MODERN DESIGNED NATURE CHALET
DAMBULLA | CULTURAL TRIANGLE| SRI LANKA
4 Hours from International Airport.
Superbly designed modern chalet, stilted over a lake and surrounded by beautiful paddies, offering total seclusion (sleeps upto 6).
Leaving behind dusty Dambulla, the road winds its way through mountains and lush paddy fields, leading into a long avenue lined with pomegranate and mango trees. This is the entrance to this architectural gem, hidden within a 100-acre retreat in Sri Lanka’s rural heart. Reaching the reception area, a high-design structure with trees growing through the slanted roof, you begin to see how this retreat has created a unique harmony between modern architecture and the natural world. And a glimpse between foliage exposes an almost incongruous sight: on a marshy lake, concealed by wispy trees, is a stark, angular structure. Steel beams and vast panels of glass glint in the dappled sunlight; jagged wooden decking juts outwards. Whether you approach it by raft across the water, or via a stroll through a banana grove, the impact is the same: a massive wow factor. The building soars high and an open split-level living area has a fabulous wraparound view.
Outside, a plunge-pool jacuzzi bubbles welcomingly. Inside, 2 sleek bedrooms are a hybrid of exposed brick walls, wooden sliding doors and chunky steel fittings. But despite the modern setting, it is nature that steals the show. This is a seriously peaceful place, and you get it all to yourself.
• Tranquil Hideaways
• Honeymoon escapes in the Cultural triangle, Sri lanka
• Run & Hide holidays
• Goof Family Holidays in Sri Lanka (Maximum 06)
• Eco-Boutique Retreat
There are 2 bedrooms, one on the ground floor and one directly above it on the first floor. They are pretty similar although downstairs is slightly bigger and preferred , because of its direct access to the jacuzzi. Upstairs has better views though, from a private terrace with loungers, plus an indoor sofa with a view of the treetops. It also has access to an al fresco sitting area.
Each room is large (40 sq.m) and decorated in a low key way, focusing on blocks of wood, shiny cement shelves and textural brick work. The low bed dominates the space, set on a base of varnished wood with stylish material lamps either side. There are top-of-the-range mod cons in each - Air Aon, a Sony 32" TV with cable and a DVD player. A small minibar has soft drinks, and there is a tea and coffee-making area.
Glass window walls face the vegetation, which makes a wonderful vista from bed. There are rattan shutters and blinds, windows can be left unobstructed to see the misty mountain view in the early morning. Wonderfully, being alone here means silent nights except for the squawkings of nature.
Bathrooms are gorgeous and spacious, with small dressing areas where you find fleece dressing gowns. A glass door leads to twin sinks with soap and shampoo and a rain shower over stone tiles; through a further glass panel there is an expansive bathtub.
• Satellite/Cable TV
• DVD player
• iPod dock
• Internet Connection
• Safe box
• Extra Beds
• Jacuzzi/hot tub (private)
• Terrace/balcony (private)
• Complimentary toiletries
• Coffee/tea making
• Iron and ironing board on request
FOOD & AMENITIES
As you are the only guests, meal times are scheduled entirely around your itinerary. You can dine wherever you like and vary your eating spots - inside at night, on the deck for lunch, breakfast overlooking the paddy fields. There is also a lovely summer hut with grass roofing, in the middle of a lush paddy.
The dinner menu is set, and predominantly Sri Lankan, so rice and curry every night, although the dishes vary and you can of course say if there are things you don't like.
The food is delicious but very filling. Sandwiches are on offer and come with a fresh coleslaw of cabbage, carrot and onion. Puddings for lunch and for dinner choose between either ice cream, fresh fruit salad or the creamy curd (like greek yoghurt), served with 'trickle', a sweet treacle-like syrup.
Breakfast can be either Sri Lankan or Western. The latter comes with pineapple, freshly picked bananas and a papaya juice. Then lots of tea, rounds of toast and eggs any style.
