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New Town, Polonnaruwa 51000 Sri Lanka
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#8 of 104 in Polonnaruwa
Built right at the edge of the Great Tank Parakrama, this beautiful bungalow can room 5families comfortably. One room sleeps 3-4 in the Hanuman Bungalow, 2each in Loris and people in 4rooms in the Main Building. You wake up to bird sounds and to macaque calls. Water birds would skim past you when you paddle the canoes in the water. It's fantastic holiday spot!! You benefit from our 40+ years of scientific study, and 18 years as expedition leaders. Different tours are tailored for families with children, retirees, students and professionals of the macaques we have been studying for the past 42years. This site is also relevant to scientists, students, educators, and anyone interested in primate biology, wildlife conservation and South Asian tropical biodiversity.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free breakfast
Bicycle rental
Books, DVDs, music for children
Children's television networks
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Car hire
Special diet menus
Baggage storage
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor furniture
Picnic area
Shared lounge / TV area
Sun loungers / beach chairs
Sun terrace
Express check-in / check-out
Private check-in / check-out
Laundry service
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Room features
Air conditioning
Bottled water
Room types
Family rooms
Good to know
Languages Spoken
English, German
88Reviews0Q+A10Room tips
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Caroline Neela wrote a review Feb 2020
Tiel, The Netherlands21 contributions6 helpful votes
Situated alongside the lake an outbuilding provides a great escape into real nature. The caretaker also does guiding in the Polonnaruwa site where 3 kind of monkeys live. The many years of research already gave lots of information which the guide loves to share during 2 hours morning or sunset observations. The guesthouse food is prepared by the guides wife and is very good. The rooms are spatious and very clean. Last morning I did an optional boat ride to birds Island and I was so lucky to come close to swimming elephants as well. This place is a real treat.
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip type: Travelled
Response from Wolfgang D, Owner at Primate Centre Lodge
Responded 10 Feb 2020
Thanks so much for sharing your experience Neela. It is always gratifying to note that our guest appreciate the knowledge about monkey lore that we’ve accumulated over many years of studying these wild animals and that we are able to pass on to you. I will tell our staff that you also appreciated their efforts in the kitchen and in keeping you comfortable in our small bright spot in nature.
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Mohan Amarasuriya wrote a review Jan 2020
Colombo, Sri Lanka27 contributions
What a view from the front yard. The lake (Parakrama reservoir), an island with thousands of birds, sometimes elephants. Things to do - Monkey tours, Lorris tours, Boat ride to the Island. Only 5 km to the Archeological site. This morning three elephants were in the water 20 meters away from us. Then started swimming across the lake to the other side of the lake. Very tidy and clean rooms and washrooms. Friendly staff and great food. Homely atmosphere.
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Date of stay: January 2020Trip type: Travelled
Ian L wrote a review Nov 2019
59 contributions9 helpful votes
We are a family of 5 with 2 tween boys. We had a fantastic experience in the Primate Centre and stayed at the Lodge for one night. The magic started with the night excursion to watch the loris. Though the price was a bit on the high side, the experience with Sunil and his assistant were superb. Sunil was very knowledgeable and patient with us. We spotted 4 loris that night. Lodging was not luxurious as it is a research centre but very comfortable with the necessary essentials. Dinner and Breakfast were traditional Sri Lankan and wonderful. We did the primate tour at the temple ruins the next day and Sunil's knowledge was impeccable. He did not rush us during the tour and encouraged our boys to be groomed by the macaques. The grooming experience made our boys' day! We learned so much about the primates, all thanks to Sunil!
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Date of stay: November 2019Trip type: Travelled
Hugo B wrote a review Aug 2019
Heythuysen, The Netherlands58 contributions10 helpful votes
We participated in "Human Family Meets Monkey Family" offered by the "Primate Centre Lodge", a guided tour early in the morning during which we saw three different type of monkeys. It was so great to get personal explanation of a guide about the three types of monkeys. The guide was very knowledgeable! Our daughter loved it to be groomed by the monkeys
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Date of stay: July 2019
Sleep Quality
njj747 wrote a review Apr 2019
Berkshire, United Kingdom13 contributions6 helpful votes
As day visitors to the centre we were guided by Mr. Sunil Rathnayake (Resident Manager) who gave an excellent account of the lifestyle and habit of the different non-human primates we observed. We also saw giant squirrels, hornbills, snake and interesting trees. He is an extremely knowledgable and patient man, who with the support of Samil, enabled us to see the different species. It was such a pleasure to spend time there and appreciate the stunning setting and scenery. Highly recommended.
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Date of stay: April 2019Trip type: Travelled
Response from Vatsala D, Guest Relations Manager at Primate Centre Lodge
Responded 18 Apr 2019
Thank you for taking the time to review the Primate Research Station. We appreciate your feed back and the positive comments about our staff. Thank you and best wishes.
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JAVIER E wrote a review Mar 2019
Valencia, Spain172 contributions63 helpful votes
We have been two days in this primate center lodge and the experience has been great. We did a night excursion to see loris and a day excursion to see different primates (langur, macaque). Rooms are very comfortable and clean. Staff is very friendly and food was very good. Nice place to spend some days a learn what they do for the primates.
