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Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Lessons in Wellbeing at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort

“I am unworthy,” a voice declared inside my head as two pairs of strong serving oily hands skillfully massaged my tired arms, repeatedly focusing on my wrists. With my body sprawled on a soft green towel in a state of surrender, I looked away from the blurry faces at the blurry off-white ceiling briefly before I closed my eyes.

Soft classical music played in the background, and the hands moved in perfect synchronization- down to every millisecond. “I don’t deserve to be here. I should be working harder. I have done nothing that justifies this.” And then slowly, that goddamn voice finally shut up, allowing me to drift into that comfortable space between wide awake and fast asleep- is there a word for that state? 

I was at the Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort in Weligama, Sri Lanka, on what was a review assignment, but also really a chance to allow myself a seven-day Ayurveda retreat in Sri Lanka where I’d keep the focus on wellness, fitness and relaxation, and give myself a chance to disconnect from work, routine and the noise that takes up so much of my life.

When I travel, I often give myself days to disconnect and do little else except go hiking, which is for me both meditative and therapeutic, (as I did most recently in West Sweden), but last month, it dawned upon me that somehow, while I’d been working so hard that I was too busy to notice- I’d gotten into the worst shape that I’d ever been in in my adult life, and despite doing exactly what I loved for a living, I was stressed. It isn’t exactly a secret that the serious inability to maintain a healthy work-life balance is a problem that most freelancers face.

Change was needed-no, change was necessary, and what better time than that to venture into unfamiliar territory? As someone who had little interest in Ayurveda and yoga (“and all of that hipster gobbledygook,” as pre-retreat me would’ve said) and a forgiving attitude towards my own indulgences (in both food and drink), I visited Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort on the Sri Lankan coast, with a realization, early on, that I had ventured far out of my comfort zone.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

The view from our balcony was incredible

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Gorgeous views


Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

The setting of the resort is spectacular

I decided to bring the husband along for an Ayurveda retreat vacation to this no-TV-and-Wi-Fi-in-the-room, and no-alcohol-and-meat health resort because I figured, one, we both love Sri Lanka so much that he’d need little convincing to return, and two, he’d had zero downtime this year with someone or something always constantly demanding his attention pretty much all the time.

It was a no-brainer: we needed this time away at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort- a luxurious beachfront resort, set on a spectacular strip of coastline in Weligama, Sri Lanka where slender coconut palms sway to the music of powerful waves crashing on a hidden sandy beach, daily routines consist of getting massages and Ayurveda treatments followed by quality pool time, and there is a delightful lack of noise and internet to fill up every spare minute and spiral into a mindless consumption of nothingness.

For us, this week was a chance to slow down, live mindfully, learn about how to eat right, and the mistakes we were making when it came to our physical and mental fitness and wellbeing, plus how to fix them. We kept an open mind, absorbed all the information that was shared with us and embraced every experience, regardless of how uncharacteristic it felt for us to be doing them.

In the end, if there’s one word that I can use to describe our time at the retreat- it would be transformational. Read on to understand why a stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort might just be one of those experiences that could change the way you look at your personal wellbeing.

Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort is a Modern & Luxurious Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka

I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s my lack of experience with Ayurveda resorts, but I’d arrived expecting somewhat basic rooms and amenities because the focus, after all, was on Ayurveda and wellbeing, and this was a health resort. But I couldn’t be more mistaken.

As we walked to the ochre-hued building and into our spacious room, beautifully designed with a four-poster bed, a generous living area with a couch, coffee table, chair, dresser, ample wardrobe space and en-suite modern bathroom (with rain shower), complete with pretty details such as fresh flowers and colorful patterned textiles, I was pleasantly surprised. Large glass doors led to a private balcony with awe-inspiring views of the verdant landscape of the estate and the palm-fringed beach, and beyond that, the Indian Ocean flaunting a sparkling shade of blue. There were umbrellas, beach towels, and yoga mats placed in our rooms for use, as well as two thermoses.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Our spacious room at the resort

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Pretty rooms at the resort

With views like that, we did not miss having a TV in the room, and while in the beginning, Ankit was apprehensive of the lack of Wi-Fi, in the end, we were thankful for the lack of distraction and the peace and quiet to simply immerse ourselves in the books we’d brought along, all to the soundtrack of waves and birdsong on our balcony.

