This One-of-a-Kind Eco-Resort in Sri Lanka Is the Perfect Escape

Elephant Villa at Kumbuk River | Courtesy of KumbukRiver
Elephant Villa at Kumbuk River | Courtesy of KumbukRiver
Photo of Orana Velarde
Sri Lanka Hub Writer8 December 2017

Deep in the Sri Lankan jungle sits a 40-foot (12-meter) elephant construction that takes your breath and then gives you life when you sleep inside of it. KumbukRiver Eco Extraordinaire welcomes you as the “World’s Leading Eco-Lodge” and one of the world’s 10 most unusual hotels. Take a look at this one-of-a-kind resort in Sri Lanka, and plan your visit!

This place is the epitome of luxury in nature. Far from the tourist trail and in its own little world, KumbukRiver Eco Extraordinaire is for nature lovers who are looking to enjoy a calm and relaxed getaway. Escape from the rat race and take a walk with the wild peacocks, stand on your balcony under a full moon, and see elephants rustle in the bushes nearby.

The Elephant Villa

The main attraction at KumbukRiver Eco Extraordinaire, apart from the intense nature experience away without wi-fi, is the giant elephant structure that makes up the main villa of the resort. This architectural marvel can accommodate a couple on their honeymoon or a group of up to 10 people in its two giant bedrooms and open plan lounge. The elephant villa will have all the amenities a visitor will need during their stay while being close to nature. The bathroom on the ground floor has a tree inside of it next to the hot water shower.

The Elephant Villa | Courtesy of KumbukRiver

Tree Luxuria

The air-conditioned two-story treehouse has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Kumbuk River; it’s close enough to nature with enough luxury for those guests who like a bit of both. The bathroom connects to the treehouse via a bridge.

Jungle Cabin

Could there be anything cooler than a huge elephant with a villa inside? Only an antique British delivery truck turned into a cabin with flower boxes in the windows. The bedroom features a large window overlooking the river and trees. It’s perfect for honeymooning couples looking for a quiet destination away from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

The Jungle Cabin | Courtesy of KumbukRiver

Boat House

The fourth villa at KumbukRiver is the Boat House right on the river. In a wooden structure in the shape of an elephant, visitors sleep over the water in the midst of the jungle. Need to use the bathroom? No worries. Just go on up to the loo wedged in the tree because you can’t get any more fun than that.

The Boat House | Courtesy of KumbukRiver

The food

The cuisine at KumbukRiver Eco Extraordinaire is as Sri Lankan as it gets. All local dishes are cooked like they have been for centuries, thereby making sure that visitors get the real deal. If anyone prefers any Western-style recipes, they are also available. In order to accommodate the dietary needs of their guests better, the host at KumbukRiver suggests letting them know what you would like to eat in advance.

Rice and Curry at the resort | Courtesy of KumbukRiver
Map of the Property | Courtesy of KumbukRiver

Things to do

There is plenty to do around the resort. From fishing experiences to nature walks, all visitors need to do is talk to the host about the possibilities. Kids love the sky bridge between trees and riding the hand tractor. You can also learn to farm the paddy fields or check out the mini islands.

Riding the hand tractor | Courtesy of KumbukRiver


Experience the jungle and river on a deeper level by partaking in the wellness programs at KumbukRiver. “Sunrise for Life” comprises a walk along the river at dawn, yoga, meditation, and a healthy breakfast. “Rendezvous at Sunset” includes a silent meditative walk through the jungle, fruit therapy for the taste buds, yoga, and meditation.

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