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“Lovely location”

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Heritance Kandalama
Ranked #4 of 19 Hotels in Dambulla
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 8, 2011

Hotel doesn't look much on arrival but lake views are lovely and rooms are nicely furnished and a nice welcome. Was impressed with some detail in guest information in that areas are all non smoking and guests are asked to wear long trousers for dinner. Well apart from the inside restaurant everyone was smoking and several people appeared to be wearing shorts. Hence suggest either the detail is removed from the guest info book, or the rules are applied. Food was OK but not great. On second day found a biscuit by the bed on the floor hence queried the cleaning! Expected better than it was.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank CarolAstonUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,904 - 2,910 of 3,816 reviews

Reviewed March 8, 2011

My husband and I were married at the Kandalama in a traditional Sri Lankan style ceremony. We had a slightly stressful few days run up to the actual wedding day, in particular as a result of there being no in house qualified hair stylist, in spite of having been assured there was. Arriving having no idea quite what to expect was slightly nerve wracking, and certain aspects, such as the hair and having to do my own make-up, bizarre gold glitter sprinkled flowers, spelling our names wrong on the wedding video (amusing rather than irritating) and a less than brilliant photographer (thank goodness for the front of house manager who borrowed my husbands camera and took nearly 1000 snaps (out of so many, some were bound to be good!), left a little to be desired... I have to say however, that the staff and particularly the front of house manager, did their utmost to make the day as memorable as possible, and it certainly was, and all the problems were forgotten in the end. We were allowed to supply our own champagne which we bought in duty free on the way out, therefore avoiding the extortionately priced hotel bar prices (tip: buy your alcoholic supplies in Dambulla supermarket on the way out to the hotel). The ceremony itself was fun and unique, the setting perfect - it really is the most spectacular view and wonderful back-drop to wedding photos - the five course torch lit dinner provided al fresco on our own private terrace with piper was out of this world, and the hotel staff who took part in the ceremony as dancers and drummers - who were the waiters and front of house staff - were smiley and happy and really added to the occasion considering that we weren't able to have many friends or family present. In terms of value for money, it was a lot cheaper than getting married in the UK. We were given the best room in the hotel and upgraded to one of the top suites for our wedding night and remainder of our stay (for no extra charge). Every night our bed was made up with more and more extravagant fresh floral decorations and we were constantly impressed with the obvious dedication and pride taken by all the staff. We were invited to partake in a local rice harvest ceremony as guests of honour, and our 'going away' ride on an elephant while the sun went down, was the perfect ending to the best day ever.
All in all I agree that this is not a cheap place to stay and that in order to make the most of it it's worth splashing out on one of the better rooms in order to benefit from the magnificent views. We spent a lot of time wondering around the grounds enjoying the wildlife and lounging by the pool (actually we preferred the other pool round the side of the hotel rather than the front facing infinity pool as this was often deserted - just beware of parking yourself under the trees due to caterpiller droppings!) We also took advantage of the spa which was a relaxing treat and with our own hire car, very easily explored the 'cultural triangle' on day trips. We loved the hotel design and the feeling of being part of the natural landscape and having the nature all around. And the food is out of this world.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank annieandjules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2011

The view of the lake from the hotel is breathtaking. Three pools to choose from and the monkeys help add to the character of the hotel. We had a luxury room in the Sigiriya wing, which was a good size and well equipped. Nice touch to be able to see the view, and the monkeys, from the shower. Location means hotel restaurants are the easiest option, choices are a cafe, buffet, or posh a la carte restaurant. Cafe menu is limited and would benefit from more variety. Good location to visit Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and the Dambulla caves. We hired a Kandy based driver, Sunil, for our stay and would thoroughly recommend him, s_sunilpws@yahoo.com.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Hols_87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2011

What an experience ! A 5 Km detour from the main road takes you to this hotel built overlooking a reservoir.... the views are simply breathtaking !

The infinity pool, the first impression of the reception (and the alley leading to the lobby) being carved literally out of rocks and the mountainside has to be seen to be believed. No wonder Geoffrey Bawa is a venerated architect !

The big rock in the middle of the alley leading from the lobby to the rooms was amazing in its ability to put you at one with the elements. Great food at the restaurant, especially the breakfast spread.

Though we could only spend a couple of days in this property, I wish we could have had another couple of days to spend. Definitely will be coming back to this hotel for a week the next time !

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank ArijitBasu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2011

Booked here for 2 nights as part of a Sri Lankan tour. It is an odd sort of place, and we didn't see it in the best light. February is reckoned to be a dry, hot month, but we encountered torrential rain, floods and low cloud. The roads and tracks to the hotel were nigh impassable, and the reception area - which is built into the side of a rock face - was somewhat dark and forbidding, with pumps running and copious towels spread across the floor. We were allocated a room at the furthest extremity of the wing detached from the main body of the hotel, and were greeted by a large family of monkeys, which had congregated on our balcony - no doubt sheltering from the deluge. A notice advised us not to open the door to the balcony, as the monkeys would rush in and pinch food and anything else that took their fancy.
The room itself was quite comfortable, but it took 4 minutes at a brisk pace to reach the restaurant. And the monkeys occupied their time at daybreak by fighting noisily with each other.
But of course, all this would have been seen in a different light had the rain stopped and the sun shone. However, the restaurant was comfortable, with a huge selection of appetising dishes. The lounge area was large and comfortable, but not suited to a visiting troupe of traditional drummers, which was probably heard in Kandy.
The service was not the best we encountered in Sri Lanka, but the staff, generally, were friendly and eager to please.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ornsay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 18, 2011

so we stayed here because as far as i know it's the only decent hotel around, if i had to do it again i would keep moving to another city to stay somewhere else. it was old, out-dated, dirty and gross. but dambulla is nice, they have nice things to do and this hotel may be your cup of tea so go for it. we didn't like it because we found it dirty and out-dated and the food was the worst we had in sri lanka. also, there were bugs everywhere and i stress everywhere!!! we don't do bugs and outdoorsy stuff so if you're like us, again pass. there was a great mountain thing to hike nearby which we didn't do but we did stop to take pics near by with it in the background lol. also, the hotel had bats everywhere as it was a sort of open air hotel. monkeys everywhere which they were cool but you're not supposed to interact with them. the area around it and the mountain its on are beautiful though, very green and lush as sri lanka in general is. anyway, good luck on your choice

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank racerbone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2011

we stayed here for a night when we visited Sigiriya, we went to Dambulla teh following day for the rock temples.

what can I say. Built into rock and made to be part of the jungle you almost feel like you are walking into a James Bond movie!!!

The rooms are great with glass showers looking out over the lake. You can actually see Sigiiya rock from teh rooms and the bar.

There is a stunning infinity pool overlooking the lake.

We used the main restaurant and it was really good for both dinner and breakfast. We had a snack in teh bar which was great too.

If you are visiting these places stay here!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank hl8917
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: $166 - $284 (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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