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“Interesting hotel” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Heritance Kandalama

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Heritance Kandalama
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   PO Box 11, Dambulla, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 12 Hotels in Dambulla
Australia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Interesting hotel”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2010

Still not sure whether I liked the hotel a lot or a little!

What i liked was the design, location and service levels.

What I disliked was the poor buffet, the hugeness of the place - and the inescapable feeling that maybe you were at an airport terminal!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2,068 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
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Wendover, England
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2010

This hotel is very big and so it does lack a little atmopshere, but having said that the staff very friendly and hospitality, the rooms are a little on the small side, but quite nicely furnished, with a small balcony with some great views of the lake. The only problem is, is that you can't really sit out there because the monkey's that roam around like they own the place, use the balcony's like a toilet, so they are quite dirty, which is a real shame.

Watch out for the monkey's, we caught one sliding open our patio door! They can also be a little aggressive.

The main restaurant served a great buffet with plenty of choice, definately worth having half board as there are not any other restaurants nearby.

The infinity pool is nice with again great views of the lake and the black faced monkeys are always around to keep you entertained.

I did feel like we were in a conference hotel, but generally we were happy with the service, standard of rooms and food.

Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
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Bristol
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2010

My wife and I spent a couple of nights at the Kandalama in September 2008. We stayed there again when we returned to Sri Lanka in November 2009 with our baby daughter and my father-in-law. Our first trip to Sri Lanka involved a reasonable amount of travelling around, whereas, with a baby, the second visit was more low key. However, of all the places we’d stayed at on our first visit, the Kandalama was the one hotel that we really wanted to visit again.

The Kandalama really is a very special hotel, in terms of its location, architecture, design and atmosphere. The rooms are beautifully designed, although I would say that, with a cot the second time round, there wasn’t a huge amount of space to move around in. Our bathroom was certainly one of the best we’ve experienced – possibly the best – and it was lovely either sitting in the spa bath or standing under the rain shower, looking out to Sigiriya.

We found the service at the Kandalama to be very good and friendly, although I think having a baby may have helped on our second visit. Whilst I went off with my father-in-law to show him some of the sights of the Cultural Triangle, my wife stayed at the hotel with our daughter. The staff were very helpful that day and were more than happy to look after my daughter whilst my wife had lunch.

Food at the Kandalama is pretty good too. My wife and I tend to avoid buffet restaurants at hotels as I am partially sighted and my wife ends up having to do all the fetching and carrying. However, we’ve used the buffet at the Kandalama on both of our visits as the food is very good and there is such a huge selection. The barbecue section just outside the main restaurant is particularly good. There is another, a la carte, restaurant at the Kandalama, which we used once, but we preferred the buffet. The fact that the Kandalama only really has two restaurants would probably be the only criticism I’d level against the hotel. For the size of the hotel, another restaurant would be good.

Whilst I probably wouldn’t want to stay at the Kandalama for more than a few days at a time, I don’t think we’d hesitate to return there again and again in the future and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Virginia Beach, Virginia
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
194 helpful votes 194 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2010

I changed our itinerary to include this hotel based on feedback from TA and was definately not disappointed.
We loved this hotel, the staff were great and we upgraded to a beatutiful suite for 3 days overlooking the lake with floor to ceiling windows along the whole wall.

On the first night there was a HUGE thunderstorm so we opened all the curtains and ordered room service just so we could watch the show, much better then TV, also huge bats flying in and out of the vines outside our window.

Next morning monkeys were sitting outside the window and the view from the window over the lake and Sigaria rock was amazing. A number of buzzards, eagles and pelicans were on or over the lake, a birdwatchers paradise!

Breakfast was really nice with a massive choice, almost too much some days, various curries and many breads and full english options, but then this is a 5* hotel. That said their sister hotel in Kandy the Earls Regency was an altogether different story.

Heritence is fabulous, from the service to the food we couldnt fault it. Hubbie and I had a meal in a cave one evening, king pawns, lobster soup, homemade breadsticks, fillet steak and chocolate mouse and banana soufle. It was fantastic. Room service was fabulous too. Ordered Lobster and it arrived hot and tasty.

