Helga’s Folly – Kandy – Sri Lanka


Helga De Silva Blow Perera is the owner of Hellga’s Folly a 10 minute stroll from the ancient kingdom of Kandy in Sri Lanka. ¬†Designed by Helga’s mother the artist, Esme De Silva in the 1930’s the hotel overlooks the jungle and the Kandy lake. In their own words about the hotel,” people are taken aback when they first step inside Helga’s Folly”.

The 40 rooms are linked by random staircases and narrow corridors. Hardly an inch of the structure has been left untouched by Helga. Each room is an explosion of flamboyant colours, rich fabrics and gaudy furnishings. Signs of the zodiac beam down from the ceilings. Stag Heads, peacocks and antique weaponry clamber up Brahminesque blue washed walls. In the visitors book it is written that Stereophonics single Madame Helga was inspired by Hellga’s Folly it reached number 4 in the UK charts.

We did not meet Helga when we booked to dine at Helga’s Folly, we did hear laboured footsteps overhead during the meal, and decided that Helga was in the house but not receiving guests. For your own health’s sake do not eat at Helga’s even a Gin and Tonic was a tall order, ice out of the question. But definitely visit the place it is hilarious. They still have a website, but honestly I’m not sure if the place still operates as a Hotel ….. my god if these walls could talk.



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Comments 1

  1. Lovely photos and well described (except for the food bit which is delicious). I have stayed at Helgas Folly several times over quite a few years. Agree with you, it is a unique place. Completely out of the ordinary. It is very much operating as a hotel and I know it is fully booked for the Perahera in August as I have tried to make a booking for the celebrations, and unable. Helga doesn’t appear every day to meet guests. This is well known because I believe she is in rather poor health these days, walks with a stick and not able to get down the stairs to greet every guest as she used to. Last time I stayed there, we talked on the phone from my room and she sent over a lovely bottle of champagne !

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