Surathura Spice Garden
Surathura Spice Garden
1.5
What people are saying
Complete scam, fake products, heavy sales
1.0 of 5 bubblesMar 2022
As the other reviews suggest this was a total scam, and I believe the tour guides/drivers are in on it. My driver pulled over unexpectedly and told me he was taking me to a spice garden. He had previously asked me if I wanted to go to a spice garden and I said no. I felt really awkward telling him I didn’t want to do it when we had already pulled over, and I assumed he had forgotten that I previously said I was not interested. The driver left me alone with the “tour guide/ doctor”. The whole tour was a heavy sales pitch for different products. The doctor mentioned several times that he does not get paid at all, which I felt was hinting for tips. I then got the “free” massage. They repeat a lot that there is “no pressure” to buy and “no pressure” to tip, whilst pressuring you a lot. In the shop he told me there was no pressure to buy, whilst physically taking me to each product and picking it up in assumption that I was buying it. I purchased the hair removal cream (which he told me was perminant and natural) and it was about £48, so I thought that would be enough, but after this he still tried to insist I buy expensive pain killers and hair growth treatment. He insisted he gets no commission, but there is no way based on how heavy the sales pitch was. Then after tipping for the massage, and buying the products, he escorts me out and gives me one last story about how he is not paid at all and how the tips I gave for the massage only go to the massage therapist. So again, I part with more money. For a tour I did not even want. I got home and opened the hair removal cream and it stunk of veet. It is not a natural product at all, and definitely not perminant. I spent £45 on a £1 cream. I feel so betrayed by my driver who I spent the week growing a relationship, and I feel he must have known (and probably even been paid to take me). The driver accompanied me on all other excursions, but for this one he left me alone with the guide whilst he waited in the car park. I had always planned to give my driver a nice tip at the end of my trip, but now I feel conflicted, and may even cancel the other days I had booked with him, as I feel betrayed. Drivers/tour guides - do not risk your clientele and your business just to get a small kick back from this scam. You will risk your own reputation.

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1.5
1.5 of 5 bubbles144 reviews
Excellent
2
Very good
9
Average
16
Poor
22
Terrible
95

Nandie O
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013
We arrived to this place and got an interesting tour.
However the treatments and spices they show you is NOT the things you buy in the store.
We bought what they told us was natural hair removal but when we opened and tested it we found out ut was Veet!
They take extremely overprices for fake things that isn't even close to ayurvedic medicine.
So if your guide stops here, you say No Thanks!

Written October 31, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PieroBali
Bali, Indonesia3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Couples
I visited the Surathura Spice garden along with my wife on october 2014. We were brought there by our driver. After a short visiting of the garden it started raining and we recovered into the shop where we were introduced to the various herbal remedies for sale. Then a neck massage was offered for free (but later they asked for money…), it was still raining and we accepted. The man massaging my wife tried to touch her breast and spoiled our mood. Then we were offered an interview with the doctor of this place. he checked our pulse, tried to scare us by announcing dangerous diseases and ended up suggesting the purchase of his very expensive herbal medicine. After a lot of pressure, while I was feeling very uncomfortable and confused, i finally bought their detox herbal treatment: Suwa Sampatha + Stula Mardani at an exorbitant price. I regret I was so stupid to fall in their trap, I don't even think these herbal product are good at all, simply because the main purpose of their business is to cheat tourists, not to cure people. If you go there don't buy anything.
Written November 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MeMoo K
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2016 • Couples
An Absolute rip off !! bought hair removal for my wife as i was told its Natural for 8200 , thats £41 !!! and it was the CHEAP Veet cream you but for a £1 !!!

THIS PLACE SHOULD BE SHUT AND DONT BOTHER WASTING YOUR MONEY
Written September 4, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

aurelie1982
Paris, France2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2013 • Couples
Don't go to that place. There is a "doctor" who explains you the different plants and their activities on your health. With these products, no more disease. He's rather convincing but a bit scary and pushes you to buy. Finally I bought hair removal and coconut oil, for a high price, much higher than everywhere else. Result: I put everything in my bin when I came home. The hair removal is not the same he showed us and is in fact Veet cream. So I wondered what I bought and prefer using nothing from this shop.
The doctor is a liar, he showed us a congratulation letter from trip advisor direction??? I wonder where he got it as the review here is very low and terrible.
Awful place and not nice people.
Written September 21, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AsianTravelGuru11
Bangkok, Thailand79 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2012 • Solo
On the way from Kandy to Dambulla are many Spice Gardens, as the Sri Lankan kitchen uses many of these spices in their curries I think it is well worth the visit. You can see how many of them grow on trees or plants and the guide explains how it gets processes into usable products. Cinnamon, vanilla, curry leaves are just a few of them. After you get into a shop Disney style, and then some of these products are just a bit too expensive and tourist prices, I just bought some Cinnamon Oil, and gave the guide a small tip. It is better to check local grocery shops for the spice prices and compare. I found many good spice mixes in the local supermarket and more than half the price.
Written March 22, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

