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“Good resort on with good view”

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Heritance Kandalama
Ranked #2 of 16 Hotels in Dambulla
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 August 2014

I spent there 3 days during my honeymoon last year. It is a good resort with good service. The view is good, you can see a small lake. They have elephants that you can ride and cross the lake. Yet, make sure you don't pay extra tips as the prices are already high for the trip. If you go for a walk you can also visit the snakes. The food is wonderful and of high value compared to price. Yet, the rooms are relatively small but clean neat and well designed. The pools are not that good. The lower one is usable the upper one is not. You can buy from the hotel trips to go around. I would recommend you check the local rates ahead before you go as you can save 30% easily from their rate. You can do the safari and the rock.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank HNAsmar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 August 2014

We visited this hotel on a tour from the west coast of Sri Lanka and therefore were told about the very special nature of this hotel.

It is absolutely beautiful: an infinity pool looking over a lake; the prospect of seeing wild elephants, wildlife everywhere - including monkeys on your balcony in the morning. It has glass walls looking out onto the nature reserve so even in the shower you can see Sri Lanka's wildlife whilst washing. We loved out Jacuzzi too!

For us, that's where its charm ended...the food at the buffet was nice enough but for a hotel of its 'acclaim' I was disappointed at the fact that most people there were wearing 'day' clothes to dinner. I had had a silk dress steamed, wore it, and then had to go back and get changed because all of the women and many men were wearing shorts and t-shirts.

The bar serves fantastic cocktails and the bar staff were brilliant but there was no-one else there apart from us which is apparently fairly normal. It was only 10pm!

Beautiful location, good enough food but little atmosphere. Monkeys were enough for me, though!

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank leapealea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2014

I stayed at the Kandalama for 4 nights as part of a conference. The hotel is an amazing place, nestled into the landscape, and with spectacular views over the lake. The view reminded me very much of the views you get at lodges in South Africa's national parks. The rooms are well appointed with good working a/c, minibar, (old style) TV, safe, jug/tea/coffee, free bottled water, a desk, and a small couch. The bathroom is beautiful, well equipped and spotlessly clean. Best feature is the shower with bottom to ceiling glass, i.e. a great view. We were on level 2, so people could in theory see you having a shower, but 1) I never saw anybody down there, and 2) as soon as the hot water is on, the glass fogs up anyway. I loved it!
The main restaurant is nice, and has a huge variety of food - with a mix of Sri Lankan and other food (European, Asian). Staff are overall very friendly and helpful.
There are various pools, but one stands out, with its great view over the lake (see photo).
The main conference room on level 6 is great (though cooled to freezing temperatures), and the small break-out rooms on level 1 are a bit basic and lack a bit of love/design, but are functional. We had a function on the top of the hotel, where you have dinner on a lawn, outside - it was wonderful.
WiFi is free (get an access code at the front desk), and good throughout the hotel. However, it is very slow. Even the machines in the business centre (free to use) are very slow as well. According to staff this is due to their remote location, and resulting poor reception. If you just need to check your emails, it is fine, but if you need to download something, it is almost impossible.
The hotel is in the middle of nowhere, so don't expect to be walking to have dinner in town, or go shopping. I heard a tuk tuk to town is only 500 rupees (~$US4.00), and it is quite a drive on a dirt road.
Overall, I loved this place, and could have stayed longer.

Room Tip: Get a room higher up, so that you have a view over the lake. On level 2 (my room), you looked at tre...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank michanzl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2014

We stayed here for 3 nights as part of a Hayes and Jarvis tour. We were greeted by exceptionally friendly staff and given a cold towel to freshen up and a fruit drink. I loved our room beautifully decorated with tea and coffee facilities and a TV with movie channels in English. The view from the shower was amazing. The hotel has three great swimming pools and drinks and snacks are servedby the pool. The food is incredible with something to suit everyone. I really enjoyed dining outside in the evening, the lighting made it very romantic. We also enjoyed walking down to the lake and saw grey langurs, black faced monkeys, spotted deer, mongooses, giant squirrels, Palm squirrels and monitor lizards and of course the macaques were everywhere but not a nuisance.
This is a wonderful location for bird watching my favourites were the colourful barbets and the black hooded Orioles. In the evening they had musicians playing oriental music. They do elephant rides which seemed to last about an hour and the elephant walks in the lake. It's not my thing but lots of people did it early in the morning or between 4-5pm.

