Ayurvedic retreat in Sri Lanka
Description of Ayurvedic retreat in Sri Lanka
Finding the space and the inspiration to meditate, practise yoga and learn more about rural lifestyles in Sri Lanka is made all the more easy when you’re based within a 30 acre coconut, cinnamon and black pepper plantation surrounded by tropical gardens and rice paddy fields.
The main villa property at this Ayurveda retreat is quintessentially colonial in style with white tiled flooring, intricately carved woodwork and white washed walls opening into outdoor terraces and verandas from where to gaze over the lawn from a comfy armchair.
As the name suggests, learning about the ancient medical science of Ayurveda is essentially what guests are signing up for with an emphasis on being proactive where health and wellbeing is concerned through diet, thought processes and lifestyle.
A full Ayurveda plan can be undertaken whilst staying at the retreat however, just strolling around the grounds or getting involved with rice, fruit and spice harvesting can be extremely beneficial, especially when combined with cooking classes, holistic treatments and trips into the local village.
A nutritious ‘farm to plate’ food policy further increases wellbeing for the body and the mind with the majority of meals home grown or sourced from local village shops, whilst any excess is donated to an old peoples’ home in Colombo.
Much of Sri Lanka has suffered from deforestation and with this in mind many of the indigenous trees that have been planted around the property are on the country’s critically endangered list and attract several species of rare birds and colourful butterflies.
The trees and tropical foliage also provide a perfect setting for early morning yoga and meditation sessions with evening classes often taking place by the light of flickering oil lamps.
Outside of the Ayurveda retreat, Sri Lanka still exists with practically all of the property’s staff coming from the local village and several local schools and Buddhist temples benefitting from support as part of ongoing sustainable development schemes.
This really is an incredibly peaceful and picturesque place to relax and revive with a swimming pool adding to the laid back ambience and experienced teachers and doctors on hand to aid you in your quest to escape the stresses of the modern world.
Rooms, food and facilities
There are two places to stay on the plantation: the Lodge and the Villa. The Lodge was the original property and is thought to be around 150 years old and was once owned by the local village chief, whilst the Villa was built later by the chief’s son for the birth of his son. The buildings are about two minutes’ walk from each other and both feature spacious communal areas as well as six bedrooms in the Lodge and eight bedrooms in the Villa, consisting of two twins, four doubles and two suites. All bedrooms are en-suite and include verandas, traditional wooden furniture and ceiling fans, with air-con available in Villa accommodation and baths added to suites. Although this is a Sri Lanka Ayurveda retreat that doesn’t mean you can’t just rest and have fun with a swimming pool, inviting families to come and relax alongside the yogis. Ayurvedic treatments, detoxification, weight loss and nutritional programmes give you just a taste of things to come with spa facilities and daily yoga and meditation allowing guests to focus their minds and their bodies in sublime tropical surroundings. Nature trails and visits to the local village or organised trips to explore the rest of Sri Lanka; Ayurveda retreat this maybe, taking itself too piously, it certainly does not.
How to find us
The plantation is situated next to the village of Nehinna around 80kms south of Sri Lanka’s capital city, Colombo.
If you’re flying into Colombo and hiring a car, take the Galle Express Way and follow signs to Matugama whereupon you’ll need to take a left at the small junction next to the statue of Buddha before following the main street for around 4kms as you follow signs to the Plantation Villa.
Alternatively, air and rail transfers are available on request and more detailed driving instructions will be passed on during the booking process.
1 Reviews of Ayurvedic retreat in Sri Lanka
Reviewed on 14 Jul 2016 by Jill Atkinson
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
I spent the first week on the Plantation, having treatments (massages), eating
healthy, well cooked food, doing yoga and relaxing by the pool. In the second
week I ventured out on a couple of trips to see the turtles and the elephants.
The staff were warm and welcoming as were the other guests.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Be prepared for the Ayurvedic diet, it is different and can take some getting
used to. Be prepared to feel awful on some days, detoxing can be hard, but it is
worth it. Short visits are fine, I stayed two weeks and felt the benefits of the
second week, a third week would have been even better.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
The hotel staff were all local, with interesting stories to tell and a caring attitude .
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
A great retreat from the stresses and worries of every day life and a great place
to meet like minded travellers and make new friends.
PlanetThe whole mission of our resort is to good - to our guests, team, environment, neighbours, community etc. Sri Lanka is now victim to a growing pace of deforestation. We undertake a huge effort to grow plant and tree species are currently Critically Endangered. We use a portion of our profits to buy these plants from the Sri Lanka Forest and Wildlife Preservation Dept and plant and grow them in our plantation. We also have an 'Adopt a Tree' program which enables are guests to join in. Additionally our maintenance team ensures that we do not drain out resources from mother nature by managing our waste and carbon emissions.
Our main efforts focus on:
1) Trees and Plants - we grow rare and Critically Endangered plants in our Plantation.
2) Animals - our garden is a haven for a number of wild and rare local and migrant birds. We maintain parts of our outer garden in its wild form to protect their habitat. Also growing of plants currently becoming endangered, support the maintenance of the eco system that surrounds them. A number of small animal species are also in the danger of extinction due to increasing rates of deforestation in Sri Lanka. We also save animals from slaughter houses and provide them a safe haven to live in.
3) Water - The hotel and the gardens are maintained by natural spring water obtained from our own estate. We have four spring water wells which pumps water for our needs. Every effort is made to use the water carefully and we requests all our guests to work with us to preserve our environment.
4) Energy usage and carbon emission - We make compost out of waste material generated from the hotel kitchen and fallen branches and leaves in our plantation. This provides the fertilisation for our organic vegetable, fruit and spice garden and our plantation. Additionally we have a specially built wood burning stove which burn quickly and at high temperatures leaving little carbon emission. 95% of the light bulbs used are LED energy saving bulbs
PeopleWe are located in a rural village in Sri Lanka. Our Villa was originally built for the Village Chief there and it is the tradition in the villages where the Chief and the wealthy in the village look after the needy. We continue with this tradition at the Villa by funding and enabling all village community projects and activities, just to name a few:
1) Jobs - Majority of our staff in the plantation and hotel are from our village. Most of them have never worked before. We have provided them with inhouse training and provided jobs. We also provide educational programs for them to teach them how to manage their money, house-hold costs and help them save a portion of their salary. Most of our staff members never had a bank account before they joined and are unaware of how to handle money.
2) Local Schools - The local schools are basic and we provide them with any cash shortage to meet their bills (we pay their electricity bills), provide books/clothing/toys to the children on an annual basis and fund key projects in the school such as new buildings etc. We allow the chance for our guests to also visit the schools and join in with some of these projects either with time or funding. Some of our guests have provided books, computers and even built new bathrooms in the Schools.
3) Village Temple and Vocational Training Centres - The Villa profits contribute to renovation and maintenance of the temple. The temple pagoda in the next village was a donation by the Villa. We additionally have set up some vocational training centres such as computer centres, sewing courses etc to help provide vocational training to villages which will help them find jobs.
4) Product Sourcing - Whilst most of our food we serve in the hotel is grown in our own garden, we source other products from the village shops. Excess food from our plantation is donated to an Old People's Home - Mallika Home - in Colombo.
5) Local Culture and Village Environment - Our hotel is a retreat which tries to be in harmony with our environment. Therefore, we take utmost care to preserve the culture and environment of the village and to ensure that we do not upset the balance.