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“Unique and Lovely” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Helga's Folly

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Helga's Folly
Ranked #26 of 58 Hotels in Kandy
Lynchburg, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Unique and Lovely”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 August 2013

Helga's Folly is not about being a hotel and restaurant, though it is that. It is also not about being a tribute to a remarkable woman and her life, though it is that too. Instead, I would say Helga's Folly is about being a lovely window into the most imaginative version of an era possible. You get to see a wonderful combination of whimsical imagination (in the paintings on walls and the decorations) and a historical era (with the Cole Porter music playing and the newspaper articles about Sri Lankan independence and Helga's extraordinary family, it feels very much like you are in an old but progressive English country home). This is a place not just to stay and eat at, but a place to soak in.

The staff is very kind and attentive, the rooms are beautiful, the food is great, and the new Jane Lillian Vance Grotto is a tribute to artistic accomplishment. Getting to meet and talk with Helga is also a huge plus. But most of all, perhaps, come here and sit down and wonder at the world Helga has created. Be inspired by the artistic and imaginative accomplishment of it all.

Well worth an extended visit.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Emerson S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Blythspirit77, Public Relations Manager at Helga's Folly, responded to this review, 7 November 2013
Thank you so very much for taking your valuable time to write to Tripadvisor.
We are so very happy that you understood the house and were happy here.
Helgas Folly is home to many of us who have been here for many, many decades..Your review was much appreciated..Thank you again.All the very best and hope to see you here again. A big welcome awaits.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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487 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
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English first
Blacksburg, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2013

After staying at Helga's Folly in Kandy, any other hotel anywhere in the world would feel bland and boring. Every inch, and I mean EVERY inch including the ceiling, is a treat for your eyes with paintings of trees, flowers, sun-faces, curious cats and much more. The art on the walls isn't the only thing that sets Helga's Folly apart; the walls contain photos of Helga's family and old historic family photographs that document part of Sri Lankan history. Have a breakfast of fresh papaya with fresh lime juice and string hoppers while the monkeys watch to see if you will turn your back long enough for them to swipe something from your table. Have a cocktail in the living room that opens into a beautiful garden or take a dip in the secluded pool. You will be treated to the voices of Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong and Elvis as you dine on a deliciously prepared dinner of fresh food served by an attentive and friendly staff. Ask for the chili chocolate pot for dessert! And if you are fortunate you will talk with Helga, who is a most gracious host and a beautiful person, inside and out. This really is her home and it is an extension of her warm personality.... she sees to every detail. Don't miss it.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Reba H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
50 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2013

Helga's Folly Hotel is well worth a visit. It has such a quirky distinct décor and every corner is filled with something unique and interesting, walls are hand painted with distinct artwork, you can see the outdoor pool, hotel rooms and dine in the bar or restaurant. The jungle backs right onto the hotel so I imagine it would be lovely to listen to the soothing jungle sounds at night if you stayed there. You can wander around the hotel for US$3 or just buy something small at the restaurant and you don't have to pay anything. I really wanted to meet Helga and asked the staff and they phoned her but unfortunately she wasn't feeling well. Despite this she insisted on chatting to me on the phone - definitely a memorable and interesting woman!

Room Tip: I didn't stay here - I just looked around and ate at the restaurant but can imagine spending a n...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank karenpnz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2013

Madame Helga DeSilva Blow Perera should be as famous as Henri Matisse or Frida Kahlo. Her large family home is her oeuvre, and you get to stay in it, surrounded by antiques, whimsically painted walls, ornamented ceilings, and the most art you will ever see displayed in one house. The food is A+ excellent (so are the gins & tonics); the service is wonderful; the atmosphere is so magical you will never be able to explain your experience. NOT TO BE MISSED.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank janelillianvance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 July 2013

An amazing find on the hills overlooking Kandy lake. This is an family home from the 1930's which is now also a hotel run by Helga, who was brought up in the house.

This is not like any hotel I have ever stayed in in the world. It has spectacular ornate bedrooms and wonderful common areas. And a very personal service, and nice food.

Definitedly recommended as something unusual and very special. We really enjoyed out one day there.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank rational_lemming
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2013 via mobile

Not for those seeking 5 star luxury so don't look for it here. What you do get is a unique experience that you will want to tell your friends about. You could easily spent an hour taking in all the momentoes in the lounge area.
Note that the Trip Advisor map location is wrong!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank AndyBruce123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 June 2013 via mobile

We stayed one night and the experience lived up to expectations. From the moment we arrived, we felt extremely well looked after. This is not your classic hotel but the luxury is in the details at Helga's Folly. Satin bed sheets, silver tea pots and the general feeling that no request is too unreasonable. The place gives a great insight into the Burgher lifestyle, a little known (to us, at least) but fascinating part of Sri Lanka's history. The best example of this being Madam Helga herself, who personally ensured that we enjoyed our stay. This will remain one of the best memories of our trip!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank AndFu
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

Property: Helga's Folly
Address: 70 Rajaphilla Mawatha, Kandy 20000, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Central Province > 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
#10 Family Hotel in Kandy
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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