KK Collection
KK Collection

About KK Collection

George Cooper, a British interior designer and old Harrovian, founded the prestigious KK Collection on Sri Lanka’s southern coast in 2006. The collection comprises two exceptional boutique hotels – Kahanda Kanda with 12 individual rooms, and KK Beach with 10 ocean-facing suites – as well as two luxe safari camps on the fringe of Yala and Wilpattu national parks. The collection also owns KK Boutique in historic Galle Fort.

Before coming to Sri Lanka, George ran a highly successful interior design business with clients in the UK, Europe and the United States. He was Chairman of the British Interior Designers and Decorators Association for six years and very well-respected within the interior design industry, a field within which he has worked since 1975. He has styled exclusive properties around the world and his work has featured on television and in magazines and books.

George’s Sri Lanka journey began at his Gloucestershire home, where he stumbled across an amateur painting of a tropical estate in Ceylon. Keen to learn more about the artist, his great-grandfather, who first sailed to Britain’s Indian Ocean colony in 1860, and the subject, the rubber estates he had created there, George flew out to Sri Lanka in 1999. He stayed in Galle, on the south coast, and was quickly spellbound by this enigmatic island. Quite by chance, he was shown a 10-acre hilltop tea estate, 25-minutes’ drive from Galle, on the fourth day of his stay in Sri Lanka, and bought it impulsively with a view to transforming it into a private villa.

Over the next eighteen months, and with the help of Australian architect, Bruce Fell-Smith, he set about creating Kahanda Kanda (KK) on the hill’s long ridge, which savoured superb panoramas over the tops of coconut palms towards distant Koggala Lake and across the property’s own working tea estate. He replanted much of the tea to raise the quality of the produce and established the meandering and now-mature tropical gardens, which are home to numerous birds and wildlife.

Once the villa was complete, and after numerous holidays at KK, George decided to relocate full time to Sri Lanka in 2006, and open the property as a boutique hotel. He purchased an adjacent two-acre plot of land to create his own home – a complete Javanese timber joglo house shipped in from Indonesia, which was reassembled piece by piece. This atmospheric abode, which sits in its own garden with pool, is now Sri Lanka’s favourite honeymoon haven known as the Dubu Suite. Much later, in 2016, George added more suites – each with its own pool and garden to support the growing number of privacy-seeking couples – bringing the total number of suites and villas at KK to 12.

In April 2020, the KK Collection took on the management and upgrade of Noel Rodrigo’s Leopard Safaris’ two campsites at Yala and Wilpattu national parks. Re-branding them Leopard Safaris by KK Collection, the camps are stylish havens with lavish tented suites and swimming pools ideal for those looking to enjoy high-end comforts in the wild. Noel Rodrigo has experienced more leopard encounters in Sri Lanka than anyone else, and will be available to lead specially curated safaris in both Yala and Wilpattu upon request.