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“The owner should stay here more often.” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ecolanka - Maussawa Estate

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Ecolanka - Maussawa Estate
Ranked #2 of 2 Pundaluoya B&B and Inns
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
20 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“The owner should stay here more often.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2014 via mobile

To begin, it is the amazing staff and setting that the owner relies on. Where we come from, calling yourself 'Eco' something does not mean a poor standard. This place gives 'Eco' a bad name. The owners seem not to have actioned earlier criticisms of old and uncomfortable beds and hardware. In the cottage, the taps were not fixed to the sink, the towel rail was hanging off the wall, the sheets were stained and the netting still has large holes. We moved to another room and my wife woke up covered in bites but not from Mosquitos so maybe time to buy new mattresses and pillows? In our shared bathroom the bidet did not work, the hot water was tepid and the sink was not attached. A shocking standard! Finally, there's nothing more sour than paying 3 times the retail for your water as you enjoy the nice food and exquisite views.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DomCindy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    46
    6
    5
    3
    3
See reviews for
13
32
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2013

Literally a hidden gem-hard to find up in the hill country of Sri Lanka, but paradise found. My friend and I stayed for two nights in the deluxe cottage. The food was the best I have had. The views were phenomenal. The day trips were well supported. The functioning farm was inspirational. It was a sanctuary.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank pacificbloei1996
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maussawa E, Manager at Ecolanka - Maussawa Estate, responded to this review, June 30, 2013
Thank you so much for your review, and for your visit! We really do our best to offer to each visitor a beautiful stay and a personal service. As we only have 7 rooms it is possible for us to offer you a great welcome ! Do not hesitate to write us an email if you have ideas that could help us to improve our service. We hope to see you soon in Ecolanka!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
50 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013

I am glad we didn't pay in advance as asked as we cut our stay short. On arrival, the bungalow looked run down and the bedroom was horrible. Dank, dark, mouldy, mossie nets so old and full of holes. Nothing like the picture on the website.

We wanted to leave but had been driving for a long time. We were shown the cottage which was a better space but certainly not worth 85€!

The whole place is poorly maintained; toilet and shower were broken, mossie nets need replacing, the sheets were stained. I agree with the previous review that it could be so much more if a little money was spent.

The only positive was that the staff were lovely and the guided tour of the grounds and plants cheered us up a little. The food was also good.

Overall, there are much much nicer places to stay for the same or less money. We stayed in cleaner and nicer places for a quarter of the price of this place.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Dorie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maussawa E, Manager at Ecolanka - Maussawa Estate, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
Thank you for your comments! We have improved a lot of things in our estate since your
visit, and still do! Our region can be damp, especially during the winter season, but we
ventilate all the rooms every day. We don't use dryers for ecological reasons, so it can
happen, that we need more time to dry the towels. We are sorry for that.

Most of the people says that it is worthy for 85 Euros since following reasons,

*Food and beverages for dinner and the breakfast is included,

*We are providing additional security for you and when you are eating in the restaurant , a guard is sent to the cottage since prevention is always better than curing.

*We are maintaining 15 labours for the company to carry on the Organic production of Coffee,
Tea, Kithul treacle etc. It allows you to see traditional production procedure of Kithul treacle.
manual processing of tea and coffee for exports.

So most of our guests say that our place is a paradise with rich biodiversity and Beautiful
natural surrounding ,delicious food and Eco Friendly events . Also most of the traditional
villagers are benefiting by it through providing their products for exports.Most importantly
we are active members of Slowfood International and we are the leaders of Nuwaraeliya
Slowfood Convivium.

If you were here in a sunny day, rooms would not be moist and you could have gone to the beautiful Waterfall about 2 Km away from us with natural Swimming pools and to the top
of the hills hearing various sounds of birds which we have sited 75 species within our hotel
premises. As well as you say , to the traditional Halpola and Madakumbura village to see
temples and river.

Yes i also agree with you that there were some holes in the nets which has been created by
squirrels since they have taken small net pieces to make their nests. Since it is an ecological place with trees and animal everywhere, it is hard to manage such situations sometimes. Only thing we can do is to repair them. We are extremely sorry for not doing it before your arrival.

Finally i think that it would be a paradise for Nature lovers and explorers and as well as i
agree that it is not a good place if somebody willing to live in luxury rooms having baths
in swimming pools etc. If you are coming back to the Sri-lanka we can organize all these
events for you again if you miss something on a complementary basis.

Thank you ,
Madusanka.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2013

I booked well in advance to stay here for a week, but only managed three nights. I booked a double en-suite room and paid a 40% deposit. The room they put us in was so small that when we put our travel bags on the floor there was hardly any room to get round the bed. The room was at the back of the building and there was one bare light-bulb in a corner. The walls really needed painting and the mosquito net was ill-fitting. The mattress was uncomfortable and we had to sleep with the bed-cover over it. This room felt like a cell and is the worst room I have ever slept in. The en-suite had no window, we never had a hot shower, only tepid water on one morning and cold water on the other two mornings. The towels didn't dry out and no-one came to do anything in the room while we were there. On the second evening I asked for a dry towel - nothing happened - my husband asked several times - nothing happened and I asked again before we eventually got a dry towel.

I made it clear that this room was not what I booked. To be fair to them - on the second day they offered us a room with no en-suite which I declined as you had to go outside and along the veranda to get to the toilet, and I didn't fancy doing this during the night with the number of mosquitoes that were around.

