Kandalama Hotle Hotel

, Dambulla, Sri Lanka
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Kandalama Hotle Hotel

, Dambulla
Dambulla, - Dambulla - Sri Lanka 11-230-8408
655 Traveller

Reviews - Kandalama Hotle Hotel

The most excellent hotel in the world
Submitted by: Whocherk in 04/07/06
  • Age Group: 26 - 30
  • From: Greece
  • Traveller type: Young Couple
Without doubt I will say this is the best of the best in world I have traveled a many are part of my life as a journalist around the world and I have stayed in hotels but I think simply this is extra ordinary. Kandalam is a place every one must go and experience. Service how the typical Lankan girl welcome you with a water Lilly is awesome and a personalize service and food is grate in this place all the gentleman's who are hear marvels. In my words this is a five star and (KANDALAMA) keep it up the good work.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Kandalama Hotle Hotel

Loved the Sound of Pouring Concrete

from Hampshirelad
Reading some of the previous posts about the building work and I was told by my tour company after pestering them,that it had finished ---- not so.Up until 8 pm on the evening of the 15th Feb my wife and I were treated to the sound of pouring concrete over the roof of our room 515 or similar - Sigyria wing. Being in the Construction industry I thought I might help them get the job over before dark but I had already decided to have a shower in the sexy spa baths which these rooms are blessed with. There are no curtains its just you the jungle and the monkeys.

So standing there in what is termed "the all together" and having a good scratch I was less than pleased to see one of the workmen waving at me from the roof above. People say I am friendly but I can assure readers of this post I am not that ---- friendly.

I went to sink my teeth in to duty Manager but as usual he had gone home and someone else had to take the flak.In the end I refused to pay my drinks bill.

To conclude - there is serious building work going on at this hotel so you need to take a very robust stance on the room you are offered. Your Tour Company will give you a load of rubbish about the work being completed all I can say is ----

However this Hotel is in a unique location and is an experience which should be enjoyed, clearly not all the posts have had our experience

Five Star Camping.A Stunner.

from PFoggSydney
When you are jaded of city/corporate life head for the Kandalama.
While Geoffrey Bawa's architecture is stunning, the most stunning aspect of the hotel is it's the setting;rainforest, lake and distant hills, not another building in sight. A glimpse of the world before people. It is a thoroughly magical spot.
The hotel is extremely comfortable without being the Ritz, The food is of high quality and is interesting. The service is all the more relaxing for not being fussy just attentive.
A birdwatching ride on an elephant at dawn where you can literally see hundreds of birds and not another person. If you can be bothered with an excursions, there a number of world heritage sites nearby. There is plenty to do if you wish to be active.f you want to shop go elsewhere. The Kandalama is place for people who appreciate quality without the need for pretentiousness.
The Kandalama is a gem. The swimming pool has one the best views of the planet. As does the double spa bath in your room.

View to Die For

from snwong48
Yes, hotel is still being refurbished but it's almost done. Nonetheless there was hardly any noise, dust or obvious signs of work being done. Instead, all I saw was the amazing view of the water, lotsa of wildlife and plants. The rooms have also been done up to match the enviroment and architecture of the building. The jacuzzi in the toilet with glass windows looking out to the lake are a definite plus! Swimming in the infinity pool at the end of a hard day of touring was also good way to end the day.

Staff were very pleasant and eager to please in a sincere manner.Food was top notch, there was plenty of choice and at reasonable prices. I would definetely recommend this place to anyone who is going to the cultural triangle. It's not far from any of the Unesco Heritage sites.

Building site - give it a miss for at least six months

from madassoup
We were very exicited about staying here and refurbishment to our wing was supposed to have been complete - oh so wrong!

We spent the week in the middle of a building site. There was construction noise from 08.00am to 20.00 pm every day (apart from when the Thai primer minister arrived for a stay). It drove us up the wall. It's was very very noisy.

So what was good and what was bad.....

Good stuff: The setting is beautiful. The food was excellent. You'll get a nice welcome basket and evening welcome cocktail with talk. Birdwatching (also lizards and monkeys) opportunities were brilliant. Staff were very attentive (sometimes overly so). The bathroom jacuzzi tub for two was just wonderful (overlooking the jungle too). If you like bats you will love the way they fly round the open areas at night.

Bad stuff: There was no hanging rail in the wadrobe. We asked for this to be rectified on three occasions but it never was. I spent a week living out my case. Very annoying. TV reception is very poor so I wouldn't bother trying to watch it. The location is very isolated. It's about three and half hours from the airport and once you get there if you want to go out you have to hire one of the hotels cars. It's easy to arrange trips but it will cost you. You can't just take a walk to a local shop or restaurant. You will need to stay on at least half board basis. Also make sure you budget for drinks as these are VERY expensive. There are never enough coffee sachets left in the room. These are left in three sachets which is stupid when there are two of you in the room!! We'd often ask for more and always they came with three. We noticed they kept having a leak in the ceiling above the bar. It was dried up and covered over a few times within the space of one week. There were signs our room hadn't quite been finished before they put us in the room. There were some loose wires at the light fittings which seemed unfinished.

What the hotel said: we asked them why they had opened when it was obvious they were not ready (bearing in mind we'd paid a LOT to stay there). They said they'd come under pressure from the owners (Aitken Spence I believe) to open up because there were people who wanted to come. We pointed out they were risking ruining their reputation and it seemed the staff were aware of this. They tried to apease us by offering some free stuff but to be honest all we wanted was to enjoy the setting in peace and quiet (the one thing they couldn't give us!).

