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“An amazing treehouse in the middle of the forest”

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Galkadawala Forest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 April 2014 via mobile

We visited the hotel on 19/04/14 and unfortunately we stayed only for a night. The Eco-hotel is in the middle of no-were with 15 to 20 minutes away from Habarana and with a bit bad road at the end until you reach the hotel. The location is excellent 2 tree houses with 2 double rooms each one. The hotel is within the forest and next to a beautiful lake. The ideal place for relaxing in the nature, bird watching and walking on the side of the lake. All the hotel has been made with eco-friendly materials (basically recycled wood) and with a very nice decoration by the owner. Dinner and breakfast was with nice local traditional products and was cooked in front of you at the basement of each treehouse. Finally the staff and the owner was very friendly and helpful. The only thing we wished was to been able to stay a few more days....

  • Stayed: April 2014
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1  Thank NicolasEco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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81 - 87 of 155 reviews

Reviewed 19 April 2014

set in the middle of the forest next to a lake, this place is heaven. We were greeted and made to feel at home as soon as we entered. Maulie is a wonderful host. The traditional sri lankan food served here was one of the highlights of the trip. The 4.5km road in here is quite dodgy, so it might take a while to get in there and it is a little outside of Habarana, but well worth the extra few minutes drive.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Lachlan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2014 via mobile

Simply the best wildlife lodging experience with original Sri Lankan foods for cheapest rates.fresh, organic foods,fruits.friendly staff.calm and quite environment. clean and comfort.well maintained place.
A place you must visit
7/7

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Naveen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2014

This was our first lodging in Sri Lanka and it was certainly unique.
The approach to the hotel is a long bumpy road. Our driver (not accustomed to the more basic lodgings) was clearly not impressed. Some other Chinese guests (2 females) were also a bit concerned when they first arrived as to where they were being taken as there are no lights on the road.
Upon arrival we were swept up in the charm of the place for the 3 nights we were there.
Food was wonderfully authentic and the chaps in charge of this were sensational.
If the food hasn't been so good I think this would have affected my overall opinion quite dramatically.
The lady who runs he place is exceptionally passionate about the place and it was a nice change to have her sit at the group table for a chat in the evenings.
Was nice to go for evening walk to the 'tank' (large dam) in the evenings to bird watch and one evening we swore we heard elephants thrashing around.
One word of warning is that there is no acoustic privacy at all. Our second floor room was above the eating area and next to another room. You have to accept that all noise will transfer between the parts of the villa.
Good for 2 nights.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Christopher88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2014

We stayed for 3 nights at Galkadawala in late December - it was the perfect start to a 16 day trip. The location is enchanting - nestled amongst the trees with views out to a beautiful tank. The lodges embrace the surrounding flora and fauna and to be in the thick of it really is magical. We were capitavated by the sounds of the birds and insects and to fall asleep in the middle of it was a delight. We stayed in one of the new rooms - every bit as beautiful as the existing rooms. Gorgeous big bed, lovely outdoor bathroom and tastefully furnished throughout. The communal deck below the rooms was the perfect place to wile away a few hours with a book or just enjoy a cup of the delicious ginger tea the staff served.

In terms of location, whilst well off the beaten track, it is perfectly positioned for day trips out and about in the so called cultural triangle of the North. Maulie, the owner, arranged a load of trips out for us that were great value and very easy - you can cover a lot in a day from here. We visited Dambulla, Polunnawara, Kadualla National Park & Sigirya from here.

Finally, the food and staff were incredible. The food was some of the best we ate in Sri Lanka - beautifully cooked simple homestyle food, lovely curries, hoppers and sweet rice for breakfast. And the staff were amazing. Maulie, the owner, is an interesting and gregarious host who is passionate about her project, its location and their aims and is a delight to talk to. Plus her team were a perfect introduction to Sri Lankan hospitality at it's finest.

If you're near here, stay here - you won't forget it!!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Max L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2014

What a special and magical place! Beautiful surroundings, unique architecture, kind staff, cool owner and delicious food. Falling asleep and waking up to the sounds of pure nature was a highlight of my trip. You can just feel the love and pride that the owner, Maulie, has for this lodge. Great location for day trips to sights in the cultural triangle, yet far enough away to feel at peace with nature and away from the crowds. I stayed in a room in the new bungalow and it was perfect. highly recommend!

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
Thank jamieniss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2014

Wonderful hospitality and the best food in Sri Lanka. We loved our time there and sleeping in the treetops was so peaceful. A great base for exploring the sites of Sigiriya, pollunuwara & Ritugala (fantastic ruins). Really unique & Special accommodation without frills but really comfortable beds,Mosquito nets and homely off the beaten track feeling. The Best butterflies in the world, giant squirrels and monkeys. A great place to unplug and totally relax. Great village experience nearby if you take the time to stroll along the road. Thank you (mrs) maulie and the guys....we will always be keen to come back and your advice about what to do and the country and it's amazing people will never be forgotten. Good luck with the new house. Toby & Debs and the fascinated kids

Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
Thank debs g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Galkadawala Forest Lodge

Address: Galkadawala | Palugaswewa, Habarana 50150, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Region: Sri Lanka > North Central Province > Habarana
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 55 Speciality Lodging in Habarana
Price Range: £80 - £87 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated in an ancient agricultural village, Galkadawala Forest Lodge is in the centre of the Cultural Triangle close to historical sites Dambulla, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Ritigala and Anuradhapura, and wildlife parks Minneriya, Kaudulla, Hurulu and Wilpattu. Galkadawala offers unique experiences of Heritage, Wildlife and Eco-friendly Construction. Once deforested, consumed and denuded this land has been transformed back to a vibrant ecological habitat. Surrounding irrigation lake, waterways and forests with high biodiversity provide trekking, bird watching and relaxing. To maintain this complex ecological habitat, at Galkadawala, prominence and care is given to all creatures. Guests too should understand that they have arrived at a habitat that has to be shared by all. Galkadawala concept is not a "watering Hole" where one can "chill out" till the early hours. Retire early and be up early (be different for a few days) to get the full benefit of what Galkadawala has to offer. ... more   less 
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