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Kumbura Eco Lodge
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Reviews (94)
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Reviewed February 22, 2013

I stayed one night at Kumbura, and found the lodge very comfortable, and the owner Wageesha friendly and accommodating. The hotel is situated within 15 or 20 minutes of many things you might want to do in the area--see the elephants, get a massage, hike the nearby cultural site, etc. The hotel itself is cozy; two ~400 sq.ft. studio lofts above a washroom and sitting area, with a second sitting room and dining area in between. Breakfast and dinner are both hearty meals with plenty of mains (including fish from the nearby lake) and desserts.

I would recommend this place to anyone looking for a hotel that is off the main road, but not too far from the action.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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9  Thank Hazmat789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2013

We enjoyed two very unique nights here with good food, comfortable and relaxing accommodation in a beautiful setting. We were looked after by a friendly young man who was attentive, organised and welcoming.
We highly recommend staying here as the accommodation is set among the trees and birds and rice fields with a personal touch!

Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
8  Thank Se K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

I had written a long review, however it did not seem to update on TA. I will update this further but for now I will just say this is a fantastic place. The service was impeccable, the accommodation was superb. A bit different from the norm but in a positive way. Sanka was a step ahead - always knew what we needed and when....I really can't tell you how great this place is, you need to experience it yourself.
Oh and the food, oh the food...perfect.
If you lucky enough to stay here during a thunder storm your in for a treat...
Neil & Camille

  • Stayed: January 2013
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9  Thank NeilvanPiggelen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2013

We stayed 3 nights at Kumbura and loved it. The lodge was beautifully designed and decorated, the home cooked meals were delicious, and we were made to feel very comfortable and welcome by Wageesha and his staff. Wageesha helped arrange a tour of the nearby Sigiriya and Dambulla, and among other things took us for a walk in the evening around a beautiful lake and around his village and showed us the vegetable plot just outside the lodge being ploughed to prepare for planting rice. Highly recommended place to stay for an interesting and different experience.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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8  Thank sitiny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

I should start by saying that the lodge is very beautifully designed. It was very clean considering that all the rooms open to the outside, the beds and couches were comfy, and the towels were very soft. We enjoyed the atmosphere provided by the design of the building--cold outdoor showers, low lighting, cool breezes in the open bedroom. The place feels very secluded even though it really isn't--it's a small property in a residential area, only a few minute walk to a bank, some small shops, the police station. However, I was very disappointed by a number of things at this place. First of all, the driver accommodations were poor (no toilet or other bathroom facilities in their hut, so drivers need to walk very far in the dark to use the staff bathroom, and there was also no secure place to park the car). Our driver needed to find another place to sleep for the three nights we stayed here, which made us feel absolutely horrible. This may not be the best option if you have a driver and care about his level of comfort.

The price of the lodge on a B/B basis is very reasonable, but beware: the cost for anything else is outrageously high. A large Lion beer cost a whopping $7 (900 LKR)! This is WAY more than I've ever paid anywhere during my 4+ months living in Sri Lanka (600% markup). We were also charged $5 (635 LKR) for a small pot of tea that we didn't even want (due to a miscommunication with the server who doesn't speak English). Again, that's a pricey pot of tea! Even after explaining to the owner, Wageesha, that we didn't want the tea to begin with, he didn't offer to take it off the bill. We paid in full, but it left us a bit sour. The food is pretty good (some days were really yummy and some days not so much) and beautifully presented, but the dinner is very expensive and doesn't come with anything to drink (although they are keen to offer you some nice cold beers!). Wageesha also didn't offer us back our change when we paid our bill (it was only a couple dollars, but I found it quite strange--even the fare collectors on the buses give me my 1 rupee change!)

At such a unique place with only two rooms, I was surprised that during our three days here we never got a tour of the property/gardens or an explanation of how the concept of this beautiful lodge developed (we were the only guests there for 2 nights)...maybe we should have been more vocal about wanting to know more, but the few questions we asked about the food and lodge were met with very short answers and Wageesha didn't seem interested in explaining any more (and the other staff member didn't speak English). I usually book at small guest houses for the personal experience, but we did not feel like we had a personal experience here at all. Wageesha came out only for a minute in the morning and evening to say a quick "hello, how are you?" It makes me wonder why Wageesha built a lodge that is clearly catered towards foreigners, when he seems to have no interest in interacting with his guests.

This place has so much potential, if only it were being run by someone who had a better knack for hospitality. First, satisfied drivers are good for business (I am quite sure our driver will never recommend this place to any guests in the future). Secondly, at a place this small and interesting, most guest expect to interact with a friendly owner/staff who is keen to answer questions and explain a bit about this place. Third, "hidden" costs are the worst. Charge more for the room if you have to, but please do not mark up the cost of your extras to prices greater than one would find in a five-star hotel. Get your act together Wageesha, and you'll have yourself a real gem!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank jak616
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wageesha, Manager at Kumbura Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded January 3, 2013

Thank you so much for your review and honest feed back and we are sorry that your stay was not as perfect as you expected.

After reading your comments and to avoid hidden costs we have decided to add a page to our new website that will be coming out in the near future, giving a rundown of costs such as beer and wine. We will now charge $3 rather than $7 for a bottle of beer ( It costs $2.20 to buy the beer from the local beer and wine shop; the profit will pay for the petrol and deposit on the bottle.) We are sorry that you were over charged for this. Our pots of tea will now be complimentary for all guests.

We have also decided to stop providing driver accommodation at the lodge with any new bookings, and will find alternative places for drivers to stay in the village, as we understand that the situation is not perfect at this time. We will hopefully be able to build a suitable place for the drivers on our property in the year ahead. We are very sorry if your driver was not happy and apologize to him.

We are also sorry that you that you did not get a tour of the property. We like to give our guests privacy, but we are always happy to talk about our concept if asked. Wageesha designed and physically built the lodge by himself with help from a handful of friends and family and is always very excited to tell people about the process. He is trying very hard to learn better English ( a year ago he spoke very little, ) and will continue to take classes in order to be able to understand the needs of future guests.

Once again thank you for staying at Kumbura. We will try very hard to improve our service in the future.

Safe travels and a very happy New Year!

The management.

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