The resort features walking paths among gardens that lead to guest rooms, the reception area and lounge, a main building with a health center (where massages and treatments take place), yoga and meditation rooms, conference room for presentations and lectures, library, restaurant, and yoga terrace. Wi-Fi is available at all times in the reception lounge area and the library. There’s also a tailor shop (in case you want to get a pretty Sri Lankan outfit stitched) and a gift shop where you can buy tea, incense, creams, notebooks, gorgeous clothing by local brands and jewelry.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Green landscape of the resort

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

You might meet the occasional land monitor

With well-maintained gardens, a nature trail through a forest, a saltwater pool overlooking the ocean and a wildly beautiful beach outside the resort that sees very few people, a stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort will make any nature lover (such as yours truly) feel like they’re in their happy place. The property is home to several peacocks that can be seen dancing just as the cloudy skies turn grey, taking a stroll around the pool, or perched nonchalantly upon stone path markers displaying their long, blue and green tails in all their glory.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Salt water pool at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Plenty of spots around the resort to stretch your legs

Barberyn Ayurveda Resorts developed the concept of Ayurveda retreats in Sri Lanka back in the 1980s, and brought a luxury aspect to them to appeal to international guests. Today they run five resorts around Sri Lanka, of which four are Ayurveda resorts.

But what on earth is Ayurveda anyway?

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that translates to the “Science of life” (ayu-life, veda-science) and it’s an ancient medical science that was born in India and is over five millennia old. The fundamental principle of Ayurveda is that every person’s health is dependent upon the harmony between that individual’s body, mind and the living environment.

Further, every individual’s health and wellbeing, as well as general physical and mental characteristics and tendencies differ based on their balance between three life energies or doshas known as Vatha, Pitta and Kapha.

As opposed to western medicine that begins diagnosis and treatment after the disease occurs, Ayurveda seeks to cure the cause of the problem (not just symptoms), prevent diseases, strengthen the immune system, and reset the balance of the body and mind by achieving harmony between the three doshas. There medicines administered in Ayurveda don’t just suppress illnesses for a quick fix, but work towards eradicating the root of the problem.

Sri Lanka is one of the most beautiful island nations in the world- and any kind of healing is more effective when it takes place in nature, so it makes sense that Ayurveda retreats in Sri Lanka would be as popular as they are.

Why you should stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort and what’s so great about an Ayurveda retreat in Sri Lanka?

There’s no question; in our times, each of us is trying to achieve too much, stretching ourselves to the limit, thanks to the glorification of being busy all the time and social media constantly telling us that we need to hustle harder.

Fatigue, burnout, stress, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and general weakness are just some of the conditions that are becoming more prevalent among younger generations.

Whether the imbalances are mental, emotional or physical, think illnesses such as sleeplessness, stress, migraines, arthritis, obesity, acne, rheumatism, high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, sinuses, or others, Ayurveda treatments at Barberyn Beach Resort can help. Here’s a full list of illnesses treated at Barberyn Ayurveda Resorts.

But that doesn’t mean that you should come stay only if you’re suffering from an illness-we surely didn’t think of ourselves as ill at all- many guests stay for a week or longer to detoxify the body, correct their weight, reduce bloating, increase their energy levels and immunity, and improve their metabolism. That was our goal as well- not necessarily weight loss, but we wanted to feel healthier and disconnect from work and constant internet for a little white, so we could reset our balance. By the end of our week, we were eating, sleeping, thinking and feeling better than we had in years.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Learning to relax and disconnect at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort

Whether this is your first time at an Ayurveda retreat or your fifth, you’re in good hands at the multiple award-winning Ayurveda retreat at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort. The Barberyn brand is the first one to establish the concept of Ayurveda resorts in Sri Lanka, over 50 years ago, and they run five resorts around the country, including one that is an art and jungle boutique hideaway.

