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Reviewed November 29, 2013

Plantation Villa is a fantastic place to go if (like us) you had been travelling for some time around Sri Lanka and were departure to escape the noise, dirt and chaos for a couple of days. I'm not a fan of resorts and having stayed at a previous working plantation, I was keen to stay at another one. The estate is beautiful and you can see the draining of the rubber trees amongst many other plants. Service is second to none, as previously said they are more like family than employees and I've probably never smiled so much in my life! We also opted for some of the treatments and learning about our dosha's was fascinating. (The in room book about this is just superb). Perhaps one improvement to suggest? Rice and curry 3 times a day did get a bit too much, and the portions were huge which made us feel very uncomfortable when we were not able to finish them all! A couple of options would have been great. It would have also been great to have had a tailored dosha meal plan which was more affordable than the one offered. Overall however, the location of the estate and standard of service cannot be better but by making a dosha meal plan with some options together with the treatments would provide an all round superb retreat!

  • Stayed: October 2013
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Thank 01joellen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2013

This really should have been written a few weeks ago but unfortunately life got in the way.
After holidays where I had either been racing round trying to see all the sights or catching up with old friends (and shopping) I really needed a holiday that was just for me. One where I could relax and focus on being healthy. Being in the UAE I also wanted somewhere that was reasonably close and inexpensive to get to.

I looked on here and responsibletravel.com for ideas and actually Plantation was my second choice – the first being fully booked. I made the right decision as I drove past the other place and it was a typical resort and by the looks of things full of Russians (not that I have anything against them).

And so the journey begins….. the drive from the airport to the Villa took forever (this was before the new road was built though). I was so glad (for once) to see several Pizza Huts en route for a much necessary toilet stop.

On reaching the Villa – wow what can I say – the way the main building looked lit up at night was something I shall always remember – I’m just disappointed I forgot to take a photo.
I can see this turning into a long report so will try and be brief. The previous poster – who was actually there the same time as me has written pretty much everything that needs to be said.
Food – delicious though after a few days of curry/veggie based healthy dishes I was beginning to crave cheese on toast which completely defeats the object and something they luckily don’t serve.

The staff are lovely, limited English but it isn’t a massive problem and a smile goes a very long way. Nothing was too much trouble – from bringing me fresh coconut water to finding a way of getting my door unlocked when I managed to lock myself out. After the first day or so they are not 'staff' but family.

Treatments/Ayurveda – this was the first time I had tried Ayurveda despite working with a number of Indian colleagues. There was a consultation with the doctor on my first full day who advised the foods/treatments I should have (though I think we all had the same treatments). Being used to massage I loved the one Roshan gave, he certainly got all the knots out. Oh, a word of warning ladies……….. it is a male doing the massage but he is a professional, not some dodgy bloke. You may also feel a bit uneasy with the 'steam bath' - this was in the nicest possible way nicknamed the 'coffin' as that is what it looked like. Luckily your head stays outside the wooden structure and Roshan is happy to stay with you if you don't feel too comfortable.

The rooms – I had two during my stay. The first couple of nights I was in room 3 (I think) unfortunately I found the bed far too hard and uncomfortable and was luckily able to be moved. Think it was just because it was a very thin mattress and I could feel the board underneath. Possibly though something that would be ok for someone with a bad back.

