Bordered by paddy fields, ancient reservoirs and teaming with wildlife, Ulagalla is a romantic hideaway within the Cultural Triangle. Serene stilted villas, many with private plunge pools, are scattered around nearly 60 acres of lush grounds. Inside, detailed wooden carvings and antiques are mixed with rattan and crisp linens. If this all sounds too good to leave, there is no reason to - private dining can be arranged on the expansive terraces, offering the chance to spot langur monkeys and some of the 90 bird species that frequent the estate.
The main mansion, built in the Dutch colonial style in 1916, houses a timber-raftered bar as well as Liya Wela, the fabulous open-sided restaurant with garden views that produces a delectable array of international and Sri Lankan classics. Ulagalla’s on-site spa makes for an ideal venue to unwind, providing signature treatments in a cooling sanctuary built to resemble an underground cavern.
Bicycles are provided for those wishing to explore further afield, ambling through the hammock-strewn gardens to the vast frangipani-fringed swimming pool, stables or the open-air spa hidden away in a secluded, wattle-walled grotto surrounded by swaying reeds. The estate's location makes it the perfect base to discover Sri Lanka’s heritage, with Anuradhapura - one of the highlights of the Cultural Triangle - just a short journey away. Visits enchanting sites of Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya can also easily be organised.
Couples and romantics
Culture and history enthusiasts
THINGS TO DO AT THE HOTEL:
Cool down in the tropical suroundings of the swimming pool - or in your own private plunge pool
Spot playful monkeys and colourful birds in the estate's gardens
Sample some of the signature spa treatments, such as a holistic massage or sandalwood body scrub
Enjoy cocktails in the grandiose mansion bar
Feast under the stars at a distinct private dining experience
THINGS TO DO NEARBY:
Discover the ancient and sacred city of Anuradhapura
Delve deeper into the cultural triangle with visits to Polonnaruwa and the Sigiriya rock fortress
Explore the serene local surroundings on a relaxing bicycle ride
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