Just up the hill from the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, Sri Lanka sits Helga's Folly. A place out of the ordinary with character and style, ant colonies and colonial charm, great service and delicious food, barking deer and leaky pipes, murals, macaques, music, mirrors and mise en scene.
We (my girlfriend and I) arrived in CMB at 9:30 am. Lionel, our driver was waiting at the airport and took us directly to Helga's Folly. Lionel would be our guide for the next three days, going everywhere Helga suggested and stopping anywhere else we asked along the way. Made it to the hotel in about 2-3 hours I think.... I was kind of out of it after 30 hours of travel. The ride was nice and easy despite the four way rally race going on between buses, tuk tuks, motorcycles, cows, cars, bikes and pedestrians. No hassles, no waiting, no stopping and the A/C was nice and cool.
Entering Helga's Folly was like stepping into a dream. It was as if we were the only two people there. I spent a lot of time walking around, staring at the walls. No hallucinogens necessary. We had dinner and breakfast there for the duration of our stay. The food was delicious. Soup, biscuits, dhal curry, fish, tea, brownies and ice cream. Breakfast was tea, biscuits, fresh fruit and juice, an omelet with chiles, roasted tomatoes and magical mushrooms! Again, no tripping, just really tasty mushrooms. The staff was always there for anything, but they were never pushy or obtrusive. The place had a private, romantic feel to it, and the candle light dinners really take it a step further. Eat your breakfast inside, unless you want it stolen by the local entourage of Toque Macaques. Also, don't leave anything on the porch overnight. If they get to it before you wake up, it's gone.
Each room has it's own charm and character and the halls are filled with murals that are interesting, playful, funny, and a little creepy at times. Our room was vibrant, cozy and weird. The walls were bright green with artistic accents and the bed had a black mosquito net. Our bed was big and comfortable, the A/C was plenty cool, and the shower had the only consistent hot water of our whole trip. I found the place to be quite clean considering how old and big it is. The pool was clean, peaceful, and secluded. On our last night, Helga invited us to paint something on our bedroom wall. She provided us with paint and we had the pleasure of adding to the Folly's visual history.
We truly had an experience we will never forget. If you are traveling on a really tight budget, or you are looking for a “modern luxurious retreat”, you may want to keep searching. If you want an experience you will never forget at a place like no where else in the world, I suggest Helga's Folly. Helga and her staff went above and beyond. Pointing us in all the right directions and making us feel like family. We got engaged on the second night of our stay! Helgas' Folly was instrumental in the process. Helga helped orchestrate and Lionel and the rest of the staff helped facilitate. From distracting my fiance' with an Aeruvedic massage and waiting for three hours while I picked out a ring to the sincere anticipation of the verdict, they really went the extra mile. They set the stage for the first scene of our lives and exceeded my expectations in doing so. Pretty sappy, I know, but the place brings it out in me. We had a hard time leaving and when we finally did we kept saying “I wish we were still at Helga's”.
Helga's Folly is not your average hotel or guesthouse. It is a historic landmark. It is a family. It is the set of a movie. A Goth-Victorian romance directed by Tim Burton and starring.....you. It is a constantly evolving canvas. It is a place to rest and to be inspired. It is a creative oasis in a world of sterile, boring, repetitive hotels. It is a work of art.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- HF is just a Sri Lankan’s home with some history and color, backed by jungle, and if expecting a regular hotel experience, best go elsewhere.... quite a different concept to a normal hotel. Please be assured that you should be interested in our hospitality, we will be delighted to assist you..Thank You ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Helga`s Folly Hotel Kandy
- Helgas Folly Kandy
- Helgas Folly Hotel Kandy