When we found the bubbling Dehigahaela bubbling its cold clear water into the warm slow moving KiriOya in what looked like a corridor of rain forest in the middle of the dry zone, we knew we had found a Back of Beyond retreat.
We have barely touched the 7 acre land, as we decided to build even more minimally than at our other retreats: tree top houses, boulder cottages, and a long house for families, everything that dreams are made of.
A network of red earth roads takes you deep into isolation as chena cultivation blends with high grass and thick forests. It is here that we discovered an abandoned paddy field that had become a delicate green of illuk grass; a circular clearing at the base of a hill, ringed by thick forest on the sweeping curve of two streams. A small secret place for all forms of wildlife - elephants, sambhur, birds and butterflies - to visit.
It’s a nature lovers dream, and we give you a free, completely natural fish spa down in the rock pool of DehigahaEla stream.
Enter via a slope through the forest and emerge into an open green of illuk grass and two small rain fed lakes encircled by forest. The lodges are placed along the edge of the grassland and are barely visible as they merge with the forest.
The 3 tree houses are designed to be very open to nature, with coconut thatch roofing, folding bamboo tats in place of walls, and wooden floors. The two boulder and family cottages have been made more secure keeping in mind the needs of young families as well as elderly guests.
In keeping with our Back of Beyond tradition all lodges maintain standards of comfort by providing comfortable beds, mosquito nets, linen and modern toilets.
Solar panels have been installed to meet all electricity needs at the retreat. Low lighting is used throughout to minimize night time disturbance to the environment as well as to conserve energy.
We have set the living and dining halls on the far side of the lake, in a small clearing that is now surrounded with regenerated forest. In keeping with the tradition of our Back of Beyond retreats, our cook will prepare a wide variety of Sri Lankan as well as western dishes which you can pick from our menu.
We can also pack you a picnic lunch should you be spending the day exploring.
We grow some of our fruits and vegetables, but these are generously shared among our wildvisitors including elephants, wild boar and monkeys! Hence we alsosource a lot of our fresh fruits and vegetables from the adjoining chenafarms. Ask for our seasonal specialty dishes and let our in-house chef surprise you!
As the closest market is many miles away, we recommend and greatly appreciate a prior notice to our staff should you have any specific requests which would require a visit to the town.
We have recently added a Sri Lankan style wood-fired oven to give you the experience of freshly baked goodies such as roast paan (roasted bread); simply divine with a tantalizing dhal curry and coconut sambolto dip in…a favorite among Sri Lankans!