Welcome — or ayubowan — as is said in Sri Lanka.
My name is Dee, and I'm the founder of Kalukanda House. A Sri Lankan, born and raised in London, I'm a mother of two, wife of one, we're so happy to host your Sri Lankan adventure.
As a family of four, a few years ago we took a trip that changed our lives – I finally took my English husband and children to Sri Lanka to show them a little of their heritage. My parents 'temporarily' left Sri Lanka for my father's career just after they got married, and as often happens, life got in the way, and they settled in the UK.
I have wonderful memories of spending joyous carefree days with my grandparents, a toddler running around barefoot, eating ice-creams by the sea, following my grandfather around everywhere. By 2016, I had a calling to show my family what I had carried in my heart for years.
Building a villa was never part of the plan, and three days before we were due home from that holiday, I was still only planning to return with a few postcards and maybe some spices.Looking back, there's a lot to be said for destiny. Suddenly we'd bought a plot of land with no idea what to do with it; 18 months later, we opened our doors. Kalukanda House has quickly taken on a life and story of its own.
Mushroomed from an idea to create a beautiful destination that shares the emotional soul of Sri Lanka and supports a circular economy, our sustainability ethos extends to our local communities and people as well as a charity that we passionately support.
We see Kalukanda House as a platform to celebrate an extraordinary island with people from all over the world. The house is more than a place to stay, it is a spot where you can live, breathe, feel Sri Lanka. The human spirit is such an important aspect, it is an antidote to an automated life elsewhere.
There's a magical energy here and the slower pace of life and diverse culture awakened us entirely. The golden rock which forms our boundary, and the stunning jungle and wildlife in our gardens is in striking contrast to our own urban life in the UK. Sri Lankan people are naturally warm and welcoming – speak to anybody who has been to the island and they'll undoubtedly confirm this.
Accustomed as we are to our modern Western lives, I was passionate about this design project transporting us to the bygone charms of Sri Lankan architecture. A return to my early memories of worry-free days travelling around the island with my engineer grandfather. I'm an interior designer experienced in large-scale, residential projects and yet this personal journey was one of the most challenging. It took a year of dedication to build of Kalukanda House, and every element is testament to the supportive and strong relationships cultivated with the contractors, artisans and suppliers who shared and understood my vision.
We welcome you to Kalukanda House and hope you will enjoy the creature comforts and make the most of being in paradise, far far away from the stresses of everyday life. There is something we can all learn from the Sri Lankan way of life – a love for this island never leaves after you've experienced it through all your senses.