Budget hostels and homestays are an absolute Godsend for everyone who wants to travel but can't do it because we're too broke to step out of the house.
After combing through Booking.com for the best possible outcome for our stay in Kandy, we came across Villa 9. A house turned into a hotel that looked quite promising. Thus, after making our booking and fast-forwarding a couple of days and one train ride into the near future, we finally arrived.
Because of a bit of a conundrum in Colombo, we happened to arrive quite late into the day. With no boards to indicate that this, in fact, was the place we were looking for, we had to call up the owners.
They were pretty nice about it. Coming out of the house in the middle of the night to greet us, they were super chill about it. However, if you do happen to stay at Villa 9 for your next trip to Kandy, this is what the place looks like. It's right behind Dharmaraja and it's impossible to miss.
Essentially a 3 story building of a house converted to a homestay that's more home than stay, we liked it. The building had recently been whitewashed so the walls were a nice pearly white, the woodwork had recently been polished and save for the cement sunrise wall art thing that's also outside, everything seemed to be spick and span.
Overstuffed chairs, lots and lots of photographs and a couple of plants that we assume were real even though they looked too good to be real, it gave off strong vibes that you get when you go outstation to that rich, distant relatives house when you need a place to spend the night but can't stay at a hotel.
With a small hall like area with floral overstuffed chairs, a couple of metal seats on the landing and another landing space with the same exact view on the second floor, there's lots of space to sit and relax if that's what you want.
That being said though, if you're an awkward tart like me who gives uncomfortable looking smiles when you meet other people in the house, we suggest cocooning yourself inside your room as I did. But, for those of you who are not awkward, you're going to be fine.
This is essentially what the room is like. With enough space for it to feel cramped, mosquito nets, a dressing table and a rack for your clothes, it managed to cover all your basic necessities including your hot watered necessities a la electric kettle.
The bed is super comfy, they give a pillow each and the air conditioning worked, we are happy.
This was the bathroom. A pink-hued ensemble including fake potted plants and a small bar of Kohomba soap inside the basket. Small, but able to cover the basic needs and was okay. The only real problem we had was with the flush which took at least a solid 10 minutes (or more) to fill up with water. I spent half the night pressing on the flush to get it to flush before leaving and coming back an hour later and managing to flush with many a mighty push.
Nonetheless, plumbing is something that can be fixed quite easily. And judging by how the rest of the room was, it's bound to get fixed eventually.
Breakfast at Villa 9 has a bit of a process. The people there will ask you what and what time you want breakfast to be served and they're pretty punctual about it. We wanted breakfast at 6.30 am to get a head start and found the table ready to go even if we weren't.
Pol Roti, Eggs, Toasted Bread, Jam, Butter and 3 types of minutely cut fruit, breakfast was simple. The toast was nice and crunchy, the eggs were salted and peppered to perfection and while there really wasn't much fruit there, it had been placed quite nicely.
With a pot of your preference (tea/ coffee), what makes breakfast special wasn't the food, it's the view.
The warm reception we received on arriving at Earl's was…
Situated at the border of Habarana national park. One of…