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“It's amazing”

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Heritance Kandalama
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Dambulla
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 25, 2013

went there in june 2012. its really amazing and worth for money. a place i will be definitely going again.its a nice place that you can chose to relax. thogh the hotel is situated in dry area in sri lanka you feel its like a wet zone. the food and the nature is the best of every thing. the staff too are very friendly. i went on a day where the hotel is fully booked, but the staff were very helpfull and they were avail

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Varuna_perera
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 reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience.Your kind sentiments are very much appreciated while 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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2,282 - 2,288 of 3,673 reviews

Reviewed March 24, 2013

This hotel is far from everything you might want to see. Not so much in kilometers but in TIME spent travelling back and forth due to the bad roads.
The design of the property is certainly interesting but not so great walking to your room (110 footsteps), to the restaurant (130 steps), etc. etc.
Service was very good and friendly.
My opinion is that there is not much point being out in the middle of nowhere with little or no access to the lake, nor to anywhere else.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Joyce B
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 reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Thank you very much for staying with us and sincerely regret that we could not live up to your expectations. your comments are highly appreciated while looking forward to welcoming you back at Hertiance Kandalama.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

THis Hotel is sucha wonderful place, you feel as if your in another world when you go here, the service they provide is wonderful, the pools are lovely, and all you can do is RELAX RELAX and RELAX.
The rooms are breathtaking, the beds are so comfortable, and mainly the food is out of this world, the buffet is great!!
The staff are very very friendly, and always ready to lend a helping hand.

Room Tip: ALl rooms are the best
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank larinetoussaint
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 reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience being one with nature. Your kind sentiments are highly valued while 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.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

What a stunning hotel. This might be one of the most architecturally beautiful hotel I’ve ever stayed in. Built into the cliff, with breathtaking views of the lake, and Sigiyira rock. All open air, w/ inside leading to outside spaces; very Frank Lloyd Wright. The rooms were simple, but really beautiful w/ wood desks, coffee table, desk, homey lamps, rugs; floor to ceiling windows/sliding glass doors open to the jungle, including the bathroom/shower.

The infinity pool and rock pool were gorgeous; restaurants (ala carte and buffet) were very good; the complimentary buffet breakfast was great (especially the curries). The spa was unbelievable – such a beautiful setting, and a wonderful massage. Really one of my favorite hotels ever.

Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
Thank SDTraveler01
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 reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience being one with nature. Your kind sentiments are very much valued while 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.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

This is a must visit hotel, just for the experience, but like many things in life if expectations are raised beforehand, then you can often be disappointed. Like the other reviewer I also felt that this was not the best hotel of the six we stayed in whilst touring Sri Lanka. Something our guide found hard to accept as in his words "it is one of the best in Sri Lanka".

I cannot really put my finger on exactly what was lacking but the sheer size and empty, uninviting public spaces stick in my mind. With reception hidden away (in the 007 grotto) there was no busy 'central' hub like you get in most hotels.

We did not have the best of weather on our 'rest day' here and enjoyed very good hotels either side of Kandalama (Habarana and Kandy) which probably didn't help.

So why is it still worth the visit? Because it is unique!

All you hear on your balcony or while wandering the corridors is the sounds of the rain forest – as you would hear it on a wildlife documentary on tv. The hotel is built as close to the adjacent rock face as you can get and the roots of the vegetation almost extend into the hotel!

The drive up from Dambulla was quite long but the roads were not too bad and suddenly you arrive - it is so well camouflaged against the rain forest. Spot on the chap below who observed that the reception area was straight out of an 007 film set - I knew it reminded me of something!
It is a very big hotel and felt as though it was not very busy - except at evening dinner where we were using a temporary restaurant. Incidentally this room was far too cold to enjoy a leisurely and enjoyable meal – I wished I had fetched my jacket from our room (but it was a long way back). The food standard was excellent however.

Note that coffee is included in the dinner but you have to take it in the 'entertainment' area on the floor below - this is not made very clear and most people seem to disappear back to their rooms after dinner. So you have entertainment in the form of local musicians trying to cover a mix of western and local music - but with little or no audience (and thus no atmosphere).

Then there are the monkeys! You are advised not to feed them but we all know best of course and it is such a novelty (at first). The sight of monkeys looking into the bathroom during my private moments will stay with me forever!

