Friday, April 25, 2008

The Mudhouse Anamaduwa Puttalam Sri Lanka Hotel Review - The Mud House

Quick, where does anyone stay in Puttalam district? Apart from Dhammika Holiday Resort which does not overcome its unpromising name and Puttalam Rest House, there's pretty much nothing. Just before a monitoring visit to Puttalam, however, a friend told me about the Mudhouse which is in Anamaduwa off the Puttalam Kurunegala Rd.

The way there is promising, beginning with a massive rock formation in a clearing and getting progressively junglier.From the Anamaduwa turnoff, there's no point giving directions as the road is fairly windy. When I went, a guide on a motorcycle from the hotel stayed at the turnoff and went in front of our car to show us the way. The way there is promising, beginning with a massive rock formation in a clearing and getting progressively junglier. It took about 20 minutes and I went in a car but it'd be better to take a higher clearance vehicle.

mudhouse mud house hotel anamaduwa puttalam sri lanka clay walled bed room with thatched roof exteriormudhouse mud house hotel anamaduwa puttalam sri lanka living room interiormudhouse mud house hotel anamaduwa puttalam sri lanka outdoor bed with thatched roof

The hotel is a group of small clay buildings with thatched roofs. Each section is only given to one group so, even if you're just two people, you get the whole section to yourself. One section, relatively more luxurious, accomodates upto 4 people if they come in a group. The other section can hold 10 people in more spartan accomodations but includes a tree house you can sleep in. Each section is only given to one group so, even if you're just two people, you get the whole section to yourself. The sections are also quite far away from each other giving quite a bit of privacy.

mudhouse mud house hotel anamaduwa puttalam sri lanka tree stump stoolsmudhouse mud house hotel anamaduwa puttalam sri lanka outdoor lawn chair with green cushionsmudhouse mud house hotel anamaduwa puttalam sri lanka lotus in clay vase on tree stump

We stayed in the smaller section. It had three small buildings, one cabana style with a bedroom, a library room (with a really great selection of books unlike most hotel libraries) and outside sitting room attached. There's no air conditioning and all lighting is by kerosene lamp.The second isn't really a building, it's just a bed with a roof on top and a mosquito net around it so you can sleep outdoors. The third is the tiny "restaurant" building with just one table where you eat.

Bathrooms are outdoor with a well or shower for bathing and a flush toilet. From this section, there's a gate which opens to a massive weva (lake) which was dry when we were there. There's no air conditioning and all lighting is by kerosene lamp. At night, a bonfire is lit which stays on way past the time you fall asleep.

mudhouse mud house hotel anamaduwa puttalam sri lanka bonfire fire night

The food is cooked in clay pots on wood fired stoves in the Mudhouse's office building which is also where you go to charge your phone (they have solar power). Clay pots and wood fires make rice and curry taste like nothing you've eaten before.The Mudhouse has its own organic garden where certain vegetables are grown but the rest comes from the market in Puttalam. The food is basic Sri Lankan, but very good - clay pots and wood fires make rice and curry taste like nothing you've eaten before. The kitchen and wait staff are from the nearby village so they're not Thomas Keller/Per Se level but they are friendly and accommodating.

mudhouse mud house hotel anamaduwa puttalam sri lanka organic vegetable garden raised soil bedsmudhouse mud house hotel anamaduwa puttalam sri lanka breakfast on table food string hoppers curry

Organic vegetables, solar power and community ownership are all well and good but you need more to make it special and the Mudhouse delivers more in spades. The basics like the beds, food and toilets are really good and when you add the
experiences like reading by kerosene lamp light, sitting by the bonfire with a beer, and walking at dawn in the dried up lake bed (weva), it becomes something much more than your average resort hotel.

Hotel Name: The Mudhouse
Address: Anamaduwa, Puttalam, Sri Lanka
Phone: +94 773 016191
(Rates are around LKR 6,000 half board double for locals/expats)
More Photos: Mudhouse on Flickr

4 comments:

  1. very expensive.

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  2. It says LKR.6000 Half B Double. Only 3000 per person with 2 meals (Breakfast + Lunch) not a bad rate I guess.

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  3. 3000 per person. that's true. but i guess it's also high price for that kind of conditions.

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  4. Not a great place... We had too high expectation I guess but food is ok at best (another couple that was there in the same time got sick). For the price we were expecting much higher end accomodation...

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