Highland Spice Garden
Highland Spice Garden
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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2.0
181 reviews
Excellent
9
Very good
19
Average
26
Poor
22
Terrible
105

Jeannie Odza
Grapevine, TX76 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
Totally agree with all the reviews. The tour is very informative and I learned a lot. However, it is a hard sell. They start giving you a massage and then mention that a tip would be appreciated. At the end of the tour we were told the guide works for free, so obviously you feel obligated to tip him. We bought products and ended up spending £140 - only one of the products did what it said. The other has no instructions or ingredients, so have no idea what we were sold. By all means take the tour, do t allow them to give you a massage, and don’t buy any products. If you found e guide helpful a Tip of a couple hundred rupees should be more than enough.
Written May 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Alan R
1 contribution
Mar 2021
Total Tourist trap and a total rip off. We were charged for products we did not want and in addition, when we got back to our hotel, the same products were in the hotel shop at 30% of the price which we paid

We did not intend to even visit there and objected several times before the driver told us we could stay only a few minutes to use the bathroom. We got railroaded in to buying and the items were packed without us being told what was going in the pack. When I objected to the prices, they simply told me that this would last many months.

none of their claims on the usage of these items are true.

If it is indeed a government owned business, then it should be closed down
Written April 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

And Dulgar
Kas, Türkiye3 contributions
Feb 2022 • Couples
Complete Scam!
Hope you see this review before entering the garden, the tour itself is really informative and you learn a lot, everything starts getting weird when you enter to the shop in the end just dont be kind and tell them to get the .. of, they will try to overcharge you for face creams with mayonnaise consistency and massage oils no different than industrial palm oil. When I didn’t want to buy the products they got angry just tell them kindly that you don’t want to buy anything, run away after the tour.
Written February 19, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sylvia S
Kelowna, Canada6 contributions
Feb 2023
I visited the Highland Spice Garden in 1999 and at time purchased a 'cure' for my severe Asthma. My specialist at home told me that I would be on 4 inhalers for the rest of my life and that I was his worst patient in terms of the severity of my asthma. After touring through the spice garden, I purchased the 'cure' and frankly was totally skeptical of any cure it might provide. HOW WRONG I WAS!!!!! After a month taking the very pleasant tasting spice medicine and ointment or salve rubbed on my upper chest, I am free from asthma. I have not carried any inhalers or horrid medicine that western medicine prescribes. It has been 23+ years, and I am absolutely 100% cured.
I once again in Feb of 2023 revisited the Highland Spice Garden to obtain products for my friends and myself (essential oils etc.)
For those of you who are writing very scathing negative reports, please, please don't judge until you've followed the instructions and USED the products that you bought. Sitting on your shelf at home will not work!
I have nothing but praise for the Highland Spice Garden and their products.
Written March 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TK_Max
1 contribution
Feb 2020
This place is full of unqualified cheat people. DO NOT buy any products from them as none of them are listed with any ingredients and overly price.
These people should be ashamed of themselves as they are trying to rob tourist who are trying to explore the world of spices and herbs. Scandalous !!!

All tour guides gets commission from them so if he/she suggests a visit , please avoid if you are easily pushed into buying.

There is a National spice garden which concentrates on spices and herbs, make sure your tour operator visits that one and not this one. Tell him/her in advance.
Written March 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Yanina H
Varna, Bulgaria2 contributions
Feb 2014 • Couples
I visited this place as it was recommended by our local guide. The presentation was excellent, we saw a wide variety of plants, from cocoa beans, to tumeric and vanilla, different kinds of nuts, tea, etc. The man who told us about the plants seemed to be very knowledgable about herb collection and herbal medicine, claiming that there was a team of medical specialists who worked in the garden to develop various herbal products. So far, so good.

