Full disclosure: on this night of our 10-day trip through Sri Lanka we were originally booked to stay in The Jetwing Yala. Unfortunately Yala National Park was closed for all of September, so our tour operator re-routed us to Udawalale and a night here. The good news is that our travel dollars went a lot further; the bad news is that our stay wasn’t memorable in any discernible way.
In the mountain town of Ella there are apparently two hotels called The Mountain Heavens; we know this because our driver initially took us to the wrong one. You’ll know you’re in the right place if you have to drive up a narrow, unpaved path from the main road—a path that, coincidentally, takes you right past the tracks of the train that may have brought you to Ella in the first place.
You’ll also know you’re in the right place if you wake up to a jaw-dropping view of everything but the ocean facing southward.
Sunrise in Sri Lanka’s hill country… you could do worse. And for hotels you could definitely do worse than the OZO Kandy. My girlfriend and I had an overnight pit stop here before catching the train to Ella, and this modern but unassuming property fed us well and gave us a good night’s sleep before our onward journey.
If, for some reason, you could stay at only one hotel or resort in all of Sri Lanka, this would be the one. It’s smack dab in the middle of the Cultural Triangle, making it a perfect home base for exploring the island’s historical sites. Or, if you’d rather just relax and stare at beautiful scenery in all directions, well… it’s pretty great for that, too!
Apparently TripAdvisor doesn’t yet allow reviews of tour operators—which is a real shame, because if you were to book a holiday to somewhere like Sri Lanka you could really benefit from the expertise of someone who knows their way around. Hotels are pretty easy to find and book, of course, but while you could technically use any one stop to arrange for transport to the next, why not let someone else take care of that for you?
That’s exactly what we did for our inaugural visit to the island, with a company called Experientially. Full disclosure: we made our initial contact with the owner through a family connection, but as far as I know no special consideration was given to us.
Experientially laid a one-two punch on our 10-day stay in Sri Lanka that knocked us off our feet… in a good way!