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“Peace of Heaven on Earth”
Review of Uga Ulagalla

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Uga Ulagalla
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Thirappane
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 28, 2011

Simply put, the perfect place for any occasion. The only one place so far I would go to over and over, other than Disney. Secluded, quite, calm, preserved, majestic and responsible. Very romantic with the rooms overlooking private swimming pools, and family oriented with great activities around. A place of no less than 3 nights to be allocated to this Eden. Food is also tasteful, and the staff cannot put more effort to make you feel at home.

  • Stayed: November 2010
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1  Thank FahadDM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 25, 2011

Spent 2 nights at this resort. Definitely not long enough to fully enjoy all it has to offer.
Opened only 1 year ago, there are 21 beautiful Chalets ready to occupy, and more to be built in the future on this large property which includes rice fields, horse stables and well maintained gardens. They even provide transport (buggies) for you from your Chalet to the restaurant and also to tour the whole property or you can take a quiet walk around it. You can even go horse-riding. Very spacious, clean and well appointed, the Chalets have a large bedroom, great bathroom and a very spacious living room complete with T.V etc. Tea and coffee making facilities are provided in the room so you don't have to call for room service whenever you need a cuppa. You also have your own private decking area with chairs and table and best of all your own private Jacuzzi just outside your bedroom and plenty of monkeys on the surrounding trees watching you, but they leave you alone.

The Restaurant is very clean and the food is of a very high standard. The Management and Staff are very helpful, courteous and knowledgeable and will be happy to let you know where the local attractions are, as there are plenty of things to do and see in the area.

This place is completely different from any other place you will stay in Sri Lanka.

Room Tip: They are all good rooms.
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  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank Bertie027
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2011

After 5h driving from Colombo, exhausted, we arrived in Ulagalla Resort!! All the staff was there to welcome us, with so nice smile, delicious drinks and cold serviets !! then as the tradition asked we put light on candle one by one... we are already in another world!!!! The four children are HAPPY! (21-18-17-5 years) We went to the villa and there we were so surprise to see how beautiful it is , so clean, so modern, but always respecting the "Sri-Lanka style"!
The swimming pool, incredible!!!!!
The food so delicious, and the children( not always easy !!!) loved it!!!
It's a very quite place, nature is beautiful and ECOLOGY means something important in Ulagalla!You have also a lot of activity to do with the family( billiard, horse riding, fitness, archery, swimming , bicycle.....and of course visit the cultural triangle!!!
We stay there 2 nights and everything was PERFECT!!
I was so happy that I would like to encourage everybody to discover this PARADISE!!!!!
Its Wonderfullllllllll!
Thanks again to all the staff from Ulagalla Resort, you made our trip unforgettable!!!!!!
Solange , Thomas, Maxime, Celine, Alissia and Anais

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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Thank soleanvers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2011

We are on a mission to explore the many boutique hotels that Sri Lanka has to offer. Ulagalla is one of the newer ones, having opened just 9 months ago, and I went with somewhat low expectations in terms of service quality (on the basis that the staff may not yet be experienced enough). I have to say, though, that my expectations were well and truly exceeded and we had a wonderful stay at Ulagalla.

The resort is built on an old family estate. The property runs to several acres and includes the beautifully-renovated original family mansion ("walauwwa" in Sinhalese) that houses the dining room, bar, welcome area and offices. A truly eye-catching Olympic-sized swimming pool has been built next to the Walauwwa, which also features an attractive forecourt. The grounds of the resort is a pleasure to explore, dotted everywhere with (very cleverly) purpose-built lily ponds, magnificent trees, lovely flowers blooming wherever you look, paddy-fields (in which a helipad has also been constructed), organic vegetable garden, stables, archery range and lush greenery all around. The grounds are large and the hotel runs a very efficient shuttle service using buggies to transport people and provisions between the chalets and the Walauwwa. The grounds also proved to be very pleasant to walk around in the evenings or after a heavy breakfast, with plenty of bird-life to see as well.

The absolute highlight of the stay was the level of service we experienced - easily amongst the best I have come across, and I have travelled extensively in Asia as well as in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East. No request was too much for the friendly, attentive, hospitable and very willing staff - from the Manager down to the chap who cleaned the plunge-pool. The staff have a fantastic "can-do" attitude and bend over backwards to please - always with a smile on their faces.

