demand.
By blurring the distinction between inside and out, these private retreats invite you to rest, relax or meditate while inhaling the pure fresh air and taking in the pristine, truly inspiring scenery around you. We have 16 Mountain View Chalets that overlook the surrounding mountain range.
Sixteen stand-alone, single-bedrooms each extending to a balcony and approximately 500 square feet. These can accommodate two people only. Each stylish, elevated room faces into the surrounding jungle valley and the stunning mountains beyond.
Each room features up-cycled rubber wood lounge chairs, recycled teakwood safari chairs on the balcony, extra large pillows, 100% cotton, high thread count sheets, coffee and tea making facilities, personal safe and two closets.
In addition to this, we have 4 Garden View Chalets that are designed for families with children (above 12) and hence located away from the main area of the resort.
These are situated in an area with a small paddy field on one side and a tea plantation on the other. Two chalets are connected to each other through a common open area. One of the two chalets are specifically designed for Children between 12 – 15 with no balconies and other safety specifications.
All chalets have a glass wall that provides unhindered views of the lush vegetation surrounding the area. These chalets do not have the mountain vistas, but provide a cosy, secluded feel among thick vegetation and are ideal for groups and families.
The chalets can be also be sold individually as well. Similar to our other chalets, these rooms also do not have televisions. While digital detox is a key component of the Santani experience, we do offer in-room WiFi on demand.
The walking distance from these chalets to the main lounge and restaurant is about 10 minutes but Tuk Tuk shuttles are available to shuttle guests from these chalets to the main facilities.
Nestled between the hills and rainforest in the heart of Sri Lanka, Santani exists for the singular purpose of nourishing your soul. When it comes to actual nutrition, we believe balance rather than extremes, and in the value of pleasure in our lives.
Whether you like juicing, vegetarian, vegan and raw foods or you prefer heartier traditional fare, Santani is about freedom and choices which are yours to make among our nutritious and delicious food served in our elevated restaurant with capacity for 60 guests and at our open-air main pavilion lounge with its biodynamic wine & fresh juice bar
Your experience at Santani includes a personalised approach to gourmet wellness cuisine. In place of a printed menu for everyone, Santani’s experienced, internationally trained chefs prepare your healthy natural dishes according to a custom meal plan created in co-ordination with the Head of Wellness and Santani’s in-house Ayurvedic doctor based upon your health goals and physical condition.
Personalised meal plans draw upon the most recent scientific research in three main areas:
Our low-carbohydrate Keto meal plan comprises certified meat, freshly caught seafood and garden fresh vegetables, most from our own organic garden. Santani does not use any processed or refined foods and the Keto diet excludes starch-rich foods such as rice, breads, yams and pasta.
This newly popular approach to weight loss focuses on re-balancing the body’s energy usage through food. When we eat foods high in carbohydrates, the body produces glucose and insulin.
Glucose is the easiest molecule for the body to convert and use as the body’s main source of energy. Insulin is produced to process that glucose in the bloodstream. As glucose is acting as the primary energy source, fats are not needed. They are therefore stored in the body.
This low carb diet is carefully designed to bring your body into the metabolic state of ketosis, a natural process the body initiates when food consumption, or in this case carbohydrate intake, is low. During this state, we produce ketones from the breakdown of fats in the liver to be used as energy.
The Keto Diet substitutes carbohydrates for healthy fats, so that the body instead of storing fat, the body begins to burn ketones as the main energy source and stored fat will be burned away.
Santani’s modern approach to the traditional Sri Lanka Ayurveda diet comprises fresh foods representing the six Ayurvedic tastes – sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent.
This time proven practice ensures that all major nutrients are included, and prioritised according to your Ayurvedic body type known as the Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Every one of us is born with a unique balance of these doshas; every activity and function of our mind and body is dependent upon the balanced or unbalanced state of our doshas.
This diet, designed to cleanse the body of impurities and thus rebalance the doshas, encourages energy stimulation and calms the mind, which makes it a valuable tool in elevating mood, energy and metabolism.
