Helga calls it ‘Anti Hotel’... Wondering around this cavernous, WOW factor abode, packed with antiques, sunbursts of vivid colour and cloudbursts of drenching silver in a bustle of murals and painted ceilings, all jostling together with family portraits, photographs of celebrities together with the family, hanging on the walls, I soon forgot the rage in which I arrived, having been driven around Kandy, stopping at different hotels, supposedly ‘trying’ to find this well famed hotel .
Suggest: All who intend coming to the island to arrange their hires before arriving, making sure the driver knows ‘Helga’s Folly’, and also refrains from giving his opinion of the place!! A firm “That is where I WANT to go”, will hopefully put paid to “Very expenseeeve, nice 5 star hotel here....”etc etc..” I do not care, this is where I want to go, not interested in TV’s in room etc..” said I!
Hiring transport from the airport: The vehicle broke down half way to Kandy! Almost an hour’s wait by the side of the road, coconut drink given to quench my thirst and nerves, was kind, but I was in no mood by then, having been in the air for 14 hours!
I was put into another vehicle..
Whilst wondering around, I met Helga, what a presence, walking a Dalmatian, “Are you alright? Is your room sorted? Clean? Are you happy with it?” I told her of my nightmare adventures..Helga looked sad:
“COME, I have some friends, and guests all having coffees and teas, join us, we will sort all out later, now, you need reviving, and perhaps you might like to doodle your experience on the wall!” Said Helga, with an impish smile.
Helga in COMMAND, I automatically, obediently, trotted beside Samira, the Dalmatian behind her.
Lovely, charming people, and the most divinely, delicious iced coffee awaited me, the iced teas looking equally refreshing, but strong iced coffee with homemade vanilla ice cream, did I taste Tequila, GOT me!! I was in heaven, munching on homemade ginger biscuits, talking to these lovely people, sympathetic, with a few knowing nods, my saga, the nightmare hours spent on the road, was so surreal, was this for real, or another of Helga’s fantasy murals on the wall that I had entered..’Alice through the looking glass’. Not being the gallous sort, I found myself sharing more than I would have done, but this place makes you open up..
HF is so full of stories, past, present and no doubt more to come.
There is nothing more that I can add, that has not been written, apart to say, that hotels, which did not take package tours, were empty, and obviously struggling.
Being full is not an option, as this is Helga, her husbands, as well as some old time family retainers home in the hills, not forgetting the Dalmatian. “You do not like our dog, we will find you somewhere else” I heard someone say to a guest who happened to be allergic.
This wonderful Folly family, does not run their home in the hills in a commercial way. A true country house atmosphere, and who cares that a cockroach flies in, or a spider weaves its intricate web, now hold on, that is paint, merging what is real and not, HF is so much more, and should be preserved for those who want to understand, and enjoy what she offers, as appose to comparing the house to other places, there is nowhere, anywhere, like this gem.
More expensive than most perhaps, but then the others are just hotels. This place has a wonderful soulike quality, which I have never found anywhere, not even in my home in the west.
Here is where I will come back to write and paint, once I wind up my ‘rat race’ work in the west..All things are possible here one feels. Life is short.
I met a writer, who had come 4 months ago, for 2 weeks and just stayed on, renewing his visa! “Long stays get a very special deal he told me,“ What can you afford” type thing!!
“ We feel very blessed and honoured when people get inspired here” Says Helga .
Reading through the vast 2-3 ft visitors books, Inspiration must come to all, as I read poems, songs, and see incredible art work that fills the pages of the books!!
The Folly family enjoy and appreciate the quiet, empty days, although one can stay here, and not meet the other guests, in other wings of the house, unless feeling sociable.
Some descend into the Yellow Drawing Room, for cocktails in the evening.
“ Long may the world enjoy drinking tea” says Helga, raising a cup, and whose husband Desmond, owns one of the oldest tea estates in old Ceylon.
Now back at work in grey, cold, drizzly London, that wonderful warm glow of ‘THAT’ welcome I got on arrival at Helga Folly, is kept alight by my SKYPE chats with Helga, when the ‘grey’ gets to me! Long may you carry on weaving your own magic Helga’s Folly...Stay as innocent, warm and” Sweet as you are”, away from ‘those’ elements of the 20th century.
“ Unforgettable”. Nat King Cole sings as I leave...I think of Sri Lanka as Helga’s Folly...
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- Also Known As:
- Helga`s Folly Hotel Kandy
- Helgas Folly Kandy
- Helgas Folly Hotel Kandy