Hotels – Chaaya Citadel

Chaaya Citadel Kandy is constructed in the place of the former Dunuvila Wallauwa (The ancestral home of the Dunivila family). Dunuvila, one of the King’s Ministers, lived here with his extended family.

And, as the legend goes the King of Kandy would make it a point to break journey at this very location whenever he passed by in his boat. It is said that he did not simply stop to rest, but to bathe in the river and spend some time at the Wallauwa.

An old family photograph of the original Wallauwa still hangs at the entrance to the hotel.

Chaaya Citadel Kandy is constructed in the place of the former Dunuvila Wallauwa (The ancestral home of the Dunivila family). Dunuvila, one of the King’s Ministers, lived here with his extended family.

And, as the legend goes the King of Kandy would make it a point to break journey at this very location whenever he passed by in his boat. It is said that he did not simply stop to rest, but to bathe in the river and spend some time at the Wallauwa.

An old family photograph of the original Wallauwa still hangs at the entrance to the hotel.

The legend doesn’t tell us what attracted the King to this very spot again and again. We can only imagine. But the fact that the Sovereign kept coming back is possibly the same reason why guests keep coming back to Chaaya Citadel. For rest and rejuvenation. For romance and adventure. For nature and inspiration.

On the historic road that leads from Colombo to Kandy, 160 Km from Colombo, just before the bustling Kandy town stands the perfect destination for naturalists, culturists and romantics – Chaaya Citadel Kandy. It is a tribute to the natural citadel that was Senkadagala.

Sweeping green hills, the longest river in the country, misty mornings and the fresh outdoors, are just a few things that naturally come together here to make the perfect holiday. Just 2 1/2 hours from the Sri Lanka’s Capital City Colombo, Chaaya Citadel Kandy has reinvented itself taking into account the needs of holidaymakers around the world. Replete with a sense of history, serenity and majesty, the hotel offers guests the opportunity to experience the amazing Kandyan history, the culture and the arts that play a big role in the lives of the Sri Lankans. Five Experience Packages are designed to shower guests with a wealth of experience. The Chaaya chain of hotels, setting high standards, has a reputation for operating impressive hotels and resorts in the region and has been singled out for its efforts.

Chaaya Citadel Kandy, nestled in the hills of Sri Lanka, has received three ISO certifications – ISO 22000; 2005 for Food Safety Management, ISO 14001 for its environment and OHSAS 18001 for occupational health and safety. ‘Chaaya’ means ‘Reflection’ and it is time to reflect on a holiday experience here!

The Location

The Kandyan kingdom, located 488 meters above sea level, is the last stronghold of the Sri Lankan monarchy and to this day, the city stands strong in the knowledge of this proud legacy. From 1590, for 225 years, Kandy was the Capital city, the kingdom of the island and home to the Sacred Tooth Relic.

The kingdom held strong against invasions by the Portuguese and the Dutch in the 16th and 17th centuries, respectively, and even against the British in the 19th century.

The Kandyan kingdom, located 488 meters above sea level, is the last stronghold of the Sri Lankan monarchy and to this day, the city stands strong in the knowledge of this proud legacy. From 1590, for 225 years, Kandy was the Capital city, the kingdom of the island and home to the Sacred Tooth Relic.

The kingdom held strong against invasions by the Portuguese and the Dutch in the 16th and 17th centuries, respectively, and even against the British in the 19th century.

This glorious rule however, came to an end when its chieftains submitted to the British colonizers in 1815. In spite of the turmoil and change, Kandy has always preserved its function as the religious capital of Sri Lanka and a revered pilgrimage for those who practice the original form of Buddhism.

It is difficult to imagine a place that has more variety to offer visitors than Kandy. It is the centre of traditional Sri Lankan culture. Visitors flock here to visit the ‘Dalada Maligawa’, the temple of the Tooth Relic; to witness the ‘Nuwara Perehera’, probably Asia’s biggest and most colorful parade featuring over 100 elephants; to explore the many historic temples and shrines; to understand the Kandyan architecture, arts and craftsmanship; to enjoy world famous Sri Lankan tea amid sprawling tea plantations; to play a game of golf in the hills and to delight in the pleasant Kandyan climate.

These and much more amazing tapestry of qualities define the city’s character. There is no better time than the present to re-live the glorious past at Chaaya Citadel Kandy.

The Accommodation

Deluxe Room

24 spacious air-conditioned luxury rooms, overlooking the river, feature elements and themes inspired by Kandy’s rich cultural heritage adding an ethnic and luxuriant feeling from the moment guests enter the rooms. The doors are painted on both sides with exquisite Kandyan motifs while above the ultra comfortable queen size beds hang a pleasant surprise – hand-woven fabric drapes that adorn the interiors. Each room features a sitting area with a built-in couch and coffee table.