Keeping it real: What to expect at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort

The first consultation

The program at an Ayurveda retreat in Sri Lanka, begins with a detailed consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor. The friendly Dr. Kosala instantly put me at ease and before I knew it, I had told her about everything from my old running knee injury to the effect overworking had on my wrists, eyes and lower back. She listened patiently, made me feel very comfortable, and asked questions to fill in the gaps. It was like talking to a friend, something I don’t ever experience with usual visits to the doctor’s.

She then drew up a treatment plan, consisting of pills, powders and potions, as well as ayurvedic treatments to target my problem areas and to improve general wellbeing, and also recommended a meal plan for me. I was assigned a patient number that would be used to identify me in all areas at the Health Center and restaurant. My daily routine then was an execution of this treatment plan. There were two other consultations during the week to assess our progress and make any adjustments to the plan.

Treatments at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort

Oil massages, herbal baths, herbal steam baths, steam inhalation, herbal pastes, head oil baths, milk rice treatments, herbal decoctions, blood-letting therapy and acupuncture are just some of the treatments available here. Your daily treatment schedule usually consists of three or more treatments that are carried out at the Health Center. Here’s a full list of Ayurveda treatments carried out at the resort.

All guests are given a green sarong to wear when they come for treatments and are instructed to only wear underwear underneath (that they don’t mind getting oily and eventually throwing away).

What to Expect at an Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: A detailed review of our stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama #SriLanka #retreat #AyurvedaRetreat #wellnessretreat

Embracing the treatments at the resort- even the bitter concoctions

Both men and women are treated in the same group treatment rooms when they’re clothed in the sarongs, except for full-body massages and herbal baths (where you’re naked) that take place in individual rooms, so you need to be comfortable with that.

Male masseurs do the massages for men and female masseuses for women. Different types of oils are used depending on your treatment plan and there are two people massaging your entire body from head to toe- butt, breasts, belly, all of it. You’re usually lying on a massage table completely naked, with only your underwear on and no sheet covering you.

After your massage, you may be advised to do an herbal steam inhalation and/or an herbal steam bath. Then you’re led into the Herbal Garden where herbal pastes are applied to your body, wrapped with cling film by the resort’s female nurses, a herbal scrub is applied to your face, and you’re covered up with a white sheet and left to relax for thirty or so minutes.

Finally, you’re led into the shower and bath area, where you’ll take an herbal bath. This means first showering off all the pastes and oil with shower gel and shampoo, and then sitting in a large bathtub filled with herbal water. A nurse then fills water up in a mug and then repeatedly pours water on your body in swift, strong, repeated motions while you sit there, vulnerable and childlike. Then you’re handed towels and a fresh sarong and sent on your way, feeling brand new, soft-skinned and clean like never before.

Acupuncture is also one of the daily treatments here and takes place in a common treatment room. Needles are gently inserted to cure aches, pains and other troubles by targeting the body’s vitality points. While I expected this to be a painful affair, it really wasn’t, and the nurse, both warm and friendly, and very attentive made this a pleasant process. At each session, I felt my body relax and I dozed off within seconds of her inserting the needles into my back, stomach, feet and arms.

Other than these daily treatments, there are also special treatments that you might be advised to do once a week, and these involve things like specialized head massages with certain oils to help you relax. It wasn’t unusual to see guests in the dining room with head wraps on that they weren’t allowed to take off for a few hours after the treatment.

Herbal concoctions, powders and pills make up another major aspect of the treatments at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort. You’re prescribed daily doses of each to be taken at certain times of the day, before, during and after meals. Each of these is made of a combination of herbal ingredients and are 100% natural. These not only purge the body of all the things that have been causing imbalances, but also improve immunity, metabolism and quality of sleep, among other things.

