Caroline Clements

Heritance Kandalama

  • Where:
  • Why:A tour of Sri Lanka.
  • When:May 2017
  • Who:Me and my personal photographer @helloscruffalo.
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Heritance Kandalama Me enjoying the Geoffrey Bawa-designed furniture with Sri Lankan batik artwork on the wall behind.

Me enjoying the Geoffrey Bawa-designed furniture with Sri Lankan batik artwork on the wall behind.

Heritance Kandalama Incredible jungly vine-covered hotel façade.

Incredible jungly vine-covered hotel façade.

Heritance Kandalama Inside the room – all wood and warm colours.

Inside the room – all wood and warm colours.

Heritance Kandalama Illustrated vines on the walls in the bathrooms.

Illustrated vines on the walls in the bathrooms.

Heritance Kandalama The sauna on the top floor at the hotel’s in-house day spa.

The sauna on the top floor at the hotel’s in-house day spa.

Heritance Kandalama Descending the stairs - more Bawa design touches.

Descending the stairs - more Bawa design touches.

Heritance Kandalama The jungle-covered façade keeps rooms cool during heat of the day. Be careful of the monkeys that swing between the vines.

The jungle-covered façade keeps rooms cool during heat of the day. Be careful of the monkeys that swing between the vines.

Heritance Kandalama If you squint your eyes you will see and elephant dressed in formal attire on the Kandalama Tank (reservoir). The Tank was constructed more than 1700 years ago.

If you squint your eyes you will see and elephant dressed in formal attire on the Kandalama Tank (reservoir). The Tank was constructed more than 1700 years ago.

Heritance Kandalama The open-air lobby.

The open-air lobby.

Heritance Kandalama Pool number 1 (of 3) – the infinity pool that looks out towards Sigiriya Rock.

Pool number 1 (of 3) – the infinity pool that looks out towards Sigiriya Rock.

Heritance Kandalama Pool number 2 (of 3) – the forever-tranquil top deck pool, until someone bombs you.

Pool number 2 (of 3) – the forever-tranquil top deck pool, until someone bombs you.

Heritance Kandalama More epic views of the rocky jungle surrounds. You get a similar panoramic view from the main dining room over breakfast.

More epic views of the rocky jungle surrounds. You get a similar panoramic view from the main dining room over breakfast.

Highs & Lows

  • Despite being a big hotel (800m in length), the spaces and rooms feel small and intimate.

  • The Geoffrey Bawa design is very unique – the hotel’s structure is environmentally sensitive, built into the natural rocky landscape with jungle vines growing over the facade. The interior details are very Bawa too – incredible furniture with a contemporary/traditional balance.

  • Three swimming pools!

  • The buffet offered at breakfast and dinner with panoramic views.

  • Monkeys are real scavengers here. They approach you on your balcony and will steal things from your room. Make sure to lock your doors.

  • WiFi in Sri Lanka isn’t ever great - don’t get your hopes up here.

The Barometer

  • Design

  • Website

  • Environmental Consciousness

  • Night's Sleep

  • Service

  • Amenities

  • Takeable Treats

  • Refer a Friend

  • Overall Value

  • Life Changing

Total: 43/50

Important Bits

  • Type

    Isolated luxury hotel in the jungle.

  • Vibe

    A tranquil luxury retreat for the up-market traveller with all the comforts of a big hotel.

  • Location

    Isolated jungle location about 10kms from the nearest city. You may not leave the hotel though.

  • Rooms

    152

  • Music

    Some Sri Lankan instrumental music featuring drums and a flute.

  • Year Opened

    1994

  • Designed By

    One of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated architects Geoffrey Bawa.

  • Health & Wellness

    One gym and three amazing pools at different locations around the property.

  • Restaurant

    Yes two. The main dining room, Kanchana Restaurant, with epic buffet and panoramic views, and Kaludiya Restaurant (a la carte) upstairs. There is also Café Kachchan overlooking the infinity pool and Sigiriya Rock and serves snacks and drinks.

  • Bar

    Yes, Kachchan bar serving international and local beer and signature cocktails.

  • Minibar

    Not exciting – a few sodas and some chips.

  • Children

    All welcome. This is a reasonably large hotel and can definitely cater for children and families.

  • Price

    Reasonable five star hotel prices - worth it for the unique experience.

  • Website

    http://www.heritancehotels.com/kandalama/

Walk around the property

Walk around the property

Kandalama Tank, Dambulla, Central Province, Sri Lanka

Visit the Dambulla Cave temples

Visit the Dambulla Cave temples

Dambulla Cave Temple, Kandy - Jaffna Highway, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Climb Pidurangala Rock at dawn

Climb Pidurangala Rock at dawn

Pidurangala Rock, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Heritance Kandalama

Heritance Kandalama

Heritance Kandalama, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

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