Back of Beyond's eco-lodges might just be one of the best experiences you could have, with their tree houses and bungalows. Their newest addition, Diklande Estate Bungalow is a 40 min drive from Katunayake International Airport, located on Diklande coconut estate. We spent the whole day there last weekend and got some much needed time away from the city.
They have 3 rooms for a maximum of 8 adults with attached bathrooms and hot water showers. The prices range from 13 K-15 K and it's around 30 K if you want the entire house. The rooms are nothing fancy but very cosy. Aside from the bathrooms, the rest of the place has been refurbished so you feel like you're inside a colonial bungalow, comprising of wooden tables, armchairs and even a cane chair with a futon.
The rooms are spacious with comfortable beds, an antique wardrobe and a dresser. It doesn't have a lot of natural light compared to the rest of the house so you'd probably end up using it to just lie down for a nap. The bathrooms were really impressive and in terms of design superceded the rest of the house.
I'm not one for old-fashioned bathrooms so the modern architecture in the wild vibe really worked for me, especially the outdoorsy shower.
The place is an oasis of solitude, you truly feel like the only people in the world. There's not much to do around here except relax and enjoy your me-time, which I think is the best thing a place like this could provide.
They also have a separate reading room and if you're a bookworm like me, this is heaven! With two bean bag chairs, one couch along with two shelves and a book rack all filled with books, it was hard for me to leave this place. There is nothing better than spending your weekend on a sequestered bungalow with a battered old book in hand, lost in wonder.
The caretaker Samantha is a friendly chap who will give you your space and is very helpful, especially when the cute dogs there take your stuff and run away. Also, there's going to be a few different insects flying around the place which is unavoidable, but you can always take precautions.
Our welcome drink was milk tea, which is basically a Sri Lankan tradition. We also got a Devilled Chicken to munch on while we chilled by the pool. The chicken was perfectly marinated and extremely spicy, which any Sri Lankan would love. Might be too strong for foreigners but then again, if you want a genuine Lankan experience, you can't complain.
Our lunch was an authentic Sri Lankan rice and curry, with fresh vegetables and a dhel curry that we couldn't get enough of. Rice and curry are always better when made in the dara lipa (firewood oven).
After that delicious and filling meal, in our lazy Sri Lankan way, we took a long nap. Later on, we were served our evening tea before we took off. It's probably the environment because bananas, butter biscuits and tea tasted so much better than it would have in Colombo.
They prepare Sri Lankan and Western meals according to your preference, so don't feel shy about asking for your faves. Drinking water, morning tea & coffee will be free of charge. They do not serve alcohol but you have the liberty to bring your own and there's also a store about 1 KM from the estate.
It was a great experience. Oh, and there's no Wi-Fi but you really don't need it, trust me. If you're in dire need for some peace and quiet out of town, this is the place to go. However, if you want adventure and the jungle, we recommend you check out our experiences of the other Back of Beyond properties!
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