24 Oct 2017Last updated

Design Insights

Nautical style gets an exotic twist in this Sri Lankan hotel room

A brand-new beachfront hotel on the south coast is deceptively simple and undeniably elegant

Sharon Parsons
Added 11:55 | April 10, 2017
  • Open shelving, modern fixtures and fittings, and considered finishing touches all combine to create rooms with an uncluttered, laid-back sophistication.

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Kahanda Kanda Beach

Fresh, bright and breezy, this small boutique hotel on the beautiful south coast of Sri Lanka - just 12km from Galle Fort - is the latest venture by its owner, interior designer George Cooper, who created the award-winning Kahanda Kanda hotel on the island 10 years ago.

This property has a different - but no less luxurious - feel to its big sister, which is located not far away. Designed and built from scratch, the gleaming hotel exterior nods to the simple lines of art deco architecture, complemented by interiors featuring clean white walls, polished and raw concrete floors, and unfussy details. An open-plan layout on the ground floor ensures a seamless flow from one area to the next, while the pared-back, contemporary style is offset by the astonishing coastal light flooding in through the vast windows that look out to the crashing surf and unspoilt beach beyond.

Coastal chic

The colour palette employs splashes of orange against fresh blue and white throughout. In the six suites, which all have terraces overlooking the Indian Ocean, the bed linen has a crisp nautical feel, finished with quirky alphabet cushions. The Roman blinds were inspired by an ikat-print cushion George found in London, which he then used as a template to print the fabric, while ladders, used as towel rails, are finished with patterned lengths of fabric from Bali. Furniture is an eclectic mix of modern, rustic and colonial; driftwood lamp bases and decorative finishing touches add textural notes, while artwork by Sri Lankan artists - all of which are for sale - make a striking impact against the white walls.

For those seeking a contemporary tropical beach destination with a relaxed and intimate feel, chic Kahanda Kanda Beach promises to tick all the boxes - and provide plenty of stylish inspiration to take back home.

Get the look:


Clockwise from top left: Glimmer Framed Art from Home Centre, Dh224; Jurez table lamp from indigo Living, Dh2,190; Mackenzie armchair from Ethan Allen, Dh2,920; Urn from Flamant, Dh1,230; Saint Jean Cushion from Amara, Dh493; Sunny Cushion from Blanc D’Ivoire, Dh220.

Sharon Parsons

Sharon Parsons