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“A decent stop without too much sales pressure.”

New Ranweli Spice Garden
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Private Kandy Tour
Ranked #27 of 74 things to do in Kandy
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: New Ranweli Spice Garden is located in close proximity to Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden ( Walking distance from the suspension bridge of peradeniya botanical garden)
Helensburgh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
105 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“A decent stop without too much sales pressure.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 May 2014

Our driver suggested this place en-route from Habarana to Kandy and, though we were dubious (anticipating some kind of hard sell), we were getting bored and sleepy with the long drive so we figured we would just treat it as a rest break.

Once out of the car, we were offered the use of the restrooms and then a guide was assigned to us and he then spent the next hour taking us around the garden showing us some of the spices and other plants growing in the grounds. There was plenty of te usual stuff you;d expect - cinnamon, nutmeg, aloe vera etc and it was actually kind of interesting. At two points in the tour, we were offered tea which had various spices in it (e.g. cinnamon tea) which was nice and the guide obviously knew his plants.

At the end of the tour, they tried selling us a head and shoulders massage using some of their home-made ointments to which we declined (was thinking about lunch and heading onwards to Kandy) so we were then directed to the shop which was obviously always going to happen. However, to my surprise, once in the store, there was no hard sell - the guide did point a few things out and hovered around but there didn;t feel like any real pressure to buy (although we bought a spice box as a gift for family).

After exiting the shop, we had lunch with our driver who recommended the fish curry (not a huge surprise as that seems to be the staple in Sri Lanka) but I was up for it so agreed and out came a multitude of dishes including curries, rice and other accompaniments. The food was a really good and we all enjoyed it although I wasn;t massive happy about all the damned flies crawling over everything - at one stage the bowl of rice looked like a dessert with currants.. but anyway, there's probably not an awful lot they can do about it in the open. we are also surprised to see the total food bill which worked out at around £12.. which, for so much food that three of us couldn't eat it all, plus drinks, was a steal.

So in the end, it was actually a decent stop. There's approximately two million and forty spice gardens in Sri Lanka (made-up number obviously) so I daresay there's some good ones and some bad ones but this one seemed pretty good.

+ Interesting collection
+ Knowledable guide
+ Nice food and good value

- Bit of a soft sell
- Flies

Visited April 2014
2 Thank MProudfoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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277 reviews from our community

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Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
395 reviews
244 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
“Good and worth a visit ”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2014 via mobile

We enjoyed our visit seeing all of the spices growing and learning about their uses. Our guide was very informative and we ended the tour with a massage which was great! There is also a ship where you can buy various products from the gardens.

1 Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Derby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Unexpectedly good”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2014

We dropped in here as we passed by, not expecting much...I really didn't have any interest in the place....however the guide started explaining all the different plants and it was really interesting! There is a bit of a push to buy at the end, and the guide will expect a tip...but the tour round is free and informative. We were offered head massages, which we refused, and am sure they would probably have charged you for after! All in all a good stop off on our tour.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank anntte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
152 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“interesting insight into spices and your wallet”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 March 2014

we were tired when we were dropped here by our driver. We were shown around the small spice garden by a very informative guide. It wasnt busy and he spent time explaining the benefits and uses of all the spices. There were cures for everything and the concoctions tasted quite pleasant. There was an opportunity for a massage from a waiting Masseur but we were so tired the thought of one had not crossed our minds. After explaining all the spices there was a subtle attempt of waiting for a well deserved tip. Unfortunately we didnt realise what he was after until a few days later when we had finally come to our senses. The products were expensive in relation to Sri Lankan terms. We did purchase two items the hair removal cream he put on my hairy legs remained hair free for the entire holiday. The number six energy potion the equivalent of the verbal viagra we reluctantly purchased. We both took a teaspoon every day of the holiday and it may have been expensive but we thought it certainly had medicinal properties. Must get some more. Another opportunity at these places to extract the tourist of their cash but we were aware of that and only bought what we thought was fair.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank the_clerk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
285 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“Buyer beware: Same spices cost far less in the local supermarkets!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2014

Definitely a "tourist trap" where a short tour about spices is followed by a visit to the spice shop! On the day we visited there were more than 10 drivers/guides are waiting for their tourists (and kickbacks??) outside of the Spice Garden.

A package of cinnamon sticks cost 150 rupees in the supermarket; it cost more than 10 times that at the Spice Garden (albeit the packaging is prettier).

Something is wrong when the guide is selling spice-based tooth whitener and his teeth are yellow!

Visited February 2014
1 Thank Shar1805
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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