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“Room for improvement”

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Heritance Kandalama
Ranked #3 of 18 Hotels in Dambulla
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 14, 2013

The location and design of this hotel is absolutely gorgeous. The buffet breakfasts are very good. That's my two positive comments about this place. We stayed for 3 nights and other than the above mentioned points there was nothing at this place that stood out. It is a large hotel and that may be the reason I felt like just another traveller being pushed through their system. Although the housekeeping staff was exceptional nothing else really stood out at the Heritance Kandalama. Perhaps because of its outstanding location and design I expected more; whatever the reason, it wasn't a particularly memorable stay.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank 4cdns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,095 - 2,101 of 3,746 reviews

Reviewed December 13, 2013

Eco resort with pretty much everything you want. Super service amazing food specially local food and plenty of activities in the resort itself (nature related) and three pools.

Stayed at the luxury suite which apparently is one of the best rooms in the hotel with amazing views of the lake and a butler to attend to your needs. Definitely a place to experience.

Room Tip: All the rooms at the hotel are amazing but if you want to spend a little bit extra definitely worth...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Koshig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2013

Heritance Kandalama is just a breathtakingly beautiful hotel and an architectural masterpiece but sadly the service levels are way below the standard which is expected from a hotel of this magnitude.
This was our 2nd visit to this hotel and we were upgraded to a suite on the Sigiriya wing . The room is just beautiful and very spacious and with a separate lounge . However even though the jacuzzi was not working it was promptly fixed on informing housekeeping.
It is very peaceful inside the hotel and you get the smell of fresh air throughout the day which make you feel like you are living in a rain forest. You cant get closer to nature than this and you can see breathtaking views of the surrounding jungle and tank and you can see loads of monkeys and birds . It is also very close to the Dambulla and Sigirya and so a perfect base to explore these areas.
The infinity pool is amazing and has beautiful views of the tank. You can see lots of eagles flying overhead while you are in the pool. A rope has been used to demarcate the shallow end from the deep end which means you have to literally pull it over your head to swim across the pool which is ridiculous in a 5 star hotel !
While we were at the pool we spotted several pool attendants throwing stones at the monkeys and were very disturbed given that the hotel use protecting nature as a selling point !
We were very disappointed with the level of service in general (the only exception being house keeping) and the food at the main restaurant.
On our arrival we informed the guest relations executive that we were vegetarian and no attempt was made to even find out whether the food was satisfactory. We had very little choice and which was ridiculous considering the fact that this is a 5 star hotel and the FB rate is very pricey . On the day of departure we wanted to change the booking from half board to full board so we could have lunch and they quoted an exorbitant rate so we ended up having lunch on the way back to Colombo.
Subsequently we left some of our belongings at the hotel and while we appreciate the fact that they were extremely helpful in locating our belongings and sending it to Colombo, it was at our expense. Since the cost is negligible , this really should have been done at the expense of Heritance to make an unhappy customer happy.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Rajikadesilva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2013

Wow. First thing both my wife and I said as we drove up to the frontage of this hotel. Hidden away and built into the side of a hill the architecture is stunning. The building integrates itself into the surrounding environment as though it is part of nature itself. Indeed it has been absorbed by the jungle!

We had a spacious room with views of the "tank" that with the morning mists just amazed the eyes.
As you step out onto the balcony you are hit by the aromas and sounds of the wildlife, monkeys abound together with an array of bird and insect life.
The layout of the hotel was of snaking open corridors that at night had bats winging their way grabbing their evening meal. Couldn't get closer to nature than that.
There are plenty of activities that can be arranged by the hotel so you will never get bored.
We were on a guided tour with a driver so our days were taken up visiting the historical sites and a visit to Minneriya National Park, so most of our activities were done via our driver.

We did however go on an elephant ride which can be arranged through the hotel. Having read some of the negative stories regarding elephants we were a little concerned over what we would find. We needn't have worried. Mennica or Monica for us English is a 25 year old female and had been with her mahout for 10 years. Placid relaxed and so gentle she looked well cared for. Our ride took us through the jungle scrub by the hotel and then a gentle amble in the shore line waters of the lake, a beautiful start to our day.
Staff very attentive and always ready to help if needed.
Meals: Al a carte restaurant we didn't use as the buffet was more than enough. As with most of the hotels we stayed at there was a range of Sri Lankan and international foods. the Kandalama could certainly do justice to an empty stomach. As we were on a B&B basis the bill was a very pleasant surprise, around £35.00 for 2 including soft drinks.
Our thanks to all the staff we met for making our short 3 night stay a very comfortable experience.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the Lake view rooms, You wont be disappointed.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank ChrisZX9R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 3, 2013

The perfect place to base your activities near sigrilia.

Location: very good. We stayed two nights and did a bunch of activities
Food: probably the best buffet for dinner and breakfast in Sri Lanka we had
Room: quite nice
Service: always very friendly
WIFI: available in rooms

Could improve:

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
Thank StevenM10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2013

It is such a treat to stay in a Bawa hotel & all my expectations were exceeded. Yes, there are a few small flaws & rough edges but the charm, the friendliness & the beauty of the hotel & the area are hard to beat. If you are a fan of the architect then this place is a must-see. Rooms are nice, pool is very pretty & service is lovely.

One caveat - their car service is exorbitant & if you have no driver you will be held ransom!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Alex_Sydney11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2013

Beautiful place, divine food and above all friendly staff.... We were upgraded to a spacious room with awesome views of Sigiriya and the Lake. Well planned activities organized by the hotel so you have so many things to do throughout your stay. Make sure your stay is at least for 3 days to enjoy a unique experience at this nature resort in a luxurious setting.

I will not forget how I left my wallet in the room and checked-out. The GM was so nice to safely bring it all the way to Colombo, not a pin stolen from my precious belongings.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Mish786
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 Romantic Hotel in Dambulla
#2 Spa Hotel in Dambulla
#3 Luxury Hotel in Dambulla
Price Range: $167 - $370 (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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