The Facilities

* Features include a balcony with outdoor-style seating
* A well stocked mini bar
* Cable TV
* A DVD player
* A large bath
* Glass shower cubical
* Complimentary tea and coffee making facilities
* Bathrobes and bathroom slippers
* Complimentary toiletries, which include a moisturizer, a shaving kit, toothpaste and toothbrush and shower gel

Superior Rooms

All 97 air-conditioned rooms overlook the river and are elegantly furnished and complete with all four star luxuries. Above the beds hang hand-woven fabric wall hangings, featuring Kandyan motifs.

The Facilities

*  Features include a balcony with outdoor-style seating
* A well stocked mini bar
* Cable TV
* A glass shower cubical
* Complimentary tea and coffee making facilities
* A hair drier and complimentary toiletries

Dining

Vel Eliya Restaurant

A spacious restaurant on the first floor of the main wing of the hotel offering guests an unobstructed view of the graceful Mahweli River that flows below. Vel Eliya offers a wide choice of buffet style dining choices at mealtime. Vibrant painted Kandyan-style designs adorn the ceiling and the pillars of the restaurant adding color to the length and breadth to this generously spacious and comfortable restaurant.

Giri Sikara Lounge And Bar

An open lounge bar overlooking the Pool and the Mahaweli River where guests are served up signature cocktails and mock tails any time of day. Beverages of every description, local and imported spirits and liqueurs are available on request. The non-traditional “Kandyan Kocktails” available here have become a hot choice with the guests while the exotic tropical fruit juices are all-time favourites. Traditional Kandyan designs on cloth beautify the entire ceiling area while large cement vases filled with water and freshly picked jasmines add a pleasant fragrance to the air. The lounge opens out to the Pool area inviting guests to indulge in a romantic stroll under the stars while soothing music fills the air. At night, after the Sun sets and the stars come out, Giri Sikara features live entertainment ‘ a band, in a casual yet exotic atmosphere making it the ideal spot to treat yourself to a drink or perhaps engage in some social dancing.

Mahaveli Eliya

(A feast from the hill capital) Fine Dining Restaurant at Chaaya Citadel The mahaveli eliya fine dining restaurant offers the finest authentic Kandyan cuisine in the hill capital. It serves up tried and tested and most loved recipes from the days gone by. The restaurant is famous for offering delightful choices from its À La Carte menu, a choice fit for royalty! This tastefully decorated restaurant with its cozy interior offers split-level seating and includes a bar at the top-level. It’s fabulous location next to the river means early diners can catch a picturesque view of the landscaped garden and the river beyond at dusk.

Pool Bar

With the turquoise swimming pool on one side and the flowing waters of the Mahaweli River on the other, the Pool Bar is a fabulous place to sit, sip a drink and watch village life literally go by. Rustic riverside scenes provide a calming backdrop of rare sights and sounds -boatmen guiding their boats along the river at dawn, children playing on the opposite river bank as the womenfolk bathe in its cool waters in the afternoon and exotic birds providing music whilst perched atop lush tree tops throughout the day. The Pool Bar is a favorite location when planning special theme dinners for small groups of guests who prefer a setting out of the ordinary, out in the open.

Experiences

Ancient Trails

Numerous rock temples and shrines, intricate craftsmanship and unique murals bear evidence to the rich legacy of Kandyan royalty in by-gone eras. A morning excursion to three key landmarks of the 14th century begins the experience: First to Gadaladeniya – the temple built almost exclusively of stone; then a visit to the Lankathilake Temple also known as the ‘crown of Lanka’ and finally a stop at the Ambekke shrine with its intricately carved wooden pillars that are an ancient wonder. Lunch will be served at the restaurant of a tea factory, located amid a sprawling tea estate offering scenic views of mountains and valleys. A local flautist will offer soothing lunchtime melodies. A lesson in the art of plucking the legendary ‘two leaves and a bud’ is next where visitors join in the fun in a tea plucking competition. It is not as simple as it looks! In the afternoon, the experience continues with a visit to the local community that has preserved and practices the ancient art of brass-work. Here, visitors are invited to lend a hand. The day ends with high-tea, in Kandyan style, back at the hotel.

Package Includes: Transport in a Minivan, The services of a knowledgeable Guide, Entrance fees (ancient sites), Lunch at a tea estate restaurant, Tea plucking demonstration and competition, Visit to brass-work district in Kandy, ‘High tea’ at the hotel.

