Eco-lodges & hotels, Sri Lanka
As the route: Ella (Central Highlands), Nanu Oya (close to Nuwara Eliya), Hatton, Kitulgala OR
Ella, Haputale - on the way of scenic descent to valley at Ratnapura (City of Gems) - Belihul Oya, Lion King (Sinharaja) Tropical Rain Forest (WHS), Bentota Bay Beach Resort OR
Ella (Central Highlands), Belihul Oya, Uda Walawe National Park and Ruhuna Yala National Park
Ella Adventure Park, EllaThis eco-friendly park nestles on the banks of Kirindi river, six miles to the south of Ella village, amid the stirring peaks of the Central Highlands. The adventure is provided by lots of gung-ho activities, including paragliding, rock-climbing & canoeing - or just trekking. Also arranged is bird watching.
Kitulgala Rest House, KitulgalaA magnificent location overlooking the wide Kelani River as it carves its way from the Highlands through lush, rolling hills. Originally built for traveling colonial administrators. Dining room is a veritable shrine to David Lean's epic "Bridge on the River Kwai" with monochrome photos of the stars gracing the walls. 20 pleasant comfortable rooms with porches overlooking the broad River Kaleni
Paradise Farm, KitulgalaParadise Farm is a working organic agricultural farm with spectacular views, nestling in a sleepy hamlet close to the white-water rafting and canoeing village of Kitulgala. The main house has three spacious double bedrooms and a frontal verandah overlooking a large infinity pool, with fresh spring water, and panoramic views of the surrounding hills. Guests can enjoy Ayurveda massage and steam baths, or just simple cooking with fresh produce in an atmopshere of peace and well-being.
Plantation Hotel, KithulgalaAn excellent location right on the banks of the wide Kelani River and surrounded by tropical jungle. A fine restored & refurbished colonial bungalow with eight stylish rooms equipped with all mod cons in the territory of whitewater rafting and canoeing.
Rafters Retreat, KithulgalaThe Rafter's Retreat is an ecologically-themed riverside retreat. There are 14 rooms, 11 of which are individually-designed eco lodges. You can even sleep in a tree house after a day's trekking or rafting. Basic comforts for the active.
Royal River Resort, KitulgalaRoyal River Resort is a charming four-bedroom property perched above the Kitulgala rapids, close to the white-water rafting village of Kitulgala. It is reached down a narrow, winding lane through a rubber plantation and the surrounding waterfalls, lush vegetation and numerous species of birds and butterflies makes this an ideal destination for nature lovers.
Boulder Garden, Sinharaja (Lion king) Rain ForestThis is an expensive but brilliantly designed eco resort, built into a rocky outcrop that blends in with a chain of huge boulders & streams. With ten suits (two of them in natural caves) painstakingly built from rock, the small hotel with a boutique feel is aptly named. Located at the outskirts of Sinharajaha (Lion King) rain forest, this hotel is a special delight, offering unexpected luxury and committed eco credentials. There is fine dining in a pleasant open-air restaurant, a swimming pool, & plenty of interesting walks & tours to Sinharaja rain forest.
Blue Magpie, SinharajahA magnificent location on the edge of the Sinharajah rain forest. This hotel for nature lovers has 12 simple rooms with en suite bathrooms.
Rainforest Edge, WaddagalaRainforest Edge offers designer-rustic high above the beautiful rolling hills of Waddagala, only five miles from the northern entrance to Sinharajah rain forest. A chance to relax in comfort in an isolated environment, free from pollution, televisions & phones. Switch off your mobile phone.
Centuaria, Uda WalaweA reliable lakeside hotel, of old-fashioned style, most valuable for its proximity to Uda Walawe national park. A perfectly respectable stopping-off point, but those seeking more luxury should opt for an evening journey to the coast.
Tasks Safari Camp, Tanamalwilla, SouthSri Lanka's best stab at an African bush camp, with nineteen smartly equipped en-suite tents. The camp is also within striking distance of both Yala & Bundala: closer to hand there's good bird watching & local jungle walks offering a rare opportunity to track elephants on foot, rather than by the back of a jeep.
Tree tops, Buttala, SouthThe location is in such wilderness we will be arriving there either no earlier than 9am or no later than 3pm. This land belongs to nomad elephants & they could be driven nuts with too obtrusive meddle & muddle presence of ours. With accommodation in rustic clay & wood huts in an unspoilt forest setting close to the edge of the Yala National Park. There are no mod cons here & no electricity but it manages to be very comfortable even so, & there's plenty to do-safaris, walking, cycling, or just crashing out in a hammock.
Yala Village, KirindaYala Village is a first class safari lodge, an eco friendly chalet hotel at Ruhuna Yala National Park located overlooking the beach in southern coast of Sri Lanka. In close proximity are the ancient southern cities of Tissamaharama & Kataragama, while the next stop to the south is Antarctica. With immediate access to both beach & jungle, the hotel is an ideal nature resort for adventure as well as relaxation.
The observation deck provides a bird's eye view of the Ruhuna Yala National Park. You can step into the park from your luxury chalet to view the elephants roaming or the illusive leopard sunning on the rocky outcrop close by.
Each luxurious 61 air-conditioned chalet features an animal design element in its decor thus creating a unique atmosphere. Peacock, Deer & Monkey themed chalets are painted in vibrant colours to please the eye. Suite Julian, which is the epitome of luxury, is set up for the discerning wildlife enthusiast.
There are 6 types of chalets, i.e. Fisherman's, Beach, Round, Stilt, Traditional Village chalets & the specialty Tarzan suite. Each chalet has its own private veranda together with satellite TV, Mini-bar, Telephone/IDD, electric kettle, complementary tea/coffee, hair dryer, hot & cold water
Galapita Eco Lodge, Kataragama, SouthIt's all nature herein. The lodge occupies a gorgeous riverside setting complete with natural pool & waterfall. The four open-sided pavilion-rooms are beautiful but very rustic. There's not much to do except kick back, enjoy the setting. That's the point, herein. Forget all your worries, relax & do nothing. Full board.
Kandapola, Central Highlands
Tea FactoryEspecially recommended is a stay at the Tea Factory, which stands some 6,800 feet above sea level, just six degrees from the equator, in the lush green misty mountains of Kandapola, in Colombo - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya road. Built in the days of British Raj as a factory for tea processing, it has been ingeniously converted into a five star hotel so that much of its original style & machinery remains intact. Its reception area is where the factory's leaf drying process was carried out, the tea packing room is the hotel bar & the grading & sifting area is the restaurant & as can be imagined the views from the Tea Factory are breathtaking.