We read so many 5 star reviews that point out on the extraordinary architecture, the great design, beautiful rooms and so on. Basically I think that either most of these excellent rating people either do not have experience with five star hotels OR reviews are written by Kandalama staff as many many reviewers origin from Sri Lanka (just coincidence?).
- Nice location indeed overlooking a vast vally with the Sirigiya rock in the distance
- extensive dinner and breakfast buffet
- nice infinity pool
- environment friendly with sewer system and recycling
- what is the great about Geoffery Bawa's architecture in particular? Buildings made of concrete that creates the charme of a parking garage with huge hallways? Maybe only Sri Lankan people can understand that, I don't!
- Balconys are nice to have however you can neither see anything due to plants nor can use them due to monkeys that will grab everything they can reach or even attack you.
- the hotel has three pools, one is unspecial and takes you about 20-30 minutes walking there just to find a small rectangle pool with a spiritless water ball net.. Ehm...? The other is 'nature based'... Nice but the water temp is so unpleasant at 21 degrees that you don't spend much time in it. The third one is in fact the only nice one with unpleasant cold water as well
- the mentioned distances are ridiculous. Just walking from your room to the reception is easily 10 minutes one way...
- rooms are worn and habe definitly seen better times
To sum up: The Kandalama might have once been a true 5 star hotel but is definitley not anymore. Thus, the hype about it as vastly exaggerated. I would say it is something in between 3* and 4*. Given this, the hotel is much overpriced. Compare it to the Mahaweli Reach near Kandy and you see a definitley better cost return ratio. Don't get me wrong, I am complaining on a high level. But that us what the Kandalama wants to be. A high level 5* hotel. It is definitley not to international standards. In other reviews I read comparisons to the Overlook hotel feeling in Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" and to evil James Bond villain hide-aways. Both is somehow true! Go there, pay 200 USD and more per night and judge yourself... But do yourself a favour and do not book for more than one or two nights and if you really, really, really (and I mean REALLY) like it, extend your stay on the fly...
- 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