A few kilometers from Colombo, in Dambulla, the Jetwing Vil Uyana is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the generous nature of Sri Lanka. This superb eco-friendly hotel in Sri Lanka seduces with its bungalows built on stilts in the middle of rice fields and its breathtaking view of Lion Rock. Immersion.
The Jetwing Vil Uyana is one of those accommodations that respect the environment without putting comfort aside. Nearly four hours by road from Colombo, in the town of Dambulla, this eco-friendly hotel in Sri Lanka is nestled in the heart of a nature reserve which is home to a few hundred birds, mammals, butterflies and amphibians. The 5-star hotel is located in a wetland area, within a landscape surrounded by rice fields, ponds, bamboo forests and reedbeds, all perfectly maintained and teeming with wildlife. Sigiriya, a major archaeological site and former royal capital of Sri Lanka, is just a 10-minute drive away. The ancient cities of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura can also be visited as part of a day trip from the hotel.
This eco-friendly hotel in Sri Lanka takes up residence in an old plot of disused rice field which has been transformed into a 12-hectare private nature reserve. Teeming with birds, the Jetwing Vil Uyana is also home to a host of wildlife, including monkeys, a few crocodiles and even gray lorises (a rare nocturnal primate mainly from India and Sri Lanka).
An eco-friendly hotel in Sri Lanka in the heart of nature
Designed by Sunela Jayawardena, a renowned environmental architect from Sri Lanka, the Jetwing Vil Uyana consists of a series of thatched-roof pavilions, bordered by lakes and rice paddies. In all, 36 independent dwellings divided into five categories: Marsh, Paddy, Water, Forest and Garden. Most of the villas are of similar designs: On stilts, entirely in wood and clad in recycled and woven reeds. The rooms are spacious and luxuriously furnished, dressed in a rustic decor and furniture from the recovery.
The bathrooms, on the other hand, are open to nature, with a rain shower and a sunken bath so that you don’t miss a thing of the spectacle of nature. Here, the water is recycled and comes from the lake that surrounds the Jetwing Vil Uyana. All the villas have private balconies and terraces and some (notably the Paddy) have outdoor swimming pools. Floor-to-ceiling glass walls provide continuous viewing of Dambulla’s flora and fauna. As you will have understood, in this eco-friendly hotel in Sri Lanka, the link with nature is omnipresent. Only downside, the Jetwing Vil Uyana is not suitable for people with reduced mobility (PRM), in particular because of the villas perched on stilts and only accessible by stairs.
Eco-friendly hotel in Sri Lanka and luxury services
Apsara, the hotel restaurant is located above the swimming pool and offers a panoramic view of the majestic Sigiriya Rock Fortress. At breakfast, you are offered a real feast: waffles, cereals, poached eggs and even Sri Lankan curries! For lunch and dinner, choose between a seven-course discovery menu or refined à la carte dishes. At nightfall, take a seat at the counter of the Graffiti Bar, and order one of the many signature cocktails on the menu, to be savored near a pond filled with blue lotus flowers. Magical.
At Jetwing Vil Uyana, the service is professional, courteous and friendly. This eco-friendly hotel in Sri Lanka offers excursions early in the morning to meet the birds of the region, in the company of a resident naturalist. The Jetwing Vil Uyana also organizes walks in the dry forests in the evening, and rice harvesting lessons in the fields. The ideal way to immerse yourself in Sri Lankan culture and make the most of your trip to Sri Lanka.
Getaway to Sri Lanka: what to see, what to do?
Finally, the Jetwing Vil Uyana opens the doors to its magnificent “Island” spa which will transport you to an oasis of tranquility thanks to Ayurvedic massages, body scrubs or even targeted facial treatments. Nothing around exists except nature. The Jetwing Vil Uyana will give you, during your stay, the impression of being away from the rest of the world. A unique haven of peace, in perfect harmony with its environment, which offers its guests a peaceful retreat.
Typical Sri Lankan dishes: what to eat
First of all, it is necessary to explain that Sri Lanka is a country of customs and every moment of the day has its own dish . This means that there are certain dishes that you will only find at lunch and others that are only cooked for breakfast or dinner.
I would also like to highlight the predominantly vegetarian nature of Sri Lankan food, something I personally appreciate if you are traveling to a country where meat or fish (inland) are not your forte. Any vegetarian would love this place.
Rice & Curries
It is the national dish , available in every restaurant, in every house and in every hotel . There are meat or vegetables , although the latter usually predominates.
But make no mistake, it is not a single dish of curry sauce with rice, but a composition of several small dishes whose content is combined to taste with the rice.
In a typical Rice & Curry dish, vegetarian or not, there will be no shortage of rice (there are hundreds of varieties and colors, my favorite was yellow rice), Dahl (a kind of lentil stew with a somewhat spicy yellow curry), and some crusts that are served as an accompaniment. It is also common to include a dish with fresh vegetables (also spicy, do not trust).
If the curry is vegetable, the rest of the dishes will be vegetable stews. The most frequent ingredients are eggplant, onion, potato, mushroom and some fruit such as pineapple. If, on the other hand, it is meat, it will include a piece of very spicy stewed chicken.
Rice & Curry is commonly found in restaurants at lunchtime and in hostels and guest houses, which offer it for dinner cooked by themselves.
One of my favorite dishes. It is a mixture of vegetables and chicken (depending on whether you ask for it vegetarian or not) with a variety of roti (a type of Sri Lankan bread) all chopped into a thousand pieces and seasoned with spices. You can direct the person to add more or less spiciness or include or remove ingredients, although it is not easy for them to understand you🙂
It is a more focused dish for dinner , but in specific places and in busier locations with travelers, it can also be found at lunchtime.
Sri Lankan bread very common in Sri Lankan cuisine as it is used both as an accompaniment to other dishes and to cook the popular Kottu . They prepare it in the morning to serve it at lunch and dinner.
It is a typical dish for breakfast or dinner . It consists of a kind of very thin crêpe made mainly from eggs and coconut milk and is usually served with a “fried” egg inside .
The preparation is very curious, especially if you see it live in a local “beach bar”. The Hoppers cook has his own section full of special mini pans for this dish and he cooks about 6 at a time!
It is a simple dish that is worth trying. In more prepared places they also serve it with other ingredients, such as cheese or chicken.
A type of Sri Lankan bread made with coconut milk and served in the style of an Indian bread, but smaller in size and thicker. It is typical at dinner time and is eaten accompanied by pol sambol, a mixture of various vegetables (onion, chili, garlic and tomato), coconut milk and spices (chili and pepper).
Other dishes that you will find in somewhat more formal restaurants are wok noodles and rice.
In coastal areas it is also common to eat fresh grilled fish . Stewed or grilled squid dishes are also frequent .