We were dissapointed because we can see that eventually this hotel will be truly lovely but just not yet. THEY SHOULD NOT BE OPEN RIGHT NOW. Had I known I would have waited one year before going. The hotel reckon that the Sigirya wing will not be complete before May and then there is the Dambulla wing to start on. Don't say I haven't warned you!!

PS. The mossies are rife here so if you are prone to being bitten make sure you've got PLENTY of medication because there is no shop in the hotel to top up your supplies should you run out.

Loved the Kandalama

from A TripAdvisor Member
Excellent hotel! We went to it through Sunways tours so we paid less for the room. There were three good pools but two were very crowded. Otherwise they were clean and watched over. The towels were free and you had to take a shower before entering which was good. Food was lovely with good selection. Excellent staff and a grand welcoming wth a free drink, flower for women and towel. Well worth the trip!

One of a kind in the world

from A TripAdvisor Member
This is one of a kind in the entire world. I have stayed in major 5 star hotels in the world, and none can come close to the Kandalama. It is an owesome product of the the late genius artcitect J. Bhawa. If you visit Sri lanka you cannot afford not to stay at this hotel; If you do not plan to visit Sri lanka, Kandala itself is a good reason for rethinking the plan. Amazing service-from the minute you are welcome into the hotel to your departure. Breathtaking views. You need not be a nature lover/buff to be overwhelmed by the surroundings. Owesome food. Too bad--or perhaps too good, as one of my American friends put it--that only a handful American tourists visit the Kandalama hotel each year. Why would anybody want to visit any country when you can enjoy a hotel of this wonder for such unheard-off cheap rates in Sri Lanka?


from Starr010
This hotel is amazing, eco friendly, buffet food, pool on a rock, breathtaking view of a lake. The rooms are great too, not too big. The bathroom is awesome: the bathtub is next to a bay window so you can actually bathe while looking at the lake (in privacy).

Incredible experience but beware of monkeys on your balcony!

Some might not find it luxurious as you would expect a 5 star to be 'cos it's a very functional hotel being eco friendly and all....

Jaw-droppingly beautiful!!

from delta123
I had no idea what to expect when we booked to spend 5 days at Kandalama. The journey up from Columbo was amazing, I've never seen such vibrant towns or beautiful people. Our driver had a wealth of knowledge and was incredibly proud of his home country. When we arrived at the hotel we were greeted by smiling faces and whisked through the tunnel from the front and into the bar/lounge. As I walked outside I saw what is literally one of the most beautiful sights I've even seen, I honestly feel that my jaw dropped and a lump came to my throat. You look across a tank (lake) towards Sigiriya in the distance, it's amazing. There are troups of monkeys swinging around in the trees and onto the hotel balconies, there are all sorts of birds, we saw sea eagles swooping above the tank, bats, butterflies - all sorts. The rooms were much better than I'd expected, nice natural materials - wood, leather etc, but it was the bathroom that really made us giggle. Full length floor to ceiling window looking out towards the tank, you could have a shower or a bath with a family of monkeys sitting outside watching. The food in the hotel was out of this world, best hotel food we've ever eaten. The chefs really seemed to enjoy describing their fare and nothing was too much trouble - extra chillis, no problem!! The lounge upstairs was very relaxing, big comfy white sofas to chill out on and the downstairs bar was very good too, excellent for a lunchtime snack and incredibly cheap. We toured the local area - climbed Sigiriya during a downpour, which my partner tells me added to the experience!! We visited the caves at Dambulla, incredibly touching. We called into the elephant sanctuary on the drive back to the airport, this was brilliant, to see a huge herd of elephants making their way down a shopping street to reach the river for a bath was something else. Kandalama, Sri Lanka and the people really touched our hearts and I hope we'll be lucky enough to return one day.

A special place

from A TripAdvisor Member
The Kandalama is quite unique in many ways, but, it may not suit everyone's taste.
It's very secluded thus you eat every meal at the hotel.
It's several bumpy miles to the various historical sites.
The architecture is stark and can be a little sterile.
All that being said, it is a special place.
The infinity pool overlooking Sigiriya is remarkable!

What a wonderful hotel

from A TripAdvisor Member
If you want to be totally spoiled this is the hotel for you. You receive a lovely welcome, and nothing is too much trouble. The wildlife is wonderful, but beware of the naughty monkeys. A great place to relax. We were there for 6 nights and there was plenty to do. The food is excellent, the home made bread is a must. If you have time the hot air balloon is not to be missed.

Top Local Tips for Dambulla

only half board required The breakfast and evening meals are hige buffets, so I recommend you only go half board as light snacks such as club sandwiches etc are available any time during lunch/afternoon. A full lunch would be too much!

dambulla cave temples, sigiriya rock, elephant safari do them all - v accessible from hotel

Visiting Dambulla Caves WEAR SOCKS when visiting the caves. Footwear must be taken off and the stones roasting in the hot Sri Lankan sun is SCCCOORRCHING! Many other tourists were taken unawares and had their heels well and truly barbequed. The locals can do it but its not for most mortals man! Come totally prepared with socks, umbrellas, sunglasses and the torchlight for the caves.


Other names for Kandalama Hotle Hotel

  • kandalama hotel sri lanka
  • kandalama hotel dambulla
  • kandalama hotel
  • kandalama
  • hotel heritance kandalama
  • heritance kandalama dambulla
  • Address: Dambulla, - Dambulla - Sri Lanka
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