The chalets were very nice - large and spacious, with a lovely four-poster bed, plenty of luggage space, a large airy bathroom and a very generous living / dining room complete with sofa and day-bed. Both the interior and exterior were decorated tastefully in wood and the chalet featured a state-of-the-art touch-screen control system to manage lighting and air-conditioning. The exterior comprised a verandah-like deck, a lovely plunge-pool fitted with a jacuzzi function, a pool-side terrace with deckchairs and a sunshade, as well as an outdoor dining space. The views on all sides were of lush greenery and our chalet (no. 8) proved to be perfect for bird-watching (being a keen photographer, I had made a specific request in this regard and the resort obliged by providing a chalet that they - accurately - promised had become one that birds tended to spend a lot of time around).

Meals were something of a mixed bag. We chose the bed & breakfast option so as to have more flexibility in what we ate at other mealtimes, and we typically only had dinner during our stay, skipping lunch after what turned out to be a large breakfast each day. The resort has a refreshing "eat whenever / wherever you feel like" policy and the staff were very obliging in serving us breakfast at our pool-deck each day. There was a wide variety of breakfast foods on offer, catering to Eastern palates as well as Western. The quality of the Sri Lankan food we were served was excellent: the string hoppers (hard to describe what these are - you need to come to Sri Lanka and see for yourself!), kiribath (rice cooked in coconut milk), kade-paan (crusty village bread), pol sambol (a spicy coconut and chilli relish), seeni sambol (fried onions with spices), luunu miris (a relish of chopped onions and chillies), beef curry and chicken curry we sampled at various breakfast times were authentic and tasty; the devilled chicken we had as a mid-afternoon snack was amongst the best I have ever eaten. The western cooking - especially at dinner - was not quite at a level that can be described as "fine dining", although the portions were generous and the ingredients fresh - I had a very generous rack of lamb on the first evening, which was good but not outstanding; my companion had tiger prawns, which were fresh but the sauce not fantastic. On our second evening I changed tack and tried the Thai Green Curry, which was not bad but again, not fantastic. My companion had the roast chicken, which she said was also not bad, but not special either. I believe this is one area the hotel should strive to improve on.

The resort offers plenty of activities. We tried the Nature Walk on our second day. The walk starts at 6am and we were accompanied by two guides from the local area, both of whom were very pleasant and very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna. They were both expert bird-spotters as well. The walk was very pleasant, taking a route along the bund of the Wannamaduwa Lake ("Wewa") before cutting through a stretch of rain-forest-like woods. I would highly recommend this activity for nature enthusiasts and keen photographers: we saw plenty of birds, including a pair of Malabar Pied Hornbills that I have not seen before - sadly, we just missed seeing a pair of Fishing Owls.

We also tried a massage at the Coco Spa, run independently by a French national and operated by two Balinese therapists. I have to say that the spa was my one disappointment at the resort: although the setting was very artfully designed with flowing water and natural rock all around, the treatments were outrageously overpriced and the quality of the massage just average. The therapists were friendly and did their best, but you can get a much better massage in Sri Lanka at half the price with more experienced therapists from Thailand and Bali. The ambience of my treatment room was marred by the presence of a mini-bar and kitchenette at the back in plain view while my companion's room had an open toilet at the back. The spa is the reason I have not rated the resort five stars for value, as I did feel quite ripped off after my treatment...

All in all, though, Ulagalla Resort is a fantastic place to stay and an ideal base for exploring Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle. Kudos to the hotel management for the lengths they have gone to to ensure guests have a wonderful stay. The resort also gets Green-points for growing most of its own rice and veg, for its solar farm and bio-gas production that generates most of its own electricity and for the preservation of the trees and birdlife in the area.

Above all, though, the hotel deserves two thumbs up for the quality of its staff alone - they were simply wonderful.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank SWDevon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2011

that we booked the hotel for just 2 nights!!! As soon as we saw our chalet with the private pool we wanted to stay there and not move on to our next destination.
It is a true paradise. The chalet was wonderful, so was the food and the staff, very friendly, helpful and efficient.
We can highly recommend that heavenly place.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank HazelVienna_Austria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2011