• Room Service
• Vegetarian Menu
• Lunch by Arrangement
• Dinner by Arrangement
• Coffee/tea making
• Dining: Breakfast is included, other meals are à la carte. Meals can be taken outside, in the dining room or in the reception area. Meal times are flexible although the menu is pretty set and promotes Sri Lankan food for dinner. There is a pantry in the chalet which has kitchen equipment though you're unlikely to self-cater
• Communal areas: Two open-air seating areas with padded sofas, a table and chairs, small library containing hardback photography books on Sri Lankan wildlife, history and architecture. 100 acres of agricultural land including fruit orchards, paddy fields, a herb garden and vegetable patch accessible by walking trials also suitable for bikes. Several lakes and a natural spring which has been formed into a pool
• Internet Access: No WiFi; guests can check email in the office of the reception, although the connection is slow
• Swimming Pool: No pool, small unheated plunge pool with Jacuzzi jets (2x3m)
• Spa Treatments: Not available
• Recreational: 4 bicycles available for guests to use free of charge
• Weddings and Celebrations: Not big enough for a wedding but perfect for a honeymoon or wedding anniversary, or a small group celebration. Not suitable for a party as music is discouraged
• Solar panels are used to heat water, and a windmill powers a water pump to irrigate the land. 90% of food comes from their land. Staffs are from local villages. Food waste is turned into compost for fertilizing the crops. Music is discouraged so as not to disturb wildlife.
• Room service
• Vegetarian menu
• Lunch by arrangement
• Dinner by arrangement
• Guest lounge
• Internet access
• Guest computer
• Plunge pool
• Bicycles available
• DVD library
• Off street parking
• Airport Transfers
Although children are welcome, it's not ideal for them. The remote and secluded nature of the place means that older children might be bored. Less than 10s are free of charge. Extra beds can be provided although no baby cots or highchairs are available.
Best for: Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation: Extra Beds Available.
• Visit the Dambulla Cave Temples, which date back to the 1st century BC, and learn about the meaning behind the stunning frescoes. Climb Sigiriya, the 5th century rock fortress and admire the painted maidens and mirror wall, Visit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s second capital, Spend the day exploring the architectural treasures at Anuradhapura, the country’s first capital
• Sigiriya bird trail takes you through to the foothills of the Sigiriya rock and the Sigiriya tank. Numerous species of water birds inhabits this area.
• The "Popham Arboretum" is another interesting excursion for those interested in gaining insight into the trees and foliage of the dry zone. Located about 15 km from the Vil Uyana along the Kandalama road, this is one of the few arboretums in the country where more than 68 different species of dry zone trees can be identified.
• Jump into a hot air balloon and enjoy an aerial view at dawn or sunset of the stunning landscape of jungle, rocky outcrops, and national parks (November-April)\
Other useful tips:
• Bring binoculars to get a closer look at the unusual birds, and perhaps a bird-identifying book.
• A good powerful torch would be useful at night to look at the frogs and other nocturnal creatures.
• Bring lots of insect repellent as the mosquitoes seem to get everywhere, especially at dusk.
• A few good reads are essential, as this is a perfect place to relax with a book, amongst the calls of nature.
• Buy some alcohol in duty free; mixers can be found in the minibar.
UPS & DOWNS
• The feeling of seclusion and solitude, far from the tourist groups
• Great for honeymooners, couples or a small party wanting undisturbed relaxation - if one bedroom is booked, the other will not be unless you are a group
• Delicious food, much of it home-grown (rice, vegetables, fruit), and served whenever you want
• A nature lover's paradise: birds flit past in dashes of colour, frogs burp contently, and the lake splashes as a water monitor cools off
• Gorgeous walks and bicycle rides through agricultural scenery
• Quiet place - those who like music should bring headphones.
• Its Social Responsibility policy
• The retreat support Community Healthcamps and Eye Care initiatives.
• It has very good drivers’ quarters.
• Service is welcoming but quite casual, and sometimes there is no staff on duty
• No alcohol license, although guests are allowed to bring liquor; not suitable for party people
• Mosquitoes are a pain - pack plenty of repellent and perhaps a mosquito net
• Set meals: be prepared to eat a lot of yummy rice and curry
Valid from 1st November 2012 to 30th April 2013
From 260 US$/night per Room.
Please enquire for specific rates and periods. All our rates include taxes, Service charges & Tourism taxes (if applicable). In the event it is not included, we will be stating it with our holiday quote.