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Reviewed 27 March 2018

just returned from 14 days in sri lanka of which 2 nights were spent at this unique experience-sleeping in an open sided tree house in the jungle to the sound of monkeys/elephants/all manner of birds just outside.
the staff are excellent and could not do enough to help

  • Stayed: March 2018, traveled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank grahambleeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 27 March 2018 via mobile

The place is breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful. The tree house is an experience worth taking on if your ok with a bit of humidity (no fans or AC). The tree house is comfortable and has an amazing view. The food was delicious and home made. The staff is wonderful too. Only thing you need to know is there is no phone signal (who are blocked off from the rest of the world), no Wi-Fi and the road to the property is a bit rough. But on the way you will see peacocks, birds, and elephant or two , etc.

Stayed: March 2018, traveled with friends
Thank maneshap823
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 19 March 2018

We stayed in this eco lodge of Back of Beyond at Dehigaha Ela during our recent visit to Sri Lanka in the month of February 2018. We stayed in boulder cottage for one night in this property. The place is in middle of nature and very well maintained. The cottage we stayed in is called boulder cottage as its built on top of two huge boulders or rock on the slop of the hill and surrounded by canopy of trees .... the feeling of staying here almost gives the feeling of staying in a tree house. The cottage was very clean and well looked after. The attached bathroom to the cottage was very clean and has running hot water. This place was built with the idea in mind to connect nature loving people with nature and they are doing that very well. The rock pool and the small river stream at the back of the reception area is a hidden gem ... the warm water of the rock pool is ideal for a dip and the fish there gives a free fish spa as soon as you put your feet into the water. The food served there is locally sourced and traditional Sri Lankan food ... the food we ate there was sumptuous and very tasty. All the staffs including the manager of the lodge was very friendly and was good at looking after the comfort of the visitors. This place is a real gem and i highly recommend this place.

Now i would like to talk about few observation I made which are "area of improvement" for the management.
1. The place is located in the middle of the nature 8/9 km from the nearest village and a dart road lead to it. Its not easy to find it, even our driver who goes to Sigiriya a few time a month with tourists was not sure about the place. Therefore I think management should give clear instruction how to find the place to people who book it well in advance by email and don't assume that people will find their own way.
2. As the road leading to this property is a dart road, it is not suitable for all type of vehicles, specially the cars used in Sri Lanka tourist industry (hybrid toyota and honda). One need a 4X4 or SUV to reach that place. Not all visitors book this place are local Sri Lankan and therefore may not travel in a 4X4. So I guess the management should ask guests if they need pick up and drop well in advance. Here I had to ask for this as I enquired about the place and ask if the car we will travel will reach that place or if we need a pick up and drop as i already know the road leading to this place is a dart road.
3. The pickup and drop costs 10USD, which i think is little unfair as due to the location not every car can reach the lodge. When I enquired about the place and if pick up can be arranged i was told that 10USD will be charged, to which I happily agreed and they send me a message in booking.com to confirm it, which I did and assumed they are aware of this. The day we arrived Sigiriya, my driver called the mobile of the lodge manager as agreed before to find the meeting point (car park, as I was told over phone earlier) where the vehicle of the lodge will come to pick us up. First the phone was not reachable for good 45 min and then i called their head office in Colombo and requested the operator over the phone to contact the lodge manager and if he can call us. After a wait of 10 min the manager called and asked us to come to a nearby village which my driver understood and we arrive at the place where we should be picked up. Arriving at the spot we realised that its not a car park (as i was told over phone earlier) but a village with couple of lodges and residential houses. So our driver was very much unsure of where to park our car and can come with us (as the lodge also provide driver accommodation). Then he requested a local recident if we can park the car in his driveway to which he happily agreed (bless him!!!!). So if you are booking this place and going there with a ranted car and driver, either ask your driver to go back to Sigiriya to find an accommodation for him and suitable car park or make it clear to your driver that he need to find a parking in front of someones house near the meeting point. Anyway after arranging the car park we called the property again and to my surprise the manager told me that for this pick up and drop I have to pay 10USD. To which I was very surprised as it was already agreed and I also realised that the head office in Colombo probably not communicated the property about this. To which I told the manager that yes I have already agreed to that and if he can come quickly as it was quite late already. The pick up vehicle arrived after 20/25 min and took us back to the lodge at around 2pm. We wasted good 2.5 hours of time on trying to reach the lodge and we felt this should be managed properly. As I have already agreed beforehand to pay for the pick up and drop I expected the lodge to be bit proactive on this and wait for our arrival to pick us up other than we calling the lodge again and again to find a way there. I also found another guest who arrived later came on his own with his driver and ranted car where he was supposed to be picked up by the lodge vehicle. So i guess what happened with me was not a case in isolation and management need to improve on this.
3. The only place where one can eat while staying here is the lodge as this is in the middle of the jungle and here is no option of "trying out" other places for dinner or lunch. The lodge charges 750 Sri Lankan Rupees per person for lunch (children free) and 1500 rupees for dinner. But I guess they can offer "all inclusive" price in booking websites as guests can only eat at the lodge. The cost for the food was not lot and the food was tasty as i already mentioned, but i guess all inclusive package will be a better option for many.
4. While booking through the booking.com website I was told 30% of the money will be taken on the day of booking from the card i used for booking, which was the case and the remaining 70% will be charged 7 days before the arrival. In short I do not have to pay during check out. But to my surprise I found that they didn't charged my back for the remaining 70% and asked me to pay in the local currency during checkout. It was the last day of our stay in SL and we ran out of most of the local currency we had, but luckily I just had enough to pay the manager during checkout (including the pickup-drop, food and the remaining booking fees). I think this need to be improved as people will expect the lodge to change the customer as agreed as per the online booking payment condition. Also the USD to Rupees conversion rate the manager gave me was 155 (generally anywhere in SL it is 1USD = 153) which is not a lot but in my opinion not a good practice.

