LAST UPDATED:  7th December 2013 at 11:50am

The Indian Ocean isn't all about the beaches, and Kahanda Kanda, set in the jungle above Koggala Lake, a 30-minute tuk-tuk ride east of Galle on Sri Lanka's south coast, is a different kind of island hideaway.

It's owned and run by charismatic expat George Cooper and checking into one of the nine suites is like staying at a friend's fabulous home.

Each room is unique - from the grand Garden Suite to the Balinese-style Dubu Suite. Set on a working tea estate, there's plenty to keep you entertained - learn to pick tea, take a Sri Lankan cooking class, have a dip in the main pool, or simply sit on your terrace and watch the peacocks in the trees.

Don't miss a trip into Galle where you can wander the narrow streets inside the fort walls and drink tea on the terrace of one of the grand old hotels, before heading up on to the ramparts to watch the sunset.

Beach? Oh yeah, there's one of those a mere 10-minute drive from Kahanda Kanda, but we can almost guarantee you'll not make it that far.

WOW FACTOR: The peace. Nothing disturbs it but the odd chirp from the peacocks or put-put of a tuk-tuk far in the distance.

FLIGHT TIME: 10 hours.

GO: Scott Dunn offers seven nights in a Garden or Tea Suite from £1,660 per person. Includes flights and transfers. 

LAST UPDATED:  1st November 2012 at 2:35pm

The first thing that will strike you at this eight-suite boutique bolt-hole, in the jungle overlooking Koggala Lake, is the peace.

Only the trickle of the water feature into the infinity pool, the chirps of peacocks in the trees or the put-put of a tuk-tuk coming to take you on the 30-minute journey into the historic port-town of Galle, punctuate this otherwise serene retreat.

Owned and run by interior designer George Cooper, each room is unique, from the stately home-like Garden Suite to the Balinese-style Dubu Suite. Days are whiled away on your verandah, by the pool or in the open-sided lounge area.

But don't miss out on a trip to Galle; wander the narrow streets between antique shops inside the old fort walls, or walk along the ramparts at sunset before returning to find the chef has whipped up a Sri Lankan feast.

WOW FACTOR: It has to be those peacocks - we could have spent hours watching them from the day bed on our verandah.

FLIGHT TIME: 10 hours

WHEN TO GO: Winter, Spring

GO: Scott Dunn ( offers seven nights, B&B, in a Suite from £1,895 per person. Includes flights and transfers.