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100% Sri Lankan Experience

We at Boutique Sri Lanka love Sri Lanka, its culture and the local communities and choose to live on the island for months at a time each year.

"Living" a Sri Lankan life and immersing yourself in the community with its strong religious ethos can only be achieved by joining a Sri Lankan community. You may wish to admire from the periphery, dip into the life for 1-3 days or feel a part of it for your entire visit.

A number of experiences are possible. The suggested itineraries pages provide many ideas but to gain a real experience of 100% Sri Lanka we would recommend the following options:

Heritage Homes

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Heritage homes are generally ancestral houses of well-to-do Sri Lankan families. Often the retired owners have moved back to their country residences and enjoy sharing their homes with foreign visitors.

The hosts are steeped in knowledge of the area and have an excellent command of the English language. Accommodation is comfortable yet simple, and as you enter their home, you should be ready to appreciate the character, style and idiosyncrasies of the family and architecture. The hosts are extremely hospitable and their staff and forefathers have often been loyal servants of the household for generations.

Meals are taken with the family and are traditionally Sri Lankan, but with deference to the Western taste if requested. Indeed, they will enjoy showing off their culinary skills. Beautiful homes, often surrounded by orchards, plantations and well-tended gardens, allow you to spend evenings strolling, listening to birdsong or lazing on candlelit verandas. Our favourites are Prana for peace of mind and local cuisine, Bonnieland Bungalow for solitude and Don Duigo for great countryside and a friendly family.

Plantation Bungalows

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Plantation bungalows offer a "colonial" flavour, and many have been renovated into luxurious and characterful boutique residences. Our favourites are Ceylon Tea Trails, Kirchhayn and Paradise Farm Villa in the mid hill country. Service and cuisine are generally to a high standard suited to the stylish and seasoned traveller. Since the nationalisation of the tea estates, the bungalows have been renovated as stunning boutique hotels. Enjoy the working community and walk through the tea/rubber/coconut estates to appreciate the produce.

Estates within easy reach of the coast and still have a sense of the “raj” are Colonial house and Dubu.

Rubber, pineapple and coconut estates are less common but the produce is increasingly valuable on the commercial markets. Hideaway, The Garden House and Cinnamon Mount make the best of their estates, produce and scenery and exceed all service expectations – our secret discoveries- so let’s keep it that way.

Eco Villages

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Eco villages are a growing attraction in Sri Lanka, which ensure that tourists do not disrupt village life or the environment.

Organic farming, skilled craftsmanship, ayurvedic treatments, mud pavillions and natural spring waterfalls are all integral to village life, and living at one with nature.

Ulpotha in the Western Mountains, Galapita and Tree Tops in the Uva Province, are organic villages amongst the heart of the ancient Veddah villages.

Palm Paradise and Kudakalliya offers archetypal tropical beach huts and simple living as an alternative to the boutique beach resorts.

Meditation Centres & Monasteries

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Meditation Centres and Monasteries are the answer for those wishing to find inner peace and harmony. Run by monks, these centres may be attended by day or as live-in guests. Lecturers and learned monks will teach meditation techniques and lead/debate philosophy based on Buddhist beliefs. The centres welcome a donation, or make a modest charge for the simple dormitory accommodation.

Centres can be found, in Kandy :

Nilambe, near Galaha, South Kandy close to Erin Bungalow
Lewella – experienced male guests only
Sri Jennieson Meditation Centre, Ampitiya
Dhamma Kura Vipassana Centre, Mowbray, Hindagala

And in Unawatuna :
Meditation & Philosophy Centre, Yaddehimulla Road, Sunday & Monday, 3-5pm

Village Life

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Village life in the countryside is fascinating and extremely sociable. The houses are provincial and each village tends to be inhabited by entire family generations.

Families will be so keen to chat it is rare to walk for 10-20 minutes without an invitation for tea or dinner! If you would like to join a village family for breakfast and have a short tour of the different aspects of village life eg. fishing, wood carving, bakery, farming, coconut tree climbing, just let us know and we can arrange that with our village friends. They will be very proud of their village and to entertain you for about R1000 per person.

The Sri Lankans are a most hospitable and proud race. If you enjoy experiencing this culture and community spirit, take a stroll or cycle ride through the villages of Bentota, Uva Province or the Hill Country. Many of our Heritage Homes, e.g. Horathapola, and some private villas, like Nisala Arana, will allow you to enjoy this ambience for a few days or weeks.

Traditional Sri Lanka holidays designed by experts on the real Sri Lanka. Specialists in offering traditional Sri Lanka hotels and regions. Reviewing and discovering traditional, colonial and heritage hotels, bungalows and villas off the beaten track for a truly authentic Sri Lankan experience. Book on-line or call for itinerary plans for a bespoke holiday for your interests