Dining at an Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: What you’ll eat at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort

Ayurveda considers food to be a natural medicine and so eating right is a big part of wellness at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort. But that does not mean boring steamed food or only soups and salads. As people who love food and have a particular love for Sri Lankan food, that was something we were worried about when we planned to do this Ayurveda retreat in Sri Lanka.

After all, after our first trip to Sri Lanka years ago, we’d promised to return to eat our way around the country, and while this wasn’t exactly why we were returning, we knew we didn’t want to miss out on the culinary aspect of traveling to Sri Lanka.

We need not have worried because every meal at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort was an absolute feast, albeit a healthy one. After our first individual consultation that examined our current health and goals, and identified the natural imbalance between each of our doshas, both of us were put on the Carbohydrate-free and Control diets. All meals are inclusive during your stay at Barberyn Beach Resort.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Fruits are part of every meal at Barberyn Ayurveda Resort

This meant that we were supposed to avoid dishes from the buffet (breakfast and lunch) that were marked as unsuitable for those diet plans. A nutritionist was always around the buffet, watching what we ate, and gently reminding us of what we weren’t supposed to eat if we tried to cheat. Dinner was usually a four-course meal of an appetizer, soup, main and fruit for dessert, served to our designated table. At every meal we’d be served fresh juices, tea, soups and curries, especially recommended for each one depending on their dosha imbalance.

Breakfast was an absolute delight with a wide variety of fresh Sri Lankan fruit and we loved beginning our day with fruits we don’t usually find in Dubai- from star fruit and custard apples to delicious mangoes and passion fruit. You’d find the usual breakfast dishes- oats, yogurt, bread, marmalade, cheese, cereal, nuts, but also quite a few healthy Sri Lankan dishes such as upma, red pancakes, red rice, bread topped with vegetables, coconut chutney, and curries.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Typical breakfast at the resort

Lunch was also a buffet, with a large variety of salads, an extensive spread of curries using vegetables we’ve never enjoyed eating as much as we did there- think bottle gourd, radish, eggplant, snake gourd, banana leaves, jackfruit (that sure satisfies any chicken cravings) and what have you, with red rice, and many sides. There was also grilled fish a few days of the week, and a few international dishes such as lasagna, pasta, baked mushrooms etc. There’d also be Sri Lankan dishes such as hoppers and string hoppers (red rice noodles), and kothu. The dessert counter consisted of local and international desserts from curry leaf and rhubarb pudding to chocolate cake.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

The food was colorful and nutritious

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Live counters would dish out Sri Lankan treats

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Hoppers are delicious!

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Desserts such as avocado mousse, cake and chocolate lava cakes

Everything that we ate was delicious and we did not have a single unsatisfying meal. It took some willpower for us to learn to control our portions because we enjoyed the food so much, but we didn’t really feel like cheating on our meal plans because there were so many options that we didn’t get bored even after a week of eating there.

Dinner was usually the smallest portion. But we were quite full every evening- which made us think about how we’ve not been listening to our bodies with respect to portion sizes. Two nights a week, dinner was a buffet.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Main courses for dinner and a plate of salads

Outside of meal times, guests could enjoy fruit juices mid-morning and tea and refreshments in the afternoon.

What was great was that there were cards with a wealth of information about the suitability of every fruit, juice, soup, dish, and appetizer to doshas and general health conditions- this made us pause and think about what we wanted to eat, or encouraged mindful eating, as I understand it. The dieticians present at meal times were also happy to answer any questions we had about eating habits, or certain ingredients (and we had many).

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Information cards tell you about what to eat and what to avoid

I don’t think I’ve had so much respect for how my body processes and digests food as I do now after learning how to eat right at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort.

They did ask us not to eat outside food were we to go on an excursion and to avoid coffee, alcohol, sweets etc. so as to get the maximum benefits from our program, and while that’s very much a choice, we were happy to comply.

In several conversations with other guests, many who had returned to the resort a third or fourth time, and others who were staying as long as a month, the tasty Sri Lankan food came up as a major highlight of why they loved staying at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort and kept coming back.

