Rainforest Eco Lodge is a tranquil eco-retreat set on the 500-acre Enselwatte tea plantation in Deniyaya, close to Sinharaja rainforest. Backed by some of the largest hotel and travel companies in Sri Lanka, it is a joint effort at creating an idyllic holiday retreat that strives to conserve the environment and benefit the village community. Rainforest Eco Lodge offers a true experience of Sinharaja as well as an enriching tea experience. Head on a nature trek into the rainforest or take a stroll through the tea plantation, then at nightfall, relax with a drink at the lounge and share your bird and animal sighting experiences with the other guests. Rainforest Eco Lodge follows strict eco-friendly policies focused on re-use, re-design, and recycling and is a LEEDS certified property designed by environmental architect, Sunela Jayawardene. This eco retreat is not recommended for those with mobility difficulties or for families with young children. Red Dot recommends a minimum stay of two nights in order to have the maximum benefit from this memorable experience.
Accommodation is in 16 individual chalets scattered down the hill amidst the tea bushes, each housed in a recycled container on stilts, constructed with timber floors and walls lined in rush matting. Each chalet consists of a sleeping area furnished with double or twin beds, ensuite bathroom with twin washbasins and h/w shower and a small lounge area with private terrace. In-room facilities include mini-fridge, tea/coffee facility and telephone. Being 3,500 ft above sea level, the climate is cool and air-conditioning is not required. In order to encourage awareness in youth regarding Sinharaja, Rainforest Eco Lodge has created basic accommodation facilities for students at a lower rate. The accommodation chalets are downhill away from the other service areas and are accessed along small pathways through the tea estate.
A series of metal walkways lead between the lounge, dining room and reading room, all of which have spectacular tea plantation and jungle views. The lounge has a central copper fireplace where guests can enjoy a drink, and the open-sided dining room seats up to 45 guests and serves Sri Lankan and international cuisine, prepared with fresh village vegetables, fruits, meats and seafood brought in from Galle. Other facilities include a library and information centre where the experienced in-house nature guides are always at hand to provide guests with information on Sinharaja. Rainforest Eco Lodge also has research facilities and accommodation for students wishing to do in-depth studies of the Sinharaja rainforest.
Why we like it
Accommodation from recycled shipping containers makes this an authentic eco experience on the edge of the rain forest
Rainforest Eco Lodge is n Deniyaya which lies approximately 3,500ft above sea level. This working tea estate borders the southern end of Sinharaja, and has small patches of rainforest contained within it. The final 12km is on an uphill, rustic roadway that is best attempted in a van or jeep. Staff from Rainforest Eco Lodge will meet you at a halfway point and transfer you to the lodge in their vehicle.