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“Staying at this hotel is worth the visit” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Heritance Kandalama

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Heritance Kandalama
Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in Dambulla
Certificate of Excellence
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
95 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Staying at this hotel is worth the visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2010

My primary reason for staying at this hotel was due my stop over at Dambulla and recommendations from friends. However, after arriving at this hotel I spent most of my time at the hotel and did not feel like going out. The architecture of this hotel is a master piece and one of the most unique five star hotels I have ever stayed at.
The hotel is very large with many wings and it is interconnected with building to the rocks. You have access to 3 pools with breath taking views from every angle. The hotel is nestled within the rocks and wildness giving it a very unique feel of luxury blended with nature. Wild monkeys are frequent guest at the room patio and they are all over the place.
The hotel is in close proximity to two UNESCO world heritage sites and the view from the rooms gives you a direct view of Sigiriya rocks. The view from the room is breathtaking and tranquil. The toilet includes a Jacuzzi with a clear glass window providing you a stunning view to the landscape in addition to the monkeys sitting right outside.
The service and food was exceptional from start to finish. I attended lunch close to closing time but the staff kept the dining room buffet open until I finished my meal. During the evening the hotel staff had attended to my room while I was out and ensured the blinds, lighting and room temperatures were adjusted. .
I made my reservations online with booking.com and be advised their price quote does not include all the additional VAT taxes charged by all hotels in Sri Lanka. My closing bill had an additional $40 dollars per day on taxes that was not included in my booking.com prices price quote and it was a pleasant surprise on my credit card. On a final note, I had rented a private car inclusive with driver and this hotel provides free board and lodge for drivers of guest staying at the hotel.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jmocha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,304 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
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Nairobi
Level Contributor
53 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2010

Beautiful location overlooking the Kandalama lake. The decor is modern and crockery and cutlery modernisitic. Had a juice served in the bar on arrival overlooking the infinity pool. The views from the room were superb as it overlooked the lake through french windows. The food was very good, however the dining room was overcrowded and the acoustics of the room was so bad that the children dining at the same time created a racket.
Back to the refuge of the room - very comfortable bed but the pillows were too soft. Showers and amenities good. Checkout efficient.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sunspotter2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2010

Stayed here for two nights in early December 2010. Very impressed with the location the scenery is great. The fact that the hotel is built around a small hill that is covered in jungle over looking a lake as well as and the greenery literally hanging off the hotel gives it a great ambience. While we were there we saw monkeys on walkways, squirels both small and large on balaconys, heaps of bats a mongoose and a plethora of insects. I have read some complaints about the wildlife in other reviews - folks it is set in a jungle! Enjoy the wildlife!

Service was ok, first nights buffet meal was a bit of a disappointment but the second night was great. I am unsure if the wait staff were bored but they had a tendency to take your plates and drinks when only half finished! You put your fork down (finished or not) and bang.... less than a second later a hand is reaching across you to take the plate away, mind you we found this in a number of hotels in Sri Lanka.

The room itself was quite good - we had a superior room on a corner and good view of the lake and a nice little balcony. Though it was a bit of a distance from the main area of teh hotel to the room, the open walkways give you the feeling of being up in the tree canapy so great experience, and did not mind the exercise at all. The horizon pool was good - it was quite wet while we were there and the area around the pool was a bit of a quagmire a couple more stepping stones would have been great, likewise access to the library on the top floor was over a lawned roof which was under water.

The rooms distance from the main area of the hotel meant quite a wait for services such as luggage pick up. We got fed up waiting after calling reception for assistance and took our bags ourselves at checkout.

The only other complaint was the noise. Being Sri lanka there were numerous bus groups and they would arrive (or depart) and the groups hanging out in the corridors tended to get really noisy. Though the Hotel looks stunning it is essentially a concrete echo chamber in parts and voices carry a long way and through wooden doors.

Overall though I think the location and over all feel of the hotel (and night number 2's Buffet!) more than made up for any bad aspects. Happy to recommend it and would go back for sure. Would probably try a Jacuzzi room next time!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mapeater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2010

It felt like we'd been driving forever when we finally arrived at the hotel. It is set back down a long dirt road so is very secluded. We were welcomed by the staff and taken to a terrace overlooking the infinity pool and lake. We were given a drink, a cold towel and a flower. After checking in we were taken to our room - they actually upgraded us to a jacuzzi suite which was huge, with amazing views of the lake. You could see these views while taking a shower, or laying in bed - the windows were wall to wall.
The staff there were so friendly. The food in the restaurant was amazing (though I would recommend some background music to make the place feel a little more like a nice restaurant rather than a canteen).
The infinity pool was beautiful. The views of the lake were great. You could see water buffaloes grazing by the lake. Monkeys would be in the trees next to the pool. It was all perfect.
The monkeys would come by our room and sit there. I could have spent hours sitting around looking at them.
This place is truly exceptional in its location, scenery, architecture - you do truly feel like you're in the middle of nature. That does mean that given the open plan nature of it all, there are insects on the walls at night (outside the room), but you get used to that and if you make sure you wear repellent at night, its fine. They also provided a plug-in insect repellent which does put your mind at rest.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SNS0705
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cartago, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
52 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2010

We are living in Sri Lanka, but we were discovering the north-central provinces. We spend one night in this hotel and my family was simply happy. This is one of the best options in the country for a close contact with wild monkeys, natural lake and jungle. We got a problem with the Jacuzzi in our room and they immediately switched us to another room.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Adrian d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middle East
Level Contributor
38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2010

Lovely, well apointed room and grounds. If available, book a package that includes breakfast & dinner because the a la carte menu is outrageous! (Manhattan prices in Sri Lanka)

Stayed November 2010
Helpful?
Thank pdjtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
Level Contributor
30 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2010

The one thing about this hotel is the location: stunning.
From your room you overlook the jungle, and a beautiful lake. 
You'll have a view on the singirila mountain as well.
It has three pools, one in bare rocks, one normal, and one that just overlooks then lake. Swiming in this one is an incredible experience as the basin limit is merging with the lake horizon. You swim and once you reach the border, you discover the entire valley with it's tropical vegetation. It looks like a scene from Out Of Africa.

Rooms are nice and the bath is large.
Make sure not to only close your balcony glass door, but lock it safely; otherwise, monkeys might be tempted to enter the room.

The only concern is the door isolation. It's very noisy when someone passes next to it chatting. People from the outside woke me up several times during the night.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Steve J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Romantic Hotel in Dambulla
#1 Luxury Hotel in Dambulla
#1 Family Hotel in Dambulla
#1 Spa 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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