The Santani approach to detox and cleansing is still very much about gourmet dining and fulfilment. Our non-juice detox diet and the raw juice & smoothies programme are restricted short term diet plans which focus on eliminating caffeine, alcohol, salt, sugar and processed foods.
The purpose of this diet plan is primarily to support and cleanse the liver, intestinal tract, kidneys, lungs and skin through the elimination of toxins in the body.
“Rama entrusts Hanuman must leap to the Himalayas and bring back the healing herb from the Medicine Mountain to save Lakshman’s life. So Hanuman leaps over the ocean, and across the whole of India, to the Himalayas. When he arrives at first he can’t find the Medicine Mountain.
When he finds it at last, it is covered with herbs and he doesn’t know which is the magic healing herb. So Hanuman wraps his arms around the whole mountain, pulls it out of the ground, lifts it up onto the palm of his hand and flies with it back to Lanka.”
We sought out the latest innovations in health science from around the world to harmonize with the most effective treatments among the rich heritage of Ayurveda in Sri Lanka, thus creating one of the best wellness resorts for our guests.
Building upon our global philosophy and extensive therapeutic amenities, Santani takes a lifestyle approach to wellness with two essential components: we pamper your body in an environment designed at every level to revitalize you and we educate your mind so that you leave with healthy habits and practices which allow you to sustain greater mental, spiritual and physical well-being for years to come. That is the Santani lifestyle.
How does this work in practice? You let us help you to set aside the stresses of the daily life you left behind when you come to Santani. You allow us to detox your body while you naturally harmonise yourself within this serene atmosphere.
As muscles, including the mind, relax, watch your body bend in new ways and your spirits rise. Your mind soaks up new knowledge and practices which you take back when you leave us.
Beyond the plethora of healthy indulgences for the mind, body and spirit at Santani, our success rests upon the mindfulness we impart so that you may thrive in every aspect of your life back home. Come to Santani and immerse yourself in a wellness experience to last a lifetime.
The best spas in the world harmonise these philosophies, so we built Santani as Sri Lanka’s first full-fledged destination spa, with the first-ever comprehensive hydrotherapy facilities in the country.
Our tri-level spa tucked into the hillside’s natural contours has been thoughtfully designed with holistic wellness in mind. You enter on the ground level to our reception and consultation rooms, then descend as if becoming one with the earth as you enter the hydrotherapy level.
To warm up your body before treatments, this level houses a steam room, the cedar wood sauna with its a glass wall looking onto emerald paddy fields to the Knuckles mountain range, and our open-air thermal salt soak pool.
Deeper into nature, the lowest level divides into four treatment rooms all of which are open onto the surrounding paddy fields. One of these rooms is designed for couples.
SANTANI IMMUNE BOOSTING DETOX
During last few decades, the lifestyles of mankind drastically changed. Humans had to struggle for the continuity and progress.
Due to the physical and emotional imbalance caused during this process, efficiency of vital bodily factions including the immunity, were disturbed. This made human prone to frequent infections and illnesses.
Unhealthy food, less physical activities, inadequate sleep, emotional imbalance and disturbed toxin elimination functions in the body can be considered as the key attributes to a weak immune system.
After a proper cleansing process and appropriate lifestyle changes, immune system does not have to fight against accumulated toxins or to support the recovering process from unhealthy habits. This rests the immune system and gives it time to rejuvenate and get to the prime condition and fight against external threats.
Santani Immune Boosting Detox package starts at a minimum of 07 nights stay and can be extended up to 21 days.
Santani is well suited to support anyone who has undergone emotional or physical trauma to regain a healthier balanced life. This fully customised programme is recovering from surgery, cancer, heart attack or stroke as well as those dealing with emotional losses.
Regular cleansing of the body is a core preventative care that will help prevent the occurrence of many diseases such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes, cardiac issues, etc. Santani Detox programs can be customized to different needs and durations starting from 7 days to 21 days.