A great choice in the evening buffet too, only had this one night but it was Mongolian speciality night, really nice.

The only slight critisisms would be the place is a little soulless, I mean we dont want a 18/30 club night but after supper everyone seems to disappear and the bars are empty, the bar areas are not really warm and welcoming.

The only other thing is the bugs!!!!! OMG I have never seen so many in my life. The huge bats flying around the corridors I could cope with and the monkeys knocking on the windows but there were millions of bugs,,,mozzies, beetles, moths you name it. I mentioned it to the reception staff who just laughed and said they turn all the lights on reception off at night, and indeed they do. Its kind of open to the elements as you drive up so they just turn off the lights to keep out the bugs, but they leave the lights on in the corridors and the one outside our bedroom had literaly thousands of creepies around it every night and no matter how quickly we dived into the room, some always made it in.

That aside I would go back to this hotel in a heartbeat and would recommend the experience to everyone

Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2010

The hotel is built into the side of a mountain about 12km from Dambulla and enjoys great views of Lake Kandalama and Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The architecture emphasizes the natural beauty of the area, often blending the lines of where the hotel finishes and where nature begins. The infinity pool (one of three pools) is a definite highlight of the property and my husband enjoyed many swims overlooking the lake from the pool.

We were upgraded to a deluxe room (having booked superior) which was a pleasant surprise. The spacious room, looking towards Sigiriya, was well equipped with satisfactory furnishings and decoration and had a rain shower over a jacuzzi in the bathroom with a glass window to the view. The jacuzzi though required maintenance when we first went to use if and unfortunately we did not have another chance to test it out. My only complaint about the room would be the wooden backed couch is rather uncomfortable.

Our rate included breakfast buffet and we also choose to have dinner twice at the buffet. The buffet offering (both morning and night) was extensive but we felt that the quality was generally only satisfactory. The most enjoyable components of our meals were the food cooked fresh by the chefs in the restaurant.

Overall, the location and architectural style of this hotel is what makes it unique. Further, the hotel is ideal as a base for visiting the many tourist attractions in the area. The rooms, food offering and service were only what I would expect given the positioning and price of this accommodation and did not exceed expectations.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
London
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2010

We did not intent to stay here but due to a change of schedule we stayed for one night, big mistake..........it should have been more, wonderful hotel and firmley in the jungle......we were woken at around 6am with around 15 faces at our window, monkeys everywhere incredible experience. Hotel is beautiful, our room was huge and well appointed and very clean, the views were breathtaking . We hope to go back next year and certainly we will go for a minimum of three nights. Not much to do in the evening but not really an issue as nothing nicer than to sit with a cool drink and just listen to the wonders of the jungle at night. Staff cannot do enough. Food wonderful.If you are fortunate enough to be going to Sri Lanka, please try and find time to visit this hotel....you wont be dissapointed.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2010

My husband and I got married at the Kandalama and it was wonderful. The staff we warm and inviting, the room was great (and we got an amazing wedding-night upgrade) and the location is superb.

The food was of a very high standard and changed every day. Vegetarian options were a little repetitive and overall I was disappointed compared to the fantastic range of veggie options in India. That said, all the food I had was of an excellent standard, just a little boring and lacking in veggie variety, especially protein options.

Set in the cultural triangle, you could sight-see all day or simply relax and enjoy the amazing surroundings from the comfort of the hotel. If we ever return, I'd like to explore more of the walks and facilities around the hotel. I also wonder if there are any hidden restaurant gems nearby. We ate lunch out every day (found some great places during our drives in the cultural triangle) always had breakfast and mostly had supper in the hotel. Since many tour guides like to start around 0830 in the morning, it'd be good if the restaurant opened for the buffet dinner before 19:30 as you end up going to bed straight after eating.

The staff stand out for me as being the best in Sri Lanka.

The views are amazing.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Heritance Kandalama

Address: PO Box 11, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
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
#1 Family Hotel in Dambulla
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Heritance Kandalama 4.5*
Number of rooms: 152
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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