I'm not going to lie, arriving at Jungle Tide (JT) for the first time is an experience in itself. Set high above Kandy, the drive up a steep, winding and, let's be honest, poor quality road is slow, bumpy and if you're scared of heights - as I am - a little unsettling.
However, no matter how much you may have disliked the journey up to JT, when you arrive it is absolutely, completely, definitely, unquestionably worth it.
Upon arrival you will be greeted by quite possibly the two nicest, most cheerful people in the whole history of the world. Ever. Jungle Tide itself is a beautiful, clean, comfortable property set in a fantastic location high in the hills. The property in itself is enough for me to recommend a stay here. However, what elevates JT above almost anywhere I have ever stayed before are the two cheerful people I've mentioned above. Martin and Rani are the resident housekeepers who are, in fairness, so much more (including performing the role of Mum and Dad - see my comment below about eating my greens). They will welcome you into their home as if they have known you all of their lives and are always on hand when you need them (without in any way being intrusive).
Rani will cook for you (if you ask her nicely - and pay her, of course!) and, once you've eaten her cooking three things will happen. Firstly, you will never want to leave. Secondly, you will understand why Martin has a little pot-belly. Thirdly, Martin will tell you off if you don't eat your greens. Rani's cooking is truly spectacular, and I'm considering starting a movement to have her UNESCO protected.
We only stayed for a couple of nights and wished that we could have stayed for considerably longer. If you find yourself in the Kandy area in need of a place to stay, do yourself a favour and give JT a try.
One point of note: before heading up to JT, make sure you have everything you need. You do not want to get all the way up there and realise that you need to nip to the shops.
Oh, and on a final note, if Martin, Rani, Jerry or Sally are reading this I would like to make a plea for Rani to share her Dahl recipe with me....
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Jungle Tide is a British owned and managed homestay; a place to relax in the real Sri Lanka, away from the tourist spots yet still only forty minutes from Kandy city centre. Up here in the cool hills A/C is not necessary... Wake up to the sound of birdsong and marvelous mountain views. Stroll in the gardens, or take a longer walk in the surrounding hills. Swim in the pool, or just relax. All services, bed linen and towels as well as driver accommodation and Wi-Fi are included in the price on a B&B basis and our staff, Martin and Rani, will look after you superbly. ... more less
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