The idea to start this project came from within the family, primarily Nihal who has vast experience in the tourism industry. He had a vision to set up such a sustainable tourism project from the time he entered the tourism field and since then, we have been working closely with the local villagers, educating them, learning from them and establishing ourselves as a genuine ecotourism business.
A unique feature of our Eco Lodge is the close bond between the management and the local villagers. The local staff-members and other relevant villagers are consulted when planning and implementing any new projects. The staff, after receiving initial training in necessary areas, are encouraged to handle the guests independently. While this gives them the much-needed confidence, it also gives the guests the opportunity to closely interact with a “local”. Although tradition discourages women from working in the hotel trade, we have succeeded in having nearly 30% of women in our staff of 14.
The active participation of Nel, the Dutch wife of the owner, in areas connected with re-forestation, besides discovering new nature-based treks and promoting local handicrafts, gives a global thrust to a local need. Her deep love for nature combined with an unwavering determination, ensures a high success rate – 90% of the 400 new trees planted from November 2016, are doing well, despite unfavorable weather conditions.
Adding to the international flavor is Remon the owners son who had his education in Sri lanka, graduated in Travel & Tourism in the Netherlands and about to finish a 5-year work-experience in the hospitality trade in London. He will gradually be taking over the property from his father, as passed on from one generation to another since the early 20thcentury. He looks like a European but acts like a Sri Lankan – a good balance where a European taste and a local culture have to blend.