The food was very good but plain. We asked for chilli to spice it up a bit.

The waiter (name I have forgotten) was very friendly and the locals that we met when out walking were also very friendly. Other staff at the lodge didn't bother with us much.

I was glad to leave here, it is overpriced and I couldn't recommend it.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Margaret833
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maussawa E, Owner at Ecolanka - Maussawa Estate, responded to this review, July 16, 2013
We are a surprise by your comment, because our guest book is full of good comments. We trained people coming from the village to welcome guests and they are always very presents for them. Even if some mishap happen, staff is very careful of our customers.
Moreover the price is justified by the guide including with. We do also our best to transmit our ethic and protect the environment which involved this price.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 25, 2012

Our family stayed in July, low season so we were the only guests for both nights. This is a glorious setting and could be a real gem. But sadly the lack of good management and maintenance means it isn't.
Prices are very high for the rooms. We booked a first floor double room for us and our 10-year-old daughter. We were offered an extra bed for our daughter, but there was no feasible place to put it. That was OK, but the water in the bathroom was not working. We told the manager and after dinner he said it was fixed. But in the night the water stopped again completely - no hot or cold. We could not even flush the loo. We mentioned this first thing in the morning and were told it would be fixed. By 5pm, still no success. Our patience and good temper was wearing thin and we were finally offered a second night in the 'luxury' cottage for the same price and moved all our bags over. This is a wonderful building (though still seems overpriced), with a lovely upstairs bedroom and fantastic space. But even here a leaking pipe to the toilet had not been fixed - this would have been a 10 minute job.
Now for the good news - the food is wonderful and the female chef (Padma) is charming and allowed our daughter to help her do dinner (we were the only guests). The tuk tuk driver we arranged through the hotel was also lovely (the station pick up that the manager arranged was unbelievably expensive in comparison; if you arrive by train there are tuk tuks waiting at the remote station). The deputy manager was helpful, and an absolutely charming French student was brilliant at explaining about the farm and the water sources - thank you so much Julien.
This could be a really wonderful retreat -- there are fabulous walks in the surrounding hills and plenty of tea plantations to visit. But the owner needs to sort out the maintenance and management.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Trekkers999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maussawa E, Manager at Ecolanka - Maussawa Estate, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
Thank your for your comments! We have improved a lot of things in our estate, and still do! We also have a new managing team. As you know we only use pure high quality spring water from the hills, and it happens sometimes that an animal (or a coconut) breaks a water pipe. We need more than a hour to climb on the top of the hill and have to send a team of two people in the jungle to check the water pipe from the hills to our establishment. When coming by train to Ecolanka (stop at the Watagoda railway station) we recommend to ask us for a pick up. The tuk tuk (three wheel) will wait for you at the station even if the train has some delay.
Padma is greeting you. She enjoyed your stay in Ecolanka and still remembers your daughter.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ghent, Belgium
Level Contributor
52 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2012

A highlight for Sri Lanka. a,beautiful calm spot in a small village beside the hidden track with great people and great ideas. The organic food is more then fantastic, the service above any expectations and this for a very fair price compared to what we got later at the seaside!

Room Tip: Ask to see the private cottage
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Katzi F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maussawa E, Manager at Ecolanka - Maussawa Estate, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Thank you so much for your review, and for your visit! We really do our best to offer to each visitor a beautiful stay and a personal service. As we only have 7 rooms it is possible for us to offer you a great welcome ! Do not hesitate to write us an email if you have ideas that could help us to improve our service. We hope to see you soon in Ecolanka!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2012

Ecolanka is set in a converted tea estate, which is now an organic bio-diverse farm and ecotourism venture. It is located in a small village in the Sri Lankan Hill Country in a beautiful location between rice paddies, tea plantations, waterfalls etc. The food, which is plentiful and served three times a day, is first-class. The ingredients, many of which we had never seen before, are grown on the organic farm on the property. The staff show you how the treacle and tea are prepared and which trees the various unfamiliar fruits and vegetables come from. Thomas took us on a guided walk to show us around the property and the surrounding village and taught us about the area. The staff are constantly around and looking to help offer walking suggestions, guided walks, drinks etc. It's extremely peaceful sitting on the veranda reading a book, and the people living in the surrounding villages are very friendly when you meet them on a walk.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank frochel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maussawa E, Manager at Ecolanka - Maussawa Estate, responded to this review, May 3, 2013
Thank you so much for your review and your nice comment! We really do our best to offer to each visitor a beautiful stay and a personal service! Do not hesitate to write us an email with some ideas that could help us to improve our service. We hope to see you soon in Ecolanka!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ecolanka - Maussawa Estate

Property: Ecolanka - Maussawa Estate
Address: Halpola, Pundaluoya, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Pundaluoya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Pundaluoya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the middle of the Sri Lankan moutains, EcoLanka is the perfect ecotourism site to fully enjoy the nature. We are set up on a 20 ha area where biodiversity is growing all around you. We can propose you nights in our deluxe cottage with a double stairs and balcony, from there you can enjoy an amazing view on the valley and rest peacefully. We have also a bungalow with 6 rooms and their bathroom with common balcony.We can offer you free tour in our estate but also making you visit the surroundings such as Buddhist or Hindu temples, waterfalls, tea factories... We also can provide delicious typical Sri Lankan meals. Looking forwards to welcoming you !! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ecolanka - Maussawa Estate Sri Lanka/Pundaluoya

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