Enter a tropical haven of wellness, deep in the Sri Lankan jungle at the Plantation Villa.
Nikki Watson checks into The Villa Plantation, a beautiful property set in a 150-year-old colonial-style building, peacefully nestled among lush, verdant plants, wildlife and paddy fields.
As a yogi and someone who loves Ayurveda I was beyond excited to visit The Plantation Villa in Sri Lanka. From the moment I arrived, I was wrapped into a loving cocoon of holistic wellness and the days following I experienced healing on a deep level.
The Focus On Ayurveda
Ayurveda is a whole body and mind healing system developed thousands of years ago in India. In Sanskrit, ‘Ayu’ means life and ‘Veda’ means science or knowledge. Ayurveda connects the mind, body and soul in a seamless way to create harmony and balance from within.
The Plantation Villa practices a combination of Ayurveda and Sri Lankan Indigenous medicine. All of the herbs and oils are locally sourced by traditional, knowledgable practitioners of this ancient, healing modality.
After a consultation with one of the highly trained Ayurvedic doctors, you are identified with your ‘doshas’, which are bodily bio elements. In Ayurveda, there are three universal life forces known as the doshas; Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Identifying your main dosha, or unique mix or doshas enables you to live in a way that harmonises them so you can thrive. Your personalised treatment plan is then drawn up by the doctor. Treatment plans typically include a variety of healing Ayurvedic massages, steam baths, oils, herbal medicines, yoga, meditation and much more depending on your individual needs.
There is a wonderfully stocked library at the Villa, with many books on Ayurveda, so you can read up whilst you are there on the magnificent healing powers of living a life guided by Ayurvedic principles.
The Ayurvedic doctors will often run afternoon or evening talks where you can ask them any questions you may have. The doctors are here to help the guests, they genuinely want you to be informed and able to leave the Villa equipped to continue your pathway to vibrant health. The Ayurvedic doctors operate from a place of loving-kindness, their desire to help you shines through and you feel safe in the knowledge that you are being looked after.
There are two types of room, either in the Villa or the Lodge. All of the rooms are set up to provide a healing sanctuary in which you can relax and restore yourself.
The Villa room was spacious, with high ceilings and a palatial bed. The bathroom included a large bathtub, waterfall shower and divine Ayurvedic soap, shampoo and conditioner. There was an air conditioning unit, a ceiling fan and a lovely array of lamps that shed a soft, calming glow throughout the room.
The pool is set on the lawn, with lots of shady spots. You can send the afternoon reading on the sun loungers and swimming. There is a lovely walk around the Villa, where you can wander and reflect surrounded by tropical greenery. Longer village walks are organised, so you can explore the local villages and see tea being picked.
The Villa Plantation is very ethically minded and community-driven. Most of the staff come from the local village, and the Villa provides them with training, employment and support. The Villa has its own charity, called The Metta Trust, The Foundation of Loving Kindness, whereby they support the development of the school, temples, wildlife rehabilitation and tree plantings.
The majority of the food at the Villa Plantation comes from their very own garden, complete with a paddy field for their nutritious red rice. The meals are prepared by the chefs on-site and are wholesome and balanced. All of the food is fresh, healthy and flavoured with natural herbs and spices such as cumin and cinnamon. All of the herbs and spices used are selected for their medicinal properties.
Breakfast always included a colourful, dazzling display of tropical fruit such as watermelon, egg fruit, papaya and shredded coconut. There was often a soup porridge, millet, banana pancakes, all made with zero artificial colourings or flavourings and minimal oil.
Lunch included the nutritious red rice grown in the Villas own paddy field, coconut roti’s, and a wide variety of smaller dishes filled with local, seasonable vegetables, spiced delicately with herbs and cumin.
The afternoon snack was always delicious, some days it was a smoothy or a coconut ball, but it was always much looked forward to and paired with warming, cleansing herbal tea.
Dinner tended to be smaller as this is best for digestion in the evenings, but nevertheless always incredibly delicious. Meals included dishes such as beetroot burgers, salads, string hopper noodles and sweet potatoes.
With each meal, there is warm water available, or room temperature water, both of which come from the Villas own mineral well. The water is boiled for purity. The meals end with a warming herbal tea, freshly brewed with local herbs such as coriander and ginger to aid digestion.
The yoga instructor guides you through a morning practice at 6.30am for sixty minutes, and then again at 5 pm for ninety minutes. The morning flow sets you up for the day. There is nothing quite like practising yoga in the early morning whilst the wildlife wakes up; you see the chickens and cockerels come out, the monkeys start leaping from tree to tree and on the roof, the rabbits come out to graze, and the beautiful birds start singing. Waking up in this tropical paradise each morning makes you realise how abundant and at harmony nature is.
The evening’s yoga practice is more restorative and calming. The ninety minutes pass by extremely quickly because after the yoga asanas there is pranayama breathing and meditation. Often the evening classes had many yin poses, which are held longer and provide a deep opening in tight areas.
The yoga teachers are all highly trained and empathetic to the guests’ needs. As guests are at the villa to cleanse, heal, and revive themselves, the yoga style is recuperative. There are many heart, throat and hip opening poses, and the yoga is structured to help the healing process. Our yoga instructor was very attentive to each person’s individual needs and tailored the classes to suit the group as a whole.
Some evenings, after dinner, the yoga instructor will guide you through additional meditation, or sound healing, art therapy, pranayama breathing, or an informative talk.
The Villa Plantation is about an hour and a half’s drive from Colombo international airport. Set in a small village called Nehinna. You can go on trips out of the Villa, to the beach, or to Galle town, you just ask the Managers and it can all be organised.
Who is the Villa Plantation for
The Villa Plantation is for everyone who wishes to improve their health, body, mind and soul. You concentrate deeply on your own wellbeing and journey towards health. The atmosphere is very relaxed, you wander around barefoot, seeped in healing oils from your massages, and this environment of non-judgement really enables you to unwind in a safe space. Guests come from all walks of life, but one thing unites, which is the desire to live a life of abundant health and wellbeing.
For more information and bookings https://www.srimalplantation.com