Community & Sustainability

Sustainability and community development have been at the core of Karpaha Sands’ values since inception and integrated throughout our hotel to probably an unmatched level in Sri Lanka.


Environment is at the very heart of our hotel and we strive to have the lightest environmental footprint and an unwavering commitment to sustainability.

This started way before Karpaha Sands opened, at the very inception of our project and as one of its key pillars, by aligning the design of the hotel with our ethos on environment:
• Design as a low-density resort with only a few units on a vast land
• Conserving the existing trees and pristine vegetation during construction
• Light room structures using mostly wood and fabric for our luxury tents
• Keeping hard structures to a minimum
• Use of natural materials as much as possible, natural stones and wood.

We also invested in environmentally friendly facilities to reduce our impact on the environment post construction, and operate with:
• our own water treatment plant
• our own sewage treatment plant
• recycling of rain and grey water for irrigation purposes
• a salt chlorinator for natural chlorine production in the swimming pool to reduce the amount of chemicals used.

This commitment to regenerative travel is also seen throughout the hotel operations on a day-to-day basis through a long list of small but important actions to reduce waste to a minimum and in particular there is virtually no plastic in the hotel:
• we produce our own water in our water treatment plant and offer our water to guests in our branded reusable glass bottles on a complimentary basis to avoid plastic bottles.
• We use glass straws to avoid single-use straws.
• Our amenity boxes are made from recycled corrugated cardboard paper and using wood instead of plastic for hard items (toothbrushes, combs).
• We use easily degradable toilet paper made from sugar cane residue to reduce the use of wood and facilitate biodegradability.
• We use paper bags for waste where possible.
• We offer refillable dispensers and clay bottles for toiletry products to avoid single use and plastic containers.
• We use recycled elephant dung paper for our menus, guestbook, stationery.
• We try to minimize excessive laundering of towels and linens.
• We offer manual/mechanical or rechargeable torchlights in our rooms to avoid the use of batteries.

We strive to offer the best local discovery experience to guests at our restaurant while also try to reduce waste and emissions and support local communities:
• We predominantly use locally sourced ingredients in our kitchen to achieve a shorter-cycle sourcing chain and support local communities.
• We reduce the use of imported ingredients to the minimum possible to offer the best comprehensive local experience to our guests and reduce emissions from transportation. We even substituted imported cheese by delicious cheese from a newly established producer in the Sri Lankan highlands.
• We recycle our food waste to produce compost used as natural fertilizer for our gardening.
• We grow vegetables, fruits, mushrooms, spices and herbs in our own organic garden in addition to our plant nursery
• Most of our coconuts come from our own coconut trees as Karpaha Sands is located on an old coconut plantation.

Community Development

The East Coast, predominantly a Tamil area, suffered from a decades-long civil war which kept it isolated and constrained its development, education system, and livelihood for many years.
At Karpaha Sands, we are proud to contribute to the transformation of the East Coast by actively employing and training people from nearby villages, often from scratch, giving them the opportunity to find stable employment and train as professional hotel personnel despite their lack of formal education. A large part of our team has been with us even before the hotel opened and continues to grow with us. Karpaha Sands is the main employer for the nearby Kiran village and provides livelihood for many families in the village.

We source a fair share of our produce from small communities and support them by doing so. This includes fresh fish from local fishermen, who bring in their catch right on the beach in front of the resort, which we offer in some regular dishes or daily specials. We buy (and sell) woven baskets, sun hats, and other handmade woven items made from natural materials from women living in nearby villages hence helping perpetuate their weaving skills. We purchase handmade natural soaps and candles from small local not-for-profit cooperatives who support marginalized communities.
We regularly sponsor beach clean-ups and support sports teams, community celebrations or the renovation of religious monuments in the vicinity from time to time.

Supporting Emerging Artists

Finally and importantly as art is also at the core of Karpaha Sands, we support the development of Sri Lanka’s art scene, showcasing a number of emerging Sri Lankan (and foreign) artists at our resort and helping them sell their amazing artwork.