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“What an adventure”
Review of Helga's Folly

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Helga's Folly
Ranked #21 of 58 Hotels in Kandy
Reviewed 21 January 2014

I was at Helga's Folly over the christmas period and felt like this was the best christmas present possible. The detail in this place is unreal, there has been so much thought and loving energy that has been dedicated to this hotel, its unlike anything i have ever seen. Every room and hallway has amazing painting and bright colours, the furniture is so unusual i wish i could have taken it all back with me to Australia. The food and service was also fantastic, everyone there was so friendly and helpful. The pool is surrounded by jungle is is the perfect oasis to relax and unwind.
I met Helga and fell in love, she is a great hostess and makes sure everyone is comfortable and happy, I want to go back!!

Room Tip: any room will do, they are all so unique and amazing
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled solo
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5  Thank Bri H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 20 January 2014

If we had to pick only one reason to visit Kandy it would be for this late afternoon tea and early diner at "Helga's Folly"
We could not have expected what was awaiting us from arrival to departure.
It's not enough to have taste, knowledge in art or be a fantastic decorator to be able to create such a unique timeless place.
From arrival to departure you feel like captured by this house as if it was haunted.
From outside a simple building of concrete coloured in a strong burgundy, covered by drawings that took us more in the mood of the creepy hippie village walls that can be found in Goa.
So, we could not have imagined what contrast in sophistication was awaiting us behind the door!
The apple green painted walls of the reception stood in strong contrast to the red samurai style uniform of the barefoot young man welcoming us with his warm smile.
To describe each detail would not be possible but we had been captured by this place with all our senses!
From floor to ceiling art, photos, antiques, memories of a Helga's intriguing life covered the walls, shelves and tables. The smells and the music played added further to the emotions.
Further descriptions of what meet our eyes walking around all rooms on all floors will not and cannot be revealed! It has to be lived!
We sat with our emotions sipping our afternoon Tea of Cardamon Ginger served in the most elegant silverware in the main Living room feeling privileged and Royal.
We did not want to leave this place anymore!
Tea pot emptied and further Tea pot ordered till we decided to stay further for diner.
This 3 course delicious menu was served in a blue dining room lighten up with the sparkle of crystal hanging from the ceiling lightened by the mountains of melted candles on the baroque chandeliers.
So did our visit come to an end and Alice had to leave this Wonderland.
Waiting for the Tuk Tuk bringing us down to the city, I was surprised to be approached by the receptionist who wanted to transfer a phone call of the Mistress of the house.
In the most perfect British accent, I was welcomed in the house by Helga herself. She excused her lack of presence due to an old horseback accident.
A brief but intense moment of exchanged occurred and I was further bewitched by her words of life, heritage and Art that only can be expressed by Divas and Royal.
Leaving this place, we knew that we had just lived a historic moment in our lives like visiting the Pyramids, the Louvre or Versailles and such moments are always magical and indescribable.
Helga's Folly is a masterpieces that can be imagined by many but only realised by so very few...
A Real hidden Jewel for humanity that should be preserved for eternity.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
7  Thank Peter W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2014 via mobile

We popped in for a drink at the bar as the Lonely Planet suggested and were glad we did. It is a little way out of town up a hill, but well worth the walk. The lounge area is like an art museum filled with interesting paraphernalia and pictures. You could spend hours there taking it all in. We were fortunate enough to meet Helga who is a kind, eccentric lady and it's obvious she takes a lot if pride in the hotel and cares about the people who stay there. We didn't see the hotel rooms, but it's definitely worth a visit for a drink when you're in Kandy.

  • Stayed: January 2014
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
4  Thank Angel_Delightful
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2014 via mobile

Booked a four night stay but had to escape after 1 night! Rooms smelled so badly, not clean at all and the food was not even close to our expectations. This place needs an extreme makeover! I wonder if people that have rated this place with high grades on trip advisor are being serious??

Stayed: January 2014
5  Thank André M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 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, travelled 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
Reviewed 9 January 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 6 January 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, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Francesca B
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
Region: 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
Price Range: £62 - £93 (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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