These can be basic introduction to detox or advance detox for guests who are accustomed to detox and cleansing. The program can be customized based on Ayurvedic techniques or Western techniques such as juicing.
AYURVEDIC WEIGHT LOSS
For those interested primarily in weight loss, this programme is strategically designed to eliminate excess weight while leaving you feeling energized, healthy, balanced and encouraged to continue after you leave Santani.
Many of us struggle to sleep, for some this means turning to sedatives or sleeping pills. If you want to sleep well naturally, this program is for you. Additional, it will help anyone with anxiety, stress, depression and other related conditions.
Our wellness experts incorporate relaxation therapies, healthy personalized meals, meditation and Hatha yoga to put you to sleep in the calming environment of Santani. Additionally, we also assist you with the understanding of how to sustain this level of rest once you are back in your daily routine.
SANTANI SPA GETAWAY
For anyone who knows they need a break to get unstuck and to reboot, yet prefers to take a more general approach to rejuvenating the mind, body and spirit, this fully bespoke programme requires absolutely no prior exposure to wellness, fitness or healthy lifestyle. Anyone will benefit from this custom combination of relaxation, nutrition, exercise and education.
Specifically engineered to address the needs of stressed out executives, anyone facing their mid-life crisis or grappling with low energy levels, this programme combines indulgent relaxation and de-stressing treatments with mindful education to incorporate holistic health in even the most high stress everyday life.
For anyone looking to take a yoga holiday, or try a yoga retreat, this flexible program focuses on yoga in Sri Lanka, as holistic development for the mind and body, and is adaptable to your level whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner.
Santani River Walk
This is somewhat of a casual walk through our own estate to the river that borders Santani. Our resident naturalist will guide you down a steep path to the shores of the river.
Along the way, you can say hello to the people harvesting tea on our estate and observe the local flora and fauna. The river shore is calm and serene, a great place to relax and catch your breath before heading back up to the resort.
The Werapitiya Hanging Bridge
This scenic walk takes you towards the main Werapitiya road to a hanging bridge which crosses a point where two rivers meet and is still used by local residents regularly.
Meander through Werapitiya itself and as the lane winds down through this typical Sri Lankan village, past terraced paddy fields, mud houses and spice gardens abundant with birds and butterflies.
The scenery changes frequently throughout the walk offering the opportunity to see traditional rice and palm harvesting and the naturally created pools in the river are a great place for an authentic Sri Lankan river bath.
Bird Watching around Santani
Sri Lanka is a tiny country with a lot a biodiversity. Likewise, the bird life of Sri Lanka is also very rich for its size with more than 500 species recorded throughout the country of which 34 are considered endemic – only found in Sri Lanka.
Around Santani we are lucky to have noted 15 of the 34 endemic species. Join our naturalist with some binoculars and a field guide at 6am (mornings are the best time for birding) and spend a couple of hours observing resident birds on this trail before breakfast.
You are very likely to see a jungle fowl scuttling under a tea tree, a hornbill jostling with its mate or a serpent eagle soaring an updraft.
Bambaragala Cave Temple
Built over 250 years ago, the Bambaragala Cave Temple is located about an hour away by vehicle and is decorated with brightly painted Buddhist artwork. Some of the drawings and artwork in the temple is even said to pre-date the Kandyan era.
Guests of all agilities can visit the temple itself, however the climb to the top of Bambaragala rock, which affords breathtaking panoramic views of Victoria Reservoir and beyond, is only recommended for experienced hikers. Although only an hours’ hike to the top, the final stretch requires balance and confidence.
Kandy City Visit
Kandy is located about an hour away from Santani and is Sri Lanka’s last kingdom and cultural capital. A major site for Buddhist pilgrims, white-clad Sri Lankans gather with frangipani and lotus blossoms to offer at the Temple of the Tooth inside the Royal Palace complex.