The moment came to go to the garden shop and buy some products. I bought the herbal depilatory cream + sandalwood for more than 40 US dollars (2 small containers), thinking that this was really a good quality herbal extract. I used some of the same day, and found out it smells like the cheapest depilatory chemical creams on the market, nothing herbal about it. Honestly speaking I did not want to believe they sold me such a bogus product. I want to go back home and run some lab tests to see what is in it. Anyway, if the lab results confirm this is just a chemical substance, I am going to file an official complaint with the Ministry of Tourism in Sri Lanka.

I bought products for a total of 150 US dollars and I will probably be throwing them away.
That's a big shame for Sri Lanka and its marvellous culture, people and nature. Such people should go to jail for robbing the tourists with fake products presented as natural plant extracts.
Written February 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Oana16
Brussels, Belgium1 contribution
Aug 2013 • Business
I am a travel agent and visited this spice garden this year. I was pleasantly surprised by the professionalism of the man who showed us around and seamed very well prepared and very reassuring about their products. At the end of our tour we bought quite a few products and I must say that I am very, very, DISAPPOINTED! I bought the depilatory cream which smells just like VEET and acts just like VEET! They tell you that you need to buy a package of 6 small recipients of depilatory cream plus one bottle of Sandalwood oil, to use 6 times for a complete hair removal (your hair will never grow back again after this... very convincing bla bla bla )... well guess what? The cream recipient is too small, therefor enough just for your half legs (and I am a small structure woman...) and it does not even take off the hair completely (I do not even dream about having it completely removed...). The Sandalwood oil is supposed to heal scars, pimples, eczema etc... well, I just used it for a scar and it gave me a huge, horrible reaction! I do have some other products that I bought there, but I am not going to use them after seeing the way their 2 "miraculous" products are and NO, I will not recommend your garden to any of my clients! Thank God I tried your products and I will not put my clients health in danger with your horrible products!I guess the products that we find here are the same in all of the spice gardens in Sri Lanka, so please, do not let yourself be fooled! They do promise you miraculous results for these very expensive products who are of very poor quality and some maybe even dangerous for your health...
Written October 30, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MW341
London, UK2 contributions
I don't usually leave reviews but feel I need to warn people. Our driver insisted on bringing us here en route to Dambulla. We acquiesced because he was taking us to some other unscheduled places we requested but also because he was very forceful. He was so insistent, that he must have been getting some sort of commission. Once there the tour was interesting for identifying plants but you can see many of these in botanical gardens around the world. As others have mentioned you also feel obliged to tip and buy in the shop which is very overpriced. BUT... this is the most important/concerning bit. At one point the guide showed us a turmeric root and some "turmeric cream", supposedly all natural products, for hair removal. Being suspicious (foolhardy?), we wanted to see how much was true so we tested a patch on my boyf's arm. 1. It smelt of diluted Immac/Veet. If you use Veet you know how pungent it is. And before you argue maybe it had the same active ingredient... 2. Under a table we actually later saw an empty box of Veet! So the products on sale I can only assume to be adulterated and repackaged mixtures containing commercially available, manufactured cosmetics. Be careful what you buy!
Written February 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

J S
Brisbane, Australia32 contributions
Sri Lanka tourism really needs to do something about these spice gardens, our whole visit to Sri Lanka was amazing and we saw many sights during our stay and this was the only negative.

Our experience was much the same as the other reviews. Tour was informative and enjoyable but was essentially the setup for overcharging foreigners for dubious snake oils.

Avoid at all costs, if you get stuck here without any choice by a tour operator fake a heart attack or stab yourself in the eye or something. Either would be more attractive than being rogered by these local charlatans.
Written February 22, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Suuuue52
Berkshire, UK1 contribution
Aug 2015 • Family
While on holiday a tour guide took us to the Highland Spice Garden where we bought a great deal of cinnamon and other spices totalling the equivalent of £85. However on returning home and opening the packets they all smell of formaldehyde! I am extremely concerned and am going to arrange for these to be tested to see what they contain. I am furious that I appear to have been sold a dangerous product and that, having spent a considerable sum of products to support the local area, feel as if I have been duped. Wish I had double checked with TripAdvisor first.
Written August 18, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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