Villa, Southern Coast, USD 75 to 200, Eco

Location:  Aranya is an adventurous choice for Yala, a simple eco lodge that lies just outside the park's boundaries. Yala, in Sri Lanka's south-east corner, claims to have the best leopard sanctuary in Asia. Two bird sanctuaries, Bundala and the Kelametiya wetlands, are also within easy reach. Aranya is situated in the rural village of Kotchchipathana, about 5km from the holy town of Kataragama. A seven hour drive from Colombo is best done with a few leisurely stops en route. 

Description: Aranya is a small eco-lodge offering guests an opportunity to soak up the serene atmosphere of Sri Lanka's wilds. The three-acre property - which can only sleep people in a chalet, tree-hut and watch-hut -- is simple but thoughtfully designed. The Sri Lankan architect has paid special attention to space, light and colour to create a property that is both relaxing and revitalizing. Aranya, developed by former Sri Lanka cricket star Hashan Tillakaratne, aims to be a true eco-lodge and the staff are all recruited from local villages. Meals are prepared with fresh local ingredients. The property does not have national grid electricity but solar power provides lighting in the evening.


Accommodation: Aranya can comfortably accommodate eight persons in a chalet (four people - one double bed inside and one outside), a tree-hut (three people) and a small watch-hut (one person). All rooms have mosquito nets. No fans are necessary due to the open and airy design. The chalets have out door open air showers and the Tree Hut has a separate washing area a few yards away. 

Facilities: Sri Lankan rice and curries are served at the Makaranda restaurant. BBQs are organized near the Kochchipathana Lake. Meals are prepared with fresh vegetables and meats purchased at the local market. The dining area also has a TV, stereo and gas operated fridge. 

Excursions: The wildlife is the main attraction and sometimes you won't even need to leave the chalet to see a wandering elephant. Wildlife trips into the Yala National Park can be arranged in 4WD vehicles. Mountain bikes can be hired and Aranya also has two resident ponies.


 

Hill Country, USD 75 to 200, Adventure, Eco

Ella Adventure Park Surrounded by pristine jungles, mountains with bubbling springs, gushing streams, abundant with a variety of flora and fauna.
 
Ella Adventure nestles on the banks of Kirindi Oya, a river meandering through the Uva Province of Sri Lanka.  

Situated 240 km from Colombo at the edge of the dry zone, it is a mere 30 minutes drive from the salubrious mountain resort of Bandarawela.

Ella is is an ideal base to trek and explore the majestic mountains which reward you with fine panoramic views. The added advantage is to visit the dry zone jungles, which is home to many a bird and animal. The many adventure activities and treks that are available for the resort and their well trained and experienced staff will surely make your stay a memorable one.


The tree houses, eco lodges and jungle cabins are certainly out of the ordinary. Built with minimum impact on the environment, the accommodation blends perfectly with the environment. Most of the material used in the building is from the local area. In the accommodation resembles a traditional Sri Lankan village hut.  

Modern amenities are available with the restaurant serving some good food. The standard and deluxe rooms, together with the tree house is the main resort area. The Eco Lodges, Jungle cabins and camp site is at the valley below, which is a 20 minute trek through jungle.

A separate restaurant located by the river serves you some traditional Sri Lankan food.


 

Villa, Southern Coast, USD 75 to 200, Eco

Location: Near the pilgrimage site of Kataragama, close to Yala game park in Sri Lanka's south-east lies Galapita Eco Retreat, on the banks of the Gem River. What began as an idealistic rural retreat for friends and family is now the ultimate escapist retreat for a small selection of independent travellers. Life can hardly be more natural than this.

Description: Across Galapita bridge, your world may change. Your bedroom on stilts will be one of four huts perched on the rocks by the river. It will have a straw roof, bamboo walls, a futon bed, mosquito nets and a little driftwood furniture, nothing much else. It might be the Tree House that peers over paddy fields. Galapita is one of the island's best hideaways, a property blessed with a stunningly beautiful location and a relaxed atmosphere. If you need to unwind and recharge away from the stresses of modern world then this is the place for you. Families, too, will love Galapita because the surrounding countryside will keep children enthralled for hours. However, children aged under eight should be watched carefullt because of the river. Galapita only offers vegetarian food but the rice and curries are mouthwateringly good.


Facilities: A washing area for each hut possesses flushing toilets and showers. Solar power. The bedrooms are open and natural, furnished with comfy mattresses and bed linen and cooled by the night breeze. The sights and sounds of natural life. Food is predominantly Sri Lankan made with the freshest ingredients, perhaps picked from the garden or fished in the river. Activities: Jungle treks, birdwatching, elephant watching, cycling, river bathing, tyre-tubing (sailing downstream wedged in a tyre!... get the jeep back), plus a host of nearby cultural sites, including Kataragama, one of the holiest towns in the island. The Kirinda gate for Yala Park is about 1.5 hours drive away but a new gate closer to Galapita is being opened and this will make the property well-positioned to cater to those wanting to visit Yala.


