Lonely Planet Writer

This stunning treetop lodge in Sri Lanka can only be reached by tuk tuk

In southwest Sri Lanka, nestled high above the trees on a 40-acre estate in Mathugama sits The Ark Villa, a contemporary lodge designed to be a tranquil and undisturbed getaway. On a steep hill that is virtually impossible to reach by car (guests rely on tuk tuks or vehicles with four-wheel drive) and with breath-taking elevated views of the lush green hills and valleys of the surrounding area, the striking accommodation has been attracting visitors from all over the world with its distinct charm.

The living room of The Ark Villa in Sri Lanka.
The living room of The Ark Villa in Sri Lanka. Image by The Ark Villa

Bordering the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, The Ark Villa suits adventurous outdoor lovers as well as people looking to relax and unwind. Local activities include bird watching and photography, exploring pastoral nature rails, and taking part in the centuries-old art of tea-plucking and rubber-tapping, while guests can also take a deep in the on-site infinity pool while looking at the clouds moving past the horizon. Nearby points of interest include Lunuganga Estate, the former country home of renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa and Bentota Beach, a popular spot for jet-skiing, body boarding, windsurfing and swimming. South Asia’s tallest Buddha statue is located approximately 16 kilometres away on a hilltop at Batamulla Kanda Buddhist Centre.

The property includes an infinity pool with views of the surrounding area. Image by The Ark Villa

With three double rooms with attached bathrooms, the Ark can sleep up to six people and is designed to be contemporary and comfortable. The tall glass windows and spacious deck make the most of the views, while the wooden walls and floors create a rustic feeling throughout.

One of the bedrooms of The Ark Villa.
One of the bedrooms of The Ark Villa. Image by The Ark Villa

Guests can sample fruits and vegetables from the plantation itself, with a wide selection of diverse meals being served up by chefs on-site. Dishes include achcharu, a traditional Sri Lankan pickle and kiribath, a milk rice dish, as well as grilled chicken and full English breakfasts.

The property is built high amongst the trees on a 40-acre plantation. Image by The Ark Villa

Prices start at $300 (€255) per night. More information on The Ark Villa is available at the official website.