- Luxurious, eco-friendly resort
- Access to Cultural Triangle
- Wide range of hotel-based activities
An expansive resort set around a tastefully preserved chieftain’s mansion over 150 years old, Ulagalla Resort has an excellent reputation as one of Sri Lanka's top boutique hotels. Located in Anuradhapura, the centre of the Cultural Triangle, it offers quick and easy access to a delightful range of beautifully preserved ancient monuments. It’s set within 58 acres of mostly undisturbed wilderness, offering spectacular views of verdant paddy fields, wild scrubland and of course, the local wildlife. There are over 100 butterfly species and 100 bird species in the area - and guests may also be lucky enough to see peacocks and monkeys. Scattered across the resort’s grounds are 20 eco-friendly villas designed to offer visitors the highest level of comfort.
Ulagalla Resort certainly has some excellent eco-friendly credentials. The walls of its villas are made from recycled rice paddy. There’s an organic garden with over 40 edible fruits and vegetables. The resort itself has Sri Lanka’s largest solar farm, which provides half of the resort’s energy requirements.
Days can easily be filled visiting the Cultural Triangle's ancient cities, temples and holy places, but there's plenty to do on site as well. The resort offers activities such as guided nature walks, a guided village bicycle excursion, jungle kayaking, horseback tours, archery sessions and tours of the organic garden complete with cooking session. All of these activities are available for an extra charge, though any one of them is sure to be a worthwhile addition to a stay at the resort.
When it comes to dining, guests are spoiled for choice. Private dining can be arranged on guest verandas or out on the paddy fields. These exclusive dining experiences are most popular with couples seeking a cosy and intimate meal together, complete with delicious, authentic food and excellent service. There’s also the Liyawela restaurant, which serves a range of Sri Lankan cuisine that can be enjoyed in the open air complete with views of the surrounding scenery.
The villas are tastefully decorated with a chic and minimalistic feel. Each one is a hidden and secluded sanctuary with floor-to-ceiling glass panelled windows offering panoramic views. Visitors can relax in gorgeous surroundings and enjoy some restful peace and quiet. Of the villas, 19 of them have just one bedroom with a kingsize four-poster bed - these ones are perhaps best suited to couples, though you can request a cot or an extra bed for a child. The final one, Nikawewa Villa, has two bedrooms and is suitable for families of up to four, with two interconnected bedrooms. The resort is set in open wilderness with local wildlife free to roam, and while it's highly unlikely that animals will approach humans, parents are advised to keep an eye on their children at all times, plus there’s the main swimming pool and a plunge pool at all but two of the villas to bear in mind.
- Peaceful, high-end resort
- Close to Minneriya National Park
- Superb elephant encounters
- Tennis courts, large pool and spa
- Well appointed luxury villas
- Superb views of Sigiriya
- Gym, pool and spa
- Helicopter rides, archery, billiards, cycling
- Phenomenal Sirigiya views
- 96 rooms and 18 luxury tents
- Superb facilities
- Large, but good value
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
Driver-guide: Very punctual, except for pick up for airport when he was delayed by >30 mins due to road closures. Vehicle very clean and well maintained- plenty of water and supplies of clothing for religious sites, tissues, postcards etc. Very good at understanding what level of conversation we wanted. Happy to stop for paracetamol, supermarket etc. Took us to signal box at railway since we were early (which was very interesting)
The Walawwa: Lovely place to arrive at and get a bit of rest. Great pool, lovely rooms and food etc. Peaceful oasis so close to town.
Wilpattu Camp: Wonderful food- really enjoyed trying lots of new things in excellent surroundings.Felt like the place had not been visited much recently (which I don’t think it had due to the terrorist attacks) so our safari guide had been brought up from another park and did not know the park too well- it worked out well though and we saw all the animals we hoped to see so no complaints on that front. We did feel that we should have been told about extra things we could have done- when we commented on the great food on final day we were told that they could have done a cookery demo for us, but it was too late at that point. It worked well for us but clients should probably know that they are likely to have multiple wildlife in their tents (eg frogs)- didn’t bother us at all, but others it might do. We were given a questionnaire to fill in at the end whilst all the staff were standing around, which wasn’t ideal as you felt a bit of pressure! Felt really well looked after here!
Water Gardens Sigiriya: Beautiful suites with plunge pools- quiet and peaceful with lovely big swimming pool. Food good
Jungle Beach: Beautiful location on beach. Rooms good. Food a bit limited I would have liked a bit more variety ideally.
Camellia House: Lovely location- beautiful views. Food OK but service below average- our food orders were wrong a couple of times and even pre-ordered food was delayed. Tea factory tour was only an hour and that was the main reason to be here. It was interesting but quite brief seeing it was the main attraction according to our itinerary. Also, we were taken there in a minibus which didn’t have seatbelts on all seats and was quite smelly- not up to the standard of the usual transportation. Rooms were described as having panoramic views- one did have amazing views but the other one definitely didn’t.
Galle Face: Lovely old hotel- but it did have some problems (leaking ceiling and ‘smuts’ coming out of air conditioning.) Weather very bad (spectacular storms). It was a shame the street food tour couldn’t take place but totally understandable given the weather, however we enjoyed our dinner here and free drinks/canopes!). Good choice at breakfast.
Pippa R reviewing Sri Lanka Highlights - Classic on 30 September 2019
Once again you organised a really good holiday for us.
If there was one criticism it was that there were too many flights. I don’t know whether you could do Bangkok first, Chiang Mai, then fly down South?
Your drivers and Guides - all really good. The variety of transport on the tours in Bangkok and Chiang Mai; we all loved.
Tamarind Village - Our room was a bit of a squeeze, with the 3 of us and 3 big suitcases.
Lisu Lodge- I enjoyed our time here. Going forward I would suggest only 1 night or they need to have some more activities. I liked how we ate on the floor, the food was really good. Staff very friendly. We liked the cycling, tea plantation, trekking and white water rafting.
Riva Surya- good location.
Elephant Hills- we loved looking after the elephants, the lake was also a really good experience. The guides were informative and looked after us well. The resort locations and tents were perfect.
Santiburi - amazing; we upgraded to a beach bungalow which was fantastic. The hotel is in a stunning location, the facilities and the service was impeccable. Sam has some private Thai boxing lessons, which he loved. We had cookery lessons and used the paddle boards. A perfect end to quite a busy holiday.
Natasha L reviewing Thailand Family Adventure on 24 September 2019