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Barberyn Reef Ayurveda Resort
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Reviewed November 18, 2010

I visted Barberyn Reef Resort in Beruwela in October for 2 weeks. When I was planning to go , I was a little apprehensive as I was travelling alone but this soon lifted and I had the most fantastic time there.. it was the best experience I have ever had and which has stayed with me.

The drive from the airport was about 3 hours ... which was a very tiring considering that I had travelled overnight from London. But once at the resort , I was greeted very warmly by the staff at Barberyn.

I was given a beach front view with a fantastic view and sound of the ocean.... waking up to this evry morning was absolute bliss.

The team at the ayruvedic centre was extremely warm ,polite and welcoming from the staff at reception to the professionalism of the doctors and therapists who could not do enough and went out of their way to address any and questions or concerns. The synchronized massages,steam baths, herbal garden relaxation was an experience in itself and followed one after another like clockwork. The staff at the restaurant were extremely polite and catered to all needs . There was a hugh variety of healthy and nutrious food in abundance... lots of exotic fruits at breakfast.. throughly spoilt for choice.

Nothing was too much for any member of staff at the resort who went out of their way to aid and assist in any way. The owners of the resort, Manek and Kamini were always available to chat to and welcomed any feedback.

I met many wonderful from all corners of the world and have made some wonderful freinds.

I had a lot of "me time" to reflect and comtemplate on life and rejuvenate my energies

Barberyn Reef is a place I will be visting again and would recommend it with no hesitation

Thank you all at Barberyn!!

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled solo
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2  Thank Ranj21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2010

My husband and I visited the Barberyn Reef Ayurveda Resort in Beruwela and Weligama, Sri Lanka in September 2010 for our honeymoon. We had continuously heard great things about the two resorts and we weren’t disappointed to say the least; it was a fantastic holiday.

The hotels and surrounding backdrop were absolutely beautiful. At Berulwela there was the warm blue ocean and white sands. There is yoga on the rooftops which gives a spectacular view of the local area. In addition, Weligama boast a wonderfully created forest of trees within which the hotel is cleverly built. The rooms at both resorts were clean and authentic with a different feel.

Berulwela is about two hours south of Sri Lanka’s main airport and largest city, Colombo. Weligama is another hour and a half further south.

We were immediately impressed from the minute we landed and a very friendly driver welcomed us at the airport with a bag of goodies for our journey. The resort was exquisite, located right on the beach with lots of palm trees and wildlife. The ocean view from our room was magnificent.

The staff were not only friendly and polite but went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed. They were passionate about making sure the guests had the best possible experience.

The ayurvedic team including the doctors, therapist and masseuse were welcoming, kind and willing to show us around their medical centre. The massage therapy was the best that we ever experienced. That is no understatement having been to Thailand, China, India and England for similar treatments. The 2-person synchronized massages were luxurious, and the herbal steam facials and herbal body packs were relaxing. The herbal bath, where a therapist repeatedly pours herbal water over your body was soothing.

The ayurvedic doctors were very professional and thorough, and they seemed to genuinely enjoy helping their guests. There were some guests that had come to the end of the line with Western treatments and had come searching for a more holistic approach to their illnesses and had found improvement in their quality of life.

All the food at Barberyn was vegetarian but we did not miss eating meat once during our stay here.
The food was delicious and healthy. The food was in abundance and all very appealing and tasty. The fruit and vegetable could be found in large quantities. We took advantage of eating all the exotic fruits on offer especially mangosteen and mangos.

All in all this was a fabulous holiday and could not have expected anymore. We had the most relaxing, healthy and happy holiday and we look forward to going back soon.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank SNP60
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2010

What do you do without a pub or a party in the evenings? When oft times the only entertainment is a solitary flautist in the corner of the restaurant, a Pan-like figure lost in his world? Or the solo pianist who also seems to be playing for his own ears? At first, the lack of alcohol and other forms of sundown stimulants left me in a quandary. My frenetic life had slowed down considerably, and I was at a loss at what to do with myself in the evenings. But that emptiness made time for self contemplation and a return to wholesome basics, albiet in a supportive, salubrious and luxurious environment. Barberyn Reef Hotel in Beruwela, Sri Lanka gave me three weeks of sun, sand and a perfect Indian Ocean reef, generous buffets of nourishing food that seemed to have come from loving hearths, comfortable rooms and a genuinely caring staff.

And Barberyn gave me more. Indeed, self was the focus of a three stay at Barberyn Reef Hotel, where I not only indulged in three weeks of good wholesome living, but went through an intense detoxification programme while I learned the fundamentals of ayurveda, an ancient 5,000 year old science of wholistic living, and came away with professional certification to practice as an ayurvedic therapist. I am grateful to Barberyn for this experience that has reminded me that the body cannot be separated from mind and spirit, and that we can indeed look to the Earth for answers. For once, the stimulants that the golbal marketing machine incessantly conditions us to make centrestage in life were compelled to take a back seat. In their absence, and with the focus on mind body and spirit, this ayurvedic health spa transported me back to a bygone era where Earth nourished the body and body cherished the Earth. It reminded me about all that is best in Earth and life.

So, what happened in those three weeks?

