My Adventure begins from Sri Lanka
After 20 years of working in Greece, Scotland (1 year) and in Qatar (9 years) on various sectors and later on, in my profession, I took the decision to quit my job in Qatar and follow my dream. Travelling! I remember during my last day I was scared, lost, excited, sad, happy, sleepless, worried, feeling that I escaped from a “bubble” and generally emotionally unbalanced.
This is exactly how I arrive in Sri Lanka.
Adventure begins on 04th May 2015 in Sri Lanka – Arrival in Colombo airport and late at night in the Plantation villa. I decide to start my travels with a detox, meditation, yoga package vacation for 3 weeks as I wanted to just relax, lose weight and connect deeply with myself.
I write a post about Plantation Villa because I really had some of the best weeks of my life! I would like to note that I do not review something for the sake of publicity and fake advertising. I only write about things that really matters to me. Lets get started!
I arrive in Colombo airpot at 8:10pm. The driver’s resort was waiting for me on the exit, a cute 25-26 years old guy. The distance from Colombo to the Villa is 2.5 hours drive in Kalutara. That day was Buddha’s birthday and it was a huge celebration on the roads. People were dancing, singing, saw parades, fireworks and it was a big party!
At 12.00 midnight we arrive in the villa. My first impression is “Owwoou! too much green!!!” We enter through a big gate, which leads to the villa through a green pathway and another small gate. As I am getting out of the taxi, a very polite man named Daniel (half German, half Sri Lankan) introduces himself. Another lady – she is Lalita – comes out of the house with a glass of a delicious papaya juice, they direct me to my room where I fell asleep directly.
The next day, I open my eyes and scan my room. It is quite big one with an en suite bathroom, clean and traditionally decorated. The villa is very well maintained with just 8 rooms and literally inside a jungle. The villa consists of the kitchen, dinning room, living room and some guest rooms.
Outside the villa there are more rooms, the yoga area, the massage area, doctor’s office, a pool, sitting area, children’s playground and lots of green. Through the playground side you can enter the jungle place which belongs to the villa territories. It’s a huge area, with big trees, mini waterfalls which pathway leads to the other side near the main entrance. The staff are 3 lovely Sri lankan ladies, Daniel who runs the place, the massage therapist, the doctor who visits the villa whenever is needed, the meditation teacher and the owner named Ishara who visits the villa often. What can I say of all these people? Each one of them plays a unique role on the villa. I can simply say that the customer service, if I can call it on this way, is simply EXCELLENT. This place is not the typical hotel resort, it has a family atmosphere and the staff are just locals from the village but this fact does not stop them to offer a unique service than any other luxury hotels.
All the food, treatments and the whole philosophy is based on Ayurveda, “”Ayurvedic medicine — also known as Ayurveda — is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit””
Swimming pool area
The resort has a range of wellness packages to rebalance the mind, soul and body with meditation, yoga and traditional Ayurvedic treatments. During my 3 weeks in the Villa I had a detox package which include the following:
- Panchakarma treatment (deep detoxification for the body), which include daily massages, baths, sauna, all the related Ayurveda treatments and herbal medicines (the personalised treatment is given daily) – a separate post of the Panchakarma treatment will be posted –
- Accommodation with en-suited bathroom.
- All meals (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea with fruits or a sweet, dinner, water and unlimited tea between meals).
- Yoga once a day (in the afternoon).
- Cooking lessons (twice) – separate post soon
- Daily meditation classes (most of the days were twice a day – early morning and evening). – separate post soon!
- Discussions with the Meditation teacher and the resident doctor about life philosophy, treatments, yoga and self improvement.
- Use of the facilities (swimming pool, library and various board games)
- Guided walks into the villa area with the resident doctor.
During the first 4 days the other visitors are a lovely British lady and 2 other girls from Japan Chika and Yoko. The Japanese girls are really hilarious! We just had a great connection, after just the 1st day wherever we meet we just look each other and start talking way too much! One day we have an excursion with our Meditation teacher to the village and to the nearby town. We start our walk to the village, which it is just a few meters from the villa. The green scenery is amazing and the people are looking at us with curiosity and big smiles. I really love a very cute and shy girl dressed with a white / reddish top.
