Cinnamon Wild, Kirinda Sri Lanka, The Deep South
The 40 room, Chaaya Wild Hotel (formerly known as Yala Village) has a surprisingly intimate feel. Located in 10 acres of picturesque jungle with a wide beach and a lagoon, Chaaya Wild has a sound eco concept and is strongly committed to environmental principles.
The rooms, or chalets to be more accurate, are well appointed. Spacious and comfortable, the design celebrates the environment in which the hotel is located with animal imagery adorning the rooms furnishings. Several chalets look out to sea, while others are submerged in the dense forest surrounding the park.
The hotel has spacious communal areas, a large open-plan restaurant and an elevated observation deck with views of the beaches and jungle. The large swimming pool in the centre is a welcome addition - this area of the country can get very hot!
The nearby park is world famous for its wild inhabitants particularly the leopard (Yala has one of the highest leopard densities in the world). On a morning or afternoon safari you could potentially spot elephants, deer, wild boar, sloth bears and peacocks, amongst the many other wild inhabitants. You might not even have to leave the hotel to encounter them! Chaaya Wild is also a good base for visits to nearby Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary and Bundala National Park. The hotel can also arrange a number of interesting special excursions including night safaris and specialised, wildlife trips for the nature enthusiast.
Deluxe - This is our first really 'upmarket' category. It might be a beautiful tiny hotel with very limited facilities or a 5* resort hotel with all the trimmings; but any hotel in this category will be a well-run establishment with very comfortable rooms, a strong service ethos and excellent food.
- Beach Access
- Laundry Service
- Maid Service
- Outdoor Pool
Under NO circumstances book a beach front chalet. This is where the monkeys reside at night and starting fighting on our roof after dinner.
Yala Village was great - mostly because wild animals are roaming around all the time. It was a bigger place than the others so the personal attention we had been getting was not the same and it was much more touristy. Nevertheless we loved it too - food still authentic in a buffet style.
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We had a wonderful time exploring Sri Lanka, and felt truly blessed to see a side of the island that many people do not get the opportunity to see.