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“Brilliantly designed luxurious hotel in Sri Lanka” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Heritance Kandalama

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Heritance Kandalama
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   PO Box 11, Dambulla, Sri Lanka   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 10 hotels in Dambulla
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Brilliantly designed luxurious hotel in Sri Lanka”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013

I visited this hotel with my friend last week and it lived up to all expectations. Architect Geoffrey Bawa has designed a beautiful hotel which really blends in with the landscape. The infinity pool is amazing, breakfast first class and the shower is so amazing you may never want to get out of it! Plus it is less than an hour's drive from Sigiriya and about 30min to Dambulla. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance K, Executive General Manager at Heritance Kandalama, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience being one with nature. Your kind sentiments are highly appreciated and looking forward to welcoming you back at Heritance Kandalama.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (392)
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Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights. Upon arrival our room was upgraded, thanks I reckon to our honeymoon. Everything at this hotel was excellent from the food, to the infinity pool to, the service and views from the hotel and the room. Could not have asked for better.

We went on an Elephant Ride which is advertised as through the jungle but is not really. Still an OK experience. If you get a chance go for the Hot Air Balloon ride. Perhaps the highlight of our time in Sri Lanka.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance K, Executive General Manager at Heritance Kandalama, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience. Your kind sentiments and comments are very much appreciated. Regret not having communicated to you earlier about the sudden change in route for the Elephant back trek as the water level of the reservoir is up to the brim and does not allow us to use the path way leading to the jungle. Looking forward to welcoming you back at Heritance Kandalama.
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Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

This is probably the best hotel in the area and has excellent rooms and facilities but is spread out over a large area and is clearly focussed on meeting the needs for tour groups. Bathrooms were great as were the views although getting the aircon above freezing was a real challenge. The restaurant was only serving buffet for dinner but a cafe menu was available on their terrace. Service was quite slow (possibly due to the distances to be managed) except from breakfast that was well set out and had an extensive range of good quality options. It is quite an expensive option but well situated as a base for seeing the cultural triangle

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance K, Executive General Manager at Heritance Kandalama, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience. your kind sentiments and comments for improvement are much valued. Looking forward to welcoming you back at Heritance Kandalama.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

My wife and I visited this hotel during a two week trip around Sri Lanka - which followed a two week bike trip that I did with 15 other guys.This was the most spectacular hotel ( Geoffrey Bawa designed) that I visited during my month in Sri Lanka. Although the Lighthouse Hotel at Galle and the Heritance Tea Factory at Nuwara Eliya were not far behind.
The hotel emerges from the forest - blending into the landscape, with vines growing over the sides of the hotel. The rooms were excellent although we didn't have one with the spectacular views (we were low down in the Sigiriya wing). The service was fantastic - but that is one thing that can be said of most top hotel in Sri Lanka - the staff are always friendly (smiling cheerful and willing to help)
We stayed there three nights and most evenings had their buffet - food is both Sri Lankan and European and is about AUD$25 (but that includes taxes and service charges which amount to over 25% in top class hotels). We had Australian beef one night (two largish pieces) beautifully cooked and they only cost less than AUD$20 each. Wine is however relatively more expensive about AUD$7 a glass, but still cheap when compared to Australia. The food was fantastic - dinners and breakfasts. It was all to easy to eat too much.
Throughly recommend it as a place one should stay at if going to Sri Lanka and visiting the nearby historic sites.
Since we booked the trip as a package I don't know what the accomodation itself cost; but food and drink were some of the most expensive and accomodation is becoming more expensive.
We had a car and driver/guide (who was fantastic) so we didn't have to drive - but it is a "bit out of town" once you are there. But well worth a stay.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a view of the lake - but doesn't really matter
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance K, Executive General Manager at Heritance Kandalama, responded to this review, January 5, 2013
Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience being one with nature. Your kind sentiments and comments are highly appreciated and looking forward to welcoming you back at Heritance Kandalama.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