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Date of stay: March 2019Trip type: Travelled
Response from Vatsala D, Guest Relations Manager at Primate Centre Lodge
Responded 18 Mar 2019
We appreciate you taking the time to review the Primate Centre positively. We are pleased to hear you enjoyed the tour and most importantly learnt something new about the animals we have studied the past 50 years. Do visit us again. Thank you.
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TaiwanChris wrote a review Oct 2018
Taiwan13 contributions7 helpful votes
A slightly disappointing experience although not through the fault of the staff who were very friendly. The beds were awful and the rooms had no mosquito nets. It is in a beautiful setting although the night safari was also hugely disappointing and also very expensive as I was the only one doing it and no discount was offered for single travellers. It should be remembered that its not really a hotel but a primate research centre so that has to be taken into account. As I've said everyone there was very friendly and there were a selection of wild animals to see. On another day with another bed things might be different.
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Date of stay: October 2018
Sleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled
Room Tip: Insist on a room with a mosquito net.
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lucindagreen77 wrote a review Aug 2018
London, United Kingdom1 contribution
Staying at the Primate Centre Eco Lodge is a unique and absolutely fantastic experience. It was a privilege to hear Dr Dittus discuss his extensive research into a population of toque macaque monkeys in Polonnaruwa spanning over 40 years and three generations of monkeys. We enjoyed visiting the monkeys in the Polonnaruwa ruins with Sunil, an excellent and incredibly knowledgeable guide who has worked with Dr Dittus for over 10 years. He knew many of the monkeys’ individually and described their social behaviour in detail and the differences between the macaques and grey langurs - it was a really fascinating morning. Vatsala Dittus is an incredibly warm, caring, welcoming and attentive hostess who went above and beyond to look after us during our stay. The rooms at the Lodge were spacious and comfortable and the food was delicious. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone travelling to Sri Lanka. It was one of the highlights of our trip.
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Date of stay: August 2018
Sleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled
Ds0phia wrote a review July 2018
Sydney, Australia4 contributions1 helpful vote
We booked a nights stay with 2 days of tours with the naturalists as we wanted to learn more about the macaque monkey and have a very eco-friendly way of visiting these animals that was not intrusive or abusive to the animal - this is very important to us when we are booking animal experiences. Not only was the team wonderful, knowledgeable and extremely kind and friendly, our naturalist Sunil was amazing at explaining the interactions of the primates - including not only the Macaque but also the Langurs that live within the ruins reserve. He was extremely patient with us and allowed us to stay for as long as we liked to look at the monkeys and never tried to hurry us along. Sunil did both our monkey tours (we did the evening one and again the next morning) and both of the tours were different from each other and we learned so much in each. He has over 10 years experience and you can tell the monkeys know him, feel safe around him and he cares for them very much. We simply observed and followed the monkeys when they moved, they were comfortable and even inquisitive of our cameras and the lenses that they could see themselves in. The loris tour at night was great as it was amazing to see these endangered animals in the wild and again, we never disturbed them, only observed. Lastly the accommodation was beautiful and the team at the centre were also wonderful. The room we stayed in was clean, spacious, quiet and nestled in nature. When I saw a kitten there and mentioned it to one of the beautiful staff they went out of their way to bring her to me for a cuddle (Maggie, the local kitten at the centre). Vatsala and Wolfgang were extremely gracious, friendly and knowledgeable hosts and coming from biological backgrounds both my partner and I had great discussions with them both about animals. You can tell they are passionate about the welfare of these creatures they have studied for over 40 years and it was so amazing to see such a well put together and well run, thorough research facility. The only downside for us is that we couldn’t stay longer!!! Thank you all so much and we look forward to coming back when we next come to Sri Lanka!
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Date of stay: July 2018Trip type: Travelled
angelarX4955XU wrote a review May 2018
17 contributions7 helpful votes
Meeting the researcher and also the monkeys was great. We watched the movie with the monkeys and also had lunch at the Lodge. Also, we had a nice educational experience with a briefing and information about the Centre from Professor Wolfgang Ditter. This is must do if you are in this part of the country. I would recommend staying on site if you have time. The facilities are clean and food is excellent with clean restrooms. Going to this part of the world and experiencing the monkeys in their natural environment was fascinating and definitely an experience to remember!!
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Date of stay: April 2018
Trip type: Travelled
USD 35 - USD 55 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Sri LankaNorth Central ProvincePolonnaruwa
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Frequently Asked Questions about Primate Centre Lodge
Which popular attractions are close to Primate Centre Lodge?
Nearby attractions include Gal Vihara (5.2 km), Polonnaruwa Vatadage (3.3 km), and Passikudah Beach (3.3 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Primate Centre Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and free parking.
What food & drink options are available at Primate Centre Lodge?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast and an on-site restaurant during their stay.
Is parking available at Primate Centre Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Primate Centre Lodge?
Conveniently located restaurants include Jaga Food, Priyamali Gedara, and Gami Gedara.
Are pets allowed at Primate Centre Lodge?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Primate Centre Lodge?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and German.
Are there any historical sites close to Primate Centre Lodge?
Many travellers enjoy visiting Lankathilaka Image House (4.9 km), Polonnaruwa (3.3 km), and Sathmahal Prasada (3.3 km).