What to do on an Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Activities at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort

While ‘do nothing’ was one of our grand plans for this trip, and we made time to do just that, there are plenty of activities to keep busy at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort outside of the treatment hours. There are daily yoga sessions (thrice a day), meditation sessions, lectures, and food workshops through the day and into the evening, outside of meal times.

Daily excursions take guests to the beautiful city of Galle with its walled city center, a folk museum, on a boat ride to a lake, a temple, and the coastal city of Weligama (which is where the resort is also located). These take a few hours in the afternoon and guests can sign up for the next day’s tours at dinnertime.

If like us, you’d rather stay in the resort, there’s a swimming pool overlooking the ocean, a beautiful stretch of golden beach just outside the resort (a great place to watch the sunset) and a nature trail that winds around the resort and takes about an hour to do.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

we enjoyed plenty of pool time

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

and endless walks on the beach

On our last evening, resort guests were in for a treat: the resort had arranged a cultural show of regional folk dances from around Sri Lanka. While it was a small intimate affair in the resort’s reception area, the performances by everyone, including a masked dancer and a daredevil fire dancer were nothing short of thrilling.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Folk dancer

Yoga at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort

I’ll admit- slow-paced workouts that focus on maintaining balance, flexibility and proper breathing techniques haven’t really been my thing so far. I much prefer explosive workouts that get my heart racing and give me a proper rush, and it’s probably because that’s easier for me than to slow down and focus.

I’d tried yoga years ago and since I hadn’t enjoyed it then, I went to my first yoga session at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort with zero expectations. It was hard to deny that the setting on the yoga terrace was gorgeous, with a gentle breeze blowing, pretty blue-grey skies above, and views of the emerald-hued landscape and ocean all around.

A few minutes into the class and I found both my mind and body relaxing to the soothing voice of the instructor, “Inhaaaleee, exhaaaleee” as though the invisible weight I’d been carrying on my head and shoulders was slowly disappearing. My focus, crystal clear, was on the sound of birds chirping, and his voice. Nothing else mattered, and for the duration of the class, it was as if almost nothing else existed. He led the group through several asanas (postures), helping those of us who weren’t as flexible, and always asking us to listen to our bodies.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

learning to yoga at Barberyn Beach Resort

I enjoyed the class so much that it changed my outlook on yoga and what it can possibly do for my wellbeing. Over the week, we attended daily sessions just after sunrise so we could start our day in what was an amazing way. Each day, the asanas would be slightly different allowing us to work out different parts of our bodies. The instructor also helped me understand and practice deep belly breathing after I told him how I struggle with breathing correctly while running.

What to Expect at an Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: A detailed review of our stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama #SriLanka #retreat #AyurvedaRetreat #wellnessretreat

A bit of yoga on the beach

If you’re curious about the yoga sessions at the resort, there’s more information available here.

Meditation at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort

We also attended a meditation and chanting session one evening at the resort. It was a combination of positive affirmations, concentration, meditation and chanting. While I tried my best, I didn’t get as much out of it as Ankit did. He went back for a second session during the week and came out just as zen.

Food Demonstration at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort

A food demonstration session is an excellent way for interested guests to learn about the cooking techniques at the resort and how to make a few dishes. Ankit attended the session and learnt how to prepare a green soup, millet flour roti, and coriander chutney.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Food demonstration

What was great for him as someone who loves to cook (and is great at it), was that by attending this session, he got a basic understanding of how the various vegetarian curries (that we enjoyed so much) were prepared at the resort. The technique is simple with the addition and substitution of a few ingredients and spices.

What’s a typical day at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort like?

We’d wake up shortly after sunrise and make our way to the yoga pavilion for the daily yoga session at 6.00am. With a great instructor who’d adapt to the level of the group, (we were complete beginners), fresh air, and the calming sound of the waves, it was a fantastic way to begin the day.

We’d have breakfast from 7.30 to 8.30am and then head to the Health Center for our treatments. Our treatments usually began at 9.00am and finished at 12.15-12.30pm, after which we’d have lunch.