The environment – I wanted relaxation and that is definitely what I got. There were only a few guests at the time which possibly made it easier – especially when it came to using the pool as we took it in turns. It’s a small pool but you can get some decent swimming in.
It was all so peaceful and days were happily spent with my kindle watching the monkeys , squirrels and variety of birds and evenings were spent the same way – but watching the fireflies.
Tips – a few things to bring with you………….. cash – the nearest ATM is a 20 (ish) minute drive away on the way to Galle in a motorway service station.
Ear plugs if you’re a light sleeper. Depending on your room, you may have animals (never did find out which ones) frolicking over the roof and if it rains that could also keep you awake.
Old clothes you’d be happy to leave – everything gets very oily with the massage oils, there is a laundry service but you’re certainly not going to want to bring your favourite designer clothes with you. There’s nobody to see them anyway. And ladies, leave the hight heels at home (and the make up and other rubbish we usually have with us).
Toiletries – again for the same reason. You’ll probably need to wash your hair a few times to get the oils out.
Books/kindle/ipad – something to keep you amused. The Villa does have WiFi in the main building which is fine but the whole point is to get away from everything so do you really need it?
Plugs are plentiful (something I often find lacking in other hotels) and 3 pin (UK style). There's always water and soft drinks available - obviously no alcohol.

There's a driver and car available if you do want to get out and explore - Galle is about an hour away and pleasant enough to walk around in between buying gems (Amethyst and topaz are particularly cheap) and I took an afternoon just to explore the surrounding area which was lovely.

Remember this isn't a 5 star hotel with the facilities you may be used to, it's a small slice of paradise, somewhere where you'll be in bed fast asleep by 10pm, somewhere that will remind you that sometimes we need to stop and look around us, to breathe deeply and relax.

Overall, a fantastic experience and perfect if you just need to get away from everything (and everyone)

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Katscamel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013

This was NOT my first trip to Sri Lanka but it WAS my first visit to stay at an Ayurvedic Resort and it WILL NOT be my last. This was formerly a family home on a plantation of rubber and mahogany trees. It is set in around 35 acres in the middle of nowhere.

I was only traveling from the Gulf so although it was a short flight, the plane arrived at 4.00 am, which is a bit of a killer. However, on the plus side, I was through both Immigration and Customs fairly quickly (traveling only with hand-luggage), and was in the hotel car by 4.30 am and at the resort by 6.00 am with a very careful driver. Other guests who arrived in Colombo later in the day took 4 hours to get from the airport to the hotel due to the horrendous traffic. That will change when the new expressway opens shortly and it will no longer be necessary to drive through Colombo.

All the staff were waiting for me upon arrival, which made me feel a bit guilty. Mr. Roshan runs the place on a day-to-day basis, overseeing everything but he is also the main therapist.

If you are looking for a 5-star resort, then you have come to the wrong place. This former family home, is still owned by the family and I felt more of a house guest than a hotel guest. Some of the family visited the resort themselves on the Sunday and mingled casually with the guests and were able to give some very interesting information about the house and the surrounding area.

Accommodation is simple but clean. There is both air-conditioning (which I never used) and a fan in each room. Electricity is 220 volts with British-type three pin plugs. The shower had plenty of hot water. Towels and sheets were replaced whenever I asked. One recommendation – bring your own shower gel and soap. The resort provides both but they are the usual small hotel size, and you will need plenty of soap to remove the ayurvedic oils from your treatments each day. Laundry charges are very reasonable. There is no TV and I wasn’t expecting any. There is a WiFi signal at the main house but not in the adjoining rooms, but again, I went to this place to switch off.

I met the ayurvedic doctor on my first day and she prescribed specific food, medicines and treatments. Everyone is treated as an individual so although most of us were having similar massages, we were not all having similar food. Most of the food is grown in the grounds and is organic. There is no choice as in a restaurant, but you are served multiple small dishes of mainly vegetarian food, with perhaps a little chicken or fish. It is all cooked in Sri Lankan style, so don’t expect European-type food. I personally found it all very tasty. I ate whenever I felt like it, so there was no set meal times.

Some of us did yoga each day and the “yoga master” was very patient in his teaching, as most of us had never done yoga before.

My other recommendation is to bring your oldest t-shirts, shorts and underwear. It’s a waste of time to bring your finest. There’s no reason to dress up and everyone is there for the same thing – detox, destress, chilling out and getting away from it all. I wasn't offered disposable underwear (although I understand that it may have been available) for my treatments and you don’t go naked either. You wear your own underwear and it gets covered with ayurvedic oil. Plus no-one cares if you are wearing Giordano or Gucci.