I saw people healed. A European gentleman in his 60s had returned for a second time to treat his Leukemia. Three weeks at Barberyn in 2009 had cleaned up his circulatory system, restoring the balance between the red and white blood cells. But after his return to his native lands, leaukemia struck again, as well a wracking months long cough. His doctors had advised him to return to Sri Lanka, and after three weeks of intensive treatment, he was showing signs of recovery. A middle aged English woman was there for a months long stay to recover from the effects of an allopathic treatments for her skin cancer that had ruined her immune system. There were others who had come to attempt to reverse ailments like psoaris, and alcoholics and chain smokers who wanted to kick their bad habits. The medical staff told me that they are seeing an increase in the number of visitors who are coming to restore health to ravaged bodies, rather than just chill out in a health resort.

Food is a central ingredient to healing, and Barberyn puts out a huge spread of healing foods every day. If you are ill, diets are carefully controlled. Because the prevailing culture is Buddhist, you won’t find chicken and red meats or lobster on the menu at Barberyn. But they do serve fish. In general, the diet is fibre rich indigenous recipes, and presents a generous array of native vegetables and herbs. There are dishes you will only find in a Sri Lankan home, like gotukola mallung and jak fruit. Western fare is also available. The benefits of every dish is written by its side, while a doctor keeps watch to ensure that you stick to your recommended diet.

Most guests go through a careful detoxification programme based on their prakurti; the ayurvedic equivalent of an individual constitution, prakurti is based on the balance of three vital energies – vata, pita and kapha, known collectively as tridosha – at the time of birth. An experienced ayurvedic physician can by checking pulse determine the prakurthi at time of birth, and the present constitution which would have been influenced by lifestyle. A poor lifestye causes imbalances that lead to disease.Having determined this, the resident ayurvdic physicians tailor a health regimen to gently nudge the individual back to health.

The treatment includes a gentle oil massage, steaming and body packs. The therapists give a gentle massage because unlike other massage systems such as deep tissue and Swedish, ayurvedic massage (the resort prefers to call it therapy and not massage) is not massage per se, but a tool in a multi-pronged detoxification programme. It is gentle with the oils doing as much of the work as the therapist. Those seeking a more intensive massage experience would be disappointed, but I would say they need to give ayurveda a chance to work, because the healing comes gradually. I myself felt a pinch nerve in my neck ease considerably, and the weak right side gradually strengthening. It takes time to undo the damage that years of long hours at the computer and late nights and unhealthy diets cause to the body.

The programme of studies, An Intensive Course in Ayurvedic Therapy, taught me a great deal about myself and life that I wish I had known earlier. The tridosha premise makes sense in even the way it determines personality types and what foods will support such a personality and what foods will aggravate negative personality traits. The hotel owns extensive herbal gardens, and a walk through them with an ayurvedic physician drives home the immense ability of the Earth to heal and rejuvenate, and an understanding of why we should not tamper with nature, and why we should respect her. For students of massage who are seeking certification as ayurvedic therapists, thisis a good course to follow because Barberyn has a long 30 year history, being the first ayurvedic tourist resort in Sri Lanka,and in fact on of the first tourist resorts in the country. It was founded by Mr Sudana Rodrigo, an ayurvedic physician. One of the highlights of the course is its experiential component – all students have to take two weeks of detoxification treatment, so that they get first hand experience in the subject. This is indeed commendable, although it made the coursework very tight, fitting in treatment with lectures and practicals. But at the end of the day, it was worth the effort.

One thing that must be mentioned is the spirit of ayurveda in action at Barberyn Reef. The staff live it and breath it. They are gentle, kind, and caring. They go an extra mile most of the time. There are idiosyncracies but that calls for a lesson in patience, which is a quality in life that most people lack today.

Barberyn Reef is not the place for those who want a regular fun-filled vacation – it’s a placeto reconnect and revitalize, chill out and unwind, and heal. Apart from a few minor ailments, I wasn’t really ill when I stepped into Barberyn Reef. What I wanted was a holiday, and a therapists qualification. I had my holiday, and I got my certification, but I also got more. What happened in those three weeks has made me come away with an even deeper longing to correct my life, to be kinder to my body, and to make timefor spirit. And my deep connection with the Earth has been reaffirmed – more than ever now, I am aware of how sacred is our planet and its flora, and why we should work hard to protect her.

Thank you,Barberyn, for a beautiful interlude in my life.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled on business
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2  Thank Daleena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2010

A beautiful location right on beach by the coral reef, a lovel open hotel which runs like clockwork and has an exceptionally friendly and attentive staff. The ayurveda treatments are wonderful and you can feel it all doing you good. Nice vegetarian food (some fish too), a mix of buffets and waiter service. The lack of a/c takes getting used to but they do say it is better for you. The most wonderful seawater swimming pool, at least 40m long.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank sunny_jay_jay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2010

We went there for the ayurvedic food & treatments.

The ayurvedic food was good (buffet). The beach bungalows are nice. I would not recommend staying in any other type of room.

The ayurvedic treatments were too impersonal. Instead of feeling like in a spa one felt like on a conveyor belt....4 handed15 min massage (so lightly that it should be called caressing instead) that was given every day in the same robotic manner, without adjusting to the actual problem areas of the "patient". The other treatments went in the same manner. other than that the treatment rooms were not the coziest or cleanest and for some treatments one was in a big room with other guests (acupuncture, mud wraps).

The beach would have been beautiful if it had been a private beach because one can not walk there as a woman without being harassed by the local beach boys or women who try to sell scarfs.
And even if one wants to sit on the lounge chairs in the area that belongs to the hotel just in front of the public beach one gets harassed constantly by beach boys and sales ladies because the wallis so low that they can still talk/look/perv at you and are practically only a meter away.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled with family
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7  Thank NG9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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