Room Tip: One side the rooms have a view of Sigiriya Rock. You need to be on floor 4 or above for the best vie...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank ALH57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2014

Firstly to get to this place you have to be prepared to undertake a road journey of about four hours ..... if you have a weak heart be prepared as the driving is just downright idiotic and dangerous. Even if you have a good careful driver you can be smashed to pieces by a bus or lorry coming straight at you whilst overtaking on a blind bend - Sri Lanka you need to sort this out !

On to the hotel - its actually a lovely place in a glorious setting. The rooms are sizeable and clean, the suites are very good with super views and a nice jacuzzi. The service on the whole is good but can be a little patchy accompanied by the "blank face".

This is definetly a family hotel - kids running riot everywhere. If you want peace and quiet dont go to this place.

Dining options are limited to buffet style only - whilst the food is perfectly ok it would be nice to be able to have a quiet dinner. The "Dinner in the cave" at US$350 for two is seriously poor value for money - the location is fabulous and the service great but the food is not what one would expect at this price - tinned peaches served with the starter ! errrrrrr i think not

They have a well equipped gym and the gear is all good - be warned there are quite frequent power cuts - a little tricky when one is on the treadmill as I learned form personal experience.......

The surrounding area is beautiful - great wildlife and a hike to the top of Kandalama rock is rewarded with spectacular views.

My advice to this hotel would be to look seriously at your positioning - this has the potential to be a world class destination so look at your pricing look at your value offer and decide what you want to offer your guests - to me it seems as though you are not quite sure hence the review title.

Would I go back ? frankly its not worth the effort to get there.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Kieran11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2014

I was sold by the photo featured in Silver Kris - a resort wrapped in lush greenery seemingly appearing out of the mist. Alas I was to be sorely disappointed. Don't get me wrong, this resort is deserving of its repute but unfortunately we didn't get to fully experience the place as it is perhaps meant to be - a chance to reconnect with nature. The place seems very popular with families with young children who were running amok and yelling at the top of their voices at the public places most of the time. Not my idea of a relaxing holiday at all but that's just me. If you do not mind squalling kids, this is perhaps a really good place as it has three beautiful pools, great scenery and a chance to get up close with the monkeys, squirrels, birds and butterflies.

We also took a "Dinner in a Cave" package which at USD350 for two, is decent but forgettable. The experience itself is quite nice and I really appreciated having the cave to just the two of us :-)

Given that we flew 3.5hrs and then took a 4hrs arduous car ride from the airport to get to this place, I would have not have bothered if I had the advantage of hindsight.

Room Tip: The suite has a fabulous view and a jacuzzi looking out to lush greenery. It's fab!
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Kerensa2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2014

For all those who are not comfortable with nature, this place is not for you. When I first entered the room, I saw two geckos crawl out from behind the wall painting. I thought it was going to be 3 long nights. We called room service three times to get rid of the geckos, which they did without killing them. They just released them back into nature. Respect.
Soon enough we began to appreciate the concept of this super luxurious hotel nestled right in the middle of nature with the most fascinating Eco architecture imaginable.
We began enjoying this harmony with nature in no time. The infinity pool overlooking meadows and pastures where cattle grazes and birds soar.. And a man made lake with naked trees standing in its water as a reminder of what it once used to be.. It's magic.
The concept of the place is impeccable. The friendly staff walk barefoot, and are super attentive to every detail, always smiling. The food is excellent at the snack overlooking the bar. Try the club sandwich. It's so filling my husband and I shared it.
For a quiet, refined dinner, we tried the Kaludiya restaurant opposite the buffet restaurant. My husband had the sizzling sea food platter - the best of his life. And I had the deviled prawns, which was so heavenly that I asked the chef for the recipe. Thank you chef Augustus, and thank you to the staff Daswintha, Sagara, and Rajitha for your wonderful treatment and for giving us the most memorable dinner in Sri Lanka.
The live band at the lounge was excellent. It's a nice way to sit and relax over a drink after your dinner.
Breakfast was by far the best we had in Sri Lanka. So rich, and so perfected across all cuisines.
Hats off Aitken spence for such a marvelous hotel.

Room Tip: Rooms in Dambulla wing are not so big, and have limited view. If budget is not a problem You might c...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Maya M
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
Region: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Dambulla
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Spa Hotel in Dambulla
#1 Family Hotel in Dambulla
#1 Romantic Hotel in Dambulla
#2 Luxury Hotel in Dambulla
Price Range: £109 - £343 (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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