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Tag: Heritance Kandalama

Green Table-Clothed Gem In Sri Lanka

A backlog of travel tales. I’ve finally found some time to write, recollect memories and relish in the folders of vibrant photographic images that was captured during our one and…

A backlog of travel tales. I’ve finally found some time to write, recollect memories and relish in the folders of vibrant photographic images that was captured during our one and half week visit to Sri Lanka. And so the stories unfold…

All packed and set to leave, we bolted straight out of the door and into a speeding taxi bound for Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Mindful not to be late, we quickly zipped into the check-in lane only to find that our flight to Colombo has been delayed for 4 hours! Our measly compensation was two RM20 food voucher and a weak apologetic smile from the Malaysian Airlines staff. We quickly filled up the hours with reading, Facebooking and catching a few cat winks.

Arriving in Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport, we were surrounded by touts as soon as we exited the doors. Thankfully our hotel driver of Taj Airport Hotels quickly came to our rescue, whizzing us into his car and off to our hotel for a few hours of solid sleep. The next day holds and early start and a long journey to our planned destination.

Bandara our transport assistant from Heritance Kandalama greeted us with a charming smile. Tan skinned and cherubic looking, Bandara constantly has a smile plastered on his face. He excitedly unveiled Sri Lanka in words as we journeyed 4 hours from Colombo to Dambulla, on the north-west region of Sri Lanka.

One must be super skilled and alert to be driving on Sri Lankan roads. The two lane dirt covered roads has no distinct lines on it, cars weaved in and our overtaking one another while skillfully avoiding oncoming traffic. I held my breath for the first hour every time Bandara overtook a car, but soon realized I may end up with a headache for lack of oxygen if I continued… I relented and sat back to blissfully enjoy the every changing scenery of paddy fields, verdant mountains and buzzing villagers.

The bumpy journey came to end as we rolled into a small lane canopied by trees on the left and right. Anticipating a huge majestic hotel in the middle of the forest, we saw instead we saw a basic structure covered with green creepers folding over like a natural tablecloth.

All packed and set to leave, we bolted straight out of the door and into a speeding taxi bound for Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Mindful not to be late, we quickly zipped into the check-in lane only to find that our flight to Colombo has been delayed for 4 hours! Our measly compensation was two RM20 food voucher and a weak apologetic smile from the Malaysian Airlines staff. We quickly filled up the hours with reading, Facebooking and catching a few cat winks.

Arriving in Sri Lanka’s Bandaranaike International Airport, we were surrounded by touts as soon as we exited the doors. Thankfully our hotel driver of Taj Airport Hotels quickly came to our rescue, whizzing us into his car and off to our hotel for a few hours of solid sleep. The next day holds and early start and a long journey to our planned destination.

Bandara our transport assistant from Heritance Kandalama greeted us with a charming smile. Tan skinned and cherubic looking, Bandara constantly has a smile plastered on his face. He excitedly unveiled Sri Lanka in words as we journeyed 4 hours from Colombo to Dambulla, on the north-west region of Sri Lanka.

One must be super skilled and alert to be driving on Sri Lankan roads. The two lane dirt covered roads has no distinct lines on it, cars weaved in and our overtaking one another while skillfully avoiding oncoming traffic. I held my breath for the first hour every time Bandara overtook a car, but soon realized I may end up with a headache for lack of oxygen if I continued… I relented and sat back to blissfully enjoy the every changing scenery of paddy fields, verdant mountains and buzzing villagers.

The bumpy journey came to end as we rolled into a small lane canopied by trees on the left and right. Anticipating a huge majestic hotel in the middle of the forest, we saw instead we saw a basic structure covered with green creepers folding over like a natural tablecloth.

Heritance Kandalama – Man-Made Nature’s Glory

Heritance Kandalama (18)

Since its inception in 1992 for construction, Heritance Kandalama had a very close stake to sustainability ensuring that from its development to operations, the area’s biodiversity and community must be preserved. Among many awards the hotel has won, it is also the first LEED certified hotel to be recognized outside of USA.

As though emerging out from the lush of nature, the Heritance Kandalama building was aligned to fit the profile of the craggy land. Instead of blasting stones or removing trees, they elevated the Dambulla and Sigiriya on stilts in order to eliminate any ecological impact.

Situated in Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle’s heartland, Heritance Kandalama is flanked by two UNESCO world heritage sites – the 1st Century BC Dambulla Cave Temple and the 5th Century AD Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The hotel is surrounded by rocky outcrops, lush forests, and overlooks the glistening Kandalama Tank.

With its commitment to sustainability, Heritance went one step further in setting up an Eco Park as a tool for wildlife and environment education. This is where waste from the hotel is being sorted and waste water treated. The Eco Park also has a unit for making paper out of elephant dung and waste paper and a nursery to cultivate indigenous seedlings. Over the years, this facility has also evolved into an animal rehabilitation centre where wildlife is rescued, cared for and prep for the wild.

Heritance Kandalama (29)Heritance Kandalama (44)

After 16 years, the hotel is not only conserving the environment, they are giving back to local communities and playing the role of a change agent in the country. Its doors are constantly open for the occasional sceptic, curious researchers, students and tasteful travellers who seek a different kind of travel experience.

This idea became a vision and turned into reality. Heritance Kandalama, not just a pride of Sri Lanka, but soon to be an example to the world. Watch the video and step into Heritance Kandalama, the ‘green table-clothed’ hotel as I dubbed it.

 

 

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