Uniquely situated amongst the reed beds and paddy fields in the shadow of mighty Sigiriya, in Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, Vil Uyana was described by the discerning hedonists at Harper’s Baazar magazine as the best eco luxury hotel in Sri Lanka. It’s got some pretty stiff competition, but it’s not an accolade we can take issue with.
The remarkable thing about this hotel is how seamlessly the hotel blends with its surroundings. By employing timeless vernacular architecture, the creators have ensured nothing looks out of place. If you didn’t know it was a hotel, you’d take it for a traditional local village. Which makes it all the more impressive when you discover what lies behind the facade once your driver has delivered you to the door.
There are five room locations: water, marsh, garden, paddy and forest. And a number of the categories have their own private plunge pools. All are tastefully furnished using local materials, with a heavy accent on bamboo and teak wood. The roofs are thatched using a combination of reeds, palms and jute.
All this makes for slightly dark interiors but the spectacular contrast of the verdant green lowlands and Sigiriya rock beyond make picture windows that make more compulsive viewing than any telly blockbuster.
And while rustic in appearance, the rooms feature a plethora of modern amenities, including luxurious bathrooms and mini-bars.
One of the most wonderful things about staying at Vil Uyana is eating in the evening at the Apsara restaurant – the food is divine – while gazing out at the views of the lake and the looming, iconic Sigiriya rock.
The Vil Uyana spa has an excellent range of genuine high quality Ayurvedic treatments. It is worth trying ancient Ayurvedic healing at least once whilst in Sri Lanka.
On your doorstep
Go on the loris night trail. The Loris is a small nocturnal primate and Vil Uyana is famous for its conservation efforts, with the preservation of the loris central to its strategy.