About Us

Sri Lanka Holiday Homes is a promoter of quality accommodation facilities for holiday stay in Sri Lanka.

Get The Latest News

Sign up to receive latest news

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sri Lanka, place for Sun Sea and Seafood

»»  read more

Sunday, August 9, 2009

An eco-hotel in Sri Lanka

It’s a nerve-wracking business, deciding what book to pack when travelling. The wrong novel in the wrong place can be a disaster, ruining either the holiday or the book – as I once discovered when I tried, and failed, to immerse myself in the snowy battlefields of War and Peace when baking on a beach in Greece.

The Heritance Kandalama in Sri Lanka, designed to merge with the surrounding landscape

It was by chance that I happened to be reading JG Ballard’s The Drowned World while travelling in Sri Lanka. Ballard, who died in April, is known for his novels depicting apocalyptic futures. That of The Drowned World is particularly nightmarish. Temperatures and sea levels have risen, and the few surviving humans, including the main character, Kerans, eke out a precarious existence in the penthouse suites of submerged hotels. Rendered almost catatonic by the heat, they are watched by packs of hungry reptiles – giant iguanas, monitor lizards, alligators and sea-snakes in salty lagoons – while an omnivorous jungle encroaches through windows shorn of their glass.

With this as yet unopened book in my bag, I blithely checked into the Heritance Kandalama in central Sri Lanka, the wondrous eco-hotel designed by the country’s best-loved architect, the late Geoffrey Bawa. A pioneering work of green architecture, the Kandalama is designed to merge with the landscape and rejects the usual segregation of inside and outside. Built into a dramatic outcrop of gneiss and surrounded by lush jungle and a large lake, it is a deeply sensuous place. Real boulders burst through the simple geometry of its walls, and the serpentine corridors are open to the breeze and the birds. Guests are encouraged to imitate the staff and walk barefoot on the soft, polished cement – either warm or cool depending on the time of day. Every so often on your travels you arrive at an exquisitely framed view, a Bawa trademark, with a table and chair positioned just so before it. The day begins and ends with a chorus of shrieks, beeps, croaks and hoots from the jungle, and there is little to do in between but sit by the turquoise infinity pool and let the heat and a Lion lager induce a state of lethargy.

Which is what I was doing when I opened The Drowned World. It turned my experience of the hotel on its head.

Beyond the pool, the vast and silent grey-blue lake was every bit as eerie as Ballard’s saltwater lagoons, and no doubt harboured similarly predatory reptiles. What’s more, bare, forked branches of dead trees stuck out of it, and birds of prey circled overhead. And then there was the hotel itself, so engulfed by jungle that it was impossible to tell where one ended and the other began: stringy vines dangled between each floor; grasses and succulents sprouted from the roof. Screeching monkeys ran amok.

The sun pounding the back of my head, I was projected a century into the future: mankind had been wiped out, and the hotel was a beautiful, terrible reminder of a lost civilisation, the jungle well advanced in its bid for repossession.

It was somewhat ironic, therefore, to discover that the Kandalama was doing everything it could to avert such an apocalyptic scenario. Guests are encouraged to relax in their Jacuzzis (there is one in every room) knowing that their dirty bath water will go on to irrigate the roof garden.

Since it first opened in 1994, the hotel has received a host of Green Globe awards, and embraced the “3 Rs” principle of “reduce, re-use and recycle”. Bawa did, in fact, design the hotel with the idea that the jungle would one day close over it.

This did nothing to dispel the disconcerting sense that I had slipped into the drowned world of Ballard’s book, however. Just as the novel’s characters are prone to heat-induced hallucinations and struggle to tell dreams from reality, I found myself strangely disorientated by the Kandalama. You arrive at what you believe to be the ground floor only to discover that it is the fifth, with several floors below you, down among dangling tap roots and dripping rocks. I spent a demented hour searching for an Olympic-sized swimming pool I had glimpsed from higher up, eventually concluding I’d imagined it (I found it the next day). And just as the inhabitants of Ballard’s drowned city are marooned in their high-rises, I soon became marooned in mine. Looking down on the canopy of the jungle from my balcony (on the ground floor, which is also the fifth), I couldn’t wait to go out walking. But my attempts to actually get to the jungle were constantly frustrated. Painted white footprints guided me gently but firmly back in a circle; when I ignored them, signs forbade me from going further without a guide. Imprisoned on my balcony, I resigned myself to listening to the ominous sound of branches being crushed underfoot, slowly and rhythmically, as some mammoth creature – an elephant, or a giant Ballardesque iguana – passed invisibly beneath.

What eventually poses the greatest threat to Kerans in The Drowned World is not the predatory reptiles, but other humans – namely the crazy Strangman and his thuggish entourage, who torture him and leave him for dead. When I heard that the hotel was expecting several government ministers for a political conference, I got nervous. The militant Tamil Tigers had been active in the preceding weeks. Surely the conference would make the Kandalama a target? I decided that the sensible thing to do was to leave the hotel for the day.

So it was that I spent peaceful hours gazing at great golden buddhas reclining in caves near Dambulla, 13km away. I forgot about Ballard, the heat, the lake – even the sun-dried corpse of a large, grinning monitor lizard I had stumbled upon in the hotel’s eco museum. By the time I got back to Kandalama, the politicians had gone.

