Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa.

Kandy, Sri Lanka.

Stage 1 Design and Construction Management Completed in 12 Months (2017-2018).


Stage 2 Design and Construction Management Completed in 10 Months (2019-2020).

50% of the total Master Plan construction is currently completed.

Integrated Design-Build-Own-Operate.

Project Description

Aarunya meaning ‘the first rays of the sun’ in the ancient language of Sanskrit, is an award-winning international collection of luxury private villas and tents, set high on a mountaintop, surrounded by spice and tea gardens, overlooking the UNESCO Natural World Heritage-listed Knuckles Mountain Range.

 

It is a place where you can experience memorable sunrises, truly spectacular dining experiences, and exotic therapeutic rituals. For those looking to unplug from daily life rituals, there are wellness and rejuvenation programs with yoga, curated meal plans, and meditation. The owners started developing this beautiful tea and mixed plantation estate in stages commencing in 2017, with the vision to create a world-class nature resort and spa experience rooted in legendary Sri Lankan hospitality. The estate is bountiful and pristine, setting the mood to relax the body, mind, and spirit. Aarunya has since been the recipient of multiple international hospitality awards since 2019, including Asia’s Leading Boutique Resort 2020 in the 27th Annual World Travel Awards.

 

NRA led by Founder Nath Rankothge, has developed Aarunya under an Integrated Design-Build-Own-Operate model. Stage 1 including the construction of the Central Reception Bungalow with common Infinity Pool, 5 Private Luxury Villas, the Luxury Spa Facility, and a Gym/Yoga Pavilion, were completed in 12 months under NRA Construction Management.

 

Design inspiration was drawn from the natural beauty of the surrounding environment which prompted a minimalist approach that respected the environment, embodied a down to earth luxury lifestyle, and appropriated the rich architectural heritage of traditional Kandyan Pavilions and the Sri Lankan ‘Ambalama’ meaning 'rest pavilion providing shelter for travelers' in Sinhala language. Many years ago, in the current location of the Central Bungalow used to stand a British Tea Planter’s Bungalow. The newly built Central Bungalow structure pays respect to the Tea Planter’s Bungalow heritage, being the central gathering point for all guests, adopting the previous buildings platform levels, and setting up a formal central axis in the British landscaping tradition along which the rectangular infinity pool and a semi-circular 1 acre tea plantation spans. From here the other resort structures and gardens are organically spread out according to the optimal views and to ensure that no trees were cut down, ultimately aiming to respect the duality of colonial 'planning' and Sri Lankan ‘wild nature’.

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Aarunya Stage 2, the ‘Sky Suites’ were recently completed on time (10 months) and under budget, also completed under NRA Construction Management. The Aarunya Sky Suites, seemingly perched on the edge of the mountain, overlooking a spectacular valley and the Knuckles mountain range, offer a mix of luxury glamping and close to nature minimalist luxury, with temperature controlled private plunge pools, sun decks, and custom designed/manufactured furniture and details, with humanist touches such as leather door handles and bamboo/rattan light fittings. The first floor unit known as the Sky Habitat has a cave like feel, using predominately masonry construction, whilst built into the mountainside. The second floor unit known as the Sky Tented Villa is airy and open, with a custom designed and manufactured tent, and semi-outdoor bathroom including a spectacular open air bath tub and outdoor shower. Guests observe the world go by, from the cloud forests to the paddy fields and trains in the valley far below, from any point in the Sky Tented Villa.

Project Involvement

NRA is the Architect Developer responsible for leading Design, Construction Management, & Property Management / Operations. Nath Rankothge is a Founder, Executive Director of NRA and Aarunya Nature Resort & Spa.