Scenic Trek

The Knuckles range of mountains, 3,800 feet above sea level, gets its name from its strong resemblance to the knuckles on the clenched fist of a human hand. After an early breakfast, a two-hour scenic drive from Chaaya Citadel begins the Scenic Trek Experience Package for the adventurous traveler. The view from the Knuckles range offers dramatic panorama of hills and plains covered in rainforest and grasslands, punctuated by streams and waterfalls. Visitors have the opportunity to experience an exhilarating hike and exploration of the mystery of these hills and the tropical forest. This will be followed by lunch in the open air on a clearing, ideal for enjoying a scrumptious meal. To make the journey to this scenic trek even more fun, visitors can even dice into a natural rock pool to wrap up the day in the outdoors. Back at the hotel look forward to sipping “Kandyan Kocktails” and biting into devilled snacks on the Mahaweli Terrace by the river at dusk.

Package Includes: Transport in Minivan, Services of a knowledgeable Guide, Bottled water, Lunch in the hills, Beer (2 per person), “Kandyan Kocktails” and snacks at the hotel, Entry fees.

Kandyan Bride

The elegance and charm of a Kandyan bride is surely a vision of incomparable beauty. Dressed in a golden Sari draped in the unique Kandyan style, adorned in traditional bead and pearl jewellery and with flowers in her hair, she looks exquisite. Accompanied by an entourage of elegant Kandyan dancers, the bride is carried like royalty on a palanquin to be received by her groom in waiting, who is also outfitted in regal Kandyan attire. The wedding ceremony takes place on a Poruwa (decorated podium) to the enchanting sound of conch-shells and the rhythm of the Kandyan drums. Exchange vows in Kandyan style at Chaaya Citadel, Sri Lanka, can an exotic experience indeed. The Kandyan Bride Experience Package is the perfect ceremony for all starry-eyed couples and their family and friend. It will be a celebration extraordinaire with more magic added to the romance in the days that follow.

Package Includes: Wedding ceremony and honeymoon, Traditional attire and jewellery rental for couple, Hair and make-up for bride, Palanquin and poruwa for ceremony with decorations, Lotus bouquet and floral headgear for Bride, Traditional singing of blessings, Dance troupe and drummers to perform at ceremony, Services of a traditional ‘elder’ to perform the ceremony, 30 photographs in an album including negatives, Going away – on an elephant, Sparkling wine on ice for couple upon return to room, Breakfast in bed the day after, Mahaweli River cruise in the evening and dining on the river by lamp light, Reception by the pool deck – Kandyan theme dinner, Spread of Sri Lankan food items, sweets and Kandyan specialties, Welcome drink “Kandyan Kocktails” for every guest, Seasonal fruits and fruit juices, Entertainment by Kandyan dancers and fire-breathers.

Golfers Day In The Sun

The Victoria Golf Course offers enthusiasts a unique golfing experience in a picturesque and breathtaking setting. A leisurely morning round of golf comes with charming perks – fresh air and a spectacular view of the surrounding hills and the white waters of the Victoria Dam. Guests can look forward to a delicious picnic breakfast. Depending on how the game goes, at mid-morning visitors can take a short break to enjoy a chilled beer and to snack on delicious chili-fried breadfruit chips (a local favorite) on the lawns of a bungalow by the 12th hole. Upon arrival back at the hotel a soothing herbal body massage awaits the adventurous golfers!

Package Includes: A picnic breakfast, A morning round of golf, Beer and snacks, A Herbal body massage, Transport in Minivan to and from the golf course (Optional).

Culturally Yours

Kandyan culture is a rich tapestry of the arts, customs and institutions of a great people. Its beauty unfurls in the splendid ceremonies, sights and sounds of everyday Kandyan life. Visitors marvel in the presence of Kandyan ritual and ceremony. The cultural experience begins after a leisurely morning breakfast. An invigorating two-hour lesson in the unique art of Kandyan dancing, scripted and preserved for centuries, awaits the bold and the nimble footed. A visit to the Ceylon Tea museum follows. It is a journey into the 19th century British rule and the evolution of the world’s best-loved ‘Ceylon Tea’. Lunch will be served up at the deluxe restaurant of the museum offering panoramic views of surrounding hills, tea estates and the city. In the afternoon, guests will be whisked away to the Kandyan drum-making district to witness this intricate ancient art. The Kandyan drum has over 26 varieties and has been used for musical ensembles the world over. Back at the hotel, the cultural experience continues with a delicious Kandyan Theme Dinner by the poolside with a generous spread of local cuisines and entertainment by a Kandyan dance troupe and fire breathers. Guests are encouraged to demonstrate their morning’s dance lessons!

Package includes: Transport in Minivan, A lesson in Kandyan dancing, The services of a knowledgeable Guide throughout the tour, Lunch at the Tea Museum, A visit to the drum-making district, A Kandyan theme dinner by the poolside.

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