The Cinnamon Wild Yala experience starts on the journey from nearby Tissa - located on the outskirts of Yala National Park, arrive in early morning or dusk and there's a decent chance of stumbling across and elephant, which is exactly what we did. A little bit terrifying, but we were soon to get used to it...
Arriving is like stumbling across a little bit of paradise. Waterholes, jungle and savanna-esque plains surround Cinnamon, but if it feels a bit out of the way on the approach, it certainly isn't when you're there. A superb design centres around a modest, super-clean pool - there's two bars (one of which is atop the roof and looks out across Yala to the sea), a restaurant and a collection of charming log cabins, one of which you'll be staying in.
Cinnamon blends seamlessly with its surroundings - guests aren't fenced in, which means the animals aren't fenced out. Monkeys will come and go as they please, occasionally taking a sip from the pool (a little odd considering there's a freshwater waterhole right outside), and families of friendly wild boar will roam around after dark, quietly confident that someone will have dropped a bit of their (delicious dinner). If you walk back to your room after dark, expected to be escorted by a be-torched member of staff, otherwise you may be eaten by a leopard.
Rooms consist of log cabins on stilts - and they're absolutely excellent. Large, clean and all the facilities you'd expect from a luxury hotel, when you're essentially staying in a little wooden lodge in the middle of the jungle.
We stayed 2 nights here, but wished we had stayed for a week. Absolutely fantastic and we can't wait to return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cinnamon Wild after undergoing a brand enhancement is more than a resort; it is an extension of the Yala National park and is intended to be part of the National park. It is designed to represent rustic luxury, resembling a game lodge. Cinnamon Wild Yala exceeds guest expectations with interiors that give the camp look and feel, embedded with large trunk boxes, old vintage furniture, director's chairs and indigenous artwork. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Chaaya Wild Yala Hotel Kirinda
- Yala Village Kirinda
- Yala Village Hotel Kirinda
- Cinnamon Wild Yala Sri Lanka/Kirinda