Words Tatiyana Welikala. | Photographs Menaka Aravinda
Upon entering the gates of Kalundewa Retreat, a secret is yet to be unraveled as you journey through winding paths, envel- oped by paddy fields, ponds and lakes. The Tree house comes into view. The open and elevated structure provides two contrasting views – the expansive land of paddy, and the upper lake shrouded by fauna. The constant chirp- ing of birds and the rustle of leaves is the only sound that drifts through the air. Kalundewa Retreat adapts an agro and eco-tourism concept and hence all structures within the property were designed with minimum use of materi- als. The Tree House features the main restaurant, bar, reception, lobby, offices as well as the pantry.
There are nine quaint accommodation units spread around the boutique resort. All rooms are named after the trees situated within close proximity. The four chalets – Bakmee, Kumbuk, Attika and Karadha are completely immersed in nature. Situated in the upper lake, Bakmee is a family duplex abode and Kumbuk is a secluded chalet, which is a favorite among honeymoon couples. In the lower lake, towering trees shade Attika and Karadha chalets with cool air blowing in to sooth the senses. Overlooking the captivating paddy fields and Kalundewa Mountain, a bungalow encompasses Damunu suite, Nika suit and Ehela Deluxe. The Nil Manel known as the Blue Water Lily is a floating villa in the middle of the peaceful waters of the lower lake. It is an ideal dwelling for those who seek isolation and become one with nature. The glass-walled rooms provide panoramic views of the landscape, compelling you to never sway your eyes from the surroundings. Further, the infinity plunge pool/Jacuzzi, wooden floors and the modern amenities complement the contemporary interior designs of the rooms. Kalundewa Retreat incorporates agro tourism by allocating 55 acres of land for agricultural purposes. Farmers from the village community cultivate paddy within the property and a part of the harvest is kept for the hotel’s consumption. Similarly, vegetables and fruits are grown and prepared to make wholesome dishes. The Chef’s garden farms a variety of herbs such as thyme, basil and mint while there is also a mushroom garden. While serving Western dishes, the restaurant encour- ages guests to savor Sri Lankan cuisine prepared from the organic produce.
Guests will find a host of activities during their stay. They can pick fresh produce from the garden and engage in a cookery demonstration with a chef. Learn about the traditional cul- tivation methods, enjoy bicycle rides around the villages and experience their culture, kayaking and embark on an adventurous hike to Kalundewa Mountain. Additionally, guests can discover the butterfly garden, go on a bird watching tour or take a stroll in the night to witness wildlife in their natural habitat.
Kalundewa Retreat offers a myriad of alfresco dining options such as the open patios, ‘Govi Gedera’ and floating boats that further entices you to embrace nature. Another unique feature is the soothing waters of the swimming pool filled with fresh water from a nearby spring.
Kalundewa Retreat considers mother nature, the animal kingdom and the community of Kalundewa as being one with the philosophy of tourism. With sustainability at its heart, combined with the unspoiled environment and simple luxury, Kalundewa Retreat invites you to indulge in a guilt- free and pampered holiday.