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“What's left of Eden.”

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Galkadawala Forest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Maulie has created a treasure here in the jungle. If you need to get away from the hustle and bustle of wherever you live I can't recommend Galkadawala more. It makes rural Sri Lanka and life in the jungle perfectly accessible from a comfortable, eco friendly vantage point.
Note that this experience is not for someone craving a resort or perhaps anyway who is afraid of insects. While we were there we woke up to the calls of peacocks, and monkey's running around. As we lounged we greeted by little frogs who hopped by our feet and different sorts of birds. At night we sat around the area by the roof, read, and watched a storm roll in. It couldn't have been more serene or peaceful. There's also a large lake nearby where one can swim (watch out for crocs) and even observe elephants coming to drink on occasion. You're also charmingly accompanied by the resident doggies on these strolls, which I highly recommend.
Food is delicious, vegetarian and all homemade. The entire lodge is beautiful, the rooms charming, clean and very comfortable. Oh there's also hot water.
Getting there can be a bit tough and the road isn't the best but Maulie is very helpful and directed our driver easily enough. I'd highly recommend you arriving by car for your time at the lodge to avoid hassles with public transport and to just make your trips around the cultural triangle all that much easier. Maulie will look after your driver.
I miss this place and would definitely visit again. This is probably one of the better hotel experiences I've had.
Bring bug spray if you can or pick up some citronella oil(which is what we did) in Colombo.

Room Tip: If you're looking for privacy opt for the rooms on the ground floor.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jebediah_Solomon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 - 105 of 156 reviews

Reviewed February 16, 2013

We stayed for two nights here and loved it! Especially the whole idea of building a house with recycled materials, basic but still very comfortable. Walls are thin so expect to hear other guests. All food is vegetarian, so maybe not perfect for meat lovers, although my husband didn't seem to mind ;-). Road to the house is in poor state and hopefully this will be fixed in the short future (but maybe it will takes years). When visiting the cultural triangle you can do so from this location, so you might want to stay more than just two nights.

Room Tip: Choose one of the rooms on the first floor.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank JJC_NL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013 via mobile

I can't recommend this place enough. We stayed only for 1 night because we were moving on but I will definitely return to this refuge on my next trip. We had previously spent about 70 dollars for a treehouse bungalow near Yala But this was by far better value for money. The staff are professional and attentive and Maulie is a gracious and charismatic host. There are several walks you can do around the lagoon next door and through the wilderness. It is a bit of a hike from Habarana town so i would recommend booking two nights and enjoying it. They also have a Carum board you can play with. Can't wait to return!

  • Stayed: February 2013
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1  Thank Sane_Jane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2013

We've spend 5 nights in the Galkadawala lodge. It was by far our best stay in 4 weeks Sri Lanka. The lodge is beautiful, with magnificent views from the rooftop terrace (meditation-heaven at sunrise). The rooms are big, with a big comfortable bed. The rooms have no walls but curtains to the outside, which makes that you experience nature around you at its best. Every morning after breakfast, a monkey family walked past, beautiful birds flew around the lodge and squirrels peeked into our bedroom. The owner can arrange all kinds of day-trips. The staff is great: superfriendly, and they cook the nicest curries. So all in all a very high recomendation fot those who like to spend some time in tranquility, surrounded by nature!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank dunja_amsterdam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2013

I had heard so much about Galkadawela Eco Lodge from so many people and they did tell me how amazing it was, however you really cannot imagine how great a place is until you really have been there yourself. We spent a long weekend at this amazing eco lodge and it truly did live up and go beyond all of what i was expecting of it. The drive to the lodge was along a village road and some great birding along the way. The lodge is built in a way that it blends so well with its environs and you don’t know its there until you go inside. The rooms are very comfortable, all the necessary luxurious are there along with attached bathroom, hot water and a nice shower. Lots of space to chill out on the ground floor as well as the deck. The top most floor with the great views of the tank is the best place to be in the evenings and do some relaxing birdwatching. I was able to see many species of birds while in the bungalow it self and also got a good opportunity to take good pictures of them also. The food and service is super great too. Staff are friendly and willing to help at all times and cook makes the best meals and we got to eat so many great local vegetables that we usually don’t get a chance to. It was really cold in the evenings and night and we could not believe we were actually in the dry zone of the country it was more like somewhere in the hills! Lots to see and do while you’re there as well, if you ever want to leave the place that is. A trip to Ritigala is recommended if the road to it is repaired. I would recommend anyone who loves to be truly close to nature and have a different experience this is the place to go. We had an infant with us and she was very safe and happy staying here. This is a place for people who really love the outdoors and want to be close to nature. If your worried about the bugs and bees and freak out at the sight of them, this is not the place for you! But some of us appreciate that they are all part of our eco system and they have the right to be there as much as we do!

Room Tip: The Top floor rooms are ideal for couples. Th ground floor room is safer for families with small chi...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Ayanthi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2013

We stayed here and absolutely loved it, a fabulous place to stay. Maulie sadly had been detained by flooding in Colombo but her staff looked after us so well. They made us very comfortable and cooked us delicious meals...it was here we had our first hoppers! We loved sleeping under our mosquito nets with the room open to the sounds of the jungle around us. Although Galkadawala is very rustic, it is extremely comfortable and we had one of the best showers of our holiday. We had some complications during our stay due to local flooding . Maulie and her staff could not have done more to help us.
This would be a great place to stay with children aged about 8 years and up. Our 19 year old daughter loved it!

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

We stayed here with a family visiting us from the uk. We had four adults and seven kids ranging in age from 3 to 11 years of age. I would go here again in a heartbeat! With the children and their lives revolving around food, the service was unparalleled. The kids must have spent an hour at the table for breakfast and dinner, with more food coming out all the time, cooked to their demanding requests! The accomodation is very unique but comfortable and you feel very in tune with nature. We had walks along the lake in the morning and were visited by a friendly monk from the nearby temple. There are swings and hammocks for the kids and you are only 10 minutes out of town, so its very handy, yet separate. Maulie and her helpers were fantastic, treating us to ginger tea and she went beyond the call of duty even driving our friends to the train station when their transport fell through! She is gem and we thank her for such a lovely stay!!!

Room Tip: There is a ground level room for small children, but the stairs to the second floor are a little too...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank kslll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Galkadawala Forest Lodge

Address: Galkadawala | Palugaswewa, Habarana 50150, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > North Central Province > Habarana
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 55 Specialty Lodging in Habarana
Price Range: $106 - $115 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in an ancient agricultural village, Galkadawala Forest Lodge is in the centre of the Cultural Triangle close to historical sites Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Ritigala and Anuradhapura, and wildlife parks Minneriya, Kaudulla, Hurulu and Wilpattu. Galkadawala offers unique experiences of Heritage, Wildlife and Eco-friendly Construction. Once deforested, consumed and denuded this land has been transformed back to a vibrant ecological habitat. Surrounding irrigation lake, waterways and forests with high biodiversity provide trekking, bird watching and relaxing. To maintain this complex ecological habitat, at Galkadawala, prominence and care is given to all creatures. Guests too should understand that they have arrived at a habitat that has to be shared by all. Galkadawala concept is not a "watering Hole" where one can "chill out" till the early hours. Retire early and be up early (be different for a few days) to get the full benefit of what Galkadawala has to offer. ... more   less 
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