If seclusion is what you are after and views over a stunning lake then Heritance Kandalama is exactly what you need. Tucked away in a jungle this hotel is a hidden gem. This hotel was built in the eighties by Geoffrey Bawa one of Sri Lanka’s most famous architects, he also designed the Heritance Ahungala. The length of this hotel is amazingly long stretching to one kilometre from one side to the other. From most rooms, it has views over lake Kandalama. Depending on the season the lake’s water levels vary, when it is full there is an island in the middle, and when I was there I noticed three elephants on it. The hotel is in excellent condition and there were many viewing points to admire throughout my stay. Heritance Kandalama is perfectly located to visit all the cultural triangle and the national parks have to offer.
The Heritance Kandalama has three swimming pools one of which is a natural rock pool. My favourite was the infinity pool directly overlooking the lake. Combined this with the mountain views and this is why the Heritance Kandalama Hotel is a jungle gem. I took the time to swim and take in this view as much as I could, whilst having a cocktail and the hotels own grown spicy cashew nuts.
Buffet Dining And Breakfast
The hotel has an excellent reputation throughout Sri Lanka for its fresh produce and for serving a very high standard of food. The food was all grown or butchered in house when it comes to meat, and they cater to all types of guests. The food was beautifully presented. I had an exclusive tour of their kitchen which is one of the largest in Asia with over 150 staff working there. The kitchen is spotless and I was very impressed by how there were many different sections so that the best possible outcome for food preparation and serving is made possible.
At the buffet just in a section outside, I liked the three chefs who were cooking fresh Mongolian food. It added a nice personal touch and I liked how you could see how the food was cooked right in front of me. Besides the buffet restaurant, there is also another restaurant that offers fine dining.
In speaking to, Executive Chef, Mr Giragama Prasantha, who has worked internationally as well, he explained that the key to this hotel’s success.
Sourcing fresh and local produce is why the Hertitance Kandalama has an excellent reputation. His 150 staff members are very passionate in creating the finest cuisines for over 500 guests.
Mr Giragama Prasantha, also explained that 73 of his chefs are competing in Colombo for a food competition. I had an exclusive peek to what they were creating and I wish them all the very best of luck. What I saw regarding food art, was truly amazing. The next morning I was given some homegrown and made passion fruit jam and mango chutney to take away, and it tastes amazing. Also all the chocolates are all made in house too and they tasted lovely too.
The cave dining area offers guests a different and unique experience. It is called the cave dining experience, which allows exclusive access to the hotel’s cave. in where guests can be wined and dined all evening. Guests are also serenaded and have their very own dedicated staff to spoil them. It is popular with honeymooners.
For breakfast, a wide selection of very healthy fresh food was served. I chose to have a soup which is only eaten in the morning. It is called Welpenela Kola Kenda, which is green in colour and can only be described as a warm herbal porridge. The pastries were freshly made and there was so much to choose here, too much for me to all try.
Room With A Lake View
My room was stunning for its amazing views overlooking the lake. What was very special on rare occasions I was greeted by many monkeys. The jungle plants which were on my balcony were a real rare treat to experience nature at its very best.
The room was lovely in décor and offered everything that I needed to make sure my stay was comfortable. Just being able to sit and take in this spectacular view was wonderful. If it could not get any better it certainly did when I opted to have a shower or a Jacuzzi.
Jacuzzi With A Lake View
The bathroom had a very modern large Jacuzzi, which also overlooked the lake and jungle view. This was amazing having a bath let alone a shower, it was paradise at its very best. This is an experience I won’t forget anytime soon.
The spa area offered many treatments, again with spectacular views overlooking the jungle. A must-try if you are looking to be pampered.
The Heritance Kandalama is rare in many ways. To be tucked away in the middle of nowhere and to be able to experience the finest of dining, swimming and nature observation. It is why this hotel has to be booked in advanced to avoid disappointment. The staff are very helpful and friendly and choose to go the extra mile for all guests. This hotel is also popular with Sri Lankans who come here for a getaway to enjoy both the lake views and food. This hotel is a unique luxury getaway, which will remain in my thoughts for a very long time. To all the 73 chefs participating regarding the food competition, this aside you’re all a winner to me.
- Website: www.heritancehotels.com/kandalama/
- Address: PO Box 11,Dambulla, Sri Lanka
- Phone: +94 66 5555 000