KumbukRiver Eco Extraordinaire, widely hailed as the country’s highest awarded destination, continues to put Buttala in the spotlight as its jewel in the crown. An ancient bastion of Dutugamunu fame, Buttala was a forgotten backwoods post until the Gam Udawa concept rode its way there, only to fade into obscurity yet again.
KumbukRiver emerged as the contemporary landmark which put Buttala on the world map. The spotlight is now back on Buttala as it braces itself to host the iconic national exhibition Deyata Kirula.
Nestled on the banks of a lively river on the edge of Yala, KumbukRiver, a 16-acre eco-resort in Buttala, is Sri Lanka’s highest-awarded tourism brand and continues to be in the eyes of the world media. Made famous by a 40 foot-tall, two-storey eco-villa in the shape of an elephant, KumbukRiver has won a travel Oscar as the world’s leading eco-lodge at the coveted World Travel Awards. It has also been picked by Times-Online as one of the world’s best green places and been included by Rough Guides in a special book titled “Clean Breaks: 500 new ways to see the world”, and most recently was named amongst the top 20 most unusual hotels in the world. This spectacular and exclusive up-market eco-lodge also includes two other chalets in its sprawling location.
The KumbukRiver concept has meticulously been conceived keeping with the ethos of responsible tourism. The resort uses no electricity at present, and refuses to do so just to add to its theme providing an incredibly unique experience. The atmosphere that emerges nightly in the warm amber light is an experience not to be missed for the sake of modern amenities, and probably recaptures life during the days of Sri Lankan kings.
“Once you enter the resort property you are in a world of your own. KumbukRiver brings a touch of class and luxury to the usually rugged eco holidays”, said a spokesperson for KumbukRiver. “Visitors will discover a new meaning to life as they experience a memorable holiday in a new light. You have a whole river to yourself, 16-acres of privacy, great Sri Lankan food, mild weather and mosquito-free nights. It’s a fascinating discovery for those who think outside the box and become at one with real serendipity, far away from traditional concrete edifices.”
The exclusive single-party eco-resort which first opened as a US$500-per-night exclusive eco-hideout now offers a special subsidised local rate intended to encourage the local tourist market to seek sustainable alternatives and become more ecologically-minded when they travel.
KumbukRiver This extraordinary eco-resort put Sri Lanka on the global map of tourism even before the war ended, making the government to hail it as a true Sri Lankan wonder. KumbukRiver is a CSR initiative by The 7th Frontier, an integrated communications solutions provider and brand strategists, headed by young visionary Dinesh Watawana, a former international correspondent and a military analyst.
“Considering what it takes to operate KumbukRiver as a single-party exclusive destination, rates as low as Rs.4500 a person offers huge challenges to us. So we encourage group bookings of five people and over, just to accommodate many requests from locals,” said the spokesperson from KumbukRiver, adding that the eco-lodge usually sells at US$ 250 per day for a couple, making this local rate quite the bargain and a unique experience for Sri Lankan travellers.