- 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.
We had a great time - even with the flight between Governors and the coast being two flights and a car! We also experienced a power cut At Nairobi airport on the way home so 2+ hours late taking off. Governors. Wonderful people and dealt with the flight delay very well - taking us back and letting us know that we could stay there if the flight was delayed overnight. The game drives were excellent and our guide (Erick) obviously very experienced and managed to find all the key animals - no rhino in that part of the Masai Mara but everything else in abundance - never seen so many herbivores (many many elephants as well as all the others) as well as two prides of lions. Could not have asked for more. The ‘tent’ was excellent and comfortable and well serviced. The only ‘complaint’ would be that the food - especially dinner - could be improved (I think we got a bit bored of soup as a starter for every meal bar one) and the main courses were not at the same level as Kinondo Kwetu and while all were explained there was no choice offered. The breakfasts were just what was needed after an early game drive. Kinondo Kwetu. What a great location and the welcome when we arrived at just gone 11.00pm was better than you could have ever thought possible - they we’re disappointed that we did not at that time want the full dinner experience! The rooms we’re comfortable. The food was excellent but again no choice was offered - other than for allergy reasons (which we do not have). May be some choice would be nice. Having said that the food we did have was excellent as were the wines (albeit a short list!) and other drinks. There were (as you know) lots of facilities/sports options - but we spent our time relaxing which was exactly what we needed and there were lots of places to do that. Overall. We would go back to both places - perhaps a few more nights at Kinondo Kwetu next time but 3 nights at Governors was perfect for us. Thank you for organising and recommending both places. That you and your colleague for trying to find out about the plane (flat tyre) but communication by the flight company left a lot to be desired (Governors were furious that they were not told and had taken us to the airstrip). Phil
Philip R reviewing Masai Mara Safari & Kenya Beach on 01 September 2023
It was certainly a holiday of a lifetime for us and we loved every minute!! The standard and location of each accommodation was excellent, as was the variety of each different accommodation type. Our schedule was perfect and we managed to achieve everything on our to-do task list. Your documents were also really helpful, as were the driving directions. We all thank you for making this such a wonderful holiday. Happy to leave a review publicly if you point me the right way. Best Steve
Stephen H reviewing Classic Garden Route & Eastern Cape Safari on 01 September 2023
Hi Lisa, Holiday has been a huge success and we have thoroughly enjoyed it all, such a wonderful experience. Many thanks for all your help. Best wishes, Leona
Leona L reviewing Family Holiday: Inca Trail and Amazon on 18 August 2023