To meet the increasing demand for Responsible Tourism, Polwaththa Eco Lodges was established in 2010 giving guests the opportunity to experience rural life in Sri Lanka and for the local community to benefit therefrom. It was necessary to find a village not too far from the touristic route but still remote, with a pleasant climate, a pristine environment and an authentic Sri Lankan village inhabited by hospitable people – not an easy task by any means, but we did not have to look far. Lying just 19 Km from Kandy city, the owner’s ancestral village was there for the taking - a perfect fit! With humble beginnings and a huge challenge ahead, Polwaththa Eco Lodges was launched at a time when Sustainable Tourism was beginning to pick up. From then on, there was no looking back and our determination to succeed finally paid off, winning the TripAdvisor Certificate for Excellence for the last 4 years - thanks to our dedicated and friendly staff who are proudly our own villagers and our esteemed guests who supported us with great reviews and encouraged us to forge ahead. Our enthusiasm to satisfy our guests continues and we strive to meet the demands of the ever-changing trends in modern-day tourism. As we see it, the desire to change the world is to uplift the living standards of mankind - at a huge cost to the environment. Our aim is to provide, besides an enjoyable holiday, an experience - based more on spiritual values and less on material uplift, which will hopefully have a positive influence on your own life. This to us, is one sure way of sustaining this world for us to live in harmony and for our future generations to benefit from.
It is an ideal place for nature lovers whose expectations of “luxury” lies more outside the room than inside. We do not have a T.V., air-conditioning, mini-bar (other than in a few rooms which are quite far from the restaurant) or tiled floors but offer the basics required such as hot-water showers (solar-heated), large and comfortable beds, clean and airy bathrooms and a spacious balcony or veranda to immerse in the rich flora & fauna in the comfort of your easy-chair. With 60 species of birds of which 15 are endemic – all within our 5 hectares, it is a paradise for bird-watchers. Click here to see check-list. We expect guests to be prepared for the jungle. While we take steps to overcome the inherent dangers of the jungle, we do not expect guests to be hysterical on seeing a snake, scorpion, lizard, monkey or any other wild beast. If staying long enough, you will discover the benefits of living close to nature – perhaps a necessary change for those caught in a hectic urban life in a tech-savvy modern world.
At the heart of our operations are the local community and the environment – essential ingredients in Sustainable tourism that we vigorously promote. 80% of our staff are from this very village or from nearby villages who are paid well above Government approved minimum salaries along with all due benefits. You will get a good feel of village life while being here and if you want more of it, just step into our nearby “Home-stays” which our website www.polwaththa-homestays.com will show.
The 5-hectare land in which our 13 Lodges stand is fully covered by a range of trees, some of which are unknown to even the locals. “Polwaththa” in the local language means coconut estate which was so, until we allowed nature to take over, letting other endemic trees share the land, thus converting it to what is now called a “Kandyan Forest Garden”. We have gone beyond our boundaries in promoting re-forestation by purchasing our neighbors barren lands – so caused by the felling of trees for quick money, in a program called the “Forest Healing Project” where we re-introduce endangered plants and live in harmony with the forest – more information can be obtained in our blog. Besides the benefits to the local community and the environment, this project helps to off-set the carbon foot-print of our visitors, especially of those taking long-haul flights, by planting new trees. So, feel good when you are staying with us, knowing that you are contributing in some way to becoming carbon-neutral - a burning issue that will soon determine the future of our planet. The partnership with a few like-minded Dutch individuals has given this project an international flavor and the scope to make a major contribution towards this cause. Another reason to feel good when staying here is the energy-saving which at an average of 478 units per month of electricity and 136 units per month of water, our consumption, per room basis, is less than 20% of an average hotel in Sri Lanka. This is achieved mainly from the usage of LED bulbs and solar power for hot-water. At a comfortable 18-23 C night-temperature, we do not need energy-sapping air-conditioners or even fans for cooling.