Arriving at the very modern Hotel Tourmaline after a long day climbing Sigiriya Rock and then travelling south, the oasis of air-conditioned calm that was the Tourmaline's lobby was very welcome indeed - as was the iced tea welcome drink!
The Tourmaline is up a steep hill outside Kandy, with a great view over the neighbouring hills (though not of Central Kandy/the lake). It didn't seem viable to walk from the hotel to Kandy and back - we had a driver, so this wasn't a concern, plus there are tuk-tuks everywhere. Though we didn't get a chance to use them, the hotel does have both a swimming pool and a spa.
Our room was gigantic (as was the bed!) - very modern and luxurious with a huge gallery window to take in the view. All the mod cons you'd expect were there, including a good selection of English-speaking TV channels. The bathroom was very nice and clean, with hot water available most times of the day (though I had to make do with a cold shower when we left very early on our last day). The air-conditioning, while very effective, is a little noisy, but not enough to prevent sleep.
We had dinner and breakfast at the Tourmaline on both nights that we stayed there. The restaurant makes the most of the hotel's fantastic view. For dinner, rice and curry were done to a very high standard - with an extremely generous portion size! - and Western cuisine varied from good to very good. Breakfast was buffet style on our first day and served in baskets at our table the second time - not sure why but the standard and variety was very good. The restaurant manager is very attentive and keen to make sure his guests have a good experience - he even fetched soup for me from the buffet once to save me getting up!
Wifi is free in the lobby (and a very good standard - skype voice call to England was crystal clear), but chargeable in the rooms.
The hotel is also able to provide driver's accommodation if you are travelling with a car and driver.
Overall I would highly recommend a stay at the Tourmaline if you're visiting Kandy.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Refurbished in 2009, Hotel Tourmaline has evolved over the years to portray a resort lifestyle that caters to the discerning traveler. With painstaking attention to detail—from its elegant exterior, cuisine and ambience, the hotel is ideal for both the business as well as leisure traveler. The natural scenic beauty that surrounds the hotel creates the perfect relaxing atmosphere to help you unwind and enjoy the many modern amenities that make your stay a memorable one. ... more less
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