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“Helga's Dreamland”
Review of Helga's Folly

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Helga's Folly
Ranked #23 of 56 Hotels in Kandy
Reviewed January 10, 2014

This is not a hotel. Yet simply mesmerizing a trip through Madam Helga's own consciousness. My girlfriend and I found ourselves wandering through the enigmatic hallways and rooms soaking in the various artwork and antique furniture with a sense of appreciation and serenity. It was an experience I'm sure not any other place in Sri Lanka can offer. The staff were genuinely friendly and Madam Helga herself called in twice to make sure our stay was pleasing. She enchanted us with stories behind the numerous enthralling murals found on the walls. The only critique I have to offer is that the staff needs to work on maintaining the place better. But then again they were understaffed that day due to holidays. If you are a traveler that prioritizes luxury and orderliness, I'm afraid this is not the place for you. But Madam Helga's fairy tale home definitely has its own sense of extravagance and unique indulgences to offer that I'm sure to leave the senses of the more tranquil and gratuitous wanderers' mind full of delight and whimsy.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Chapa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 9, 2014 via mobile

What can I say, absolutely magical place - Madamme Helga has created a truly unique experience at the Folly, which added a surprising twist on our travels round Sri Lanka. Everything from the showcase of Madamme Helgas amazing history and beautiful art on every wall, courteous staff, divinely delicious food, the spontaneous rooms each decorated differently (we had a beautiful high four poster bed), the classic music
playing continuously... Even the antique cutlery ! When we arrived it was unfortunately raining, but there was no better place to spend a rainy day as we sipped on coffee and devoured the ginger biscuits (coffee and biscuits all made fresh).
If you are in touch with your creative side, like to be surprised and delighted or you've forgotten what it's like to feel like a child ... This place is for you. And, although its more expensive than other places in Sri Lanka its worth every penny.

Thanks for a memorable experience we won't forget.

Katherine & Ben

  • Stayed: January 2014
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2  Thank Kat1986Murphy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

I came here only for the 10 dollar breakfast worth every cent...( as the LPlanet suggest) was able to look around for about an hour (though I tried to be discreet so as not to annoy other guests who were staying) and read with interest the story of Vivienne - enjoyed the wonderful ambience not found elsewhere in my life time.

It was like walking on to the set of Ms Haversham...in Great Expectations but with a touch more of a scare to it!! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

The staff do not speak English so this might be difficult in the longer term....but they were kind and attentive and suitably spooky!! My breakfast had lovely kind of ham/bacon, a fried egg I asked for , wonderful warm homemade breads, - plentiful and delicious... good coffee and juice and butter...and marmalade and truffles and tomatoes all perfectly cooked and eaten off clean plates and cutlery though certainly with a touch of old fashioned class! It was really grand. The place captured something of the past frozen in the present which evoked my childhood.
I could just imagine what it must have been like in the old days with the drama of the affair etc...and loved the old fashion Sinatra love songs playing. Whether I could stay here would be interesting..they appear to be updating a wing and this is maybe to bring it up to the standards required of the price on the tag...I viewed a room and was told it was 200 dollars a night for 2 people. I was staying down the road at 2,500 slruppees a night and did not think the room offered much better other than rather funky paints...but I guess you pay for the experience. I would go with a man but not on my own here..I think I might think it was haunted!! I think slow service might have me tapping my fingers..but if you can relax and just be....then it could be good. I found it an incredibly interesting and amazing place. Do not miss it...its worth the trouble to find...!!

