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Niyagama House
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Reviews (264)
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All reviewsyoga classestea plantationyoga roomamethyst roominner peaceamazing yogagreat teachertuk tukbeautiful retreatsmall teasurrounding jungleperfect place to relax and unwindsri lankastunning architecturefull body massageno alcoholbike tour
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Reviewed February 23, 2014

A perfect hideaway for yoga enthusiasts, beautifully designed and lovingly decorated by owner/architect Elke and husband, Niyagama House stands alone in a nine acre lush plantation. We began our stay in Sri Lanka at the tranquil and serene house, Galle.Tired and dishevelled we were welcomed by Elke at the entrance with refreshing and cool King Coconut drink. We were impressed that Elke spent quality time talking to us about the house, her love of yoga and of Sri Lanka. She later escorted us to The Ruby Room. The room was simple and elegant in its décor with the usual creature comforts, i.e. mini bar, safe, a/c, toiletries, laundry and WiFi. The bathroom was a combination of German fixtures/fittings and Sri Lanka design...Gorgeous!
A separate t.v. room has been designed for movie buffs and is located on the ground floor. There is a lovely library with open balcony on the first floor..Elke offers cooking classes, bicycle tours and yoga classes for all her guests. Please inquire about prices when you arrive.

We spent two restful nights sleeping in a luxurious four poster bed laden with high quality heavy mosquito net listening to wildlife and birds. As an early riser I decided to head up to the roof terrace to admire the views of the gardens, pool and plantation. Breakfast was super healthy with a large portion of a fresh fruit and was served on the terrace near the pool. We decided to order dinner both nights and had a selection of limited vegetarian dishes which were delicious, spicy and healthy. Our compliments to the chef.

All the employees we met were happy to assist and very attentive to all our needs and we must congratulate Elke for training her staff and for her first year in hospitality management. Thank you for making our stay unique, comfortable and for arranging our transport to Galle and Tangalle.

A few concerns and minor teething problems we would like to mention are; the lack of signs/signage to the house which were limited and few, we had a stressful time directing our driver, we hope this issue will be addressed soon. We also hope that staff will be given the opportunity to improve their language skills as instructions were misunderstood with our laundry request. As a health/yoga retreat it would be beneficial for the breakfast and dinner menus to cater for those who have specific dietary requirements i.e. lactose/lactase intolerance/t, diabetic, halal and gluten free dishes/recipes with a selection of bread (not the standard white) would be heaven. Room service would also be advantageous and appreciated as shopping centres, restaurants and convenience stores are extremely limited in the area. Galle is approximately 7.8km away. Food orders need to be cooked and served quickly as we waited over thirty minutes for our meals. We paid $165 per night and feel this was slightly on the expensive side for a guest house. If you desire a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of city life and an intimate yoga session with spectacular views of the Sri Lankan countryside then this is the place for you....

Elke's unique one to one time with guests really makes your stay feel special.
Thank you for the follow up email and photo of the birthday cake Elke. Much appreciated...

Driving in Sri Lanka can be a nightmare.The drive from Bandaranaike Airport - Galle (pronounced Gawl) took approximately four and half hours, thank goodness we had GPS as our driver was clueless. The Southern Expressway is brilliant, fast and modern. Be prepared for long tiring journeys everywhere else in Sri Lanka. We would recommend you ask to hire a large car/mini van/jeep with a/c and a trusted driver who speaks fluent English during the course of your stay. Taxi charges from the airport can vary so fix your price before you leave. Driving in Colombo and the interior is hairy at the best of times as much of Sri Lanka's roads are one lane so journeys can take twice as long. Always keep low denominations of Sri Lankan Rupees with you as local drivers rarely have change....Expect the unexpected!!! <3 Sri Lanka

Room Tip: All the rooms are lovely. For honeymooners we would recommend the Amethyst Room which is located at the top of the house.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lil_Miss_Sunshine75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2014

Wonderful place perfectly located in the middle of a beautiful tea estate!!!! Everything is so nice that it is very difficult to leave... There is nothing to improve as everything is already perfect, the rooms, the swimming pool, the landscape, the staff; the food!!!!!! Thank you Elke!!!!!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank agreestic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2014

The Niyagama House was the best place on our six months journey so far!

There is really nothing we could point out as "not good" or "could be better".

Rooms / House
We had a very spacious room, the bathroom equipment is top and very modern. There is a fancy fan and an AC if you like. The styling is taken back and creates an atmosphere that normally only old colonial-style buildings have, while it maintains an open and bright feel that such houses would normally lack of.

Food
Although we really enjoyed eating in different places in Fort Galle, the food quality available here made us eat at the Niyagama House almost every day! There is an often changing fusion menu and a regular one, both very nice. It takes a bit longer after you order, but it was always fresh made! - They were also were nice in respecting special wishes we had.