We booked our stay having read about what a wonderful new venue it sounded, and IT IS !
However there are several points that were not the 5 star standard that it is listed as.
We arrived at the gates, and the gate man then phoned to the main house to alert them that we were arriving. We pulled up at the entrance courtyard, and there was not a soul insight. We walked into the house and looked around, even went and found the toilets, and still no one. This is not the way to be greeting guests at a 5 star resort. Eventually some staff appeared and the lighting the oil lamp ceremony took place, rushed, and it lost its true meaning.
We were driven to our villa by buggy, through the estate past padi fields, stables for the horses and the extensive grounds with viewing platforms onto the nearby reservoir as they are scattered around the large estate, and the villa was lovely. Raised up in the air on a platform, our villa even had a platform area in the large tree next to us where we could have had dinner served should we have wished it. Very beautifully furnished and with a very private plunge pool area with large double loungers, chairs, table, and umbrella.
Looking down into the area around the villa we watched peacocks strutting around, monkeys, mongooses, great squirrels and kingfishers, as well as numerous other birds in the trees. The bedroom area is large and with a four poster bed, and lounger chairs and a large trunk at the foot of the bed, the whole of the walls of the bedroom are windows with blinds,and to open them up in the morning and see the sun on the trees is quite a sight, The bathroom area is well equipped, with excellent shower and again a view onto the area below. The lounge area had a large flat screen TV and comfortable settees and lighting. The furnishings are first class and the selection of coffee and loose Sri Lankan teas most welcome.
There is a very large swimming pool and Spa near the main house
but with your own pool it seems a shame to leave it .
The meals are taken in the main house and you just ring for a buggy to collect you. Food is good but service could be better. These points were raised with the management while we were there, as it is a shame that some small issues are spoiling such a fantastic place, and we hope that should we return the small issues will have been resolved.
It is a place convenient to stay for visiting the historical and cultural sites of Anuradhapura and for relaxing in a wonderful setting away from the stress of everyday life. We wish success to this new venture, and thanks to the young guest relations lady, who was very helpful at sorting out the problems.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank mrfc169
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2011

We stayed here for three nights from 11th -13th February. Right from the start we realised this was somewhere special when we were welcomed by Lalin, the manager, with a small Buddhist ceremony. The resort is set in around 80 acres, but only has 21 chalets in the grounds. Ours was set on a small hillock, with a separate bedroom and lounge, all beautifully appointed. Outside was a small private plunge pool, sun bed and seats to enjoy looking out at the monkeys, peacocks and other birds in the trees. There was plenty to do in the resort, including swimming, cycling, horse riding, kayaking etc. Unlike a previous reviewer we found the service excellent. When an aircon unit broke down, they were round to fix it within 2 minutes, even though it was late evening and the repair took over an hour as a new circuit board was required.

The main criticism of the resort was the food. There was too much western food and insufficient Sri Lankan choice. Whilst the food was nicely prepared, it tended to arrive lukewarm rather than hot. However the views from the dining area were beautiful.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Eurogolferoxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Uga Ulagalla

Address: | Anuradhapura, Thirappane 50072, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > North Central Province > Thirappane
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Thirappane
Price Range: $214 - $817 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Uga Ulagalla 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury boutique hotel and spa located in Anuradhapura, North Central of Sri Lanka. Built on 58 lush acres bordering two ancient reservoirs, surrounded by unspoilt nature and tucked away in complete privacy, the resort offers 20 spacious and luxurious chalets, 19 stand alone chalets and one suite, each with its own private plunge pool with all modern amenities. Ulagalla Resort is the perfect base for travelers with a thirst for adventure and a passion for wildlife. But we understand that great adventures are also about elegant simplicity – to return to a cool dip in the pool, rejuvenate in the spa or sip a sundowner on a private deck.Located at the center of the Cultural Triangle and close to national parks, Ulagalla is the perfect base for travelers with a thirst for adventure and passion for wildlife. The resort offers many excursions and guided tours: A cycling tour can be taken to explore the ancient capital of Anuradhapura in a novel way. Exciting wildlife safaris to the plains of Minneriya National Park to watch the elephants or further West to Wilpattu National Park – the realm of leopards - are organized with all the necessary permits.Witness the wonder of Kalawewa – a giant reservoir and a proud feat of engineering of an ancient kingdom, or visit the ancient ruins of Ritigala. Explore the marvels of Sigiriya, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa and other sites of archaeological and historical significance on a day trip. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ulagalla Hotel Thirappane
Uga Ulagalla Sri Lanka/Thirappane

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