Cannot resist writing about the ‘room cleaning trolley incident’ which looking back was funny but not quite so at the time. Returning from breakfast many couples were cowering in their room doorways and we were about four doors away from ours. Now normally the monkeys are in small groups and run away if you approach. This morning there were a whole troop of them (and some bigger ones) and they had been feasting from the room cleaning trolley which was left unattended. They had opened the box with the creamers and sugar sachets and were having a wonderful time – the corridor was littered with empty sugar packets. In my wisdom I decided to close the box as we tried to pass and this was not so clever a thing to do. We quickly retreated and invited ourselves into another couples room in haste. It took several calls to reception before they took the situation seriously and sent someone along to see – would you believe it the monkeys then scattered and that was the end of it. Funny to look back at it now!

The hotel has three smallish swimming pools, one at the end of the other wing (which seemed miles away), an infinity pool below the cafe terrace, facing the lake and another (possibly rainwater) pool on the level above the cafe. The latter appeared a bit dirty and the surrounding grass was a bit muddy - there had been a lot of rain around. May be in better weather this would have been more appealing. The main pool again would have been very appealing (with views across to Lion Rock beyond the infinity edge), with glorious weather, but it is a very small area and would not accommodate many people and there is little privacy in the cramped space. Like other areas of the hotel, the environment tends to dictate the space available and improvements are nigh impossible.

Unique, comfortable and clean but seemingly prevented from keeping up with travellers modern day expectations.

Room Tip: Ensure a room in Sigiriya Wing which is closest to café, infinity pool and restaurant.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DCCKid
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 reviewResponded March 27, 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 while 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.
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Heritance Kandalama, perched on the banks of Kandalama lake offers a panoramic view. The hotel designed by the renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa is truly an hotel which offers to look outside. It is located on off beat track, right inside thick woods. Nearest city of Dambulla is at about 20 minutes drive. We checked in to the luxury room of the hotel on floor 3. Would mention about Ms. Nilakshi at check in counter, who made check in process smooth. For information, the hotel lobby due its unique architecture is on floor 5 and their are 4 floors below that, with rooms on floor 2, 3, 4 , 5. On floor 6 is a Kanchana Restaurant where buffet break fast and dinner is served and the Sixth Sense Spa is on same floor. Floor 7 has International Restaurant Kaudilya. The room was large and luxurious with flat screen TV, large balcony facing the lake, comfortable bed, mini bar and separate sitting, with a bureau to work. The hotel offers free wifi across the property.
The hotel offers three swimming pools having different views and feel. There is a fully equipped fitness center with recreational facility like Table Tennis, Chess and Carrom. Hotel offers great hospitality, which we experienced while dining at their Kaudilya Restaurant. Here, I would like to mention about Mr. Nalini at Kaudilya Restaurant, who took all efforts to offer vegetarian meals to my wife, who is 100% vegetarian. Also would mention about serving staff Mr.Lahiru in breakfast room, who was prompt and warm in his job. The cuisine is International but offers restricted or limited option for vegetarian, so make special request to hotel if you prefer vegetarian only food. For others, the cuisine and the options are gastronomic and must try out the complete menu and exotic wine list at the hotel.
The hotel being far from city and offering limited entertainment options is not highly recommended for families with young kids. However, for couples it is a great place to bond with abundance of nature, fabulous jungle walks, romantic restaurants, the spa. The hotel is close to historic site of Sigriya rock fort and of Dambulla caves.
The bathroom toiletries are of fine quality. The glass wall personal bath rooms make you feel liberated and enjoying the scenic beauty of the of the lake or the rock is exuberant.
One negative, the hotel corridor had bats at night time and the balcony doors had to kept shut at all times, other wise chances are their that you may have monkeys as uninvited guests. But the hotel warns you before about that.

Room Tip: Rooms facing the lake are awesome. Higher floor you go better it is. Hotel is about 1 KM long, so if...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Amit_Mittal
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 reviewResponded March 27, 2013

Thank you very much for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience being one with nature.Your kind sentiments are very much valued while 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.
Reviewed March 23, 2013

this was my second experience with Heritance Kandalama .
Undoubtedly this is one of the best located and well designed properties in the world !
Linen and towels need to be replaced ASAP - Looks hacked.
Certainly not suitable for a high end hotel of this callibre
Food was amazing

Madzi

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Madzi V
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 reviewResponded March 24, 2013

Thank you very much for staying with us and sincerly regret and apologize for not being able to leave lasting memoroes of your vist on this occasion. We have taken note of your concerns and would definitely be taking corrective action. We hope you would vist us again 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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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 Family Hotel in Dambulla
#1 Romantic Hotel in Dambulla
#1 Spa Hotel in Dambulla
#2 Luxury Hotel in Dambulla
Price Range: $152 - $483 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Heritance Kandalama 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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