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“Great hotel in stunning environment”

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Heritance Kandalama
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in Dambulla
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great hotel in stunning environment”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

We splashed out on this hotel (rather than a guesthouse) and it was definitely worth the money. It's quite a distance from dambulla town but the view over the lake is superb, made even better by the infinity pool! The buffet breakfast was great, as was the buffet evening meal was at 15 pounds sterling was relatively expensive but tasty.
The one major problem with this hotel was getting around. We took a tuk tuk there but when we tried to hire one from reception the next day we were told that they couldnt phone one for us because of "health and safety reasons". And the cost of their car to take us into dambulla was 3000 rupees!! (The tuk tuk is 600). This really felt a bit like being held to ransom given how far it was from anywhere.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kazmojiggers
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, June 28, 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.
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3,374 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (827)
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Panadura, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
54 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

Aesthetically designed hotel that blends very well with its surrounding environment. Only after a long drive along a narrow unpaved (but not bumpy) road do u get to the hotel. The welcome was good and check-in was quite fast considering ours being a large group visit.

The room ("Superior", I reckon) we got wasn't big but was comfortable - offering views of the wilderness behind the hotel. The front of the hotel offers views of the Kandalama lake and Sigiriya (which we missed). The bathroom was adequately spacious but didn't offer a bathtub. Though old in style, the light arrays on either side of the mirror added a nice touch. However, there were a few stained spots in the toilet and bathroom floor that didn't look clean and needed attention.

The best thing about the hotel is how close you are to the wilderness around it. Monkeys roam about freely around the hotel prompting the hotel to warn guests against unnecessary interactions (e.g. feeding monkeys). We even had an entire family of them visit us at our room balcony. We also encountered a huge number of bugs inside the hotel but they weren't harmful nor were they a bother.

Food was very good, but not exceptional. Variety at buffet wasn't much but what they offered were done well.

Staff were very courteous and helpful.

The hotel maintains an eco-park with an animal rehabilitation center, sewage treatment plant and paper recycling plant just 900m down the hotel access road. The day we visited it we were shown some venomous snakes at the animal rehabilitation center and given a guided tour at the paper recycling plant.

The hotel offers (at a cost) jungle treks, horse rides, and elephant rides around the hotel premises.

Apart from these and excursions to nearby attractions like Sigiriya or Dambulla cave temple, the best thing about Heritance Kandalama is how it blends in with the natural environment around it. Definitely worth a visit.

Room Tip: Ask for a room at a higher floor facing Sigiriya (and the Kadalama lake).
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sundomain
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, July 3, 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.
New Delhi
Level Contributor
128 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2013

Heritance Kandalama is worth visiting just for its unique architecture and its grand location.
The property is built into a hill in a way that the structure is actually merged with the original rocks. So to reach one of the wings you will walk through a corridor where one of the walls is a rock-face. And it has stunning views of the Kandalama lake and the dense forest on the hill makes for a very one with nature backdrop.
We stayed in a suite which had spectacular views of the lake from 2 sides and dense foliage on one side. The effect was mesmerising. In the bathroom, one could well spend hours soaking in the Jacuzzi while gazing at the lake. If money is not an issue, we would recommend it always.
The food was also very good with a mixture of Sri Lankan and other cuisines - while it was always a buffet, we never felt fatigued.
One of the things that's quite fascinating - the staff moves around barefoot.
It is also a good staging point for visits to the Dambula Caves, Sigiriya Rock and Minneriya National Park - all must visit attractions.

Room Tip: Make sure you go for a room that has lake views.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hedgefund007
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, July 3, 2013
Thank you very much 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.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2013

We stayed here with our 2 kids in a deluxe room for 2 nights.

Check in was quick and easy and they do this out near the pool so you get a great view over the lake toward Sigiriya. The room was large, clean and stylish. the bathroom is exceptional and I loved having a bath and looking out at the view.

The service was good. We ate both nights in the a la carte restaurant and really enjoyed it. We were the only customers (I think most prefer the buffet restaurant) and the food was of a high standard. The buffet breakfast was excellent - it's the only buffet i've ever been to where they freshly cook the bacon and sausages when you order! We all enjoyed this. My husband enjoyed the freshly cooked hoppers and my kids the freshly cooked waffles. Yes, the breakfast buffet was amazing!

