Looking for a perfect adventurous yet relaxing get-away for the upcoming long weekends of 2020? Sinharaja rainforest is a UNESCO Natural Heritage Site inscribed in 1988 and also has been designated a Biosphere Reserve. Located in the south-western outskirts of the internationally renowned rainforest of Sri Lanka, Rainforest Eco-lodge consists of secluded cottages in the Sinharaja Division of the Enselwatta Estate that is managed by Mathurata Plantations.
In order to reach Rainforest Eco Lodge, you have to travel to the Deniyaya town and then come on the Enselwaththa road for nearly 8km.
The first sight that catches our eyes when setting foot on this gorgeous property is the entrance to the hotel which consists of a rock fortress. When checking into the hotel you will be presented with a refreshing iced tea. The hotel’s vestibule consists of a gigantic furnace and also a bar. The view from this lobby is breathtaking, you can see the cottages located below and on the far side, you can see the Sinharaja Rainforest.
Each cabin is made out of 2 and ½ shipping containers which are raised on stilts and the interior is adorned with bamboo paneling while the floor is made out of rejected railway sleepers. Each chalet consists of a bedroom, bathroom, living area, and a private deck. In order to turn your stay there a very remarkable and cozy one, Rainforest Eco Lodge provides you with various amenities like hot and cold water, tea or coffee making facility, personal safe for your valuables, hairdryer and a personal WIFI for each chalet. You can sleep each night listening to the sublime sound of the breeze mysteriously coming alive among the forest canopy.
To keep you occupied during your stay and also to give you an opportunity to experience and appreciate the real beauty of our beautiful country, Ecolodge Sinharaja offers you experienced and well-trained guides that could take you through challenging trails and they could educate you on the many endemic species, flora and fauna that call Sinharaja “home”. You can also benefit from a natural fish spa therapy in a natural water stream where dozens of toothless fish in these streams would nibble away at dry and dead skin, making you feel refreshed and healthy.
In order to reduce food wastage, rainforest eco-lodge doesn’t offer you the customary “buffet style” meals. Instead, they present you with a menu from which you can choose your dinner from. For breakfast, they usually offer you either the continental breakfast or the Sri Lankan breakfast to choose from. The Sri Lankan breakfast consists of milk rice and an onion sambol, rice and string hoppers with some curries and ‘roastpaan’. For lunch, they offer rice with about 10 different Sri Lankan delicious curries.
The dining area too overlooks the spectacular forest canopy. You can indulge in the mouth-watering meals whilst you relish the soothing breeze coming from the Sinharaja forest reserve.
For all of its unique concepts that rainforest eco-lodge has implemented, they should be truly appreciated. The ecolodge has given out a hand to support the tea worker community around the lodge. It consisted of 37 families when the community outreach project was first begun. The resident community has formed a full-time labor force for the 25 hectares of tea grown in the eco-lodge property. This community was relocated and thus a new tea worker village was built in a different location with improved housing, power supply, clean drinking water, and sanitary facilities, a better school, crèche, clinic and a cooperative store as advised by a rural sociologist from USAID.
Rainforest Eco Lodge has practiced environmental best practices in design and management according to international ecotourism guidelines for the first time in Sri Lanka. Rainforest Eco Lodge has taken every initiative possible to make sure that the forest habitat will not be destroyed or disturbed in any way. Despite the heavy investment they’ve undergone they have strived to stick to the guidelines set by the US green building council. Rainforest ecolodge flatters oneself as the only hotel to be awarded the LEED platinum award in Sri Lanka, 4th in the whole of Asia and 5th in the world.
They have also won the Skal international sustainability award in the countryside category at the award ceremony held in Mexico in 2014. It was also awarded the wild forest award in 2013 for its efforts to conserve energy and preserve the ecological balance around the property.
Rainforest eco-lodge has been awarded the Certificate of excellence 2019 on trip advisor whilst having 487 reviews and is also among the top 5 4-star accommodation in Matara according to Travel Myth.
Rainforest Eco Lodge is heaven on earth for nature lovers while this is also highly sought by anyone who wants to retreat from their busy lives to sit back and relax.
Rtr. Sandithi Jagoda