A week to the day after my visit to the golden buddhas, I was listening to the radio in my kitchen in England when I heard the news: a bomb had exploded on a bus in Dambulla, killing 20 people and wounding dozens more. I sat down, shocked and tearful, as you are when you realise how close to danger you have come, and how others weren’t so lucky. It was only then, the powerful mood of the Ballard novel no longer exerting its hold, that I began to reconsider my stay in Sri Lanka.

Of all the places I had been, the Kandalama emerged as the refuge, exactly as Bawa had designed it to be – not a place where I was held captive, but a place where I had been allowed to experience the beauty of the virgin jungle without being allowed to damage it. It was the jungle that had needed protecting; the most threatening presence at the Kandalama had perhaps been me.

Heritance Kandalama, Dambulla, Sri Lanka; doubles from $146; www.heritancehotels.com

By Susan Elderkin
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009
»»  read more

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Caving also known as spelunking in the United States is the recreational sport of exploring caves. In contrast, speleology is the scientific study of caves and the cave environment.
The fascinating activity of Caving is relatively new to Sri Lanka , but with an impressive range of caves located throughout the country it's an unusual experience not to be missed! Known to the experts as ‘speleology', caving involves the exploration, surveying, mapping and photographing of caves situated around Sri Lanka . With some of Sri Lanka's caves dating back approximately 500 million years, this is an adventure into the prehistoric! Srilankan Expedition provides local experienced guides and all the necessary gear for caving (such as raincoat, head torches, helmets, ropes etc.) making the activity accessible to amateurs and experts alike.

And also the Sri Lanka is rich with having Cave temples as well. Dambulla Cave temple is one of the most popular temple of that kind.

Dambulla cave temple (also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla) is a World Heritage Site (1991) in Sri Lanka, situated in the central part of the country. This site is situated 148 km east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 m over the surrounding plains.There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over 5 caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Lord Buddha and his life. There are total of 153 Buddha statues, 3 statues of Sri Lankan kings and 4 statues of gods and goddesses. The latter include two statues of Hindu gods, the god Vishnu and the god Ganesh. The murals cover an area of 2,100 square meters. Depictions on the walls of the caves include the temptation by the demon Mara, and Buddha's first sermon.
Prehistoric Sri Lankans would have lived in these cave complexes before the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka as there are burial sites with human skeletons about 2700 years old in this area, at Ibbankatuwa near the Dambulla cave complexes.

To feel the caving in adventurous placers can be organized by contacting Sri Lankan Expeditions.
»»  read more

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bolgoda Holiday Bungalow


The Ad'Venture Holiday Home is built within a 100 perches of land located in Kahapola, Piliyandala, facing the largest natural lake in Sri Lanka, the Bolgoda Lake.

Holiday Home is only 15 Miles away from Colombo and is situated in a village named Kahapola. The Piliyandala town is only 2 miles from the Holiday Home. The access route manifest typical Sri Lanka village culture. Located in one of the spectacular edges of the lake combined with unspoilt natural beauty,

Holiday Home is surrounded by paddy fields, rubber cultivations and more importantly 300 feet of lake front. Location is ideally suited for fishing, bird watching, boating, wind surfing and water skiing for more energetic.Facilities available include, 2,000 Sq feet Lobby, Cooking Facilities, Office Room and support facilities in the main building and one chalet with 2 fully furnished bedrooms and attached

Further it has ample parking, well turfed garden, Summer hut, Domestic Toilets and many other. Equipments include Paddle Boat, Speed Boat, wind Surfing Equipments and

This Holiday home is open for bookings for weekdays or weekends .Location is ideal for Vacations & Holidays, Picnics,Camping and Family outings, Get together, Office functions and Wedding Receptions. Cooking facilities with a caretaker is provided free of charge. Please click below for Booking Options and applicable rates

For more information visit www.srilankastay.com
»»  read more

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sri Lanka Tourism Arrivals from Middle East Rises


Sri Lanka Tourism Arrivals from Middle East Rises

Aug 02, 2009

Post-war tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka from the Middle East have surged by a 85 per cent as an increasing number of travellers from the region visited the island nation according to Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau’s Middle East office.

“The month of June has seen exceptional growth with travellers from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates leading the resurgence to post extraordinary growth during the month of June with Saudi travelers up by 186 per cent and UAE travellers up by 181 per cent compared to the same month last year,” said SLTPB’s Middle East Director, Heba Al Ghais Al Mansoori.

She noted that travellers from other Gulf countries including Qatar and Oman as well as Lebanon and Egypt contributed significantly to the overall growth in tourism arrivals. “We are confident that this growth will be sustained and we hope to better our numbers during the Eid break and year-end through sustained promotional efforts and strengthening support for the travel trade in the region as we see an increased awareness both among the travel trade and the consumers for Sri Lanka as a preferred destination,” observed Al Mansoori.

Cultural attractions, entertainment, shopping, and dining are some of the factors that draw modern day Arab travelers to their preferred destinations and Sri Lanka offers a good product that scores on all counts and is less than four hours flying time away from the Gulf.

»»  read more