Lunchtime was usually from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, so we’d enjoy a long, relaxed lunch after we’d showered and changed. We’d follow this up with afternoons at the swimming pool and beach, and plenty of reading time until sunset at 6.30pm.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Walks on the beach

We also did a few evening yoga sessions and tried a meditation class.

After this, we’d usually finish dinner before 8.00pm. Then, we’d head to the lobby to answer emails using the Wi-Fi or deal with work stuff (I had to do several edits and reworks for one of my assignments).

We’d be back in our rooms at 9.00pm for a bit of reading time before we’d doze off by 9.30pm.

How long should you stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort?

The minimum duration that guests are required to stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort is a week- because you’d need at least a week to see any real impact on your wellness through the treatments. We stayed for a week but while there, we found ourselves wishing we could have stayed a couple of weeks at least.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Spectacular sunsets at Barberyn Beach Resort

We met other guests who were staying anywhere between two to four weeks. The resort recommends a minimum of two weeks. How long you’d like to stay really depends on what your goals are and what and how many imbalances you’re looking to fix.

If you’re visiting for a general detox or to get away from a stressful schedule, then I’d say that anywhere from a week to two weeks is good enough time.

Who else can you meet on an Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort?

During our stay, we met guests across age groups, from those in their early 30s to those in their late 70s and older, traveling solo, as a couple or family. The resort is popular with European travelers, in particular those from Switzerland and Germany.

The resort’s guests had varying fitness levels- there were those who didn’t look like they needed a detox, others who were great at yoga, some who were very overweight, and others like us who were there to learn and inculcate new healthier habits.

There are only 45 rooms at the resort. That means you see the same people everyday during meals, treatments and around the resort, and there’s a kind of familiarity from sharing the same kind of treatments and overall experience, that makes it easy to meet and talk to other people, even if you’re traveling solo.

What is the service like at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort?

We’re happy to share that the service at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort is exemplary and extraordinarily warm. Whether it was the nurses and the doctors at the Health Center, the staff at the restaurant, or at the reception, or the dieticians at meal times, we never once, in our week-long stay, encountered someone who didn’t greet us with a smile or seemed like they were in a bad mood.

It wasn’t just about the staff being polite and courteous, it was their warmth and their ability to show concern for our wellbeing that made us feel like we were in good hands.

Dr. Kosala, our doctor, was incredibly easy to talk to and confide in. She was an excellent listener and was quick to adjust the medicine courses were we to feel any discomfort. Any special requests or feedback was taken seriously and acted upon immediately at the resort.

What to Expect at an Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: A detailed review of our stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama #SriLanka #retreat #AyurvedaRetreat #wellnessretreat

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During my treatments, I’d often not be able to put on my glasses after having oil massaged on my face – that meant I could barely see anything. The nurses would lead me by hand to the next treatment area and hand me off to the nurse designated for that section. After a few days, I got comfortable and understood the layout of the rooms to be able to walk around on my own. But it made a huge difference that they instinctively understood that I needed help without me having to ask them.

The restaurant staff was lovely too, always asking about our day and how we were feeling, and ready to answer any questions about the food being served to us. The limited number of guests staying at the resort at any given point in time means that there’s a personal touch to the service by the staff who are familiar with every guest.

What was the impact of our 7-day stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort?

When we arrived at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort, our routines, before that, lacked balance. We barely worked out once or twice a week. We worked too much, always treating work with top priority, over anything else. We spent too much time on our phones, either scrolling through social media feeds or filling up our spare time with conversations that didn’t bring any value, and left no time for self-development. To put it simply, we lacked discipline, and it showed on our bodies and our general happiness.

We didn’t eat junk food, but we’d begun to order in a lot more frequently than we used to, had zero portion control and ate as late as 9pm. On weekends, we’d go all out, eating and drinking as we pleased, ignoring the fact that our bellies began to get more and more bloated. We’d both always been active and fit for most of our 20s, so we told ourselves that we could get back into shape anytime we wanted. Of course, that’s the kind of lie you tell yourself when you don’t want to acknowledge that you have a problem.

