Elephant Safari Hotel is the perfect getaway for the wildlife adventurer. Located near the Udawalawe National Park, this unique property reflects the concept of living amongst the wild.
Words Tishani Sripathi
Photographs Vishwathan Tharmakulasingham
Engulfed within the charming wilderness, this eight-and-a-half-acre property within the dry zone of Udawalawe speak to the hearts of any nature lover. Entering the hotel, one is met with a vast area well tended yet left to the open wild giving the impression of entering a jungle enclosure. Steeped in the serenity of nature, the quacking of an assortment of ducks and steady clucking of the freely roaming exotic Bantam chicken is the sound, which welcomes you to the Elephant Safari Hotel.
“It was started as a place for me to stay on my frequent visits to the Udawalawe National Park, since its inception”, says Ranjan Suwandarathne, the Proprietor Elephant Safari Hotel. Being an avid wildlife enthusiast himself, Suwandarathne recognised a need to provide good quality to similar enthusiasts or any holiday maker so that their visit is much more pleasurable. Providing for modern necessities while preserving the serenity of nature within Elephant Safari Hotel, it has grown over the years to cater to these needs.
The architectural design of the chalets was inspired by African mud huts, a creative idea that inspired Suwandarathne on his many travels abroad. Consisting of seven chalets each named after a species of birds such as Parrot, Peacock, Swan and Kingfisher, the rooms are categorised into Standard, Imperial and Family chalets. Depending on the type of chalet, double, twin or triple rooms are available, all have a modern and elegant bathroom equipped with an open air shower to enjoy nature in your privacy. Modern amenities such as air conditioning, a mini bar and television with the DVD player (upon request) are also included to provide a delicate balance between nature and luxury comforts more suitable to the environment.
The two Imperial Chalets are reached by crossing a bridge over a pond. With a balcony and upstair deck of its own, each of the chalets provide the guests with the ability to relax and be one with nature and observe the beautiful migrant birds that visit the property.
The friendly and helpful staff will arrange for a barbeque in the garden of the chalet upon the guest’s request. Having the full capacity to accommodate approximately 30 pax, the hotel provides for corporate outings as well.
While enjoying a relaxed swim in the pool one can also indulge in the Dolphin bar, the pool side bar or rent a bicycle from the reception and take it for a spin around the surrounding village area.
The experienced chef satisfies all your culinary requirement, whether it is Sri Lankan, Western, Chinese, or Thai cuisine. Each meal could be enjoyed in the open air restaurant amidst the well cared for flora and fauna lining the pathways that lead to the chalets.
A stay at Elephant Safari Hotel will definitely provide you with peaceful relaxation. The pleasure of the innocence of nature can be felt while watching the paddling ducks in the ponds or the vivacity of the wilderness which one can be experienced when you visit the nearby Udawalawe National Park.
Situated at a convenient location Elephant Safari Hotel provides for an exceptional experience in all its natural glory!
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