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Heritance Kandalama
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Reviews (3,989)
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All reviewsinfinity poolgeoffrey bawasigiriya wingrock faceunique hotelsri lankapanoramic roomelephant ridelarge hoteloverlooking the lakestunning locationour honeymooneco parka la carte restaurantkandalama tankeco friendly hotelluxury room
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Reviewed March 12, 2009

Where to begin! We stayed here the final week of Feb 2009 as part of our honeymoon. We did have the offer of 3 nights here followed by 3 nights in Kandy but from the hotel pictures we extended to 5 nights here and we're so glad we did. Whether the $20 tip to our taxi driver helped but we ended up in a deluxe room even though we paid for a superior (the hotel was quiet so maybe we would have got a free upgrade anyway). The bed was huge and comfortable but the views were spectacular, either from the main room with vines hanging down to create a perfect picture frame, to the excellent bathroom with shower over the jacuzzi. Watching the sunrise and sunsets over the lake were just incredible. The night sky also was so clear you could see so many more start than you can in the UK.

After 2 nights in our room, which we were perfectly happy with, the staff offered us an upgrade and we settled on one of the Luxury Suites. This was a step up yet again on the Deluxe room, it was huge with massive walk in shower, 2 toilets, 2 sinks and 2 great big living areas. Both rooms were furnished to high standards.

The food in the main restaurant was exceptional, we never bothered with anything else. The soups were some of the best I've had anywhere, and the curry options which were there every night you would happily pay £10 for at a UK restaurant, and that was just the bog standard fish curry. They had many theme nights such as Thai, Chinese, Italian and the food was of excellent standard every night. I also recommend the Lion Beer and the Ceylon tea.

The staff were as friendly as I've ever known with great big smiles. The Sri Lankan people were very respectful of women and my wife was always centre of attention and the staffs prime concern which was nice to see. Most people seemed to stay a few days then move on but being there for 5 days they really got to know us.

We found a pool on the 2nd floor which apart from a couple of hours on one of the days, we had it entirely to ourselves. The infinity pool on floor 6 (or maybe 5) was the most popular as it had stunning views over the lake, but it did mean it was the busiest pool.

We asked for the co-tour options and did lake safari, jungle trek, elephant ride and wild elephant safari of which the latter was the experience of a lifetime. Contact me if you need more info as those trips would take a while to describe. Even being there for 5 days we didn't get to do the historical trips which was a real shame but we just didn't have time.

So basically my wife and I loved Sri Lanka, loved the hotel, the people, the food & drink, the monkeys are not a problem and are great entertainment. We just wish we could have stayed longer and want to go back as soon as possible. To put it into perspective, we then had one night at the Galle Face Hotel, Columbo then went to the Maldives where we took a few days to get used to the Maldives, we actually wanted to go back to Sri Lanka!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank goosey7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2009

What an unbelievable hotel. Can't still get my head round the whole fantastic experience. I thought the food was excellent - the service terrific and monkeys not at all a problem. 5 in the morning is the best time - just head to the roof and watch the morning arrive. The sound of the jungle and the mist burning off. No people - just monkeys and birds - wonderful
A great place to stay to visit the central part of Sri Lanka. We had a personal driver and he was wonderful showing us not only the sights but also taking us to town to buy cheap shirts and in fact anything you asked for. Sigaria is something else and not for the faint hearted - which I am afraid I was. Half way up is all I could manage. The elephant orphanage could be missed but not so the wild elephants in the reservation. Close up and personal to wild elephants - what an experience.
I am amazed though in this day and age - no Nail Shop in the whole of Sri Lanka - don't break a nail!

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jax60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2009

Well, we were looking forward to this hotel as we'd heard so much about it. Designed by a famous architect with "green" in mind.
Good points: The view. The staff
Bad points:
The general decor - really could do with a lick of paint lots of scuffs everywhere, plenty of wasted space, minimal decor and soft furnishing resulting in a resounding echo everywhere indoors. Overall, a bit like an empty school in the summer holidays.
The rooms - Need a good clean plus, re-decorating and stains removing from cushions etc. Towels too small and used to the point of transparency.
The excursions - done on the cheap i.e. no seat belts in transport - believe me, you NEED them! The lake safari - see the photo for mode of transport ...I am not joking! Our guides/oarsboys did not understand a word any language other than Sri Lankan. So could not describe anything. I thought safaris were supposed to be educational.
The food: Buffet is reasonable but not exceptional. Good cooking but poor quality meat.
Bar Meals: expensive carbs with zero imagination.
The "Fusion" restaurant - good service but really poor food... fused in fact.
Management - During my gentle complaint to the manager he took 3 mobile phone calls without so much as an apology and I was offered nothing by way of compensation until I it came to pay the bill. When I mentioned my conversation with the manager all I was eventually offered was 15% off a "Fusion" meal.
The place is geared towards transient tourists who probably stop no more than 2 days passing through. In that context, (I mean as a B&B), I suppose you can put up with it. Whilst we were there, the hotel won an award for the best 5 star hotel in Sri Lanka by their tourist board. Hmmm. Personally I've stayed in better Travelodges. Its not even in the same league as the Fortress near Galle.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Paul P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2009

I've read some of the reviews on here and find it difficult to relate them to my experience of the Kandalama. I think it was the best hotel we stayed in on our Sri Lanka trip (which included the also outstanding Club Villa and the slightly disappointing Tea Factory). Simply a stunning location and fantasic architecture, and our room on the Sigirya wing was amazing. I also found the service and food excellent and would recommend the hotel wholeheartedly. I am trying to think of a negative point to balance the review and am struggling to be honest, it was a real highlight of our honeymoon.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank IainManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2009

The Kandalama is a unique hotel overlooking a large lake surrounded by jungle. The rooms are excellent with terrific views and the facilities are very good. There are three pools including an infinity one overlooking the lake. The main restaurant has an extensive buffet of good food, but it could be hotter. The separate a la carte restaurant is excellent but underused as so many people are on inclusive terms. We were travelling independently and stayed for a week which gave time to visit historic sites but also just relax and enjoy the hotel. A lot of tour groups use the hotel, but it is so spread out that it never feels crowded. Also most groups go out all day and I usually had the pools almost to myself. The staff were most attentive and welcoming, and as it was our 40th wedding anniversary we were given a beautiful cake. A highlight is the troops of monkeys which were a joy to watch. They had tiny babies when we were there, and could be seen very close. Just watch out when they come on the balcony! The only downside is the price of wine which is very high in hotels in Sri Lanka. The spa is lovely and very luxurious with a good choice of massage etc.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LilyXYZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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