I visited Heritance Kandalama after 3 years and it seems that nothing much has changed. And that's a good thing because there was nothing much wrong with the hotel; probably the most desirable location in SL, excellent (if only now a bit jaded) design and layout, amazing views, good selection of food and trained staff.
However unlike my previous two times, we were unfortunate to get a room on Dambulla wing and 3rd floor at that. To be fair, I did not press the matter but on previous occasions (helped by then prevailing situation in the country) free upgrades and nicer rooms were provided without asking.
I could definitely say that there was a slight dip in the service, especially given that they now seem to be having more staff. However it was not a major concern, if you're a traveler preferring to be left alone for most part.
As expected the spread on the dinner was nice and breakfast fabulous although the chef team seems to hv changed from 2009. Back then saturday night dinner was definitely a more tasty affair with more international cuisine and less indian dishes. But we enjoyed the breakfast massively!
Standard room was a so and so affair and deluxe is definitely the better choice with a jacuzzi. Those who are in the know should definitely ask for a higher level room on Sigiriya wing. The advantage on Dambulla wing would be that it would be relatively isolated (more privacy) and you would hv the Rashmi pool to yourself most of the time (good for a game of waterpolo as much as a casual dip).

An excellent hotel but only for a couple of days stay - then you'll get bored of the room, the monkeys and the long travel back to the room after anything! But definitely a place I'd return to.

Room Tip: Sigiriya wing - higher floors (4 and above). Avoid standard and go deluxe for more space and jacuzzi...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance K, Executive General Manager at Heritance Kandalama, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience. Your kind sentiments and comments are highly valued and looking forward to welcoming you back at Heritance Kandalama.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here during our trip to Sri Lanka. I loved the feel of the hotel, and how modern it was. The rooms were great, and bathrooms were good too. My only complaint about the bathroom was that I felt the shower was a bit to in the open. The food was really good, and staff was refilling the food trays every little bit so that was a plus. Infinity pool was cool too. Only reason I didn't give this hotel 5 stars was that when we came in to the hotel we had to wait for about an hour, because they were still cleaning our room. But overall, would come here again.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance K, Executive General Manager at Heritance Kandalama, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience. Your kind sentiments and comments are highly appreciated. Looking forward to welcoming you back at Heritance Kandalama.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

This hotel is quite expensive compared to other luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. And yet, we didn't enjoy it.
It is very big, and caters to a lot of groups of tourists. It felt very impersonal.
We were lucky to be upgraded to the 2nd best room in the hotel, and the views were very impressive indeed. But the room, while very big, wasn't very well thought out, wasn't very practical, and the furniture looked tired. The AC was either on or off, and when it was on, the room was freezing.
The food was served on a buffet, for breakfast and for dinner. Food was mediocre at best.
And finally, what we did not enjoy at all was the insane number of mosquitoes and flies. I understand the hotel is in the middle of jungle, so you would expect some of these. But they were so many that we had to rush inside the room and immediately close the door behind us, and even then they were still quite a few which could make it inside. In the morning, all the dead flies were litterally covering all the floors, it was crazy. We had never seen something like this.
To summarize, we thought this hotel was very overpriced, and while you may want to experience this unusual architecture in the middle of the jungle, you should expect that to come with A LOT of bugs.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Heritance K, Executive General Manager at Heritance Kandalama, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Thank you very much for staying with us and sincerely regret that we could not make the experience truly memorable for you. As we are one with nature blending in harmoniously with the natural environment it is very challenging to control various insects that sometimes increase with weather patterns. The insect which looks exactly like a mosquito is a tank fly and harmless unlike mosquitos. We appreciate your comments and hope you would visit us again. Looking forward to welcoming you back at Heritance Kandalama.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Heritance Kandalama

Address: PO Box 11, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Dambulla
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Dambulla
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Heritance Kandalama 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Heritance Kandalama is shaped like the outspread wings of a bird, following the line of the cliff from which it seems to emerge. The hotel is a staggering 1km from end to end, and rises up seven floors, yet appears to be a perfectly natural extension of the mountainside. The flat roof and timber pillars support a screen of vegetation that attracts local wildlife. The abundance of real-life animals around the hotel is complemented by wonderful large-scale sculptures within it. A metal owl is suspended outside the main restaurant; wooden elephants inhabit the lounge; a stone cobra uncoils along the terrace overlooking the infinity pool. However, while focusing on highlighting its enchanting natural surroundings, our luxury resort in Sri Lanka gives priority to providing its guests with the finest comforts and service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kandalama Hotel Sri Lanka
Hotel Heritance Kandalama
Heritance Kandalama Dambulla
Kandalama Hotel Dambulla

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