Sri Lanka, Kandy & Around
Info : Helga's Folly
A legendary institution, Helgas Folly is truly one of a kind! Words to describe it escape me you really need to experience this place for yourself.
Suffice to say that antiques rub shoulders with pop art kitsch and a bizarre alien sculpture overlooks the swimming pool; that you could spend all day reading the cuttings on the wall about the proprietor, Helga Desilva Blow Pereras extraordinary family. Famous guests adorn the photographs and guest books, such as Vivien Leigh, who conducted an affair within the walls. You can enjoy an evening cocktails with candles like mountains of wax, glimmering and reflecting in the shapes and colours all around. Oh, and the Stereophonics even wrote a song about this place!
In truth there are more luxurious hotels in Kandy for the money you pay but none as interesting or as varied as this one. Every room is individual, every area has character and romance, every patch of wall is thoughtfully, though loudly, decorated. The design of the hotel seems to have grown organically over the years, reflecting the owners' expansive and eclectic taste. The colours are vivid and striking throughout. If you can tear your eyes away from the interior, the views are great too.
The service too is quite special with many of the staff veterans of many years service here and seemingly proud to work in this unique place for this unique hotelier. If you are lucky you may catch Helga holding fort over a cocktail and regaling you with stories of guests past and present. She says she refuses package groups and that what she loves best is the fascinating guests she gets to meet.
Standard rooms are available, but we recommend the deluxe or superior rooms. The 'Nutcracker Suite' is a wonderfully romantic extravaganza prefect for honeymoon couples.
This is a sociable hotel and one that will appeal to lovers of art and the unusual everywhere. It is friendly and laid back too and breakfast is served all day, reflecting an ethos that says guests should be allowed freedom while on holiday to enjoy themselves.
Even if you don't choose to stay, it is worth making time to visit for food or a drink, so unique and memorable is this place.
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Comfort - This is what we would describe as our standard category. These will be decent 3/4* hotels providing a really good level of service. We would generally expect them to be providing a little something extra, whether it is character, service or excellent facilities.
- Outdoor Pool
We called Harriet in the UK and asked to move to a hotel with more facilities or closer to town. Our request was relayed through Colombo to the manager and resulted in a visit from the owner asking how he could make our stay better.