I did find the public areas a bit soulless. the one and only bar is set in a strange spot, but this may be due to the hotel being sensitive to the variety of cultures and beliefs that stay there. Not every cuture values a swim-up bar in the way I do. ;-)

We did a jungle trek with a hotel guide up behind the hotel and we enjoyed this very much.

It's not a cheap hotel, but it is a great hotel, and you do get what you pay for!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bligg
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, June 26, 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
40 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2013

With great views, roof top pool, big beds, and a deep jacuzzi in your room this is a great romantic break hotel. I love the design and details such as a fan out on the balcony. The way the hotel blends with the rocks and jungle, the patterns of light and shadow, the birds flying through the open air corridors, the monkeys and pine martens outside your wondow, are all beautiful! Don't under estimate the monkeys - a whole troop invaded our room, tore a shirt and stole some expensive tea! I slept with the curtains open so the view was visible all night in different lghts.

Enjoy the place and the three poolsand don't plan too many trips except the Rock Temple at Dambulla which is the most beautiful experience. Go early before the tours.

Buffet food is good, a la carte average and expensive. EXpensive but worth it.

Room Tip: 4th or fifth floor for light and views, twin beds are small but doubles are big and bouncy. Don'...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LondonSunlounger
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, June 26, 2013
Thank you for staying with us and glad you enjoyed the experience being one with nature. Your kind sentiments are much 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.
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Level Contributor
293 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 23, 2013

The Heritance hotel is built into the rocks an you can hardly see it from the road. It is very well hidden.

When you arrive you are greeted by very friendly staff and a refreshing face towel. Nice touch, followed by a welcome drink overlooking the infinity pool.

Wow the view was incredible and immediately I felt relaxed.

You complete all the formalities here and luckily I was upgraded to a deluxe room. Thank you, the bathroom view was just unbelievable.

The hotel has three nice pools and quite a good gym, but it would have been good if it had been open 24/7.

The room was very nice except on the second night the AC didn't work so I got to meet the maintenance crew. They were also very friendly. Eventually they got it working.

The restaurant for breakfast had an amazing view, but no freshly squeeed orange juice. I thought all 5 star hotels could have and should have such a basic and normalt requested juice. Disappointing as fresh orange juice for brekkie is a must.

Otherwise a very pleasant but short stay.

My one complaint was that the pillows were very hard and therefore I did not get a good nights sleep.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a spa bath and view. I was on the fourth floor.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cygnetboy69
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, June 26, 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 for further improvement and regret any inconvenience you may have experienced on your recent stay with us. 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, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 20, 2013

We went to kandalama for our honeymoon on June 2012.We stayed there for two nights.After a four hour long travel, we were really tired, but when i saw the view of kandalama i gt inspired! the location was so great.We were warmely wellcomed with fruit juice option..Then we got keys for our rooms.The room was freely upgrade for a delux room.It looked great & comfortable.. We had the view of kandalama River...

Food- We had a great choice of a buffet.Specially for dinner they had different themes for different days. & that is good for a change for taste buds.But i was not in a mood to taste everything..But i really like their menue selection.But i guess even its ok if you drop lunch, just go for dinner & breakfast.Bcz they have a great variety.

Offers for honeymoon-We had a free horse ride for 30 minutes for our honeymoon package.We were told we will have a free candle light dinner with wine.But all people had dinner in garden area had that kandle on thier table.So kandle light dinner is not a big deal at all :(

We had walks for eco places, paper pulk factory..we raelly enjoyed such walks...

Staff-I would say staff is friendly & attentive..Even in the resturant hey helped us with a quick response.I felt they work as a one family there...

My over all view is i love kandalama, It gave me lot of gud memories....I wish to go thier soon.True that it is bit expensive..But still we had a great tym...But i was so curious to know y some people has mentioned some bad points abt kandalama,Specially they have complained about food quality????????

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Indima
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, June 21, 2013
Thank you very much 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.
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Additional Information about Heritance Kandalama

Property: 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
#1 Luxury Hotel in Dambulla
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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