I hope if management is reading my review they will take these comments as "area of improvement" rather then negative points. Had we not encountered these issues our stay would have been more pleasant, specially the issue with pick up.

At the end, I will again reiterate that this is an amazing place and i will recommend my friends and family to go there and will for sure go there again should we visit Sri Lanka in future and i will hope the management will improve few of the small issues I encountered.

Room Tip: Make sure you short out the pick up well in advance and make sure they know what time of the day you are coming.
  • Stayed: February 2018, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank srijit_nath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 13 March 2018 via mobile

What an amazing place! In the middle of nowhere (or the back of beyond), it was perfectly situated to escape from everything. We stayed in one of the tree houses- a truly unique experience! Loved the Eco ethics of the place and although it’s outside, the facilities of a flushing toilet and light switches were very much appreciated, although we would have managed if these weren’t available. The staff were very friendly and actually went out specially on an errand for us which was an hour round trip. The food was very lovely too. Although you’re effectively sleeping outside, we felt very safe throughout but do ensure your bags are monkey proofed overnight. 10/10 experience, one that we’ll never forget. Thank you Back of Beyond for making our time in Sri Lanka very special and we really hope we’ll be back soon.

Stayed: February 2018, traveled with friends
Thank JennieWren03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 9 March 2018

This was my 2nd trip to Back of Beyond Dehigaha Ela. It's one of those places that you can never get enough of! I am an avid nature lover and wilderness explorer and BOB Dehigaha Ela is like a dream come true for me every time I visit. It is the perfect jungle paradise, complete with your own treehouse! My favourite treehouse is the Damba Treehouse at the end of the Illuk clearing, however I do like the Kone treehouse too as it has a much higher elevation. When you've stayed in one of these treehouses, you'll never want to stay anywhere else, they are simply addictive! Waking up amongst the forest canopy, surrounded by bird songs and the sound of the softly flowing stream just beyond, is simply magical. Each day brings a new adventure here! You can wade or swim in the private rock pool inside the rainforest corridor, explore the surrounding jungle and go bird watching armed with the bird watcher's guide from the BOB library, explore the treasure trails and bat cave, experience the natural fish spa which is bound to make you laugh out loud! If relaxing is your goal - there is no better place really! You can read to your hearts content, listening to the soothing forest sounds, the cool forest air washing over you while you sip on a nice cup of ceylon tea or a freshly made cold tropical fruit juice. If you feel like getting out and about, you can go on bicycle tours to the village, go on wildlife safari or visit the many archeological sites in Sigiriya.
The treehouses are complete with super comfortable bedding, open living space overlooking the forest clearing and lily pond, one of the winning design elements is the 'open to the sky' showers which let you really commune with nature!
Another notable feature is the food - BOB Dehigaha serves up some of the most amazing dishes I have had the pleasure of eating in Sri Lanka. Most of the fresh produce is grown right on the land. The service as well is top notch. From the manager to the ground staff, everyone at at BOB Dehigaha Ela went above and beyond to make sure our stay was pleasant and enjoyable.
I simply love Back of Beyond's commitment to environmental conservation and sustainable and responsible tourism which is one of the reasons why I keep coming back. They are true pioneers in responsible tourism in Sri Lanka and Back of Beyond Dehigaha Ela is the best nature lover's holiday destination I have been to. Highly recommend!

Room Tip: Stay in a treehouse if you get the chance, there is nothing like it! However the Boulder Cottages are fun too!
  • Stayed: December 2017, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank mandidal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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