foodwinegoodness
London, UK5 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2017 • Couples
This place is running a superbly elaborate scam. AVOID AT ALL COSTS! If only I could put a sign up outside this place to warn people. I didn't see the 70+ terrible reviews until way too late. The doctor is fake and the products burned my partners skin. Again, please avoid at all costs!

They have the scam all organised. The clean cut 'medical' student (who is actually more like a sales man), the genuine herbs to try on the way around the garden and then the fabulous 'hurt and rescue' pulse reading to really finish it off. They tell you lies about your ailments and use stories of charity and vulnerable people to seal the deal and then sell you 'off the shelf' products in cheap containers to make them look like herbal remedies but the prices are ridiculous and the products are rubbish at best.
Written October 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Petra K
Tisnov, Czech Republic3 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2014 • Solo
Very expensive, false promises, this man wants only your money, not your health. Never more. I lost 200 USD he promised to refund. So far I got nothing.. yes, I was stupid.. so don´t be either!
Written October 25, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mads M
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018 • Couples
We all of a sudden arrived here like most other reviewers, by our driver suddenly pulling off the main road telling us we're visiting a herbal garden. Having encountered similar places before my boyfriend and I quickly decided we could have a look and a quick tour (we had time for it after all) but we were definitely not going to buy anything.

We were met by this 'medical student' also speaking many languages. The funny thing being he bragged about his Chinese (which I happen to speak) and it wasn't really much more than a mere 'hi' and 'my name is' anyways..

Had a tour. He stopped at every station telling us about all the magic abilities of all the spices and remedies. This part was OK. We were offered a cup of tea (which was bland and not really that interesting) and he rubbed both our faces with his magic lotion for curing head ache. After this we were led into a small hut where we were told we're having 'herbal class'. The 'herbal class' consisted of him handing us a couple of papers containing all of the ointments which he proceeded to read out loud (every one of them, including their magical abilities) followed by a price list.

We said we're not buying anything. That we're not interested in any doctors reading (he would anyways NEVER EVER tell us everything's OK, as that wouldn't bring much money in the box) and not interested in any free massage.

Anyways. We were still lead into the shop where the 'medical student' continued to rite all the different potions and ointments. The price tag was HIGH. Nothing less that a thousand or two rupees. We signed the guest book, left NO tip and left.

When we left the 'student' spoke to our driver in singhalese something we didn't understand and left.

Total scam. Period!
Written February 4, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Shelly S
Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates6 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • Friends
I WOULD LIKE TO START A PETITION TO REQUEST THE SRI LANKAN GOVERNMENT AND MEDIA TO INVESTIGATE THIS AND OTHER SPICE COMPANIES. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN JOINING ME, PLEASE CONTACT ME. I bought 200 usd worth of products. Later found that the their detoxification morning pills, which cost 3750 rupees for a one month supply, looked and tasted the same as supplements I had purchased earlier from a local supermarket for 100 rupees. I checked the labels of both and found that the detoxification pill container label had a photocopied picture that was identical to that of the supplements that I bought for 100 rupees! So I called Dr. Atula and demanded my money back. I also sent him an email and he replied mentioning that he will refund the money back, but no further communication. I have filed a dispute with my credit card company. My friend also purchased products worth 200 usd.
Written December 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dagmar Janíková
Otrokovice, Czech Republic164 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Couples
To be honest, it was terrible place. You do not have to pay for some tickets, but then you get a 15-minutes long presentation after which you are pressed to buy some of the medicine of oil which are incredibly expensive. For example Citronela oil costs 900LKR and you can buy it in the shop for 70LKR. We did not want to buy anything so we were told to give them at leat some tip for the presentation (as it is common in Sri Lanka) so we gave them 1000LKR (because we did not have a note of lower value with us), but it definitely did not worth that price. Do Not Enter this place!!!
Written August 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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