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“Retreat to nature” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Polwaththa Eco Lodges

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Polwaththa Eco Lodges
69 / 1 Wepathana, Kandy | via Digana, Kandy 20184, Sri Lanka   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 115 Specialty Lodging in Kandy
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Singapore, Singapore
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Retreat to nature”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

A perfect place for absorbing the peace that only nature can bring- this may not be to everyones taste but if you are looking for personal community based service, fantastic food and a holiday where you can really chill and not worry about what you look like or endless activities this is the place for you. We loved it, we sat and looked at the stunning views- I really recommend the Lake View Cabana- became becalmed by birdsong, ate the best food we had in Sri Lanka and slowed down to the pace of nature. One of the highlights was the hot water, smelling of woodsmoke that was heated in the tin drum above our cabana, staff light the firewood half an hour before you need it and you can then shower surrounded by the forest canopy and the calls of the birds.

One morning we were awoken by a troupe of monkeys clattering around our balcony, we watched a giant squirrel as we ate our breakfast, when we needed activity the jeep took us to Kandy or a nearby tea estate and we even did a walk out of the lodge and through the villages amidst the clove, nutmeg and coffee trees. The staff are really helpful and friendly and all of us from aged 8 years to middle age thought it is one of the most natural and special places we have stayed.

Room Tip: Go for the lake view cabana with its fabulous view.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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73 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Doha, Qatar
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

Trip advisor reviews made us visit this place. We stayed for 2 nights in September. Don't worry about reaching there, if you call them they'll send you a vehicle to pick you up. We got picked up at the Kandy Central Market. Sanjeewa, our guide, accompanied throughout the trip. It took about 45 minutes to reach this place from Kandy town. We were greeted by Chef Manjula, Accountant and a staff upon arrival with a chilled Water melon juice served beautifully. We were then given the option to choose a Cabana. One made of mud and the other from wood. We preferred the Wooden cabana as it was closer to the restaurant and had a good view. All of them had good views so to speak. Room was nicely built, adequate space, basic utilities, en-suite bathroom, sound of trees all were very soothing and relaxing. This is also our first Eco-friendly trip and were anxious to dip ourselves to share the experiences other did.
We were later greeted by Remon who is son of the owner. Very friendly and helpful. Chef manjula does wonders in his small kitchen. Name any cuisine, local, indian, russian, french, he will have them ready. The juices he prepared was truly mouth watering and we had to order them several times more on few occassions. My favourite was the Woodapple juice and my wife's was Pineapple. We were on Full-board therefore we had the privilege to experience the Chéf''s experise and creations. Sanjeewa our guide was friendly. Man hardly walks. He runs. A super-active guide. He's honest at times for questions that he doesn't know which I appreciate.
Plenty of pepper plants, Jackfruit trees, cocoa, cinnamon trees and the list goes on. Soap dish, dessert cups, spoons carved from coconut shells shows creativity and eco-friendly concept.
Being a couple coming from the dry Middle-east, we desperately needed a lush get-away and this did give us a relaxing shelter. We didn't look forward for the various Excursions made available, but opted for nearby sites on the 2nd day going to Weaving center, Paddy field and a river bath with Sanjeewa by Three-wheeler.
A minimum of 2 nights stay is recommended.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Cambridge, UK
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

A five-day father/son holiday before some more demanding activity in sultry Colombo, we had a wonderful time. Some chilling out in the rustic but perfectly adequate lodge (enough electricity to charge your phone if needed) with the odd "large mango juice" or cold ginger beer. I read my iPad book until well into the night, sitting on the verandah, accompanied by a candle and smoking mozzy coil, though the latter was probably unnecessary. We visited the local school and hospital, and pottered through a couple of villages, one from where two of the staff hailed, and looked at the agriculture and how people lived and worked. Saw lots of nature on the way. Everyone in and out of the lodges was friendly to a fault, and the chef cooked excellent Sri Lankan dishes with local produce (though will do Western if you ask). Son had an energetic 'hard hike' to one of the Knuckles. The owner's English is good if somewhat eccentric: when he said that something was a "Catch 69 situation", we had to explain what this might possibly mean, and what he really meant.

