Vil Uyana is small but sought after. One of Sri Lanka’s finest boutique hotels, it consists of just 25 luxurious dwellings. These are dotted between lake shore, marsh land and tropical forest. Some have plunge pools, all have gorgeous views and lashings of local art to add to the experience. This is decidedly rural, with villagers harvesting the nearby rice fields and bird and wildlife spotting, not least the crocodile that pops in most days in the hope of breakfast. Loris monkeys are just a stroll’s view away, as are a host of colourful birds, from fish eagles to lily trotters and kingfishers. Little wonder then that there is a resident naturalist on hand, who delights in informing guests about the local wildlife, not least the elephants a short safari away.
The surroundings make a stay here a special one, but the hotel itself is high on the best in Sri Lanka list, with its lakeside pool and stellar service. Located just five kilometres from the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, it sits pretty in the cultural heartland of the island, and makes a perfect base for explorations into historical and natural wonders. Over twenty acres of vibrant wilderness rich in birds and butterflies, surrounds the rooms. The spacious and airy dwellings are all about creature comforts and all mod-cons, with terraces or balconies to make the most of the surrounding landscape.