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“A great escape”

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Back of Beyond - Dehigaha Ela
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 22, 2012

Travelled to Dehi Gaha Ela with three friends a couple of weeks ago and had a wonderful holiday here albeit a short one. The place delivers exactly what it promises, seclusion, privacy, not a droplet of urban life in sight or sound. We had boulder cottages that were built on an elevation, comfortable rooms with open air showers bought the whole Back of Beyond experience together. As if it couldnt get any better lunch was fabulous country cooking and excellent service which we preluded with exploring the natural rock pools just by the site swimming in cool, clear water romanticising about kings swimming in the same spot (or not). A gem of a find. We spent the evening in minneriya watching elephants, the evening by the water coupled with a starry sky, bbq and great laughs. The only con would be I was bitten mercilessly by sandflies although my holiday companions were not!

Thank You for a great stay - we loved it and will most definitely return!

Room Tip: Boulder Cottages are lovely! So is the tree house for those who arent weary of heights!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Aupert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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131 - 137 of 172 reviews

Reviewed August 18, 2012

Had a wonderful weekend at Dehi gaha ela last weekend. Perfect to get away from the city chaos and simply escape. Authentic experience of rural Sri Lanka. A highlight at dehi gaha ela HAS to be the natural rock pool minutes away from the bungalows - feels like something an ancient king built for himself. Wonderfully cool clear water, great to wake up to or cool off to after a days adventures. We hired some bikes and went around the onion farms. The staff is obliging and always at hand to help. The food is stellar - some of the best Sri lankan rice and curry we've eaten. They put up a mean BBQ too, if you tell them in advance. Dont expect too many creatures comforts like steady electricty and mobile reception. Leave your ipads behind! Very much an eco retreat but clean and well maintained. Right in the jungle, so theres alowances to be made for that. A great place to stay, overall, and highly recommended that you stay at least 2 nights. But we warned of severe withdrawal once you get back to the city!

Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
1  Thank anushwij
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2012

It takes 7 km into the wilderness, but the reward is great: we stayed three nights in the tree hut. As city people we had to get used to the noise of nature at night, birds, monkeys, the wind through the trees, but how wonderful it was to stay in this open air place. The set-up is located near the river side with a natural pond in the middle of the property. The staff was very friendly, making basic but very tasty food, while we could watch the preparations in the kitchen. From this place we made daytrips to Polanuwara and Sigiriya, visiting Dambulla on the way to arrive. There is als a wildlife park near Polanuwara that was recommended, but we enjoyed to relax at this fantastic place. We met briefly with the owner who is passionate about creating eco friendly tourism, so check out also their other places.

Room Tip: the 2 bungalows are also great, but we feel the tree experience just adds the extra thing, we slept...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank wilmastravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2012 via mobile

This place is magical, not for the faint hearted as you are constantly surrounded by lizards, bats, monkeys and frogs in most corners oc the place! The jungle comes alive at night and you lie listening to an orchestra of sounds, fantastic. Food is out of this world, the guys who run this place couldn't do enough for you. Just fon't expect too many creature (no pun intended) comforts!

  • Stayed: June 2012
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Thank Cuttlefishbex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2012

I had a fantastic stay at Dehigaha ela, i stayed in one of the tree houses, which had superb views of the surrounding jungle.

The tree house was a brilliant experience, and it is not every day that you can say you slept in a tree house in the jungle.

The stream at the property was something else, it was not only a beautiful spot to swim, but it has many different species of fish living in their and some of the fish are natural cleaners. So as soon enter the water the fish start to give you a free spa treatment.

The cook made us some delicious Sri Lankan curries, which were brilliant. He makes a great cup of tea as well!

Dehigaha ela is only about 25 mins drive to Sigiriya, and is a great base to explore the town.

The manager and staff were very friendly and helpful.

I had an amazing night at this place, i only wish i stayed longer.

I would recommend this place to nature lovers!

Brilliant Experience!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank james018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2012

Had a great stay at Dehi gaha ela . Me and my family members stayed at the Damba tree house which had a superb view of the jungle .The entire place is filled with picturesque surroundings . The food was prepared extremely well by the chef .. Was so fresh and tasty .The staff and Manager were so helpful to us . So i highly recommend this place to any nature lover .
William Shakespeare once said , "The earth has music for those who listen " ...As said above all nature lovers should go to this wonderful place and listen the music of the earth .

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Eranga2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2012

The trip from Sigiriya takes about 25 minutes but the description was good and accurate. The road there goes through small villages and the last part is a track through the fields, which in dry weather is passable with a normal car. The cottages are integrated into the environment and well designed.
There are many birds in the area, there is a stream where you can take a dip, with the fish that nibble at your feet (an expensive treatment in Europe) and we even saw same elephants (although that is exceptional). The manager was very friendly and helpful.
The drawbacks are that you need your own transport to reach the place (there is a place for drivers to sleep) and you need to have your meals there as there is no alternative place to go. This last drawback was significant for us, because of the 2 breakfasts and 2 dinners we had, only one meal was decent. If it was a restaurant, I would not have come back. Fortunately the surrounds and the friendliness of the staff compensated a lot.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Geerlings
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

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 127 Specialty Lodging in Sigiriya
Price Range: $66 - $122 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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