The genesis of Ulagalla is a 150-year-old walawwa or village chieftains house. The main Walawwa building has been carefully converted into the heart and soul of the resort, with a bar and main restaurant overlooking the main pool and surrounding rice paddy. Radiating out from this central hub are 25 villas spread across 58 acres of forest and lush farm and, each with plunge pool and completely private (as in you cannot see any other villa from your villa). For us the beauty of Ulagalla is in its highlighting of the rural landscape: the paddy, which is spread throughout the property, is cultivated year-round. At times it is lush green, other times dry and scruffy. This reflects the agricultural rhythm of the area, which has had paddy under cultivation for millennia. While many people love an ocean location and view, Ulagalla offers a deeper native beauty which makes an ideal place for a longer stay, especially if it’s wet season on the coast (Ulagalla is in the heart of the ‘northern dry zone’, an area which sees relatively little rain on an otherwise tropical island).
The villas are spacious and feature large beds, sitting areas, and spacious bathrooms. The windows of our bathroom looked out into the lush forest outside our window and we could watch the monkeys play in the trees in the morning sunshine and the abundant birdlife dart from branch to branch.
Some of the other key features of this resort we love is its proximity to the fascinating historical and religious sights of Anuradhapura and Ritigala. Sri Lanka’s bug drawcard – Sigiriya Rock Fortress - is also close by. (We include Ulagalla in your itinerary a way which will save you backtracking). We recently based ourselves at Ulagalla for 3 nights and made morning trips to the nearby attractions and spent the afternoon relaxing at the resort – swimming in its main pool, going to the gym and visiting the spa. There are also a range of other activities on offer for those that don’t like to sit still for too long such as archery, cycling, canoeing and horse riding. And because our stomachs always get a say in the hotel we love, Ulagalla serves hands down one of the best Sri Lankan breakfasts going around. Just be sure to allow plenty of time because they make it all fresh and you need time to loosen the belt and savour it!
if you'd like to experience Ulagalla first-hand, some of our suggested itineraries which can include a stay at Ulagalla include - Quintessential Sri Lanka as well as our 12-day private tour Sri Lanka In Style.