Explore the temple and Kandy market, or wander through Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. If needed, you may also request for a guide at the Temple of the Tooth to get a better understanding of the history and the background. We recommend visiting the temple and gardens on separate days.
Kukul oya Waterfalls
Bordering the beautiful Kukul Oya region are two waterfalls opening up into small ponds. This scenic spot is accessible directly from Santani in the drier season via a short walk across the Hulu River and flat trail on the other side (6km). Lush greenery and jungle flora borders the trail, making for a picturesque journey.
However, during the rainy season, a 45 minute drive and 30 minute walk in each direction is necessary to reach the falls as crossing the river at the bottom of our valley becomes too difficult.
Galmaduwa Craft Village & Temple
This experience showcases a village of craftspeople honing and practicing their skills, making copper and wooden handicrafts, as well as batik fabrics and much more.
Witness local artisanal industries and the passing of these crafts from one generation to the next. The village tour ends with a simple cup of Ceylon tea at the house of the village coppersmith before continuing to nearby Galmaduwa Temple.
This impressive looking building is a fusion of two cultures. Originally built in 1750 as a Hindu Kovil by the last King of Sri Lanka, it was venerated as a Buddhist Temple due to local protests.
Rangala Nature Pool
This circular walk is one of our longest, but begins and ends with a 20-30 minute tuk tuk ride. Despite being incredibly picturesque and famous amongst local residents, Rangala natural pool is unfortunately not for swimming.
In addition to the region’s natural beauty, this walk is a great opportunity to understand more about the life of the tea plucking community as you pass by their homes. Dependent on departure time, there is also an incredible sunset viewing spot from above tea fields en route!
Corbett’s Gap Cloud Forest Hike
Corbett’s Gap is one of the highest mountain passes in Sri Lanka named after British Army colonel, naturalist and adventurer, Jim Corbett. The hike is mostly along an abandoned jeep track that cuts through the Knuckles Conservation Forest an UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.
These montane cloud forests, where the land rises to 2,500 metres above sea level, are home to an extraordinary range of flora and fauna, including several endangered species such as the westernpurple-faced langur, the Horton Plains slender loris and the Sri Lankan leopard.
Hatale Tea Factory Tour
If the tea industry and processes involved in creating tea interests you, this is a must-do experience. You will drive through the mountains for just over an hour to get to the Hatale Tea Factory, and there you will see how loose-leaf tea is converted to the tea that we drink on a daily basis and is exported from Sri Lanka all over the world.
The mountain range you see from your balcony, we call it Dumbara (mist-laden), the British named it Knuckles as it resembles the knuckles of clenched fist from some vantages. This mountain range offers some of the most spectacular hikes in the island.
The Knuckles Hike starts in a tea estate, but the trail soon enters the high-altitude montane cloud forests that are truly unique and stunning. The trail is very diverse crossing different types of forest, grasslands, streams, and waterfalls frequently popping out to amazing mountain vistas.
Depending on the hike you choose, your destination is one of the higher peaks of the range where the views are simply mind boggling. Departure is around 6am for a scenic 1hour drive to the start of the trail.
Then you enjoy your well-earned picnic lunch at the summit before the descent. Dependent on route, a 6pm arrival at Santani can be expected.
Victoria Golf Club
After an early breakfast, drive 1 hour to Sri Lanka’s most scenic course at Victoria Golf Club located in nearby Digana on a former coconut and coffee plantation.
This award-winning masterpiece was designed by Donald Steel, in accordance with the undulating landscape and is lovingly maintained to an international standard.
Bordering picturesque Victoria Reservoir, players have spectacular views across its 73 Par, 6933 yard championship, 18 hole course. Play a round of golf and be back at Santani in time for a late lunch!
Mountain Biking Tour
One of the best ways to experience the beauty of the surroundings of Santani, is to go on a long scenic bike ride. This ride through a spectacular mountain trail which gives you the opportunity to ride in tea-estate jeep roads and single tracks with stunning mountain views.