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“Unique, welcoming and not to be missed”

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Back of Beyond - Dehigaha Ela
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Unique, welcoming and not to be missed”
Reviewed January 13, 2012

We stayed for three nights at Dehi Gaha Ela, including New Year's Eve. For the entire time, we were the only guests and were made to feel extremely welcome. The staff are charming and attentive, and the conversations with Chana, the manager, over mealtimes were informative and fun. We were given the run of the place, and enjoyed exploring the surrounding area. This is, in many ways, an eco-paradise, where the ponds have been created using the same ancient technology as was used to build Sri Lanka's tanks centuries ago, where elephants wander through the grounds, and where kingfishers, peacocks and countless other birds can be seen up close.
The food is superb, and you certainly won't go hungry. The chance to have a try at making string hoppers ourselves was great fun (harder than it looks...
It probably isn't for everybody; if you're going to be upset by having land-snails in the bathroom, by sleeping under a mosquito net and by having no choice in the food, then don't go. Save it for the people who really appreciate getting away from it all, and enjoying the tranquility of a very special place. We would definitely go back.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank FurryWritingDesk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Colombo, Sri Lanka
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2011

Just keeps getting better every visit. This is probably our 4th or 5th visit to Dehi Gaha Ela (DGE) and it remains one of our favorite vacation destinations. The garden was full of fruit and vegetable trees drawing loads of bird life and the pond was full of water and marine life which attracted lots of kingfishers. DGE never looked better.

The staff continues to be wonderful; nothing was too much trouble for them. They took care of all our varied requests, always smiling, always offering more than what we had requested. The food continues to be fantastic with most fruits and veggies picked fresh off their gardens.
The two rivers bordering DGE offered the perfect place to relax (beer in hand). The kids loved exploring the rivers, playing on the swings, climbing trees etc., never bored. The fish spa!

On our second visit to DGE, three elephants wandered through the yard crossing over the river to the forest beyond. This was one of the most exciting elephant experiences ever! No elephants visited the yard this time, however we did hear wild boar, deer, peacock etc., moving around the forest surrounding DGE.

It’s truly a very special place.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank LocalMachang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2011

MAD: one minute you are being driven down an anonymous road, the next you plunge into forest mixed in with chalet style rooms.
YES there are frogs in the loo. So what? they were rather cute and I dont think Calliopea realises that animals live in the jungle!
It was clean, with good food, and one awoke to sounds of the forest, such as Jungle fowl outside my window!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank danberney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviewed August 13, 2011

we stayed for 6 nights in the back of beyond khandamodera. it was one of the best places we stayed in Sri Lanka and the food was outstanding! the staff were all really friendly and helpful and we would thoroughly recomend this place as a great place to chill out and relax! The next time we are in Sri Lanka we will definately be staying again this time in sigiriya! Thanks to Mahesh, Nelson and all the boys for making it a most enjoyable time!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank shelley z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2011

Knowing that eco-retreats are the latest in upscale travel, we decided to give it a try. This place was a little too rustic for us. We had 10 incidents of frogs getting into the toilet in 2 days. The staff thought this was funny, but we didn't think so.

Staff was very friendly and the food was delicious, especially the coconut salad. Staff and food were the highlight of this place.

Bungalow was a little rundown, and was a little hot at night without air conditioning. You really are in the middle of the jungle. However, there were notes to be aware of elephants and poisonous snakes.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Calliopea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 5, 2011

Found down the bottom of a beautiful if bumpy lane, this place feels special the moment you arrive. We stayed in the boulder tree house complete with outdoor shower, a bed in the treetops and our very own palm cat. The host Chana, is a lovely man who showed us all sorts of fascinating plants and birds and took us to the river where tiny fish nibble your toes. Elephants occasionally wander through and the night sounds are extraordinary - the other staff and the food were great too, we loved it.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Georgina A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Back of Beyond - Dehigaha Ela

Property: Back of Beyond - Dehigaha Ela
Address: Dehigaha Ela, Sigiriya 21120, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Sigiriya
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 106 Specialty Lodging in Sigiriya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Back of Beyond - Dehigaha Ela 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka and within 30 minutes from Sigiriya World Heritage Site, Back of Beyond Dehigaha ela is situated in a circular clearing at the base of a hill, ringed in by the thick forest on the sweeping curve of the two streams. It is a small secret place for all forms of wildlife - elephants, sambhur, deer, birds, butterflies - to visit. It is an ideal location for those who dream of sleeping under the stars, of exploring the jungle and streams on foot with all its joys and little discomforts. We have of course, added the comforts and care. The entire retreat is powered by solar energy. A backup generator is also provided. All hot water is also supplied via solar energy. A biogas generator has been installed to convert kitchen waste to bio gas for cooking. All tree houses and boulder cottages in this retreat are designed to be very open to nature, with coconut thatch roofing, wooden floors, and folding bamboo tats. Each lodge maintains standards of comfort by providing fans, mosquito nets, and modern toilets. The eco-retreat consists of a 2 tree houses and 4 boulder cottages. Each of the tastefully furnished units, is designed to maximise the impact of the surrounding environment. The reception, living and dining areas are separate, and the staff and drivers quarters are also housed separately to allow maximum privacy to guests. The surrounding forest is a haven for birds, smaller mammals and larger mammals such as deer, sambhur and even elephants. Guests enjoy bathing in the two streams that meet at the border to our property. One stream starts closeby hence has icy cold water, whereas the larger stream has warmer water. The crystal clear water of the nearby stream is full of small fish that provide a natural, free foot spa to the delight of our guests. A nature trail is also available in the property. The property also boasts of a large man-made pond that is full of lotuses and water lilies. This too attracts a wide variety of bird life and small fishes. A butterfly garden has also recently been started at Dehigaha ela. The retreat offers many activities including bird watching, hiking, cycling and excursions to Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Kaludiya Pokuna, Wewela tank etc ... more   less 
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