 

Villa, Southern Coast, USD 75 to 200, Eco

Kumbuk River is one of Sri Lanka’s best-kept secrets, tucked away in a warm and green corner of the paradise. Warm up your senses for a discovery that will surely make you head to Kumbuk River - the eco extraordinaire. If you thought you have seen big elephants, wait till you see this behemoth. Welcome to the world’s biggest elephant, the eco-lodge extraordinaire in the shape of a giant elephant. Time stands still in this exclusive eco enclave bordering the Kumbukkan Oya, a river that never runs dry. Situated 250 km from Colombo, about 60 km inland from the Southern Coast, in the gem-rich Okkampitiya, Kumbuk River is Sri Lanka’s piece de’ resistance among eco lodges. Nestled on 14 acres of natural bliss on the edge of a sleepy farming village, Kumbuk River isn’t just another eco-lodge. Imagine, sleeping in the belly of the giant elephant. Feel the movement of the gentle giant when it sways gently on a windy day. Well, we think we shouldn’t say too much, after all, it must be left to be discovered.


Just eat, sleep and relax in a haven of your own. Explore the fascinating riverfront and miniature island. Go trekking on the other side of the property which is Yala, Sri Lanka’s most famous wildlife sanctuary. Spot an elephant in the moonlight; on the resort itself if you’re lucky, or catch a glimpse of peacocks roaming at sunrise. You may take a guided tour to the wildlife parks and historical sights or take a drive at night to spot a few animals. Relax at the herbal plunge pool. Tours to beach resorts, famous ancient cities, the world’s eighth wonder and other places of interest, located elsewhere in the island could be arranged on.


What makes Kumbuk River unique is yes, its elephant shape, but, it isn’t the only thing. The entire facility can be reserved for just one touring party, from a single nature-loving person, to a small family or a bigger group of up to 10. There will not be any strangers. While you take refuge at this earthly, yet magical eco haven, it is yours, until you leave.

One of Sri Lanka’s foremost ecologists has put together a participatory plan that makes you an integral part of our eco plan.  You will learn about Sri Lanka’s incredible bio-diversity, you’ll learn things you never knew about wild animals and plants.  You will receive hot tips on surviving the dangers of city life; coming your way in the shape of food, for example.  You’ll go away fully convinced of your commitment to preserving our habitat.  But not before you have planted a tree or helped a rural economy reeling under the shackles of poverty, not before you have helped a poacher to remain in his new job of protecting the wildlife.

Not before you have lived the most poignant few days/weeks of your life!


 

Villa, Southern Coast, USD 200 to 500, Eco

A serene ten minute boat ride down the Kepu Ela in Mahamodera, Galle, a short waterway off the Gingganga, so near yet so far away from Jetwing Lighthouse is located the Jetwing Kurulubedda: two stilted dwellings on a quiet little village patch off the river. These two luxury dwellings built on stilts boast a bedroom suite, a large terrace with casual and relaxed seating and a spacious plunge pool below. A dining pavilion overlooking the paddy field and marshes, a lounge surrounded by nature with a ramp leading to the edge of the river and a sprawling lawn for relaxation and lazing are yours to experience.


A bath at the well where you can draw your own water in true village style, a drink of Kirala (Genus - Sonneratia Species - caseolaris) from the trees above, red rice from the paddy field around, vegetables and greens from the plots within, the smiling Sri Lankan butler to serve you, experience the luxury of being pampered in style. Anoma, the naturalist will introduce you to the area around; the birds, the plants, the vegetables and the paddy. A boat ride away is a spice garden, a temple and a village laundry – all yours to experience and live. Dream of a refreshing massage on the edge of the field followed by an evening cup of single estate hand rolled bio-tea with home styled patties and cutlets made in the kitchen and a dip in the pool only to be greeted after with a glass of wine from our cellar and then a dinner under the star studded night.


 

Villa, Hill Country, USD 75 to 200, Adventure, Eco

Location: Rainforest Edge offers rustic chic, high above the beautiful rolling hills of Waddagala and the Sinharaja forest reserve. The northern entrance to the Sinharaja rain forest is just 10 minutes drive away. Rainforest Edge is most conveniently approached from the hill country or Ratnapura, although the journey from the west coast at Bentota too, is a relatively easy two hours. The last few hundred metres are up a rutted track which may not be passable for a normal car in the wet season.

