- Bicycle rental
- Farm to table
- Green amenities
- Local staff
- No plastic bottles
- Organic food
- Rainwater harvesting
- Renewable energy
- Smart lights
- Smart Water Management
- Towel reuse
- Vegan friendly
- Vegetarian friendly
- Veggie garden
- Zero waste approach
Holiable’s Review of Gal Oya Lodge
Gal Oya Lodge is, as its name suggests, located on the edge of the Sri Lankan Gal Oya Reserve Nature Park in the central-eastern part of the country. The nearest town is called Bibile and is 30 kilometres from the hotel. Transfers can be arranged from this town.
It is also possible to take a taxi from the international airport (3 hours), or the towns of Kandy (3.5 hours), Passikuda (3 hours) or Ella (2.5 hours).
It is important to note that the fact that the Lodge is a little isolated and off the beaten track gives the place its charm and characteristics. The return to the peace and quiet of nature, with no internet connection or network is one of the promises of this unique accommodation.
Nature at the heart of the experience
Every stay at Gal Oya Lodge is centered on respect for the natural environment in which it is located:
- All the elements of the rooms and common areas (beds, tables, furniture, decoration...) have been made from environmentally friendly materials and designed by local artists in order to remedy the many problems of unemployment that persist in the region. To this end, the entire staff comes from the neighbouring villages and is trained on arrival.
- The dishes are prepared to order, using organic ingredients from the hotel's vegetable garden. The menu, which is quite small, offers guests vegan, vegetarian, European or Sri Lankan options.
- A technical research and development centre has been set up by the management of Gal Oya Lodge, just a few metres from the central bungalow, to find concrete and sustainable solutions to conserve the many species that live in the reserve. Many professionals come from all over the country and bring their knowledge to the different projects that are gradually being developed in the park.
- All of the hot water and lights are based on the use of solar panels. In addition, the staff makes it a point of honour to encourage guests to reduce their energy consumption as much as possible during their stay.
Numerous activities offered
Gal Oya Lodge offers a wide range of activities, all in line with the values of respect for nature and the environment that dictate the operation of this hotel. Each excursion is organized and explained by professional naturalists who know the park like the back of their hand:
- The sole boat safari in Sri Lanka happens to be in this nature reserve. After a departure around 5 am and a good hour by Jeep, this formula offers an observation on the water of more than two hours, cut in half by a breakfast on the lake shore. It is possible to see a wide variety of birds, elephants swimming from one island to another, crocodiles, or buffalo.
- A bird watching tour of the area on foot is detailed by an experienced naturalist. It is under these conditions that the sounds and smells of nature are most distinct. The bush offers itself to the curious in its most beautiful setting.
- Local cooking classes are available, in an outdoor area offering a remarkable panorama of the lush green mountains that border the Lodge.
- Numerous options are available for relaxation. Yoga classes, massages or relaxation exercises can be arranged with a professional.
- It is also possible, if you wake up very early in the morning, to climb the mountain opposite the Lodge, called Monkey Mountain. This very physical hike takes an average of 3 hours each way and offers an exceptional view of the park.
We spent two days and two nights in this magical and natural hotel. The kindness of the staff, the quality of the dishes served, the variety of activities and the feelings of exclusivity and freedom that animated us during this stay will remain engraved forever.
We recommend this establishment with our eyes closed and assure you that the disconnection imposed by the Lodge will do you the greatest good.
Recommended for : Local production, Responsible tourism, Nature holiday, Safari
Reviewed by Holiable Ambassadors, Les Consommacteurs during their sustainable world tourHoliable Review Based on our visit in: March 2020