The shimmer of ladies’ costumes, dancers’ grace, drummers’ rhythm seem to almost reach out from the vibrant paintings adorning the walls. Beautiful children, large eyed women and men in sarongs stare out from the old black and white photographs of yesterday’s Kandy. Stretches of miniature buildings, snaking streets and trees flanked by mountains present a slice of the changed landscape to the discerning eye. Thus, Randholee beckoned us to discover its charms with this romantic mélange of the old, the new and the panoramic.
Words Chamindra Warusawitharane Photographs Prabath Chathuranga
Randholee is the crown of the mesmeric Esala Perahera (annual pageant) and according to certain tales, the queens of Kandyan kings were generally referred to as ‘Randholees’. The Resort has been named thus as a reflection of this heritage.
On arrival guests are greeted with a warm smile, a cold towel and a refreshing drink. With thirst and fatigue quenched the Randholee awaits to be explored. Gazing at the myriad paintings and images depicting a bygone era, we ascended the stairs and entered a room with a breathtaking view and all the modern luxuries. The room has a bathroom with a large bathtub and a commodious counter. The Cable TV, mini bar, tea and coffee making facilities and the IDD activated telephone will ensure a luxurious stay. Randholee comprises of 27 deluxe rooms out of which, 18 face the alluring landscape of Kandy framed by the green mountains. There are two more rooms downstairs and the other seven rooms face an abundant fruit garden.
We leisurely strolled on in the fruit garden bearing trees of mango, veralu (Ceylon olive), avocado, biling, mangosteen and rambutan, some laden and some eagerly awaiting their respective seasons. Randholee offers delectable dishes of fragrant rice from India, creamy pasta from Italy, soft couscous from the Middle East as well as Sri Lankan cuisine. Guests can also order a dish from the à la carte menu. To get your very own favourite dish all you need to do is to have a friendly chat with the chef.
The fruit garden and the green lawns at Randholee benefit from the rainwater harvesting system at the Resort as do the other daily activities. In line with the Resort’s eco friendly approach, the recycled waste water is used for vehicle washing and gardening. The anaerobic, seal type sewage system at the Resort minimises the harm to the environment while the recently constructed biogas plant will be used to supplement energy.
Absorbing these bits of information we strolled on towards the Resort’s gym. We could easily picture the sports centre teeming with enthusiastic or otherwise players of badminton, squash, table tennis and pool billiards. After a workout at the sports centre’s gym you can either go to the spa in the same premises and pamper yourself or choose mementos at the souvenir shop to take home. The more outbound amongst us can go mountain hiking or sign up for an excursion to the innumerable places of interest in Kandy, organised by Randholee.
However, the romantic charm and the tranquil ambiance of Randholee attracts many newly weds on their honeymoon. The Resort presents them a special honeymoon package designed to provide a memorable experience.
After wandering amidst the innumerable charms of Randholee we approached the infinity pool tucked away at the edge of the Resort premises. As purple dusk fell on the city below, seducing the mountain ranges on the way down, a scatter of silver stars lit the cobalt blue sky. Flickers of light from the streets below lit up the darkness. We fell silent absorbing the total bliss of the moment.
Randholee Resorts, Heerasgala, Bowalawatte, Kandy
(+94 81) 221 7741-3