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“Just Amazing”

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Heritance Kandalama
Ranked #4 of 18 Hotels in Dambulla
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 15, 2013

This hotel is like a dream, it is so big and lots of different areas. Our room was fine and the bathroom (I love bathroom's that you can look out to the view) this one did just that.
The hotel itself is a little dated goes with the times, we had a few blackouts but quickly remedied, the restaurant is very busy lots going on, each night they have a theme food night which was interesting. It does have Wi-Fi with a code which is provided when you are shown to your room. We also visited the Six Senses Spa a few time such an indulgence but after flying we needed it, just wonderful so relaxing.
This place has a magic all of it's own just unique.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank chrishayward
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 April 18, 2013

Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience being one with nature.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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2,332 - 2,338 of 3,755 reviews

Reviewed April 15, 2013

Room:
We stayed in a Standard Room which was finished to an extemely high standard.
The only slight disappointment was the view over the car park but we didn't spend much time in our room during our stay so we were to bothered.
The only other thing was the old fashioned brick of a television.

Hotel Facilities:
All the facilities you could possibly think of were avalible at the hotel and in the room.
Laundry Service - Rather pricy but I used it anyway as I ran out of clothes from sweating so much (it was 36 degrees).
Room Service - Not much choice on the menu. The sandwich and chips were very oily!

Staff:
Greeted with fresh fruit juice and a cold towel upon arrival.
Staff were very helpful when we needed anything or had any queries.

Breakfast:
The best buffest style breakfast in Sri Lanka!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank rebekah1984
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 April 18, 2013

Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience being one with nature. Your kind sentiments and comments 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.
Reviewed April 14, 2013

We have always wanted to go to this hotel and was extremely disappointed that it did not live up to expectations. Room was not ready, son was sick and we had to wait ages for them to provide a bed. Used up all the towels and it took 3 hours to get more the next morning. We were upgraded from a deluxe sigirya to a suite in the Dambulla wing (after being badgered straight away to book a £250 cave meal). Unfortunately we did not get to go to the meal because we were all very sick (first time ever in Sri Lanka) and the refund they promised is still not on our credit card. Fortunately we had a very efficient Kuoni rep to help us get things sorted. The views from the original Sigiriya Deluxe room were superior to the 'upgraded' Dambulla Suite which did not have a balcony. The standard of food for a 5 star hotel was poor and over priced. Service was a nightmare and trying to get anything done took forever. Orders constantly wrong e.g. chicken given instead of beef, chips instead of rice and no flexibility with the kids meals. The infinity pool was great and the pool attendant the best. The rooms we had were 502 deluxe which was quite noisy being near the bar but with fab views. Suite 627 Dambulla wing was tired and needs some attention. All rooms have fab views. Will not return and the other two hotels we stayed in Colombo and Negombo respectively had far better food at a good price with excellent friendly / helpful customer service. This hotel has a monopoly in the area so probably does not need to try anymore and can charge twice as much for inferior food and drink.

Room Tip: Definitely aim for Sigirya wing and a Deluxe room was perfectly sufficient. I heard most people bei...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank TracyandJoe
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 April 18, 2013

Thank you for staying with us and sincerely apologize for not being able to live up to your expectations on this occasion. Your comments are very much valued, while taking remedial measures to overcome such situations in the future. We appreciate you taking time off your busy schedule to keep us informed of the areas of concern and hope you would give us another opportunity of making your stay a truly memorable experience.

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Reviewed April 14, 2013

This was our first hotel in Sri Lanka after stopping in Colombo for one night on arrival.

The setting for the hotel, built into a hill overlooking the lake is glorious. It's a great example of Geoffrey Bawa architecture, lots of open space. The bedroom and bathroom were the best we found on our whole 18 day holiday in the country.

The buffet dinner is ok, nothing special, and service in the bar area by the pool was quite slow.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kevo101_13
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 April 19, 2013

Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience being one with nature. Your kind sentiments and comments 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 April 13, 2013

After 24 hours of travelling the combination of impeccable service & hospitality (the scented chilled towels & fresh fruit juice on arrival was a perfect example) with the staggering scenery & the most aesthetically interesting and exciting architecture coupled with being told we'd been upgraded to a deluxe suite made this our first night in Sri Lanka truly memorable. We stayed on the 5th floor which was perfect for admiring the lake. Take time to explore the hotel the modernist architectural style has blended seamless over time into the landscape with beautiful effect & the natural pool was deserted. The infinity pool at night over looking the lake accompanied by someone playing the pan pipes was surreal and unforgettable. It was an expensive treat & a large chunk of our accommodation budget but was worth every Rupee. There was a good variety of food, we had the buffet in the evening which whilst we rated well it was always just going to be a buffet. Breakfast was delicious we kept going back for more! Highly recommended.

Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank Victoria 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 April 18, 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 April 13, 2013

The Kandalama was the first stop on our cultural triangle tour of Sri Lanka. After two flights and a 3 and a half hour drive to hotel through the night we arrived around 08.30 am.
The hotel was astonishing the first time you pull up at entry/reception area. The whole grounds around the hotel are classed as a eco park.
On arrival with our driver we were took straight through to seats near to the infinity view, the first views were breath taking. We were told on early arrival it would be a short wait while our room was sorted, the staff were lovely and provided cool face towels and a class of coconut water which i loved.
After a sleep to revive ourselves we got up to explore the hotel area and grounds, with a room on the 4th floor the views were lovely and plenty of monkeys on the balcony to keep you entertained!!
The grounds were nice, clean and organised. The infinity pool was excellent, staff always going round cleaning leaves etc, water warm and the views stunning. Sigiria rock can be seen in the distance.
Drinks and food prices are reasonable considering the hotel is in the middle of nowhere. The buffet I found a little pricey, 3350 rupees, around £17 each, my most costly meal of the holiday. The buffet was nice but not excellent, however the breakfast buffet was very nice, omlettes, curry, rice, fruit, fried breakfast etc.
The second night we tried the al a carte menu, my choice was a mixed grill type meal, not very nice, the ribs were all fat and the sausage a little cold. We did not eat in the al a carte again. The positive was the room was less busy and very cool compared to buffet hall.
The staff were all very friendly and helpful, other than the last night. I went into the louge area on floor 6 after my food and there were 4 staff stood around talking with only us in the room it took nearly 20 minutes to get a drink, very appauling as there was no one else in the room, this was my only minor criticism of the hotel.
The hotel has thre pool areas in total, the infinity pool being busiest and near to bar area. The fresh water rock pool above the infinity pool and a larger quieter pool at other wing of hotel with a set of water goalposts. (quiet pool, big spacious, ideal for kids to play in).
All in all it was the best hotel i stayed in on my trip, cant really fault it, the room was excellent, massive balcony, large bathroom with a huge bath and rain shower with glass panels to the outdoors to admire the views and monkeys!!
Best tip, the food at the bar was very good and cheaper than the buffet or ala carte.

Room Tip: High room for best views
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank cazzaj81
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 April 18, 2013

Thanking 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 April 12, 2013

Our family of 5 (2 adults and 3 children) arrived late in the afternoon to a wonderful welcome, cool drinks and towels and check in formalities were taken care of by the very efficient Hansi. She returned with news that we had been upgraded to a suite (we had originally booked two deluxe rooms). The room seemed a little haphazard as it needed extra beds to be brought in and there was no place for my son to sleep. we may have been better off with the two deluxe rooms.

Dinner was a buffet with an excellent selection of local and international dishes with freshly barbecued meats outside the main restaurant on the first night. An Al-a-carte option was available in a different restaurant, which we did not opt for, for the duration of our stay. The service was very, very average but then the restaurant was full with the contents of two to three coaches that arrived around the same time we did.

The hotel is amazing, the views are spectacular and one can see Lion Rock at Sigiriya from the horizon pool in front of the cafe.

Dinner on the second night produced an even shoddier service and for our family that has travelled to around 30 countries now, the difference between a 4 star experience and a 5 star experience is the service quality and this has still got some way to go at the Kandalama. We don't believe it is a 5 star

That said, the location, the architecture, the surrounding and a few select staff members will mean that we will travel back again to enjoy this hotel and will hopefully have a more pleasant service experience.

We cannot speak more highly of the service and attention that we received from Hansi, who I would to commend to the management as a template for excellent guest relations and a service exemplar that others should follow.

My only further negative criticism is that we were forced to pay an overall 10% service charge that I challenged as the service was very poor that we received and was told that this was a mandatory charge. I paid it under duress and have subsequently learnt that it is not mandatory at all. I believe a service charge should be earned from providing an exceptional service, not a poor one.

Overall a great base to explore many local attractions from, a great set of pools to relax in after a long day out and a fantastic location and setting to enjoy with your loved one/s.

Room Tip: A room above the 5th floor will give you the best views of the landscape. One enters the hotel on th...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Doha_Resident_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 reviewResponded April 13, 2013

Thank you very much for staying with us and taking time off your busy schedule to feed us with constructive comments for further improvement. We regret very much that we could not live up to your expectations on this occasion and would definitely take corrective measures to overcome this situation in the future. While looking forward to welcoming you back at Heritance Kandalama we assure you a memorable experience on your next visit.

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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 Romantic Hotel in Dambulla
#2 Spa Hotel in Dambulla
#3 Luxury Hotel in Dambulla
Price Range: $165 - $364 (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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