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“A Real Jungle Experience” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rainforest Retreat

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Rainforest Retreat
London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A Real Jungle Experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 10, 2013

In the company of helpful Sri Lankan friends, I felt very lucky to experience the enchanting setting at Nature's Gift in the jungle setting at Kukule, in the foot hills only a couple of hours above Colombo. The journey from the city was easy until the last 2km when a four wheel drive is absolutely necessary (see my pic pushing out a stuck vehicle!).

Once there, it really felt I had landed in the rainforest, with only the sounds of the jungle creatures and the babbling waters of the streams to be heard. Gaya hinted at the mystical qualities of the stream and bathing in it was fun, refreshing and relaxing. Funnily enough it seemed to send us into a deep sleep afterwards. The food, which we ate while dangling our feet in the pool, was very tasty Sri Lankan rice and curry served on a banana leaf. I could not help going back for seconds or was it thirds?!

This is a great place out in the wild but with some of the comforts of home such as a comfy place to sleep, a cool pool and tasty food. I was really impressed with the hydro-electric power generation on site and the tree showers. This being the jungle, however, I did encounter one leech, though we parted amicably!

I look forward to coming back and trying out some of the interesting sounding hikes in this area. Thanks again to all at Nature's Gift.

Room Tip: The new double/family room looks really nice
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MilkyBrother
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    6
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4
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1
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2013

If you are looking for somewhere to get away from city life and connect with nature this place is it. It was recommended to us by locals and we were not disappointed with what we found.

It's not the easiest place to get to but the owners Gaya and Sarath organised our transport in a four wheel drive. It's in the middle of nowhere and completely off grid but if you fancy some jungle living with basic comforts and great local food this is perfect. Think of it as glam camping in the jungle!

We enjoyed a river bath and a dip in their fresh water plunge pool before a sumptuous Sri Lankan lunch cooked using local ingredients this was a real highlight for us. Gaya and Sarath are true nature lovers and believe in sustainable living. They were also the perfect hosts,there was nothing that was too much trouble and they gave us a truly memorable experience. I'll be back for more one day.

Room Tip: Ask for the new family room - it has just been built and has a semi open air attached bathroom. Simp...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TheMassay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panadura, Sri Lanka
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

I've been a frequent visitor to Natures Gift for some years now. Given its seclusion it has always been a great place for me and my friends to get away from everything to just unwind and recharge our batteries.

One of our favorite things to do is to just relax in the miniature pool or to walk down to the natural pool by the stream for a swim with my friends. Though you will attract the attention of some leeches on your way down.

Given its close proximity to the sinharaja rain-forest we were able to go on hikes into the rain-forest and the owners made sure we were always accompanied by a local who knows his way around those parts.

The accommodation is extremely good for a place that doesn't promise any luxuries. Toilets are well maintained with modern amenities such as sink, bidet shower and shower facilities. Sleeping arrangements vary from dorm like sleeping facilities where you can put up folding beds in the hall to chalets with attach bathrooms if you require privacy.

Given that this is a nature friendly facility there are certain rules to adhere by such as no soap while bathing in the stream since it’s poisonous to the fauna and no alcohol. There's a list of all the rules the owners have put down on their site. (http://www.naturesgiftforyou.com/index.php?page=about_nh&subpage=rules)

If you are someone who's into nature and don’t mind being disconnected from the outside world (there’s no cellphone coverage, which is one of the main reasons we love going there) I would definitely recommend that you pay a visit.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rangadesilva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 25, 2012

This place is one of the best I could recommend to any nature lover. The clean water stream which is two minutes away from the resort by foot helped us to relax after the two hour drive from Colombo. This is an ideal place to visit since it just two hours drive from Colombo. Having a place like this close to Colombo motivates me to go there when ever I can and when ever I have the time. The three night stay at this resort was amazing. The sound of the water stream and the sounds of the birds early morning really helps you to relax your mind and forget all the unwanted matters. Not only the water stream, there are some amazing hikes you could do while you are there. These hikes usually lead’s you to nice water falls which is close to the resort. For those who love’s 4X4 driving, this is a nice place for that as well. Apart from all of these I mentioned above, the advantage of being close to Sinheraja Rain forest is actually amazing. Just forty five minutes from the resort will give you an advantage of visiting the Sinheraja Rain forest.

Being a Wildlife photographer I was amazed and thrilled to be here. I was lucky to capture a picture of "Green billed Coucal" which is extremely rare to spot just outside the main door of the resort.

(http://www.flickr.com/photos/sankhasphotography/7080562007/in/photostream).

I have visited this place quite a lot and I still feel like going there everyday. You should too. Many thanks for the management and the great service given. This is Truly a Gift from the Nature. An ideal place for friends, family and for work trips.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Sankha W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2012

This wonderful place was recommended to me by some friends and I can only recommend this location for anyone who would like to have a relaxing time away from busy cities and crowds. It is way, way off the grid and extremely peaceful and quiet place to unwind and regenerate your energy.

I just stayed there for 1 night which was far too little time to take in the beauty and tranquillity of this place. The food was great and the host as well as the staff was very friendly. “Natures Gift” is a place close to nature with a minimal infrastructure. The Chalets are very clean and simple with basic amenities but enough to make life reasonably comfortable. The small pool with natural water is a great place to be - even in the night.

Do not go there if you are a person looking for the type of fun you get in big cities. “Natures Gift” is for nature lovers, meditators, environmentally conscious, seekers of a real peaceful and relaxing holiday. Go there if you want to see another side of Sri Lanka and learn how we could live in a world without things you once considered as necessities.

The host picked us up from Panadura (about 65Km) by his 4-wheel drive. I also enjoyed the trip especially from the main road to the site (about 2km), which was an off-road track crossing one of the streams.

This is a family owned project, works in partnership with local people and a range of conservation organisations to protect the surrounding rainforest. At the beginning of the project, they slept simply on mats under the stars, eventually building a hut. The “project” expanded as friends joined for holidays and weekends.

‘Natures Gift” is supported by their own hydropower plant, is a beautiful paradise nestled between two streams within the outskirts of Sinharaja Forest. The property is surrounded by beautiful flora and fauna and hiking possibilities. One thing missing though was some plans and directions of hiking trails.

Their Website:
http://www.naturesgiftforyou.com/

Room Tip: Go for a bath in the stream
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AusiTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Rainforest Retreat

Property: Rainforest Retreat
Address: C/0 Gaya Hapuarachchi, Gendagala Estate | Kukuleganga,Gendagala, Ayagama 70024, Sri Lanka (Formerly Natures Gift)
Location: Sri Lanka > Sabaragamuwa Province > Ayagama
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Ayagama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The new name is Rainforest- retreat. (name was changed in December 2013,from 'Natures gift 'ituated in the outskirts of the famous 'Sinharaja' rain forest (30 mtns drive)and 15 k.m to the Pahiyangala Caves.(both are world heritage sites).Close proximity to many waterfalls & Kukuleganga reservoir. The four acre land is bordered by two lovely streams and situated in the very remote village of Gendagala,in the border of the famouse sinharaja rainforest. A semi luxury chalet,a family room & dormitory type accommodation is available.Camping facilities can be arranged.Clean flush able commode fitted toilets available. Heal your self with a dip in the crystal clear waters of the junglestream. the Retreat also consists of an overflowing natural water plunge pool, tree showers and many more activites that will get you close to the natural environment. An Eco friendly Private picco hydro plant provides electricity for lighting.Promotes sustainable tourism. Excellent bonding place for naturalist and tourist who love to ecperience the beauty and peace of nature. we also promote healthy food from the garden to the table, making your meal a true village meal experince. ... more   less 

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