Galkadawala Forest Lodge – Habarana
What commenced with a bare flat land that had been victim to slash and burn ‘chena’ farming, is today a wonderful creation of nature with comfortable lodgings, wholesome meals and the best of service, all with a nurturing and caring ethos and approach.
The Galkadawala Forest Lodge presents five living spaces with a total space for up to 14 guests. All the rooms include en-suite hot water washrooms, cooling by fan and mosquito nets.
The rooms are spread out across two distinct complexes the first is the original Galkadawala Forest Central Lodge that comprises of a lounge and dining area on the ground floor with two rooms on the first floor.
Birdwatchers especially will love the uppermost top deck of this Central Lodge as it overlooks the Galkadawala Bund and Tank. During early mornings and in fact right throughout the day, from this upper deck, all guests can enjoy a true-taste of raw nature with a wide variety of birds, insects and reptiles all on show, in and around, on the trees and along the trunks.
During the dry season, the sight of a majestic elephant is always a possibility and the Galkadawala Forest Lodge kindly requests guests to coexist and get along with their natural surroundings to the best of their abilities.
The second more recent addition to the Galkadawala Forest Lodge is the two-tiered ‘Bridge’ Unit that features two family rooms above and an open-air dining area and lounge below.
Galkadawala Forest Lodge is also pleased to introduce its new dining area ‘The Café’ located towards the front of the property, where guests can enjoy a true-to-taste, al fresco dining experience.
This new dining area alongside the Galkadawala Forest Lodge Kitchen, allows guests to observe and take note of the many steps involved in the preparation of local pure-vegetarian Sri Lankan cuisine.
On request, the kitchen staff will be happy for guests to get involved with the cooking process sharing their traditional recipes along the way whilst guests learn, understand and cook authentic Sri Lankan cuisine first-hand. This can range from noodle like string hoppers to steamy cylinders of floury pittu; loads of fun for all ages.
Galkadawala guests can also learn about how various spices are used in Sri Lankan cooking, balancing bitter and sweet with sour and spicy, all in the perfect combination and prepared using age old kitchen tools and implements that help crush, grind and blend the spices and ingredients with delicious mouth watering results.
Galkadawala Forest Lodge is passionate about preserving and protecting the environment and in this regard all of its living and dining units were created using recycled or upcycled products with a minimal use of concrete.
The large window planes used in the Bridge Unit family rooms are from abandoned tea factories and the elevated flooring of this same unit features discarded trunking platforms from a power station.
The Central Lodge also features upcycled pillars, timber and other features, all in a bid to promote and educate all guests to reduce, reuse and recycle. Ventilation and cooling also takes place au naturale, propelled by the constant breeze from the adjacent lake that helps to cool both living units.
Adding further to its green credentials, The Lodge embarked on a replanting scheme that aimed to reintroduce native dry zone plants to the Galkadawala property. Today, with the help of the Lodge’s very own, all-natural compost fertilizer, the bio-diversity and ecology of this property is in stark contrast to its infertile, dry and arid beginnings.
On request the Lodge will gladly assist in organizing tours to the nearby archeological site at Ritigala, elephant safaris, airport or island wide transfers.
The Lodge Service Team offers a very personalized guest service experience, always willing to help and guide guests along the way, making sure of a memorable stay.
The Galkadawala Forest Lodge is many things to many guests, for some it offers total escape and isolation, for others, it presents a chance to live amidst nature and embrace a glorious sense of solitude for the body, mind and soul. Guests are invited to idle away hours in pleasure and total relaxation, setting the day’s agenda at one’s own pace and plan.
With no television and with limited access to other ‘signals,’ at Galkadawala guests are encouraged to relish in a symphony of nature, as a myriad bird calls serenade you with different sound moods across the day, from dawn to dusk.
The sustainable and nurturing business philosophy, natural setting, modern facilities and homely comforts of the Galkadawala Forest Lodge continue to nourish its guests, all seeking a moment of stillness and silence to feel totally complete and satisfied. Depart feeling refreshed, revitalized, rejuvenated and ready to face the next; at the Galkadawala Forest Lodge it all comes together…