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Heritance Kandalama
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Reviews (3,927)
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3,263 - 3,268 of 3,927 reviews
Reviewed August 13, 2007

We had a short stay in Sri Lanka enroute to the Maldives, and chose the Kandalama through a recommendation from a friend. This would have to be one of the worlds more interesting hotels...set into a hill side, and covered in vines, you feel like you are living inside a mountain. Our room was lovely - we only went "standard", but our view was over a canopy of jungle, out towards a lake. The whole room is decorated with wood, natural linens and cotton, and granite. It is older, but still feels comfortable with out being worn out. Food in the restaurant was sensational - the best curries we have ever had, and a huge choice from the menu.
The hotel has 2 elephants, and we first saw them bathing in a lake which you could see when you are in the horizon pool. We later found out that you can help bathe them, which we did the next day, and it was incredible to be able to interact with them that way. We also rode them through the bush at sunset...loved every moment. There was also a live band at night playing traditional music, which we found a lovely way to end the day. Meals are very reasonable priced, and you go away feeling like you have had value for money, and a unique experience.

Make sure you visit the elephant orphanage on the way up to the Kandalama, as they have lots of baby elephants, and again, you can interact with them - something you can't do in more regulated countries.

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled with family
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2  Thank Travebug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2007

Stayed for a few nights in the Kandalama and found it to be, overall, a very good hotel, although with a couple of issues. The setting of the hotel is spectacular - it is built into the side of a cliff and entirely draped in lush greenery. The corridors are open, so by night bats fly through the corridors and by day monkeys prowl through and sit watching you from your balcony. It looks out over a large lake, a valley and tree-covered mountains with, in the distance, the rock of Sigiriya. The hotel is like a Bond villain's lair, which prompted the phrase of the holiday, "No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die...". From the open-air reception, a smooth black walkway curves upwards between, on one side, the rock face and, on the other, a smooth, white wall, to the bar overlooking the infinity pool. Very glamorous indeed. When not floating in the pool or imagining oneself to be on Her Majesty's Secret Service, there is plenty to see and do in the area: Sigiriya, the cave temples at Dambulla, the ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura and the national parks. I have it on good authority that these are all impressive, having only managed to make it to two of the above.

To give balance to the review, I should mention that there were a few issues. While I do accept that the hotel was rather quiet and, as a business, they do need to keep the money coming in, I felt that conference delegates and guests at private functions were given priority over those staying at the hotel. The dining room was shifted from place to place as a result of these functions, and there was no information to advise guests of where they could eat. Also, as the design of the hotel is open-plan, the noise from the band at the wedding reception intruded a little too much on those poolside reveries. The service was rather hit-and-miss, combining an over-eagerness that would mean having to guard the last few mouthfuls of food and drink from being snatched away with agonising slowness when asked to bring drinks or the bill. Also, I'd recommend avoiding transport arranged by the hotel where possible, as it's very expensive.

Finally, I am not sure whether this is a positive or negative, but one night at dinner, guests were treated to a totally Vic Reeves-esque club-style singer doing almost unrecognisable numbers from Elvis, Elton John and Abba, among others. Absolutely hilarious!

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with friends
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4  Thank don't_fly!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2007

We stayed here for 3 nights during July and had a fantastic relaxing time.

As we other reviewers I can mention the superb setting, the quality of the rooms, the 3 swiming pools, although we only tried two and the monkeys!!!.

In addition I would like to mention the excellent caring service provided by the restaurant staff. Our son has a severe allergy to nuts and it was one of our main concerns in going to Sri Lanka, especially in terms of the buffets that are often served in these hotels.

We had pre-warned the hotel of Matt's condition and at the first meal introduced ourselves. Immediately Matt was taken up to the buffet, introduced to one of the cheffs who immediately talked him throgh every dish telling him whether it contained any traces of nuts. Matt found this very reassuring and was able to eat every meal from then on with confidence.

In addition they told him that if there was nothing in the buffet that he fancied, they would prepare him anything he wanted, which on one night happened.

To sum up, A superb location, fantastic service and overall a wonderful experience.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled with family
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5  Thank awizzbang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2007

What a special hotel... We stayed here as part of a 10 visit to Sri Lanka and both agreed that we did not stay here for long enough - we stayed 4 nights and our travel agent thought that was too long - he was wrong. I stay in hotels 2 weeks out of 4 for business - this one is special. We especially loved the bats at night, the views from the room, wallking about in barefeet and the staff. G and Ts watching the sun go down beside the pool were the stuff dreams are made of.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank elmScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2007

Second time at the Kandalama, first one was in 2004 for two nights while we did a whistlestop tour, and the general opinion was that it wasn't long enough!

Returned this summer, for an eight night stay, after deciding on the Kandalama as the venue for our wedding,and they more than did us proud. If there's a friendlier and more efficient bunch of people on this planet, then i have yet to meet them, every courtesy was extended, every need catered for, and they made our wedding a truly memorable experience. I cannot recommend this hotel and it's staff more highly, nothing was too much trouble, and they never stopped smiling,

Spotless rooms, excellent and varied cuisine, well presented and graciously served, and superb spa treatments.

Sri Lanka has hospitality down to a fine art, and this hotel is amongst the best I've ever been to. Very well done to all concerned.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ianj463
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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