To build a luxury brand that invites and excites guests who want to travel to Sri Lanka and embrace the culture and the values that Kalukanda House sets. Community, Sustainability and Environment, Staff and Guests are all integral to our social impact imprint. We aim to set an example as a luxury destination that enriches the lives of all associated people and is a business that is a force for good in Sri Lanka.
Our passion for creating a sustainable business harks back to our heritage as well as the values that many of us all hold close to our hearts in the 21st Century. Our brand new villa has created employment, contributes to a local charity and is becoming a voice for combining travel and learning. We want to share with you how we do things and how you can be part of our mission.
Dee Gibson, Founder
“Kalukanda House prides itself on having roots in Sri Lanka and the West – we use this knowledge and skills to bring two worlds together”
Our villa was designed by a British Sri Lankan Interior designer based in London and built by Sri Lankan builders based in our locale. They also called in site hands from the local roads around us to help on various minor tasks when required. Our caretaker, had to retire from a fishing accident and is a local grandfather who we insisted on retaining as a permanent staff member. Our house team are well trained and are all Sri Lankans from the hospitality industry.
Chef uses ingredients that are seasonal and local and we are constantly striving to become 100% reliant on locally sourced food.
Our tuk tuk drivers are trusted people from the village who are self employed. We give them all our business and they are proud to be part of our fleet, our relationships are so strong that they come out for us and our guests at all hours of the day and at short notice.
We send our guests to have experiences with our Sri Lankan contacts – surf instructors, cookery classes, local tea plantation tours, massages and so on. We have tried and tested every single experience that is recommended highly by us and our guests.
Our industry partners are all operators who have the same value as us and are people we have personally met. Whether they are business owners themselves or key managers, anyone who works with us from all over the world has an understanding of what we are about.
We are also proud to support Their Future Today – a charity that works tirelessly to reunite families separated due to poverty, to educate children and young girls who would otherwise end up on the streets and is changing government policy. We now sit on the Board of Trustees (in London) and contribute annually to the charity as well as raising awareness and much needed funds.
SUSTAINABILITY & ENVIRONMENT
“The earth is what we all have in common”
The original land was overgrown and had a derelict bungalow that was razed to the ground. We re-used everything we could salvage including all the roof tiles, doors and shutters (making new ones to match). The wood is from local, sustainable sources and all the furniture and fittings are either local antiques or made by Sri Lankan artisans from the Southern Province. We took out a few trees under the guidance of our landscape gardener in order for light to come through. The flora and fauna in our gardens speak for themselves – monkeys, mongoose, peacocks, Kingfisher, Eagles and more are plentiful.
Solar panels provide hot water for all your showers and bathing needs, and our natural well-water provides water for the gardens.
Out toiletries are organic and from local suppliers and the scent is very popular with our guests.
We have reduced single use plastic to below 5%, and are working to get that to zero.
Looking at our carbon footprint is an ongoing task and we are looking at any initiatives and products that help us to become positive influencers on this subject.
“It is good people who make good places”
Our staff are a fantastic team who have been with us from the beginning and guests love them.
They are well paid and receive a share of our profits.
Training is ongoing and we show our appreciation of their efforts when we have a team meal at the villa and we serve them dinner and drinks. They are part of our family and we were honoured to be involved in our manager’s wedding last year.
We are committed to training them to develop their skills in hospitality and our guests rave about their demeanour and service. Our staff are a great advert for Sri Lanka and love engaging with guests in conversation and story telling.
“Don’t listen to what they say, go see”
Our guests are adventurers at heart with a conscious, curious mindset and want to travel the way we used to when the World was still an un-discovered place. Human, sensory experiences are the key to this and it is important to us that guests understand what Kalukanda House stands for and support us in our charitable and sustainability efforts.
We ask everybody who stays with us to participate in at least one of our local experiences and to take the time to read about our local causes. Leaving behind a positive influence when flying home is one of the greatest gifts you can give, as well as taking away precious memories. Our reviews are testament to the enrichment that guests experience with us when they engage the way we ask.