Our stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort helped us take a long, hard look at ourselves and our lifestyle. It allowed us to confront what we’d been shoving under a doormat for a while. It taught us that we needed to choose ourselves more often over immediately replying to every Whatsapp message, over idly scrolling on Instagram, over work, over Netflix, and over satiating a deeper problem with an impulsive short-term solution- whether that was food or a glass of wine or something else.

It gave us discipline, balance, and real hope that we could do better, and so much more for our wellness, fitness, and mental health.

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama

Feeling rejuvenated at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort

By the end of the week, we were feeling lighter, our bodies were not bloated, we felt more active, our skin felt amazingly soft-thanks to the daily massages, and we were more relaxed mentally than we could have imagined. It was like we were sent home with a clean slate and a chance to start fresh and inculcate new, healthier habits. Transformed.

What’s funny is that during this week, we ate a lot- we enjoyed every bit of the delicious local food- and so we were surprised to find that somehow, despite that, we’d lost all the bloating.

What do other guests say about this Ayurveda retreat in Sri Lanka?

We met many guests who were returning to Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort for the fifth or sixth time in a couple of years, others who came every year and fellow first-timers as well. The feedback, from all of them, was very positive and they all admitted that they felt great both during and at the end of their stay. The food, quality of service, amenities and location scored highly from their feedback.

The fact that Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort takes care of everything- from picking you up at the airport to daily excursions so you can see a bit of the region, makes a stay here a stress-free affair on so many levels.

What to Expect at an Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: A detailed review of our stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama #SriLanka #retreat #AyurvedaRetreat #wellnessretreat

What’s not to love?

Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka at Barberyn Ayurveda Resorts: Who’s it for?

We saw solo travelers, couples, families, and also a family with young children staying at the resort, enjoying the many benefits of an Ayurveda retreat in Sri Lanka. The resort is for anyone who want to slow down the pace of life, focus on their wellbeing and fitness, get Ayurveda treatments to cure any illnesses or conditions, and does not mind the lack of distraction from TVs and internet.

What to Expect at an Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: A detailed review of our stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama #SriLanka #retreat #AyurvedaRetreat #wellnessretreat

Disconnecting is one of the best parts about staying at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort

This is very much a retreat where people are looking to relax, meditate and enjoy plenty of peace and quiet. If you cannot imagine a resort stay without drinking alcohol or blasting loud music, then this place is definitely not for you.

If you’re looking to base yourself somewhere while you explore Sri Lanka every day and spend very little time in the resort, then this resort is not for you. The focus here is very much on what goes on in the resort- so much that we did not leave for a single day, having previously explored Sri Lanka on another trip. That said, there are daily excursions offered by the resort where you can go explore a new place for a few hours every afternoon. But we preferred to swim, walk on the beach, or read for a few hours instead.

Practical information

Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort is located in Weligama, and is a 2.5-hour drive from Colombo airport. The resort can arrange airport transfers on request.

The resort can also arrange tours around Sri Lanka together with its jungle boutique property Diyabubula, depending on your interests.

Ayurveda treatments are mandatory for all guests staying at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort.


What to Expect at an Ayurveda Retreat in Sri Lanka: A detailed review of our stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort Weligama #SriLanka #retreat #AyurvedaRetreat #wellnessretreat

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Additional Reading

Sri Lanka Travel Tips: Things to Know For First-time Travelers

Diyabubula: Stay at this glass-roofed villa at this Eco Lodge in Sri Lanka

9 Things to do in South Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Safari: Into the wild at Yala National Park

Train to Ella Sri Lanka

Hiking to World’s End Sri Lanka

What to do in Nuwara Eliya in the Hill Country

Wandering the Streets of Galle

A Guide to Festivals in Sri Lanka

We stayed as guests of Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort for the purpose of this review. All opinions, as always, are honest and independent.

Have you every stayed at an Ayurveda retreat? Would you want to stay at Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resort? Let me know in the comments below.