If I had to recommend ONE hotel in Srilanka, it would be The Heritance Kandalama Hotel, Dambulla. The reasons are many but let’s start by the fact that it was designed by the father of “tropical modernism” and one of the most influential Asian architects, Geoffrey Bawa.
The signature work of Geoffrey Bawa in Srilanka, Kandalama Hotel is a bold statement of minimalism and of visionary architecture. Built in harmony with its surrounding nature, the hotel is a natural “extension” of the one-kilometer rock landscape it beautifully lies on, as if it was forever part of this existing landscape.
When visiting the Kandalama Hotel in Dambulla, guests get to indulge in a five-star treatment amidst a setting that blends the wilderness of the jungle and the serenity of nature. Rising from the rocky nature around it, the hotel suggests a raw approach to architecture that embraces nature through an “eco-friendly” design respecting the best conservation practices.
Whilst in the comfort of our five-star room design, we could watch the monkeys playing from our balcony and hear the birds in the hallway. One can feel the heartbeat of nature while basking in luxury. The hotel even has an eco-park where conservation practices are showed to guests, such as the elephant dang paper making and the water treatment plants, as well as an eco-museum and an animal rehabilitation center.
Kandalama Hotel is distinguished by its gorgeous infinity pool (the Kachchan pool) that ingeniously blends with the blue waters of Kandalama lake – a real infinite view – while offering the best perspective of the World Heritage Site of Sigiriya Rock. Imagine relaxing in that pool with all that wonder around you!
The hotel has also two other pools, one of which is a natural pool (Kaludiya Pool) with a natural-rock bottom, another example of Geoffrey Bawa’s vision of blending architecture with nature and topography.
What we loved most during our stay:
♦The flautist playing his music by the infinity pool every day at sunset time. It was so enchanting it made this place even more surreal!
♦Our dinner in the garden of the buffet restaurant, under a full moon. If you’re lucky, you can also catch the same flautist playing his tunes there. There’s nothing more romantic than that!
♦A sunset stroll by the lake where you can enjoy the most mesmerizing views and a walk in nature.
Planning on visiting Srilanka soon? I highly recommend you stay at this hotel, at least one night! Book your room at Heritance Kandalama here.