Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Heritance Kandalama Review.

Heritance Kandalama is a luxurious hotel built by Kandalama lake on a rock, and it oversees the lake, giving it a spectacular view and a view of rock fortress of Sigiriya.

Located in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka, my initial thoughts were: "This trip is going to suck and the Heritance Kandalama hotel better be nice" and I was pleasantly surprised that a hotel this far away from the city could be that nice.

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The bathroom:

I like the size of the bathroom, big and spacious is always good. The layout was pretty okay, and it gave me a sense of luxury. I would say, having a tub and a shower is pretty nice, and I liked the 2 sinks spaced apart. After trying out the showers and bathtub, I would say that they were finely made with attention to details. Even after a hot shower, the mirrors do not fog up. This is a great thing.

However, I still do not like artificially ventilated toilets. If the toilets were a little smaller, I would feel claustrophobic. To me, having a toilet that allows natural lights in and not using just lots of bulbs is definitely a must, and I was very disappointed even in this toilet as the hotel claims to be very Eco-friendly, but the whole dark toilet says otherwise.

Though the Heritance Kandalama Hotel was a Geoffrey Bawa architectural masterpiece, the toilets failed to inspire me, and I liked the little things that a lot of hotels do: Sharing the same cupboards with the room and the toilets, and this was also missing in my room.

The Bed

The bed was pretty comfortable and the room was spacious. The layout of the room was very nice, and it allows a panoramic view of Kandalama Lake. The bed was big and luxurious, though the pillows were a little soft.

The Room

Heritance Kandalama rooms were all very simple, I did not like the chairs in the rooms with Panoramic views at all. (See above) These chairs were hard and uncomfortable, and were only good for putting stuff on it. However, there are some "Plastic Chairs" that were much more comfortable in the balcony. I like the simple layout and the built of the windows and doors, but the choice of chairs? It boggles my mind that they would sacrifice comfort for looks... But what looks? The room is just plain. Give me some nice chairs to relax in while I have my tea and view the lake.

The larger rooms actually do have bigger chairs and more comfortable chairs, so I guess I have to deal with the chairs I have. Overall, I like the plain room, but not the chairs -- Unless you are in the luxury suite with big chairs.

The Entrance and Building

Heritance Kandalama has a great view and a distinct architecture.

The entrance is impressive especially after a long pathway of greenery on both sides. You get to a rock and it looks like the whole Heritance Kandalama Hotel is built on that rock.

The simple architecture on the insides do stand out at night, and it is pretty to look at.

The stairwell area seem very luxurious and spacious and is very pleasant to look at.

Well, I was very much wishing the night was over so that I can behold the great view of the morning lake, and I was awed by the beauty of Kandalama Lake in the morning.

The whole area transformed overnight, from pitch blackness to beautiful scenic view. It was very impressive.

The whole landscape changed. It was dark night to pretty lake... And waking up early to take in the fresh air and waiting for the sun to light up the lake is a breathtaking moment, photos alone cannot describe.

The amount of Greenery here is amazing. There is wildlife just at your door steps.

I walked down the corridor and it was very relaxing and pretty.

The views kept getting better, and it made up for the uncomfortable chairs.

Heritance Kandalama looked a lot more impressive in the day than the night, and the views were absolutely fabulous.

Wildlife is just right around the corner.

The Food

I am not impressed with any food in Sri Lanka as yet but when I was in Heritance Kandalama, I could feel that most of the food was made with -- Love.

Buffet was average with a wide selection, so pick a little. Some of the food at the buffet were excellent, while others a little salty. But overall the food was great and the deserts sinful.

The Pool

The pool is great, dipping in the infiniti edged pool with monkeys surrounded by nature is amazing. There are 3 pools in Kandalama, and I tried 2 of them, will probably have to try they last one the next time I'm back.


The service in Kandalama is simply amazing. The staff is rather attentive and you can have all sorts of customized 1 - 1 exclusive dinners at Kandalama.

There is a Village dinner where you pick your own vegetables, a "Cave in" dinner where you have meals in a cave, a "Bawa dinner" where people dress up serve you like royalty privately at a corner in the hotel...

You can get away with all sorts of customized dinner, and the staff will do it for you.


Heritance Kandalama is located near the ancient town of Dambulla.

Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the 2,000-year-old cave temple at Dambulla and the Sigiriya rock fortress are just minutes away from the Hotel. Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, ancient cities that date back to before the beginning of the Common Era, as well as the Minneriya wildlife sanctuary are situated within driving distance. Kandy is also not far away.


I had a great time at Heritance Kandalama, and I hope to visit it again soon.

--Reviews Guru

Other interesting and related blogs and links

Trip to Eco-Paradise 1
Trip to Eco-Paradise 2
Kandalama Heritance


Demate said...

This is a well balanced view of Heritance Kandalama, which shows it's glamorous features (Eco Highlights..etc) as well as things that needs to be taken in to consideration for the improvements.

The Author (Robin Low), is a skilled writer who expresses his views from a Traveler’s point of view and goes to the bottom in highlighting both +'s & -'s.

Using more photos will break the reading monotony in Blogs and the writer is using this theory in the most appropriate way. And also using Videos will put the Icing on the Cake and gives the smooth final touches.


Iron Bowl said...

Thanks for your comments..