A guide to Sri Lanka’s eco-retreats

Sri Lanka is a changing country – the recent flux of tourism has undoubtedly caused the country growing pains, however some local hotels are striving to value and maintain the economy and ecologies that make the place such a destination. So, for the environmentally conscious traveller whose interested giving back, we present the top three eco-destinations that Sri Lanka has to offer.

Heritance Kandalama Hotel

Architect: Designed by Sri Lanka’s most lauded and known architect, Geoffery Bawa, has it’s own paper recycling on site which is used throughput the hotel

Location: Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Holding a strong presence amongst the surrounding landscape typical to the Dambulla area of Sri Lanka, the Heritance Kandalama Hotels façade has an all encompassing relationship with nature where the architecture lives within the landscape frontage. 

Kandalama stands six floors high and it was designed by Sri Lanka’s most respected architect, Geoffery Bawa, the hotel is so sophisticated that it has it’s own paper recycling on site which is used throughput the hotel, rooms, rooftop terrace and swimming pool. 

For those who are not familiar with Geoffery Bawa’s work, you are in for a real treat. Entering off the highway through to reception, one is greeted by friendly staff more than willing to assist. One’s eye is led through the casual reception lounge and once taken to the rooms each has a balcony with a dramatic setting. The interiors of the private rooms have  been thoughtfully created, with high ceilings, handcrafted wooden chairs and a central, see-through wall divider that connects the rooms but creates simultaneous privacy. A must stay when visiting the Dambulla region.

Hotel Kandalama

Tree Tops Jungle Lodge 

Location: Buttala, Sri Lanka

Resting on Buttala jungle border, The Tree Tops Jungle Lodge is the first jungle lodge in the Uva Province and has played a leading role in one of Sri Lanka’s most exciting adventure accomodation projects. The area of Buttala is apart of the Uva Province that is the 2nd largest of the 25 districts of Sri Lanka, with an area of 5,636 km² which is why the surrounding landscape has such an impressive private reservoir.

The Tree Tops Jungle Lodge is a real jungle experience The ecolodge situated 10 km southeast of Buttala and is carefully fitted into impressive surroundings, the elephant tracks, bush-jungle, mature tall forest, rocky hills as well as the wildlife. 

The owners engaged local builders to create the private rooms that are simple, camp style living conditions. The minimal facilities are balanced by spotless service and a staff eager to create great experiences for visitors – be it tasty meals, jungle treks, or wild elephant spotting escorted by local trackers. All excursions are on foot with a 4-man team of local trackers including English speaking (local) naturalist of the lodge. 

There is no doubt you will leave without spotting amazing native wildlife, the Tree Tops Jungle Lodge is a must stay.

Tree Tops Jungle Lodge


Location: Koggala Lake, Sri Lanka

Amid the shores of the Koggala Lake, Sri Lanka is a sustainable luxury design hotel offering 11 suites spread across a six-acre hill surrounded by outstanding natural beauty. 

Enter Trilanka, a new variety of eco-tourism at it’s best with the hospitality straddling the line of hotel, gallery, restaurants and romantic getaway. Koggala Lake in Galle District in the Southern Province feels like you’re the very first to discover this oasis of untouched nature. The abundant mangrove-fringed lake provides them with prawns, crabs, fish and even oysters.

Trilanka has been designed with the guest in mind, the layout mirrors nature in every way: from echoing the curling and unfurling of plants to the use of local materials that complement the region’s landscapes, while the golden ratio informs the unique dimensions and placement of each structure.

The rooms,  carry a sense of organised airiness and avoid elements that are sharp and defined; the furnishings are low maintenance and comfortable, with graphic pops of colour in citrus hues accessorised with fresh flowers (a nice touch). The bathrooms are the most impressive in-room feature, with marble finishes floor to ceiling, The impressive interiors and amazing ‘Water Tower’ underlines Tri’s marriage of manmade and natural into a living, useable whole. Catering for romantic getaways – Trilanka’s collateral extends to ensure patrons experience the most enjoyable activities in this premium resort location.