Room Tip: again the room off the dining room looked to be the best...!!
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Francesca B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

Helga's Folly is a destination unto itself. If you are looking to be inspired by beauty, art and child like whimsy, this is the place for you. One of the artists has painted on the wall " I came here wanting. I leave here wanting nothing." My sentiments exactly! Thank you Helga for sharing your home and courageously offering your art to the world. Your staff let us quietly linger in every room and offered their services with grace and kindness. Such a romantic place offering so many avenues for inspiration!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank bluebelleHanoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Wanted a place with a peaceful environment for a day out..And then “Helgas folly” gave us an amazing, unforgettable and beautiful experience more than we expected on our very first visit. So we couldn’t think of a better place for a day out and went there again for the second time. All the attractive paintings, antique furniture and valuable photographs explained the proud history of Helga and her family..Every corner is decorated and furnished with valuable and kandyan antiques which shows the historical value of the place. Delicious food - served in their own way , swimming pool - enchanted by its angels , movie theater and the friendly staff made us feel that Helgas folly is definitely a place better than a hotel and more like a familiar home. It is absolutely beautiful and peaceful place to spend a day with your loved ones..There’s no other place in kandy with such a peaceful atmosphere.. Went there twice and waiting to go there again as soon as we get a vacation.. Thank you so much Helga for everything :D :D we will definitely come to your wonderland again.. soon :D :D

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Menaka S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Wherever we go in the world we always carefully select 'different' hotels, guest houses, yurts, log cabins etc.

We first discovered Helga's Folly approx 10 years ago whilst travelling on a business trip and now it always features prominently on our schedule when planning any Sri Lankan holiday trip.

Our recent tour took us to Kandy again, this time specifically for Helga's and an over night in the city. We love it's location high on the hills overlooking the city and enjoy the 'wander' down the hill to discover the hustle and bustle of the local markets. (Tuk tuk always used for the climb back however)

Receiving warm welcomes, we found the Folly as fascinating as ever. We were pleased with our room with its heavily hued pigments. Our young daughter loved her 'mini princess bed' as she referred to it with its colourful mosquito nets. No surprise that it's just been voted top hotel for the art enthusiast in the world!

The liveried team offered attentive yet respectfully service. We found both dinner and breakfast a tasty collection of offerings bursting with freshness seducing the tastebuds. There was no rushed service and we were allowed to relax sinking into the comfortable sofas to take our coffees. This was the perfect end to our meal whilst our daughter made her encouraged contribution to the enormous guest book with her colouring pencils. (As so many celebrities have beforehand)
All this to a mass of candlelight and gramophone music not experienced in any other part of the world to date -this to us is 'Helga's'

Helga's Folly we consider to be part of the old romantic notion that is the old Ceylon, the train journeys from the 'frozen in time' preserved stations, Hill Country, Mount Lavinia, Galle Face etc Try them all, especially the train trips!

As we have said before, not everyone will 'get it' (read Helga's warnings on the website) but if you (like many of Hollywoods finest) are brave enough to try & discover something uniquely different...Helga's will most certainly be a highlight of your trip!

If you want modern, all mod cons, minimalist and spotless with no appreciation of colonial, history, art and amiable eccentricity you won't get it, stay away.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank fordwater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013

My partner and I stayed at Helga's Folly just a few days ago, and albeit that our initial impressions were that it was unusual and very quirky, it soon turned into an unforgettable experience for all the wrong reasons! We arrived early for lunch (which took 2 hours to arrive even though we were the only people eating) and although the food was acceptable, both the napkins were disgusting, full of engrained stains and covered in what looked like engine oil! & the cleanliness throughout was atrocious........nothing had been cleaned for what seemed like ages! Our room was dilapidated, the toilet seat was broken, the bath hadn't been cleaned and there were hairs all over it, the ceiling fan didn't work and was hanging precariously from the ceiling, and there had clearly been no proper cleaning and maintenance done for years and years. Away from the main areas, the place had the feeling of a wildly painted mental institution, which hadn't been updated probably since Gregory Peck stayed there, and before we left at breakfast, we again both had more filthy napkins!! For over $200 a night, the place needs be either closed or totally renovated! It was also the most expensive place for drinks of all the places we went in Sri Lanka! Unbelievable and a total rip off!!

Room Tip: Go and look but don't stay there!!
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank SimonH578
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Helga's Folly

Address: 70 Rajaphilla Mawatha, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Kandy District > Kandy
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Romantic Hotel in Kandy
#8 Family Hotel in Kandy
Price Range: $83 - $149 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Helga's Folly 2.5*
Number of rooms: 15
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

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