Description: Rainforest Edge is blessed by one of the most restful panoramas in Sri Lanka - and harmony with nature is the essence of its appeal. This is an isolated, pollution-free environment without discomforts. From this appealing property - a triumph of designer-rustic, you can gaze upon rolling tea plantations, studded with occasional tea bungalows and factories, some now disused, some still in operation. Here you have the chance to enjoy the hospitality of Sinharaja villagers in a beautiful natural setting. Rainforest Edge follows strict environmentally friendly policies of using organic methods of farming, recycling of water and waste materials, and the use of solar energy. A valiant effort is also made to enhance the benefits to the surrounding village community including employment of staff from the area and providing them with skills development opportunities.


Accommodation: Rainforest Edge has seven creatively designed rooms, including one family room. All are furnished with comfortable double beds, bolster pillows and mattress where you can take a book, gaze upon the tea slopes beyond and listen to the birdsong. Bedrooms are modestly sized, yet attractive and half-open bathrooms have modern facilities. Rooms and bathrooms have painted concrete floors. Rooms have tea/coffee making facilities.

Facilities: The centre piece of this small development is an attractive natural-water pool, surrounded by water lilies and Indonesian pots. A simple thatched restaurant constructed from local materials offer traditional Sri Lankan cuisine made with organically grown fruit and vegetables straight from their own gardens. Villagers are invited to conduct traditional Sri Lankan cookery lessons for guests. Energy is provided by a combination of mains for lighting, solar energy for hot water and kerosene lamps. Guests are given a choice of using the light of the electric bulb or a lantern. Deliberately, there are no televisions or telephones - and your mobile will not work here either - encouraging you to settle into a relaxing, caring environment. The Ayuvedic wellness centre, under the supervision of an Ayurvedic medical practitioner provides a range of curative and relaxing therapies using medicines and oils made from medicinal plants grown in their own gardens. Curative therapies require a minimum of 7 to 14 days stay.

Excursions: Rainforest Edge organizes kayaking, mountain biking (bikes available from the hotel free of charge), jungle trekking, bird watching with in-house naturalist, an overnight stay in a nearby tree house. Environmentalists and birders will also enjoy exploring Sri Lanka's most famous rainforest Sinharaja, a UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site and an international Biosphere Reserve located nearby.


 

3 Star, Western Coast, USD 75 to 200, Eco, Spa

Ranweli Holiday Village is an eco-friendly resort located on a 22-acre peninsula where mangrove forests and winding rivers converge to meet the sea. Located only 18 km from Colombo’s International Airport, Ranweli is the perfect base to explore the fascinating history, culture and nature of Sri Lanka.

 
Enjoy a relaxing holiday in the scenic and tranquil surroundings or engage in numerous eco-friendly activities and sports both land and water based. If you wish to explore the flora & fauna in our extensive garden and its environs, Ranweli has many options of guided tours offering valuable insights to the sights and sounds that surround you. Part of Sri Lanka’s bird friendly hotel network, Ranweli has a wealth of bird species for the novice to the keen birder. Also available are a number of cultural trips further afield in which you could also participate.


Ranweli’s architecture blends with the unique and rich natural environment. The serene and idyllic location has been fully utilized in the layout of the land, featuring indigenous flora and fauna, bordering the wide sandy beach on one side, the river on the other.

The land was originally a coconut plantation surrounded by wetlands, mainly mangroves. In conceptualizing Ranweli, the architects used the spacing of the rows of the coconut trees (called the coconut grid by agriculturists) as the discipline for the design. The bungalows, central areas and facilities were built with minimum removal of coconut trees. For each bungalow only one tree was removed and the tree trunks used as pillars in the construction. 


The connecting walkways open out into beautifully tended palm gardens leading to the heart of the resort. Architecturally and aesthetically the construction and furnishings of the village blend western standards of comfort and convenience with the traditions of indigenous Sri Lankan culture.
 
Ranweli offers bungalow-type accommodation constructed with local building materials, in a unique ethnic style resembling a typical Sri Lankan village.

 The 72 individual bungalows (sea view) and 12 river view rooms nestle within a forested environment and provide comfortable accommodation. The bungalows offer privacy and an excellent view of the sea and/or river – an exotic tropical setting for a peaceful holiday.

 All rooms are air conditioned, with private bathrooms that are sunlit from an open court and with solar powered hot showers to provide ventilation and natural lighting, substantially conserving energy. Rooms are also equipped with a sitting area, ceiling fans and telephone. 

The interior décor includes terracotta pots, brass lamps, artefacts produced by local craftsmen, and hand-made local fabric.


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    Hotel Guide

    Our guide features a good cross-section of accomodations available in Wonderful Sri Lanka. 
      

    Please book hotel through your travel agent, any Sri Lanka-based Travel Agency or through any reputed on-line booking agency. See Travel and Itinerary Planning. If you need our help, please Contact Us.
      
    For your convenience we have categorized accomodations by Star Class, Price Range in USD (Standard Room, Double Basis) and Location. You could also sort our guide by Spa, Adventure, Boutique Hotel, Villa and Eco. 
      

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