The Heritance Kandalama
Dambulla, Sri Lanka
A landmark property with incredible views and in a fantastic location for sightseeing in the Ancient Cities area, Kandalama combines nature with comfort, welcoming the outside in, while making use of nature's own architecture.
At a Glance
Draped in vines - from a distance the hotel looks like an overgrown ruin
Designed by Sri Lanka's famous architect, Geoffrey Bawa who conceived it as an 'austere jungle palace'
It is used by some large upmarket package groups, although the hotel has such a style that independent travelers rarely find this cause for dissatisfaction.
Highly regarded for its cuisine, has three restaurants and a café, all with scenic views, offering a variety of Sri Lankan, western and eastern dishes
There has been criticism, however, of overpricing and overly formal service
Kandalama is in a spectacular position but it does feel large in comparison to most Sri Lankan hotels.Emma Mark
Meet our specialists
Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to The Heritance Kandalama or take a look at our itineraries to Ancient Cities
Designed by Geoffrey Bawa, Kandalama has been cleverly designed to blend in with the landscape and has incredible views of the surrounding lakes and tropical jungles. The hotel is perfectly situated for visiting the cultural areas, with Dambulla, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya just a short distance away.
Its 162 recently refurbished rooms are decorated in a contemporary style with huge windows to take advantage of the stunning views. Rooms are also fully equipped with air-conditioning, TVs with satellite, mini bar and coffee and tea making equipment. Spacious bathrooms feature either luxurious rain showers, bathtubs or Jacuzzis and some are glass fronted blending harmoniously with the natural surroundings. Each bathroom is tastefully supplied with a full range of custom made Kandalama toiletries.
There are three restaurants, three swimming pools, tennis courts, a gym and a Six Senses spa as well as plenty of outdoor activities available. The hotel offers guests a range of guided hikes, treks and excursions. Some of the local attractions include the Aligala caves, Kandalama rock and Sigirya, the ancient rock fortress and palace.
Kandalama offers 173 Rooms and Suites, consisting of Superior, Deluxe, Luxury Rooms and Suites, with views of the lake towards either Sigiriya or Dambulla. Rooms are also fully equipped with air conditioning, TVs with satellite, mini bar and coffee and tea making equipment. Spacious bathrooms feature either luxurious rain showers, bathtubs or Jacuzzis and some are glass fronted blending harmoniously with the natural surroundings.
Superior Rooms are located on the second, third, fourth and fifth floors in the Dambulla wing with private balconies and a view of the lake and the Dambulla Rock. The shower cubicles are equipped with giant rain shower heads to provide a refreshing, invigorating experience.
218 square feet (19.8 square meters)
Located on the fifth floor of the Dambulla wing with private balconies and a view of the lake and the Dambulla Rock.
Located on the second and third floors of the Sigiriya wing, with views of the famous rock fortress. They are larger than Superior Rooms, and the bathroom contains a separate bathtub as well as a shower cubicle.
Size: 264 square feet (25 square meters)
Located on the fourth and fifth floors of the Sigiriya wing, fitted with a private Jacuzzi with overhead rain shower complete with bathrobes and slippers. Some of the rooms have a double aspect over the lake and the mountains.
Size: 264 square feet (25 square meters)
Located on the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the Dambulla and Sigiriya wings, with a separate sitting area, two private balconies, and a DVD player, Suites provide you with more space to spread out and relax. They are ideal for families, as we can provide an extra bed in the sitting area. The bathroom has a Jacuzzi and separate rainshower cubicle, as well as bathrobes and slippers.
Size: 458 square feet (43 square meters)
Located on the seventh floor of the Dambulla wing, drink in the awe-inspiring views of Dambulla Rock, the golden Buddha statue and Kandalama lake from one of your two private balconies in your Luxury Suite.
The separate living area with sofa and chairs has its own LCD TV and DVD player (you can borrow DVDs from reception), or you can retire to your four-poster bed with a book.
No waiting to use the bathroom, either, as it comes with twin basins, Jacuzzi and separate rainshower cubicle.
Size: 772 square feet (72 square meters)
Located on the Fifth floor of the Sigiriya wing, the Royal Suite is more like having your own spacious apartment – it’s two comfortable suites sharing a living room. And with 24-hour butler service, you only have to ring if you need anything.
One of the bedrooms faces the lake, while the other overlooks the jungle. Both have four-poster beds, Jacuzzi and shower, and twin basins. Beautiful examples of local craftwork feature in batik-covered walls and handloom hangings and woven rugs.
The living room boasts a dining table that can seat 10 people – perfect for a dinner party, large families or business meetings. Alternatively, wind down on the comfortable sofas with a drink, discussing the day’s adventures or watching a DVD.
Size:1,294 square feet (120 square meters)
Children are welcome to come and stay at Kandalama. However, there are no specific facilities available for them at the hotel. There is a baby sitting service on request.
Facilities at the hotel include three restaurants (the ‘Kanchana’ restaurant serving world cuisine, ‘Kashyapa’ offering fabulous views of the Kandalama Lake and the Sigiriya rock fortress and 'Kalu Diya' for fine dining), three swimming pools, spa, tennis courts and gym. Services at the hotel include laundry, room service and baby sitting on request.
The Kandalama offers complimentary swimming, tennis, walking and birdwatching. Activities at an additional charge include spa treatments, cultural visits and elephant safaris. The hotel offers guests a range of guided hikes, treks and excursions. Some of the local attractions include the Aligala caves, Kandalama rock and Sigirya, the ancient rock fortress and palace. All excursions can be arranged in advance by Scott Dunn.
Location & Directions
Dambulla, Sri Lanka
Heritance Kandalama is located in the heart of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle, 20 minutes from the ancient town of Dambulla and 160km from Colombo.
When to go
The Maha monsoon blows from October to January, bringing rain to the North and East, while the dry season is from May to September. The North and East are comparatively dry, with around 1000mm of rain annually. There is also an inter-monsoonal period in October and November when rain can occur in many parts of the island. Out-of-season travel has its advantages – not only do the crowds go away but many airfares and accommodation prices drop right down. Nor does it rain all the time during the low season.