Helga's Folly is a thoroughly individualistic Kandy hotel – a slice of art nouveau situated above the Kandy Lake. In the eyes of its flamboyant owner Helga de Silva Blow Perera, it is not as much a boutique hotel as a welcoming home that her mother, Esme De Silva, originally designed in the 1930s. The interiors and exteriors of this home act as the canvas for Helga’s own individualistic creative expression, and are adorned with whimsical murals, baubles and chandeliers, antique couches and beds draped in vibrant silks, old photographs and wax-laden candlesticks straight out of a Gothic novel. The Folly’s heady blend of Sixties flower-power and high-camp will appeal to those seeking an imaginative alternative to routine hotel life. Guests are welcomed with a sense of warmth and hospitality that is enduring. If you crave modernity, predictability and obsessive cleanliness perhaps look elsewhere.
There are 17 rooms - 8 Deluxe and 8 Standard rooms, all with private balconies overlooking the gardens, and the spacious Nutcracker Suite, which has its own special entrance and is ideal for a couple on a romantic holiday. Rooms are simple but wonderfully decorated. No two rooms are alike and interiors are a fusion of colours, soft flowing fabrics, and mood lighting. Most rooms are furnished with Dutch period antiques including four-poster beds dressed in vibrantly-coloured mosquito netting. Even the ensuite bathrooms are interesting in their décor and consist of h/w shower, washbasin and w/c. In-room facilities include a/c and overhead fans. Rooms at Helga’s Folly would benefit from some upgrading and expectations should not be of standards sought in the highest class boutique hotels.
Standard Rooms: Each of the standard rooms has a small balcony overlooking the gardens.
Deluxe Rooms: The Deluxe Rooms are more spacious with a sitting area as well as a private balcony.
Nutcracker Suite: Located on the upper floor, consisting of a spacious bedroom furnished with a double bed, private living room and dining area furnished with an eight-seater round table.
Each of the areas in the hotel is decorated from floor to ceiling in a style that is unique. Those who seek modern boutique luxury may feel some of the grandeur is slightly tatty; most adore it for what it is. Chandeliers, tall candelabras laden with wax, a hand-wound phonograph playing sounds of Cole Porter, antiques, a profusion of ornaments and pieces of art are scattered throughout creating a different mood in each area including the lounge, restaurant, bar, private dining room, library, and writing room. The hotel also has a large collection of 1930s movies which enhance its recreation of a bygone era, which are screened at the in-house cinema equipped with an 11 ft screen. There are no meal times at Helga’s Folly: a restaurant meal can be a minor event and breakfast has been known to be taken at 2pm. Creative and sumptuous fusion cuisine is served anywhere that guests desire – in the main dining room, by the pool or in your room. Complementary home baked cake or cookies are served with afternoon tea. The tropical garden with sitting area has panoramic views of Kandy. There is a small swimming pool and some indoor board games. Fantasy weddings are a specialty at Helga’s Folly.
Why We Like It
We love the crazy individuality of the antiques and heirlooms in Sri Lanka's most doolally anti-hotel.
Helga's Folly sits on a hill above the Kandy Lake just 10 minutes away from Kandy’s ancient temples and museums.