We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A Truly Unique Experience - What A Place To Stay!”
Review of Helga's Folly

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 5 more sites!
Helga's Folly
Ranked #22 of 56 Hotels in Kandy
Reviewed September 16, 2009

We stayed 4 days at Helgas Folly in August, having read about the hotel in several guide books. From what we had read and their web site, we were fascinated and decided to book this hotel in Kandy rather than a standard guest house or soulful hotel. True : even though the war has ended, tourism is dead in Sri Lanka - hence ALL hotels (if still open and functioning) have no guests. We were charmed and cannot voice one complaint. We are amazed to read some of the remarks here and just wonder what these complainants were expecting because Helga's is clearly written everywhere as being "an eccentric experience" which it surely is. It is not a big hotel (more like a someone's large private house which in the UK we would call a "boutique hotel"), has really friendly staff and we couldn't complain about the food at all. The menu has amazing choice and tasted good. There were quite a few guests staying at the same time as us so our stay turned into a lovely house party - meeting new friends. I have to say that our stay at Helgas was the highlight of our tour in SL.

Incidentaly we didn't notice a smell, see a cockroach (although a monkey did a poo on our hire car roof) or notice any dust or dirt. It was just fab, fab, fab and will go back again if we ever visit Sri Lanka in the future when tourism picks up.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank Malabar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (544)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

448 - 454 of 543 reviews

Reviewed September 11, 2009

Helga's Folly is not for imature or griping tourists. It is for sophisticated travellers who don't shirek when they see a monkey or an ant on the drive. There are tedious reviewers who seems to show astonishment at being in a rural idyll in Kandy and wonder why everything isn't the same as 'back home'. If you love the real Sri Lanka, are willing to be surprised and delighted by a beautiful and laid back natural environment in a home from home which is NOT a faceless, pristine 5 star hotel...but a glorious experience, then I urge you to try Helga's Folly. At Helga's it is discreet, private and homely. You can walk around with bananas on your ears and no one would mind. I always feel 100 percent relqxed here as does my 12 year old son and husband. We would not want the Folly to be anything but a Folly...the brainchild of brilliant Helga who wafts around the establishment with cheerful insouciance, kindness and the style of a latter day Coco Chanel. If you're an inexperience traveller with a love of plastic hotels, please do not visit.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank freethespirit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2009

We were two families travelling around Sri Lanka last xmas and having read about Helgas Folly over the years decided to treat ourselves to 3 nights here. We have all travelled extensively and stayed in Back packers and 5 star palaces. Nothing prepared us for how we had been taken in by the hype surronding this place. Being the only guests there at peak season was disconcerting and we rattled around in the cavernous dusty place like something out of a surreal film. The food served on our first night was for the most part inedible, not just plain or boring but horrible!
The rooms were 'interesting' but dirty and had cockroaches. Dirty malfunctioning bathrooms are neither fun nor quirky, I really don't think it is too much to expect a warm bath or working shower when you are paying these prices.
The pool area was lethal with dangerous slippy tiles all around, missing mosaics and an unfenced drop on to metal stairs or stone just yards from the edge of the pool. We could not even let our older children go there without an adult as we were having to constantly remind them not to walk near the edge. This was a major downside and had I known about the state of the pool I certainly would not have booked to stay here.
Helgas seems to pride itself on a reputation earnt 20 years ago, but nothing has changed and we felt tricked by the marketing. None of us wanted to stay in a faceless 5 star hotel and be served English food as they like to bang on about if people dare to complain. However when you are paying over $2000 for 3 adults and 6 children for 3 nights one should expect: good food, clean, safe surrondings and working bathrooms. We filed a questionaire at the end of the stay, reflecting pretty much the above and received back a condecending reply but no apology for the fact we had blown the budget and had not enjoyed it.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank kentlisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2009

Helga's Folly has a fascinating history, bewitching decor, quirky and unusually obliging staff, a private cinema and the best views of anywhere I stayed during my trip. I had a fantastic stay there, and felt comfortable and very well looked after - but then again I did not go expecting Caesar salads on room service and state of the art American bathroom fixtures . Had the people who wrote the last reviews taken a cursory look at the guide books before booking, surely they wouldn't have either. I don't see how one can complain about paying $120 a night to stay in such a charming and eccentrically luxurious place...it's rather like complaining about having invested time in reading a Dickens or Tolstoy novel because it has too few erotic scenes.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank Julia1605
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2009

The hotel was recommended to us by friends. We called to get the rooms rates and it was incredible 120$ per night. It is hard to find another hotel in Kandy charging this in these times (Sri Lankas tourism suffers and everywhere you get much better rates than usual). So we decided to stay in a first class heritage hotel for 40$ (!!!) but wanted to explore this place and went for dinner.
We found the place empty, us being the only customers. Yes a lot of fantasy was put into this place but the artistic skills which put them into reality seemed to be those of a 12 year old and chaotic combination of rundom things. Sure there are some tasteful corners- but most of them are not! And those which were nice were disturbing due to dust, dirt and smell...
The food served to us was horrible!!!! They served the wrong pasta and this we got I could have done much better (and I am not a good cook), the chicken was tough and dry. They even had the brazenness to serve a starch flower sauce with no taste (a Rum chicken was promissed) and the vegetables were cooked with cheap and horrible tasting coconut oil. We nearly didnt touch our food and uppon complaining the staff just shrugged. However we insisted on just paying half and this was subject to a long horrible discussions with the staff.
We had a glimpse at the rooms also. Definately fun for 1/10 of the price but the dust, dumpy smell, holes in mosquito nets, gloomy colors certainly reduces the enjoyment I guess...
The overall experience made me think that the positive reviews here come from Madame Helga herself or people for whom 20$ or 120$ doesnt make any difference.
ABSOLUTELY NOT WORTH THE MONEY and NERVS!

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank AdlerHorst24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2009

We just went for lunch, not having too much time, we asked for 2 simple dishes but had to wait 1 hour for them to serve us (although they said "30 mins ready madam"), despite us being the only customers. The prices are crazily exaggerated and the food not that great (pasta overcooked), and the 3 USD lime soda comes in a tiny mini-glass.

While waiting we did visit the rooms, which are decorated with much fantasy but do lack hygiene and certainly do not justify the 140 USD they claim the rates are for 1 night.

Best thing to do, go for a cup of tea to admire the decor, but leave it at that!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank nomadeglobal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2009

Sad and dusty - made me think of Miss Havisham. Certainly could do with a good clean all round..

Helga also decorated this herself in incredibly vivid colours... okay if you can sleep through a riot of pink.

A unique experience!

Stayed: February 2009
1  Thank amswifty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Kandy hotels
0.3 mi away
OZO Kandy Sri Lanka
0.4 mi away
Hotel Thilanka
Hotel Thilanka
#13 of 56 in Kandy
1,342 reviews
1.7 mi away
The Richmond House Kandy
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
1.3 mi away
Amaara Sky Hotel Kandy
Amaara Sky Hotel Kandy
#15 of 56 in Kandy
388 reviews
2.4 mi away
Earl's Regent Hotel
Earl's Regent Hotel
#10 of 56 in Kandy
829 reviews
2.1 mi away
Elephant Stables
Elephant Stables
#1 of 56 in Kandy
570 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Helga's Folly? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline, Travelocity, Booking.com, Orbitz and Agoda so you can book your Helga's Folly reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Helga`s Folly Hotel Kandy
Helgas Folly Kandy
Helgas Folly Hotel Kandy

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing