Thirappane, Sri Lanka
Eco pioneer hotel with top-of-the-range chalets enclosed by nature and wildlife, and close to Sri Lanka’s ancient citadels
After a hot and dusty day exploring the 2000-year-old Buddhist
temples, vast dagobas and ruinous monasteries of the ancient
cities, Ulagalla Resort, ideally located in the heart of the
Cultural Triangle, is quite possibly the perfect place to
replenish. Within the 58-acre grounds are fantastic views at every
turn: neat, unfeasibly green paddy fields, sparkling reservoirs and
untamed scrubland. Couples and honeymooners will revel in this
secluded, natural setting.
But the real joy is the huge, luxurious chalets, each in their own scenic cocoon of nature, filled with bird and animal life. This is no bird spotter’s hideout, however, as interiors resemble a high design apartment complete with glass-walled panoramic views. Your tasteful bedroom is the height of comfort and pared-down luxury, the expansive bathroom shimmies with minimalism, and the cherry on the cake is the deep blue plunge pool bedecked by a chic double lounger. And there’s no need to worry about your eco impact - Ulagalla has created the largest solar farm in Sri Lanka, walls are made from recycled rice paddy, and there's an organic edible garden with over 40 varieties.
Drop in at the Coco Spa for a Balinese therapy, listen to birds coming to roost at dusk, then whisk to the 100-year-old mansion for a gourmet 5-course dinner. Wonderful.
Reviewed by Harriet Whiting
- Striking and spacious chalets (800 sq.ft) with private plunge pools and sunbathing decks, bicycles and indoor living areas
- Leaders in environmental design, from reverse osmosis water purification to production of ethane gas from food waste: a hotel for the future
- Great service and a warm welcome from staff, who have a high level of conversational English
- Seeing nature from your chalet - we spotted a troupe of monkeys and a peacock doing his impressive mating dance, plus numerous brightly coloured birds; over 70 types of bird and 100 species of butterfly flit in the grounds
- Delicious 5-course dinners in the serene dining room - we loved overlooking the ever-changing luminescent fibre-optic swimming pool
- Not only are the chalets expensive, so are drinks, activities and spa treatments
- Air-conditioning hum disrupts the peace outside your chalet (a reminder to turn it off whilst not in the room!)
- No local restaurants to explore for a change of scene; vary your nights by having dinner in a paddy field or a DIY barbecue at your chalet
Intended as a luxurious escape, guests here are so indulged that they want for nothing...The Sunday Times