A 15 minute stroll from the ancient kingdom of Kandy, designed

by Helga’s mother in the 30’s, overlooking jungle, lake and magnificent

mountain scenery, sits HelgasFolly.

Eimear McPoyle

“A LARGE AND SPRAWLING RED BUILDING APPEARS THROUGH THE THICK FOLIAGE CLINGING TO THE HILLSIDE.

STALACTITES OF WAX  HANG  FROM CANDLEABRA IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE ROOM. THE GOLDEN CONE OF AN HMV GRAMAPHONE STANDS GRANDLY IN A CORNER. COLE PORTERS ‘NIGHT AND DAY’ PLAYS IN THE BACKGROUND;  IN AN ODD SORT OF WAY FANTASY AND REALITY MELD." CTSY ‘THE SRI LANKANS’ MARTIN PIERIS. 

“VISITORS ARE TAKEN ABACK WHEN THEY FIRST STEP INSIDE HELGA’S FOLLY.THE BUILDING IS ENORMOUS WITH ABOUT 40 ROOMS LINKED BY RANDOM STAIRCASES AND NARROW CO0RRIDORS.”

 

“NOW 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. SRI LANKAN ART ADORNS THE WALLS, SILK AND SATIN CURTAINS  TUMBLE FROM OCHRE STAIRCASES, STAG HEADS, PEACOCKS AND ANTIQUE WEAPONARY CLAMBER UP BRAHMINESQUE BLUE WASHED WALLS. IT’S JUNGLE SCHEME IS REFLECTED IN CAREFULLY PLACED MIRRORS, SOME GILT EDGED, OTHERS SHROUDED."

“ DECORATED BY THE OWNER HELGA DE SILVA BLOW PERERA IN A WHIMSICAL TROPICAL THEME.”

“CONVERTED TO A SUMPTUOUS HOUSE, THAT WOULD SERVE BAZ LUHRMAN SHOULD HE EVER OPT TO FILM ‘MOULIN ROUGE’ JUNGLE STYLE. HELGA GREW UP IN A WORLD OF COLONIAL TEA POTS, HOLLYWOOD GOSSIP AND MARXIST REVOLUTIONS.”

 

“WALLS ARE ADORNED WITH PAINTINGS,  NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS, POIGNANT PHOTOGRAPHS AND HASTILY SCRIBBLED VERSES. “

 

“TELLS THE HISTORY OF ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S MOST ILLUSTRIOUS FAMILIES.”

 

“EMPHASIZES ON THE 'WHIMSY OF LIFE’. REFLECTING HELGA’S PREFERENCE TO  JUXTAPOSE AND MIX THE PEDIGREES.”

 

"MUCH OF THE FURNITURE IS ANTIQUE SINHALESE OR  DUTCH INHERITED HEIRLOOMS OF THE  FAMILY, WHILE DECORATIVE PIECES THROUGHOUT ARE FROM LOCAL MARKETS AND TOY SHOPS." CTSY ‘LIVING IN SRI LANKA’ BY JAMES FENNELL AND TURTLE BUNBURY..THAMES AND HUDSON.

“DELIGHTFUL COUNTRY HOUSE ATMOSPHERE." CTSY CARL MULLER

“IN THE VISITORS BOOKS EVERYONE SEARCHES FOR AN ADEQUATE DISCRIPTION ‘KING ARTHUR’S KNIGHT’S MEET VICTORIAN, MEET THE ADAM’S FAMILY’CARL MULLER WAS PERHAPS THE CLOSEST WHEN HE WROTE: 

 “THE GODS OF MUSIC, ART AND DRAMA HAVE CREATED THE IMPOSSIBLE."

CTSY ‘LIVING IN SRI LANKA'

CONDE NAST TRAVELLER

"FAMILY JEWEL"

CTSY HELEN CRAWSHAW.

"IN THE CUT  & THRUST WORLD OF HOTELS, A HOTELIER WHO DOES NOT LIKE HER PROPERTY TO BE FULLY BOOKED IS SOMEHWHAT UNUSUAL, BUT THERE IS NOTHING CONVENTIONAL ABOUT HELGA DE SILVA BLOW PERERA OR HER 35 BEDROOM HOTEL. AS A CHILD HELGA WHOSE GRANDFATHER , HELPED SECURE SRI LANKAN INDEPENDENCE WATCHED HER PARENTS PLAY HOST TO A STRING OF CELEBRITIES. NOW COMPLETELY REFURBISHED TO REFLECT HELGA'S ECLECTIC TASTES, ANTIQUES, PAINTINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF HER DAUGHTER SELINA BLOW AND DAUGHTER IN LAW ISABELLA."

CONDE NAST TRAVELLLER 

CTSY HARRIET O 'BRIAN

"FAMOUSLY ATMOSPHERIC AND ECCENTRIC , HAS BEEN A FAVOURITE WITH TRAVELLERS.

AWASH WITH COLOUR AND FLAMBOYANT MURALS.

THE HOTEL IS HILARIOUSLY OUTRE OR SIMPLY OVER THE TOP.A TRIP, A DREAM WHO CARES? WHATEVER THE ANSWER.

THE FOOD HERE IS A SERIOUS PLUS, AUBERGINE SALAD WITH A KICK & DELICATELY SEARED TUNA , WAS THE BEST MEAL I ATE IN SRI LANKA"

MADAME HELGA REFERS TO HELGA'S FOLLY AS, "A SRILANKAN'S HOME AND A GROWNUPS NURSERY"