Range Kandy is a boutique hotel a few miles outside of the town of Kandy. It's a bed and breakfast right next to Sky Pavilion – both owned by the same people. They have 4 rooms named Thuna Paha, Namaskara, Pedal and Kompass. While Sky Pavilion has a continental theme, Range Kandy has a more traditional Sri Lankan homey vibe.
The prices of the rooms range from 8 K-25 K, depending on the deals you get at booking.com on that day. We stayed in their Superior Double Room at $115 which is around Rs. 17,600, half board basis. The room was quite big with a wardrobe, a dressing table, seating area and a couch which you can also use as another bed.
The bed is comfy but the blanket was pretty itchy. They also didn't have a safe which was disappointing because we didn't really spend much time inside the room.
The villa has plenty of places to relax. There are living rooms on each floor and outdoor dining areas. Our floor had a balcony seating area which is a great spot to enjoy your evening tea along with some light reading. Their restaurant is on the rooftop and sadly I was not impressed by it. It looked like they still have not furnished it completely because there were only two tables and the rest of the place looked abandoned. I was looking forward to enjoying a meal there because the pictures on their website looked really pretty.
There's also a pool which they clean almost daily so a night swim might be a great idea if you don't mind the slight nip in the air.
If you're staying at Range Kandy you get quite a few experiences like a cooking experience, sunset at the rice paddy, adventures on two wheels etc. Since we love food more than anything, we tried the Cooking Experience. What it basically is, you go to the market with their tuk-tuk driver and buy whatever you want for lunch. Then you get to cook your meal with the chef. It ended up being a lot of fun!
Their tuk-tuk driver Austin took us to the market around 10 AM. He's such a friendly person and an even better tour guide. On our way to the market, he showed us a few historical spots in Kandy including an abandoned prison which I found to be very intriguing. He also took us to a popular tourist spot where you get a breathtaking view of the whole of Kandy city, including the famous Temple of Tooth Relic.
As we got to the market we picked out our veggies from a local vendor and we did not even have to pay. Austin took care of that. To be honest, these veggies looked a lot greener and fresher than the ones you would find at any Colombo market.
However, if you cannot look past the stench, crows and the crowd, Austin would be happy to take you to a supermarket.
This is by far the best thing they had had to offer. Although we were staying at Range Kandy, the experience was done at Sky Pavilion with their chef Sapumal. You get your own chef's hat and an apron and he would walk you through how he usually makes his meals. The chef was highly skilled and talented and I felt like an idiot chopping gotukola so sloppily. We made quite a few dishes (he did most of the work) and this was the final result.
I may be biased but this was the best meal I had here. They do a superb rice and curry. The vegetables were fresh with just the right amount of spices. We made a gotukola sambol, chow chow, dhal, cabbage, plate brush eggplant and beans. He also made a killer brinjal curry that was not on our list.
Our dinner was pretty simple, with a normal Fried Noodles, Potato Wedges and a Veggie Sandwich. However, we tried their Banana Fritters for dessert and were completely blown away. The fritters were crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside, with rich flavours. None of the food was too oily, especially considering that most of it was fried.
Breakfast was the better of the two, with a succulent soft and creamy Sri Lankan pancakes along with a cheesy and spicy scrambled egg.
We wanted to see how their room service was so one of us stayed back and ordered breakfast in bed. They brought the food on time and it was the same as the ones served upstairs, which was great.
The staff is some of the same people who were at Sky Pavilion and needless to say, they were extremely helpful and friendly. One of the things I appreciated was the way they gave us our space without hovering.
Range Kandy is the more affordable of the two villas with more to offer. I wouldn't recommend this for families or the elderly because there are a lot of stairs and no elevator. The rooms aren't anything special but you would be paying for their experiences really, which ensure you're not stuck in a room all weekend. We suggest you pay them a visit on your next getaway!