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Kevin, owner, Jim’s Farm Villas
Jim’s Farm is located about 30 minutes south of Dambulla. Although a little further away from the centre of the Cultural Triangle than other options, this is a real favourite of ours. The size of the hotel means you will be assured of an attentive, friendly stay from Jesse and the team. As the name suggests this is a 50-acre organic farm with 2,500 coconut palms, 500 banana palms, plus several hundred mango and papaya trees. Set amongst wooded hills and next to paddy-fields, the farm is in an idyllic location and immediately transports you into the real country heart of Sri Lanka.
The 13 en-suite double rooms and 1 single are in three different villas. You can choose to book a room or a villa depending on the size of your party. The rooms have cool kumbuk wood flooring, vaulted wooden ceilings and lime plaster walls furnished with traditional teak and rattan furniture – all made locally. They are spacious and light, with their own balconies. Each villa has the added luxury of a lounge and verandah providing lovely shared space to relax in and enjoy the surroundings.
Breakfast and dinner are included in your stay. The majority of the food, as you’d expect, is produced on the farm. Expect delicious fresh fruit and juice and the farm’s free range eggs for breakfast and a mix of western meals or sri lankan curries in the evening for your three course evening meal. Dinner is a communal affair and Kevin, the owner and son of the eponymous Jim, tends to host and hear about the latest sightseeing experiences and activities that his guests have been up to. You can ask to eat privately if you prefer. Nothing is too much trouble. The chefs will even teach you how to cook Sri Lankan style!
Guests who stay at Jim’s Farm tend to head off to the cultural triangle sights in the mornings. Yet the farm also has a brilliant range of activities that could fill your stay. Learn about the organic method of cultivating coconuts, bananas and other crops on the farm, including black pepper, mangoes, papaya, cinnamon, coffee and cocoa. Take a tuk-tuk tour of the local village to experience the hustle and bustle of Sri Lankan village life. Or borrow a couple of bikes (free) and follow guided instructions to the Paldeniya Raja Temple which claims to be the original Buddhist Temple where the first Buddhist scripts were written. Or visit the Local Spice Garden to learn about ayurvedic practice and massage. Of course, the farm is also the perfect place to relax after sightseeing. Sit by the Hilltop pool and watch the fantastic birdlife or treat yourself to a massage at the spa. This is farm life at its most idyllic.
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