“Let’s find a place that blends in well with the ‘back-to-nature’ theme of our trip”.
Those were my exact words when my wife and I were discussing about accommodation for our two nights stay in Tissa, Sri Lanka. Tissa is the gateway to Yala National Park which was the main destination of our trip. Click here to read about my Yala National Park experience, or click here to read about my visit to Tissa or click here to catch up on all my Sri Lankan trip stories.
It makes sense for us to find a place that promotes the eco-resort concept and after hours of researching online, we decided to pick a rather new and unique type of accommodation at Saraii Village.
Saraii Village is unique as it offers a ‘true essence of Sri Lanka in its unadulterated form’ through its nicely designed tree houses and mud chalets. Yes, there are no 5-star facilities like swimming pool, gymnasium, bars but it is perfect for our ‘back-to-nature’ theme.
It is a small ‘home away from home’ kind of resort with only 4 rooms consisting of:
2 tree houses.
and 2 mud houses.
We were lucky as both of us were the only guests of Saraii Village during our 3 days 2 nights stay. 4 rooms, 5 staff and 2 visitors. The kind of equation that makes sense for me
The tree house was quite a cool concept but I feel that the space is smaller and slightly more expensive so we opted for the more spacious mud house. However we still went up to check out the tree house.
Since there were no visitors staying at the tree house it was ‘un-furnished’. This is the ‘1st floor’ of the tree house which serves the purpose of a relaxing area, awesome for reading and just chill out with friends and family.
The ‘2nd floor’ is where it is usually furnished with nice hotel standards mattresses and mosquito net along with candles and other basic interior deco.
This is where we stayed for 2 nights – the mud house.
A panoramic view of our room/house.
Our front porch area, set up with comfortable and colourful cushioning. Suitable to read a book or have a drink sitting out on the porch overlooking the garden and mini forest.
Free WiFi so the porch is also suitable for browsing the internet
Inside the mud house – spacious and tastefully designed with a larger than kind size bed and large comfortable and colourful cushions. Mosquito nets for keeping mosquitoes and insects away (especially at night!) and a cute small wall fan.
The “dugong caught in the net” pose.
Some minor decorations.
So where’s the toilet? It is just next to our mud house. Every mud house comes with its own “open air” concept toilet.
The toilet’s door.
The shower. Super cold water. You have been warned
Modern facility in a traditional setting.
I love this concept of open air toilet and all but it got a bit scary for us going to the loo at 3am in the morning with just our torch light. I was a bit worried about snakes, etc but the staff ensured us that the area has been cleared and some initiatives have been taken to protect the property from uninvited visitors like snakes.
While the mud and tree houses are unique offerings, in my opinion what makes Saraii special is the truly Sri Lankan hospitality shown by its staff led by Mr Hassan. As we were celebrating both our birthdays and our anniversary, I made some prior arrangements with Ms Nadia via e-mail and we got a very nice dinner and a traditional candle display.
We had to help with the candles.
Happy Anniversary 2012!
My better half with the hard-working and friendly staff.
Dinner is served. Check out the portion for 2! Nice traditional Sri Lankan dishes.
Awesome ‘home-cooked’ food for all three days. The only suggestion is for Saraii Village to provide a menu. They currently only serve set meal and it’s quite costly. For anniversary celebration it is perfect but for other normal meals it gets a bit pricey and we wasted a lot of food due to the large portion in the set meal.
Breakfast was nice as well. Traditional Sri Lankan breakfast, quite similar to what we are used to eat in Malaysia for breakfast.
On the last day at Saraii Village I had the chance to cycle around the property and it was quite nice. Maybe because I haven’t been on a bicycle for years!
Some words of encouragement for the staff. AzuanZahdi.com was here!
The small road leading to Saraii Village is still in poor condition but the staffs were awesome to offer their help in carrying our bags. Where else can you get all staff to stop whatever they were doing and help to carry your bag and temporarily close the resort!
Overall it was a unique and relaxing experience staying at Saraii Village. I finished watching a few movies during the stay and I suggest those coming to this place to come well equipped with games, movies on ipads, good books, magazines, etc. The concept of back-to-nature blends it well with Tissa and Weerawilla being the closest towns to Yala National Park. It is not Shangri-La, come with an open mind and you would enjoy Saraii Village.
Oh by the way, if you are checking out Saraii Village, click here to check out the discounted price (cheaper than published rate) on Agoda.