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“Fantastic, friendly "getting back to nature hotel"”
Review of Thick Forest

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Thick Forest
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1 review
“Fantastic, friendly "getting back to nature hotel"”
Reviewed August 15, 2011

My friend and I stayed a Thick Forest for two nights and really enjoyed it. The owner, Kamal was really friendly and couldnt do enough for us, the same with the staff. Hatu one of the smiliest men I have ever met took us for a trek up one of the local rocks, helping us when it became a bit of a scramble and laughing with (or at!) us as we puffed our way to the top.

We ate there in the peaceful treetop restaurant. The food was traditional Sri Lankan curries, really nice food and even though we had curry for every meal it was different each time and really tasty as is the Sri Lankan Lion lager.

After our dinner each night we played Karam (which is a board game like pool but flicking a disc into the holes instead) with Kamal, the cook's husband (who owns a wood carving shop not far from Thick Forest) and the cook's 12 year old son who repeatedly beat us at the game! We had a really good time with all the staff and the owner.

The rooms are surprisingly comfy considering its a tree house! It sways a bit in the wind though and if you are a light sleeper you might have trouble dropping off, but we really enjoyed the experience of being "in the Jungle" too much to let that bother us. The balcony chairs are really comfy and it was a lovely way to spend the afternoon sitting on there with a nice cool juice (or beer) watching the trees swaying and imagining we could see wild elephants.

A definate recommendation, as long as you keep in mind you are staying in a tree house in a jungle and embrace the idea.

If I ever return to Sri Lanka I am definately going to go back and see them all and maybe I will have been practicing my Karam skills a bit while I have been away....

Room Tip: There are only two treehouses to choose from at the moment which are both the same, with plans for m...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank LouRobbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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96 reviews from our community

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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2011

My wife and I stayed here for two nights at the start of a 12 day trip round Sri Lanka. As the only guests, we enjoyed having the place to ourselves and getting personal treatment from the owner Kamal. The huts up on stilts are great fun, providing a clear view of Sigiriya Rock and benefitting from the cooling breeze. We were told that elephants sometimes come right up close and sometimes knock down surrounding trees - I was disapointed not to see one while my wife was more concerned that they would inadvertantly take out one of the hut's stilts! The room was rustic yet clean, with mosquito net over a large double bed and with a neat little wet room with another view of the rock.

The food, our first experience of Sri Lankan cuisine turned out to be the best of our trip, and it was great to be served different dishes for each of our meals.

We didn't have our own driver with us, and since Thick Forest is relatively isolated, we had Hattu, the very friendly and attentive staff member, take us to the rock on our first evening and on a daytrip to Pollonawura the following day. We also had a great time riding an elephant from nearby Sigiriya village, arranged for us by Kamal. Kamal was also kind enough to take us out in the car to look for elephants one night.

We had paid for our accomodation through Agoda, but there was slight confusion on our departure regarding our bill for the additional meals and trips . This was partly our fault as we hadn't discussed the cost of these previously, partly down to the friendly relaxed atmosphere at Thick Forest. To provide clarity perhaps Kamal might either mention costs when offering meals/trips or provide some sort of written guidance on arrival. Minor issue that didn't spoil what was a lovely stay.

Highly Recommended

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank MTN1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Doha, Qatar
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 21, 2011

My wife and I lucked into Thick Forest and booked it last minute. It was a great experience. We landed in the middle of the rains that were rocking Sri Lanka and barely made it to his gate due to washed out roads from Dambulla. However, Kamal was happy to see us and a fantastic host.

The cabin was just the right size, intimate and homey, with an amazing view of the rock. We add two of the best dinners we had in Sri Lanka in his dining room, along with two incredible breakfasts. Our last evening, Kamal grabbed us at night to watch wild elephants roaming along the road.

We would return to the area just to spend a couple of nights here.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Qatar_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maastricht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2011

When we arrived at Thick Forest (as it is now called), we were amazed totally amazed about the place. The wooden chalets are built at about six meter high in the trees. From here you can see the Sigiryia Rock while you're surrounded by beautiful birds and sometimes even monkeys. Even though the owner, Kamal, was on holiday his staff took really good care of us. Mr Anton arranged all trips and even accompanied us while giving a lot of interesting information about the surroundings. Mrs Anton prepared probably the best food we had in Sri Lanka. Especially the breakfast with hoppers was everytime a real treat.
This place is recommandable for naturelovers and people who aren't scared of insects and other crawling creatures. The price is a bit high but well worth the unique experience.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Mjerel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camberwell, London UK
Level Contributor
92 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2011

First, so everyone is clear about this - the former Teak Forest resort is now closed and Kamal the owner has opened the Thick Forest instead. And its old incarnation can't have been any better than this fantastic hideaway.

Now four rooms, all on stilts - see my photos - with an unobstructed view of Sigiriya rock just a mile away. The tree houses have got proper bathrooms, hot showers, flush toliets, nice fulffy towels - he knows what we want... Plus loads of electrical sockets (UK and local), a verandah with chairs and that view.

Welcome is great, he's really organised at replying to emails etc, the staff are great as well. Food is fantastic - best we had in SL - including treats like pittu, rotis and exotic curries like mango and banana flower (really). Go for half board as you won't be going anywhere else in the evening. Very helpful in other ways too, gave us a lift to the Rock entrance and helped us with our onward (bus) travel to Kandy.

So close to the Rock that we walked back along the country road (keeping an eye out for elephants!). We also climbed the other nearby hill and we learned to play Carom.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Uncle_Gareth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
46 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2011

Dont be fooled (as we were) this is not the Teak Forest as in website and pictures - that has closed, instead we were in a new establishment run by Kamal. It has just 4 rooms - 3 on shaky looking stilts and one above the kitchen. The rooms are different sizes and pretty basic. Its in a good location though and you can climb both Sigiriya and adjacent mountain just from walking out of your room. It was a bit pricey for what you get (although Sigiriya area is more expensive) and the deposit we thought we'd paid to the agent turned out to be a booking fee on top.
Would recommend for 1 night or 2 (we stayed 3 which was a bit long given its not near anywhere else).

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank anarchy130
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrogate, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed December 30, 2010

We pre-booked and paid for the Teak Forest for 2 nights including transport and guiding .
When we were picked up by Kamal in Kandy we were told that we were unable to stay at the Teak Forest. Our hearts sank and we feared the worst! However Kamal did not let us down and arranged for us to stay in the 4 star Amaya Lake hotel at no extra cost. It was not the forest experience that we had expected but a beautiful hotel and we were very impressed by the way that Kamal looked after us. He was a great ambassador for Sri Lankan hospitality!
Kamal showed us the site of his latest venture which at that time was in it's early stages. It is in a great location!

Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Swithinbank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thick Forest

Property: Thick Forest
Address: Pidurangala | Sigiriya, Sigiriya 21120, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Sigiriya
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #35 of 96 Specialty Lodging in Sigiriya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Thick Forest Sigiriya is a unique tree house hotel over looking the eighth wonder of the world, sigiriya rock castle, in Sri Lanka. It is situated at the centre of three, mostly visited ancient cities, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa & kandy.Minneriya & Kawudulla National parks are renowned as the best places to observe the wild elephants in their natural habitat, and it's a few minute drive from 'Thick Forest'. Wild Safaris, Bird watching, Elephant rides,Guided tour to Sigiriya Rock Castle and surrounding archaeologically important places are among many other activities which can be arranged to suit the need of the visitor.Sri Lankan cuisine made by our chef is served at the roof-top restaurant overlooking the Sigiriya rock. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Thick Forest Hotel Sigiriya

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