Practical matters: good mobile coverage with Etisalat, you can buy a cheap phone/data package at the airport for $10, and the Lodge will let you use the SIM in their dongle, A tuktuk from Kandy will take 1hr, but would need final directions -- get from the Lodge via their email on the Lodge website. We planned to take the 'express' train back to Colombo from Perediniya, but it was running four hours late: and as the train takes nearly three hours to do the 120km, we gave up on it and tuktuk-ed happily to Colombo in 2.5 hours for Rs 5000 (£25).

Nihal (the owner), his son Ramon and the team worked very hard to give us a good time, and that was exactly what we got. Very reasonably priced, and a locally-orientated enterprise strongly worthy of support. Highly recommended by both generations.

Room Tip: We thought that the one on stilts (see website pictures) was the best. But all are nice, and fun.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lindenberg, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

You shouldn´t miss this... Best typical place to stay near Kandy. Everyone is trying to do everything possible to fulfill all your wishes. The Cabanas are very neat and clean, in the middle of the jungle you can hear the animal noises and really experience Sri Lanka. The food is very very good and cooked over the fire. The trips are organized very well and we enjoyed every second of our stay. Actually 3 nights were too less to experience all the beautifull things in this area. This was definitely not our last stay @ Polwaththa Eco-Lodge.... THX to Remon, Wasantha, Nihal and all others :-)

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
OLAVH
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2012

We stayed 3 nights with our two children (11 and 13) and loved every minute.
Surroundings are beautiful, away from busy Kandy. But what makes this place really special are extremely helpfull and friendly staff. The new manager, Wasa, is extremely Nice and helpfull, the cook is great and all other staff members have à smile on their face all the time.

This place is truly reccomended!!

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2012

Amazing experience and amazing service. From the first step, lovely flowers, passion fruit juice and warm smiles, it is all how it begins. It feels like you just came back home after a long trip and you have your family to welcome you. Great location, amazing nature, waking up with sounds of a jungle surrounded by beautiful scenery, view over the misty lake. You want to rest away from everything; it’s a perfect place and value for money. Food ... mmm.. If you like the Asian cuisine it’s the best homemade food you will experience, and you can even be part of the cooking in the traditionally styled kitchen. Great arrangement and great hospitality by its owners Nihal and Nell, but I can’t avoid by mentioning a great Lodge manager Darrel who places his whole time satisfying guests and assisting in any possible way even accompanied us on a train for more than 6 hours in order to assure we don’t get lost on our way to the Rafters retreat. All price included :D. But all the other staff just so humble and always smiling. What really do you need more for a great vacation?

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2012

The lodge has a number of separate cabins, each which of which have quite a bit of space around them and so feel very peaceful. The cabins are simple but comfortable and are well equipped with things visitors might need such as glasses, candles, mosquito coils, etc.

The staff were, without fail, lovely, welcoming and helpful.

One comment I have is that the hot water for the showers is heated by wood fires (one for each cabin) which seemed to be kept running for some time in order to keep the water warm. While I won't deny that I enjoyed a hot shower, in my view while wood fire heaters might be "rustic" but they are certainly not "eco".

Room Tip: Room No. 5 has the best view.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nihal E, Owner at Polwaththa Eco Lodges, responded to this review, March 4, 2012
Comments about the property as well as the concern shown for the "Eco" qualification are highly appreciated. Since Sri Lanka generates electricity largely by burning diesel oil, we do our utmost to use alternative methods. Geezers consume a lot of electricity and solar panels need a lot of sun-light which requires cutting-down large branches periodically or whole trees altogether which are against the principles of Eco Tourism. The fire-wood used to heat the water for bathing (and cooking) are dead branches and other parts of trees fallen on the road-ways in our 6 hectare property which otherwise would go to waste. However, we are open to suggestions and recommendations to improve on this method or an alternative method which is environmentally suitable, efficient and low cost.
Nihal
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Polwaththa Eco Lodges

Address: 69 / 1 Wepathana, Kandy | via Digana, Kandy 20184, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Kandy
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 115 Specialty Lodging in Kandy
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Polwaththa offers a tropical island holiday experience in the relaxed, natural setting of a Kandyan jungle while giving you the personal attention you deserve, served in a traditional style. ... more   less 
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