Guest Author: Helen Renners
When Becky kindly asked me to write a guest post for her blog I was both nervous and honoured. I was also excited, I knew exactly what I wanted to write about and knew it would perfectly fit with her attitude towards responsible travel!
When travelling around Sri Lanka in September 2017 I ventured up to Ella. Ella is a beautiful little town, perfect for those of you who love the outdoors. As a child, I dreamed of living in a tree house, much to most people’s confusion! I finally got my chance when I found Ella Eco Lodge!
About The Ella Eco Lodge
Nestled up in the mountains, on the side of the famous Ella Gap are a handful of huts built in amongst the trees. The owner of Ella Eco Lodge Sampath Perera is a nature and wildlife conservationist. He wanted to create a little haven, away from the main street and not using the usual concrete and bricks. In 2014 he made it happen and set up Ella Eco Lodge.
He really has nailed his brief. The view from your little hut is outstanding. It might not be a ‘treehouse’ like I dreamed of but it comes pretty close. You are right in the trees in huts built on stilts. Sampath doesn’t allow the felling of trees on his land, unless it is for a health and safety reason. They have also planted a lot of new trees in the area. This has created a little jungle environment, complete with monkeys if you’re lucky!
I arrived mid-afternoon and hiked up a STEEP road to get there, it was well worth it though because if you don’t go high, you don’t get the views! I was shown to my little hut and instantly felt relaxed. Everything in the hut is made from naturally fallen turpentine trees without sanding them down, so each piece has its individual quirks. The bedroom was simple, a huge double bed with lots of blankets and a mosquito net. A little wooden bedside table and a lamp completed the décor. Simple but all you need!
I opened the blinds on my balcony and took a seat. I could see birds in the trees, squirrels running about and I heard monkeys could be spotted so I was keeping a close eye out for those. I hadn’t been there that long when the heavens opened! Absolute torrential downpour! I quickly shut my blinds and took refuge inside. I love the sound of rain, always have done. At my dad’s house, we have a conservatory outside my bedroom window, so being from the North of England I probably spent 95% of my life falling asleep to the sound of rain!
I managed to stay awake though and fired up my laptop. Surprisingly Ella Eco Lodge had the best Wi-Fi I had found in 3 weeks in Sri Lanka!!! The rain eventually stopped and I could go back outside to enjoy my view again. I slept like a baby that night, the bed was comfortable, the hut was warm and the roof was tin, which meant you could hear all the different creatures tinkering across the roof! I was picturing waking up to a scene like Cinderella with them helping me get ready but sadly it didn’t happen.
I did however get the most incredible Sri Lankan breakfast served to me on the balcony! Let me tell you, Sri Lankan’s know how to breakfast!!! Fruit, pancakes, hoppers, toast, tea and juice! It made up for the non-Cinderella start to the day. I wish I could have spent more time just sitting around my tree house haven but there is so much to get out and do in Ella, it was time for me to explore.
If you stay in Ella Eco Lodge and my article up there wasn’t enough, Sampath is so helpful and can help you arrange any trips, cooking classes or just give you some tips about the area! He and his team are so friendly and kind. I couldn’t recommend staying there enough. This is reflected in his social responsibility ethos, each month he donates 10% of his income to a family in and around Ella who need a bit of extra help. He says he does this simply because it makes him happy. Well Sampath, you and your Eco Lodge made me happy, and I wish you all the best!
Thank you for reading! I hope that you are inspired to visit Ella Eco Lodge on your next trip to Sri Lanka. If you have tips for travel in Sri Lanka I would love to hear them and if you have further questions about the hotel, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below or email me.
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