Pool
The pool is fantastic - no Chlorine! the sunbeds are perfectly situated wether you want to be sizzled in the sun or stay in the shadows. Swimming in the infinity pool amidst the jungle like surroundings is breath-taking. The only remark is that it might not be suited for small children. - There is a sharp step to allow the infinity effect and the drop is a few meters. The same step is in the terrace as well.

Staff / Owner
Hands down the nicest staff we encountered in any hotel so far. There was not one person that seemed to be grumpy or not enjoying what they are doing. Elke is a great personality and runs the house in a very warm yet correct way.

Activities
We did not try the meditation and yoga, unfortunately. (Because we have our own routine) But from what we have seen, the classes are recommendable. The yoga room is very nice! And the meditation/yoga terrace on top of the building ... just see for yourself!

The cooking class was great fun and done nicely and the walk around the property was interesting and showed how much the owner cares for the surrounding as well.


I am sorry to sound like a fanboy, but there is really nothing that I could point out that we did not like. We will come back, that is for sure. Thanks to Elke and her great staff and family for creating such an amazing place!

Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Markoff_Chainey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2014

My husband and I stayed here for five nights last month and loved it. We chose Niyagama House after reading all the fantastic reviews ......... It was the best place we stayed at in all our three weeks in Sri Lanka and would love to go back. The pool was amazing. We loved walking the dogs in the morning (including the slipper thief !) the only thing we did not like ....... was having to leave !! The fact that it only has seven rooms and the staff are so friendly made you feel like you did not want to leave. Well done to Elke and her husband, you must be very proud to have built such an amazing place. We look forward to returning and will make sure we book well in advance in order to get a room as we are sure that Nyagama House is going to be (if not already) a must place to stay if visiting Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sue-tuddenham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2014

My wife and I are in our early-30's and we live in Singapore. We REALLY wanted to visit Sri Lanka over Chinese New Year (early-February), because all of our friends said it's their favourite place. Everyone recommended we visit Galle, so we looked for high-end, boutique hotels in the Galle area that could accommodate my wife and I, my 70 year-old parents, and my 35 year-old brother and his wife.

We wanted an "authentic" experience - tea plantations, the smell of cinnamon, birds chirping, colonial architecture, and delicious, local cuisine. We are not into big resorts, flat-screen TVs, western menus, and endless buffets. We wanted our hotel to be part of the Sri Lanka experience, not just someplace to sleep and get a quick breakfast before jetting-out for the day.

We stayed at Niyagama for four nights, and it was SPECTACULAR.

I could go on forever, but here are the quick highlights:

- Architecture: It's brand new, but is built in traditional, plantation style. It's open and breezy, with a gorgeous, open floor plan, central courtyard, decks overlooking the tea plantations, and impeccable attention to detail.

- Location: It's set on a working tea and cinnamon plantation in the hills about 20 minutes outside of Galle. The hotel is perched on top of a hill, so it gets lots of cool breezes and has stunning views of the surrounding countryside. It was a great place for exploring the south coast beaches and visiting Galle Fort.

- Rooms: Lovely, with comfy, four-poster beds, spacious bathrooms, and views of the surrounding hills. Bathrooms are spacious, plenty of closets, great safes, and lots of fresh air.

- Pool: It's beautiful - arguably the best part. We actually left the pristine beaches of the south coast early, so we could come back to hang out by the pool. It uses a new filter system that doesn't require chlorine, so the water feels cool and refreshing, without any of the chemical smell, fell or taste. And it has colourful LED lights that come on at night, and sparkle different colours.

- Activities: There's a lot you can do. We did the sunrise nature walk around the plantation with Elke and her dogs. It was really fun, and a great way to start the day. We also did the bike ride to the beach at Unawatuna, which was guided and a lot of fun. Lastly, we indulged in a 90-minute massage and body scrub on our last day - heavenly. We never did any of the yoga sessions, but the studio is gorgeous - wish we had done a few sessions.

- Food: The Sri Lankan dishes are deliciously authentic, the fusion items are creative and fun, and everything features fresh, local ingredients prepared by Sri Lankan cooks that love their food. Everything, from our morning juices and eggs, to our lunchtime curries, and our dinner fish fusions, was delicious. NOTE: THEY DO NOT SERVE ALCOHOL.

- Staff: Elke, the owner and manager, is lovely. She is fun, funny, charming and very helpful. A few days before we arrived at Niyagama, my 70 year-old mother came down with a terrible flu, and Elke went above and beyond to help us. She immediately set us up with her physician (one of the best in Sri Lanka), arranged for trips to the hospital and pharmacy, got her medicine and special foods to help her get better, and ensured that she was well taken care of. Elke's care gave our entire family peace of mind, and we are forever grateful for the genuine kindness of Elke and the entire staff. PS, the rest of the staff was warm, friendly and very attentive. At the end of the trip, they felt like friends!

Room Tip: They are all beautiful. But some have their own private balconies, which are really nice.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Stephen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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