- Close to Yala National Park
- Great wildlife, possible leopard sightings
- Quiet property with spacious guest cabins
- Lots of exciting day trips
Chena Huts is a luxury boutique resort located right in the very south of Sri Lanka. Not only is it a stone’s throw from the shores of the Indian Ocean, it’s also conveniently close to Yala National Park, the country’s second largest and most popular wildlife-viewing destination. Developed by Uga Escapes, a portfolio known for its luxurious and eco-friendly properties, Chena Huts resembles on first glance the rustic safari lodges commonly seen throughout Africa. However, it doesn’t take long to realise that the lodges are in fact upmarket in their design and offering. The property derives its understated name from the traditional farmers' practice of clearing small plots of land, or ‘chena’, and sleeping beside the growing crops in basic huts to prevent hungry elephants from eating them.
The 14 ‘huts’, or guest cabins, are spacious and complete with modern amenities. Spread out over seven acres, they’re designed to blend in with their natural surroundings. While the cabins are immediately emcompassed by an abundance of forest vegetation, the property as a whole is partly surrounded by a peaceful beach and a pristine lagoon. Each cabin has a living area, bedroom and en-suite bathroom with freestanding bathtub and twin vanity units, as well as a shaded outdoor deck with a private plunge pool. Tea and coffee making facilities are provided, as are a 42” LED TV and a minibar. Wooden decor and log furniture give the accommodation a natural feel.
Meals are served at the Basses Restaurant and Bar, or there are numerous options for private dining, such as eating out under the stars or beside the bonfire. The restaurant itself has a pleasant nautical theme and offers a range of delicious international dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Other on-site facilities include a spa offering a broad range of indulgent treatments and an outdoor pool with a pool bar concealed by a pretty waterfall.
Day trips to the Yala National Park, with its abundance of natural wildlife and many diverse landscapes, can be arranged. The park is known for having the highest leopard population density anywhere in the world and for being an important conservation hub. Other popular activities include whale-watching expeditions from the coastal town of Mirissa and visits to Kataragama, an ancient shrine of great local importance that attracts many Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims.
Chena Huts welcomes children, and while there may not be much in the way of child-oriented facilities or activities, the communal pool will certainly keep children happy and there’s plenty to see in the surrounding area. Parents should note that the pool is unfenced and children must remain under adult supervision at all times.
- Delightful jungle and beach chalets
- Adjacent to Yala National Park
- Great for animal lovers
- Tented multi-day safari adventure
- Game drives, abundant leopard population
- Sloth bears, elephant, water buffalo, jackals
- Nature walks, bird watching, cookery classes
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