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Helga's Folly
 
 
 
 
 
    Over Viwe
 
Helga's Folly, in the eyes of its flamboyant owner, Helga de Silva Blow Perera - is not as much a boutique hotel as a welcoming home that her mother, Esme De Silva originally designed in the 1930s. Over the years Helga has brought to life the interiors and exteriors of this home with her own individualistic creative expression enhancing the walls with whimsical murals; ceilings with baubles and chandeliers; antique couches and beds draped in vibrant silks; hallways filled with old photos and stories of colourful personalities that have passed through here; and wax-laden candlesticks straight out of a Gothic novel. Helga herself was described by The Times as “a benevolent Cruella De Vil,'' complete even with a pet Dalmatian. The Stereophonics once wrote a song in praise of Helga and to extend the arty theme, Peter Finch and Vivien Leigh had such a theatrical row here at the Folly that Leigh shredded a bible in fury over Finch's lack of long-term commitment.

The Folly’s heady blend of Sixties flower-power and high-camp will appeal to those seeking an imaginative alternative to routine hotel life. "Some come for a night and stay for a month," says Helga and the staid may flee at first sight, in search of normality. Yet, for all that, this enchanting and alternative place is very much a Sri Lankan home where guests are welcomed with a sense of warmth and hospitality that is enduring. For those that have stayed here time and again, Helga’s Folly is a regular pilgrimage with most booking their favourite room well in advance. Helga’s Folly is ideal for a romantic escape or even friends travelling together.
 
 
    Rooms
 
There are 17 rooms - 8 Deluxe and 8 Standard rooms all with private balconies overlooking the gardens. The spacious Nutcracker Suite 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 with interiors in a fusion of colours, soft flowing fabrics, and mood lighting. Most rooms are furnished with Dutch period antiques including four poster beds dressed in flowing, coloured mosquito netting. The ensuite bathrooms are equally 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 and has a sitting area as well as a private balcony

    .
  • Nutcracker Suite:
  • This wonderfully designed suite is located on the upper floor and consists of a spacious bedroom furnished with a double bed, private living room and dining area furnished with an 8 seater round table.

     
     
        Lacation
     
    Helga's Folly is a thoroughly individualistic hotel – a slice of art nouveau situated above the Kandy Lake just 10 minutes away from Kandy’s ancient temples and museums. The journey to Kandy from Colombo’s international airport will take about 3.5 hours
     
     
        Facilities
     
    Each of the areas in the hotel is decorated from floor to ceiling in a style that is unique – murals, tapestries, old photographs, and framed articles that tells of Helga’s life experiences, are set in colourful backgrounds. 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 is 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 two p.m. 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. Sports facilities are not the hotel’s forte. There is a small swimming pool and some indoor board games. Tennis and boating can be arranged. Fantasy weddings, on the other hand, are a specialty at Helga’s Folly.
     

     

     
     
     
     
     
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