The Kandy Esala Perahera can be considered as the island’s oldest and grandest Buddhist Cutural festival.
With its origins traceable as far back as to the 3rd century, the festival held today is a procession of pomp and pageantary with spectacular showmanship of hundreds of traditional dancers, drummers and even including elephants and tuskers who carry the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. Held Annually on the full moon poya day between mid July and mid August, this year it is set to take place from the 29th of July till the 8th of August. If you are hoping to head there to be a part of it, or are making last minute plans, we think we’ve got you covered on where to stay.
This hotel marries old world charm with comfortable and plush accommodation. Situated facing the Kandy Lake offering picturesque views of it, it is just walking distance from the main town centre, where the perahera takes place. The ambience of the hotel bears testament to a by-gone era, having been a privately owned mansion in the 17th century. The property is on a sprawling four acre property with well manicured gardens.
The rooms here are spacious and are decorated and furnished with traditional wooden furniture, and include standard and deluxe rooms as well as suites.
Staying at a standard double room on bed and breakfast basis could cost from LKR 17,500.
(However, do note that there are only a limited number of rooms available on certain days. So do give them a ring and enquire.)
This luxury hotel is about an hour’s drive away from the main Perahera Centre, but it is an ideal get away for those who want to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the chaotic main town. The hotel is a famous choice among honey mooners and families alike for being tucked away in lush greenery and the breathtaking Hunas falls it overlooks.
Apart from several dining options and a swimming pool both with stunning views, the hotel boasts of several facilities that stand out such as a tennis court, a library and even its own golf course.
Guests staying here can choose from a variety of rooms that include several honeymoon suites and special packages that start from about LKR 23,000 while a double room per night at Hunas Falls, starts from about LKR 30,000.
(As of now, rooms are available, so hurry!)
The Queens Hotel in Kandy, is the oldest in its vicinity, its iconic building having stood for over a hundred and fifty years. It may not be the best Kandy has to offer in terms of service, however, it being steeped in history and located smack bang in the middle of the Kandy Town, earns it a thumbs up from us.
The rooms here range from standard rooms to suites, including rooms with a private balcony offering a view of the perahera. The hotel offers facilities such as an outdoor pool, several dining and restaurant options and WiFi among others.
A double room on room only basis here starts from LKR 15, 000.
(Except for the 4th of August, rooms are available on all nights)
An old house turned into a charming budget hotel, this one is for the wallet watchers who are travelling on a budget. The hotel is in very close proximity to the Temple of the tooth and other attractions of the town. They offer four private rooms as well as dorm rooms that can sleep up to a total of 26 and even capsules – a concept relatively alien to the local hospitality scene. While the rooms are simple and artistic, the capsules are in the form of a barrel offering views of the city – a must try for anyone who isn’t claustrophobic.
Though the washrooms are common to all, they are clean and well maintained. The hostel offers free wifi , linen and towels, personal lockers and there is free access to the pantry.
Staying in a capsule or a dorm bedroom starts from about LKR 3000 while staying in a private room could cost about LKR 12,000.
(As of now, rooms are available, so hurry!)
A stunning manor house of Moorish origins, this villa is situated close to the Kandy City centre, well within walking distance to most attractions and even to the train and bus stations. The well maintained exterior and interior of the old building add on to the overall experience of staying in a home, as it offers accommodation options to suit various budgets.
Guests can choose from well appointed deluxe rooms, family rooms and even dormitory rooms. While the private rooms have their own attached bathrooms, the shared rooms include common bathrooms. The facilities offered here include house-keeping for the private rooms, and television and lockers for shared rooms. WiFi access and Sri Lankan or Western breakfast options are other notable facitlites.
Staying at a standard double room here costs about LKR 7,000 while a bed in a dorm room costs as low as about LKR 1,400.
(Only a limited number of rooms are available as they have a few rooms. Howver, most dorm rooms are available)
The Albatross is aptly named, for it is situated within the staggering 500 Acre Victoria Golf and Country Club in Digana, considered to be one of the most beautiful golf courses of Asia. The resort which sits facing the golf course, the Victoria dam and the Kandyan Mountains makes it a visual treat. The property is just under an hour away from the main town, but is ideal for a secluded get away, even if you are not a golf-lover.
The resort features 6 en-suite deluxe rooms that are well appointed and extremely spacious and two other grand suites, one or which a personal butler will be provided. Notable facilities include a pool and for the suites private Jacuzzi on the balcony, all open to the stunning views. The in-house cook will ensure meals are prepared to order and will let you have nothing short of a fine-dining experience.
A deluxe room at Albatross cost approximately LKR 20,000.
(As of now, rooms are available, so hurry!)
This beautiful property gets its name for its exterior which is made out of stone and is located only a five-minute drive away from the main town centre. A private get away for those who want to both explore the city and enjoy serenity, this property offers a well maintained garden to relax in, after a tiring day in the town. They boast of facilities such as a swimming pool and a library, and offer, on prior notice, services such as organizing of activities and excursions, and spa treatments.
The House is artfully decorated and the rooms are well furnished to suit travellers who seek luxury, who are spoilt for choice with plush rooms to indulgent suites. It is also notable that since the villa can also be booked in its entirety, it would be ideal for a large group as well.
A double room at the Stone House on average could cost from about LKR 38,000
(Only a limited rooms are available, but only on certain nights. So do call them and check up!)
If you are hoping to explore Sri Lanka’s culture this summer, then its best that you make your way to the Kandy house, a beautiful 200 year old heritage manor house restored to its former glory, now, to host guests.
The property takes on traditional Kandyan architecture, complete with pillars, arches and a central courtyard. The nine rooms here are named after indigenous butterflies, each of which has their own four-poster bed and open concept bathrooms, decorated with colourful upholstery and antique furnishing.
The property sits amidst extensive gardens, overlooking paddy fields, and has its own infinity pool. Guests staying here may choose to have their meals on their own verandah, or the main dining area that over looks the garden.
Staying at the Kandy House during the months of April to September can cost from LKR 34,500 while the entire property can be booked for LKR 293,000 all year round.
(They do not take bookings from online sites, so do give them a call to inquire about availability of rooms!)
Helga’s Folly in Kandy is a far cry from what the rest of the city exudes, and to quote their website, “if expecting a regular hotel experience, best look elsewhere”
What makes this 35 room property so different is the artistic and quirky manner in which its interior has been decorated, with haphazardly placed furniture, dark narrow corridors, and candelabras overflowing with candle-wax. The walls take on exuberant colours and hardly any wall space has been left bare, without a painting, a wall hanging or any ornament for that matter.
This place is probably not for all, and is best stayed at if you would really love a change from the mundane and is only about 20 mins from the City’s more traditional attractions.
A deluxe double room at Helga’s Folly starts from about LKR 23,000
Other things to note –
You can watch the perahera for free from the streets if you make sure you reach the streets on which the procession will proceed, well in advance of a few hours. However if you would like to guarantee yourself of a seat, some places such as Clock Inn and the Queens Hotel sell tickets and you can check out http://kandyperaherabookings.com/ for official tickets and other details. Do book well in advance to avoid disappointment.