On our visit town we visit a temple and we have a walk meditation around the “Kampara” statue. Afterwards, we watch a small night ceremony, it was just a monk singing. It was a very simple one, but all the concept is very spiritual. On the back of the temple is an area where we could here the birds singing.. It is sooo deadly quite and we could only hear the birds singing. That night I feel totally in peace…
Next morning we wished to the girls a safe journey back to Japan.. I did hate to see them leaving with tear drops on their eyes…
Nada (Meditation teacher) with the girls from the village
The next 2 weeks, we were joined by a small group of other visitors. The person that I interact most was David from England. I can clearly say that me and him were the happy Villa mascots on those 2.5 weeks, his sense of humour is great! I believe the combination of the British / Greek humour made the staff happier and they were very pleased to intreract with us at any time. The most hilarious part is during the 3 days noble silence (Vipasana type meditation) – I will be referring to a different post, it is just a different and quite “weird” experience for me -.
The days pass quickly with the daily detox program, village walks, books reading on the garden, swimming, board games, 1 day trip to Galle with David (1.5 hour drive from Villa), visits to the nearby temples, long and interesting conversations with the other visitors and the staff, self talk, self realisation or just do nothing.
A very interesting activity is the visit on the village school with the Villa owner, Ishara and Nada. We buy some chocolates and me and David pass from classroom to classroom and distribute them to the kids. Oh such an amazing experience!!!! The kids with their cute uniforms, run after us, very very happy, ready to pose for any photo and they sing to us. I am so pleased with their big smiles! If you consider the level of poverty of these kids, you will realise how selfish and ungrateful we are in our lives… I would like to mention here, that the Villa supports the local community with various activities such books donations to the kids, hiring staff from the village and many more things.
School, school kids and chocolates
Junk fruit directly from the tree
Tree rubber collection from the villa jungle
Tea shop in the town
Garden and the jungle
The food is vegetarian, simple and fresh. But still absolutely delicious! Majority of the ingredients are from the villa’s garden or from the local markets. My favourite are the coconut rotti, the banana cake and the mushroom curry. The doctor encourages us to eat slowly and in moderation during the program but sometimes I am soooo hungry that I caught myself with desperate gulps! The turn off is the dinner in which we allowed only soup and some fruits. On the beginning was quite hard but after the 3-4th day was just fine! Of course if you are not in a program you can enjoy a full dinner (Those on program, make sure you don’t dine with these people together! ha ha).
During the food time I really loved watching the monkeys playing around from the dining area window. Except the monkeys vila has other pets also, cats and lizards! The lizards are so big and you can hear them during night, after a while I got used to them.
Delicious lunch and breakfast
Another activity is the cooking lessons, which carried out twice during my stay and are very informative. A separate post will be done!
During my last days, villa wins the “trip advisor” certificate, so its time for some lunch party! Ishara with the staff prepared a different and delicious lunch for the guests. The Biryani rice was really a hit!
On my last three days in the resort I was completely alone, with only the staff. Ishara, Nada, David and Hans left…On the beginning I felt completely sad…After a while, I stopped thinking about all the sadness and focused on all those great moments we spent together. Their inspirational stories taught me a lot about happiness, sadness, universe, self, love, courage, how to deal with angry and negative people, how to eliminate complaining, nagging, how to delete all the sad past moments of my life, what really life is about, how be a better person and the most important how to enjoy the now moment.
My last night in the resort was accompanied by an excellent banana cake cooked by Lalita. Enjoying happily and calm my last night with all nature sounds around…I experience true relaxation, perfectly detoxed, feeling healthy and recharged, happy and a rare reprieve from anxiety. This is exactly how I leave the resort… Big Thank you.
Time to switch off the lights of my room and go to bed…Tomorrow the Sri Lankan adventures continues…Be calm and feel at Peace with yourself…NAMASTE.
Note 1: I will be soon posting the whole experience of the yoga, meditation and Panchakarma treatment, I would like you to have the full picture of my resort story.
Note 2: The site of the resort is www.srimalplantation.com. The owner is named Ishara and is one of the loveliest ladies I ever met.
Note 3: Regarding the recent Sri Lanka floods…A Pray for those people who lost their homes, died or are still missing.