124 Srimath Kuda Ratwatte Mawatha, Mahaweli River Front, Kandy
Buzz Trips View
I don’t expect hotels in Sri Lanka to offer the same as a four or five star beach front hotel in a purpose built populist tourist resort but I do hope for a ‘Buzz’ factor. Stepping out onto my balcony at the Hotel Citadel I got exactly what I wanted; swaying palm trees towering over a lush jungle, exotic bird cries, an emerald river snaking through the trees and women in brightly coloured saris bathing in the shallows on the opposite bank. It was a vista that promised untold adventure and excitement.
The Hotel Chaaya Citadel’s location outside the religious capitol of Kandy means that it’s close enough to be able to access Kandy’s highlights relatively easily from an absolutely stunner of a rural position. I’m a river freak admittedly, but I could have spent hours sitting on my balcony with a pot of tea (actually, more often a bottle of Lion Beer) transfixed by the comings and goings on the Mahaweli River. The buffet dining room may be a bit on the work’s canteen-sized but there’s a decent selection of food and the hotel’s communal areas are perfectly decorated to suit its surroundings. The hotel’s grounds are pleasant enough for a stroll but with that jungle creeping over the doorstep, the thing to do is hire a river trip from the very banks of the hotel for an exotic taste of life and wildlife on a Sri Lankan river.
The Hotel Chaaya Citadel’s 97 superior rooms and 24 deluxe rooms all have air conditioning and views over the river. The superior rooms have balconies, tea and coffee making facilities, hairdryer, mini-bar and cable TV whilst the larger deluxe rooms also have large baths and a DVD player. We stayed in a superior room which was spacious and had a high ceiling, ethnic wall hangings, great little seating areas built into the wall and a chocolate and cream décor that seemed quasi-North African.
Anyone who comes to Sri Lanka looking for a hotel with a long list of facilities is sort of missing the point. There’s billiards, pool and table tennis but after that the choice is to laze by the pool overlooking the river or go exploring. This is a hotel for romantic adventurers.
Prices from £62 including breakfast.