Let me paint you a picture; you’ve just woken up to the sound of birds singing and the sun shining through the open windows of your bungalow, you walk outside to the morning heat and make your way to the breakfast table where you’re greeted by the friendliest faces, cute dogs roaming the area using your leg as a head rest and the monkeys are swinging through the trees cheekily sneaking a banana from the garden to feed its babies. Have I sold it to you yet? No? Well try this one; you’ve just strolled back after a late afternoon on the quiet beach at the end of the road, you hop into the outside rainfall shower, surrounded by lush greenery to remove the sand and salt from your hair. Freshened up, you spend the last hour of sunlight in the tree house, warm air drying your hair, watching the birds flutter around before dusk comes. I know I have your attention now.
The Kip was somewhere I found on Instagram and it was instantaneous that I jumped to the website and checked the availability for the dates I intended to head to Sri Lanka. This place has been so thoughtfully designed and curated to instantly calm you, make you feel welcomed and at home and ensure your stay could quite simply, not be better. The haven amongst the Sri Lankan jungle is the labour of love from in house dream team, Pheobe and Seddy. They opened The Kip three years ago and have clearly made a big impact in this short time. Their infectious smiles and content faces make you feel like you’re instantly best friends and you’ve never wanted to be welcomed in to someones home more. The décor and design of the whole property is so brilliantly finished, the concept of simple touches thoughtfully placed describes it so perfectly. The artisan pieces throughout the communal spaces and the rooms showcase some of the brilliant skills the island have to offer.
Within this paradise, there are three rooms and a detached studio bungalow on offer. We opted for the bungalow, as soon as I saw the photographs I wanted to be there, tucked around the corner overlooking the gardens growing the vegetables which will soon be on your dinner table – dreamy!
The studio has a lovely double bed with plug sockets and USB points to both sides, net for night time and an overhead fan for some breeze. There’s a work station, outside shower room and supplies such as beach towels and a laundry airer. Outside you have a little seating area to put your feet up and enjoy the natural noises or climb up to the tree house, somewhere I felt very at home enjoying the view across and eye height for the fruit trees. There’s a padded outdoor mattress up here too to enjoy the comfort of an evening.
If I tried really, really hard I couldn’t think of anything that could improve the breakfast offering at The Kip; it’s quite simple perfection. The concept is a list of goodness, where you have four choices to make which comes out laid on a platter creating your breakfast feast. The list includes fresh bread and delicious homemade spreads, fresh fruits, overnight oats and deliciously moist banana bread. You can opt for some savoury options too with their brekkie bun and the potato and leek. Some of my highlights include the brekkie bun, banana bread and the jungle fruits complete with health elixir shot!
Along with your breakfast platter, you have the option of tea or coffee. The tea is lovely, with a variety of different flavours and I hear the coffee is Italian standard, as Seddy is from Italian heritage, it must be true!
The café is open until 3pm if you desire some food later on, the atmosphere is so lovely I wouldn’t blame you to stay here all day! The dinner opens at 6pm and this offers the freshest, most flavoursome pasta you’ve eaten. We took a seat about 7pm, the sun had set and the place was alit with tealights and tiny laterns in the trees. We were given a starter of garlic bread and oil dip and followed by our delicious pasta. Make time for this whilst you’re staying, you won’t regret it.
As much as can be is grown on site in their beautiful vegetable garden which is also full of fruit trees, plants and I hear soon to be, chickens! The Kip is a very sustainable property doing their bit for the environment. There’s no single use plastic offered with string bags and metal straws to encourage you to keep your plastic use down too. They have no air con in the rooms and communal spaces, just ceiling fans which are perfectly suitable – who wants to be icy cold in the middle of a tropical island anyway?
Dog person or not, you won’t be able to resist the resident cuties. Yes, that’ right, The Kip even has three dogs. I told you it was good. This lovely lot roam freely around the property and snooze in the shade. Delilah plays a little game of resting her nose against you when you’re sitting in the cafe, it’s the most adorable thing ever. Foxie runs around excited by the monkeys in the trees and has the cutest tufts under his ears and Rubie is a quiet soul.
Because cafe and hotel of dreams aren’t enough, The Kip also offers a perfectly collected gift shop of goods and pantry of sustainable kitchen wears and homemade foods. The gift shop features a beautiful locally made jewellery brand called Tale Thoughts who I love and the pantry offers purchasable pots of their delicious spreads and granola. Bring your spending money, you’ll need it!
Everything about The Kip is well thought through and in keeping with it’s slow living mantra; this includes the tastefully selected location of the town of Ahangama. The Kip is set back from the beach, down a quiet lane. As soon as you approach, there’s a real sense of home. It’s not a garish purpose built hotel, lapping up the instagram entry ways or playing on the surf culture, you can really feel it’s a labour of love and a place to enjoy everything Sri Lanka has to offer, whilst slowing down to take in the best of the small things. If you want to take a dip in the warm Sri Lankan waters or watch the colours change to a pastel pink as the sun sets, the small intimate beach is only a few minutes walk away and is often found quiet and calm.
We came to The Kip from Weligama so it was only a short tuk tuk ride away however if you’re coming from further, you can hop on the train to Ahangama train station and it’s about a 20 minute walk to the left as you exit. There’s a sign on the road side for The Kip, so you can’t miss it. From The Kip, we visited Galle which was a 30 minute tuk tuk ride away and Unwatuna which was a 20 minute train journey. It’s a great place to base yourself to venture around the Southern Province during your stay.
I’ll stop gushing now, maybe. I just loved this place and it felt so welcoming in a way a hotel or B&B never has before. I highly, highly recommend stopping here, even if you can only squeeze in two nights like us although if I knew what I know now, I’d certainly have stayed longer.