This is a remote place, so bring plenty of reading material as there are NO shops nearby. The nearest ATM is about 20 kms away, so change your money at the airport, although if you don’t plan on leaving the resort, you won’t be spending much. Everyone seems to be in bed by around 8.00 pm to 9.00 pm but that is an individual choice. There is no alcohol and therefore, no hotel bar.

Public taxis are very limited and you have to book in advance, but the hotel itself can organize day trips to Galle, Kalatura and other locations.

The peace and tranquility are deafening. There is really no other noise apart from birds. There are squirrels running around and wandering through the plantation itself, you may chance upon some monkeys who appear to be more frightened of you and will run away when approached.

I was surprised that there were no mosquito nets on the beds as I had used these on previous visits to other locations on the island, but I didn’t get bitten. I did bring some mosquito spray.

There is a pool in the garden which I made full use of each day and other guests seemed to use it at different times – almost as if we were giving each other our own space.

I went in October which is the “low” season and there were only three other guests, but this suited me perfectly as I felt that the service was very personalized and there was more flexibility on timing of treatments which wouldn’t necessarily be possible if the place was full with, potentially, 16 guests.

There was no mobile phone signal, but I could catch up on emails and WhatsApp by using the resort WiFi.

If you are coming here alone and not comfortable with your own company, then this is probably not the place for you. However, if you are looking to get away from it all, unwind, sleep and read a lot and meet some people who are looking for the same thing, and who are considerate in the knowledge that everyone is looking for peace and quiet, then I cannot imagine a better place. I will be back. Not sure when, and it may not be for another year, but it is somewhere I will return to.

I am writing this review two days after returning to the Middle East and can honestly say that I am definitely feeling more energetic and alert.

Room Tip: Rooms in the main house have access to the WiFi, but those guests staying in the rooms outside the main building, have to go close to the house to obtain a signal. This is not a big deal.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank Julian K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

My sister and I spent a magical week at Plantation Villa in June this year. I can only recommend others to do the same. It's a magical place, with a superb service (nothing is too much trouble), and the staff is incredibly caring and attentive.I have Bone Cancer stage 4 and follow an alkaline diet and I also shun white carbs and sugar completely. Outside of that, the diet was centred around my condition and at every meal we got delicious and varied food. I listened carefully when told that Pineapple and Mango is not good for me - and funnily it resonates with me as I never much liked either, so now I avoid them completely. Endless supply of herbal tea with the local honey, and cool coconut water as well. The water is drinkable from the tap and for the first time ever I managed a week in south east asia without any tummy issues. FAB! Thanks again to all the staff who looked after us so well :-)
Hugs from
Vibeke Ulmann Weincke and her sister Marianne Ottesen Weincke

Room Tip: Plantation Villa has very few rooms, and they're absolutely fine. But they have one ijn the main building which I can only deem as a honeymoon suite which looked fantastic. I'll opt for that next time I go - and I WILL be going again. Also do not count on there being wireless or mobile signals nor TV. But since you go to Plantation Villa to de-stress and have your treatments, it's much better to listen to the birds in the garden anyway! Bring a book or your kindle instead of relying on texting and news of the world.
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank VibekeUlmann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

I arrived as a burnt-out teacher after a long term and stressed from the long journey from the UK but left feeling in complete health, both physically and mentally.
Plantation Villa's strengths lie in the setting and service. I challenge anyone to not feel relaxed after one day in this place. The beautiful and peaceful surroundings allow you to really 'switch-off' I spent one afternoon on a lounger in the garden reading and listening to the wildlife around me.
The other bonus to Plantation Villa is the wonderful staff and service. You never feel hassled, for example, you can have your meals at a time you choose. They are always ready to service your every need but are never intrusive. The traditional Sri Lankan food is also delicious and healthy which adds to the complete Ayurvedic experience.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Lesley O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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