- Close to national park
- Wildlife and cultural excursions
- Good on-site facilities
The Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort is an environmentally friendly hotel located in southern Sri Lanka. It’s ideally located for exploring Udawalawe National Park which is a mere 10 minute drive away. The hotel grounds cover seven acres and feature tropical gardens with several bird species, and even a monkey or two. Contemporary and stylish throughout, this independent hotel blends in seamlessly with its surroundings thanks to the many towering trees that are scattered throughout the gardens, not to mention the natural waterway that flows through the grounds.
There are 79 air conditioned rooms, all of which are spacious, comfortable and well presented. Each room has either a private terrace or a balcony offering idyllic views of the natural surroundings and scenery.
The nearby Udawalawe National Park - Sri Lanka’s third most visited national park - is home to all sorts of animals, from sambar deer and leopards, to water buffalo and mongooses, and is perfect for going on safari. The most famous residents of the park are undoubtedly the Sri Lankan elephants, of which there are around 400. Guests visiting the park often see herds of them playing in the water or feeding together. Also nearby is the Ath Athuru Sevana, Asia’s first rehabilitation centre for elephants. Excursions are on offer to the Udawalawe National Park and the Ath Athuru Sevana, as well as the nearby village or Udawalawe and Maduwanwela Walawwa, the former stately home of a regional ruler.
The hotel’s restaurant serves a variety of Sri Lankan and western cuisine, with room service available round-the-clock. There’s an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre, as well as an indoor theatre and a small outdoor theatre, affectionately named ‘Wala’.
Children of all ages are very welcome to stay at the Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort and the hotel offers a babysitting service for an extra charge. Because the hotel is situated out in the open, it’s suggested that parents keep an eye on their children at all times, especially if they’re in a ground floor room with a terrace or exploring the hotel’s gardens.
It was FANTASTIC! Beautifully organised, everything worked like clockwork. We agreed that we had the best support team ever (and we have experience) - all delightful, very professional and nothing was too much bother.
It clearly couldn't have been a better route, such a wonderful mix of landscapes. And plenty of acclimatisation time. Nonetheless, I was glad of my summit oxygen.
Kit excellent. Double good mattresses made for most comfortable trek camping ever. Tents v good. Mess tent pretty windproof, which was vital for enjoyment. Best camp loo ever!
My favourite day was Shira Cathedral. Amazing.
William M reviewing Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route on 15 April 2020
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