Uga Escapes – These are five distinctive Boutique Hotels on Sri Lanka: Ulagalla, Jungle Beach, Uga Bay, Residence and the latest member Chena Huts. From Safari trips to cultural treasuries. From past dynasties to skin-dive and wellness on tropical beaches all the way to luxury days at the residence in the heart of Colombo. Uga Escapes opens up a very special journey through Sri Lanka. Their wisely chosen locations of the hotels, working out as ideal spots to explore the variety of this country.
The lotus, chosen as emblem stands out for the philosophy of their individual hideaways: They want to permit an authentic travel-experience , but also protect the heritage of the island. Furthermore the Uga Escapes are on top of the luxury-tourism on Sri Lanka overall: They use biological building material, solar plants, wastewater treatment plants, loam and glass instead of plastic, but also biological market gardening. These are just a few standards of Uga Escapes.
Our job: Introduce the five houses to you.
Your job: Decide which hotel you want to join at your next trip to Sri Lanka.
If it is too difficult to decide which hotel you want, we recommend an all around trip with inclusive hotel-hopping. Following the slogan: Everyday a new bed, everyday a new adventure. The Uga Escapes are making this possible. So you have the possibility to travel across Sri Lanka and additionally see the best sights of the whole country.
This could be your personal journey: Your tour starts in the capital of Sri Lanka, which is Colombo. The Boutique-Hotel Residence is a victorian mansion and consists of only eleven suites. After spending the night here the tour continues for two following nights straight up the north, to the inner of the country. The hideaway Ulagalla is located in the so called „Cultural Triangel“ of Sri Lanka and is therefore the best spot for any kind of journey you want to do. On the fourth day you will visit the Jungle Beach beach resort on the east coast of Sri Lanka. On the sixth day we travel alongside the coast to Pasikudah. The Resort Uga Bay is located at probably the most beautiful beach of the country.
Last stop of your tour is an absolute jewel of the country, far in the south. The luxury Safarilodge Chena Huts is located between the tropical rain forest and the Indian Ocean and is the latest member of all five hotels.
Now we will introduce every single hotel to you so that you are completely prepared for your trip to the Uga Escapes. In this part we show you the Residence by Uga Escapes in Colombo on the west coast and the Ulagalla in the inner of the country. In the second part we take a look at the east coast from the Jungle Beach to the Uga Bay and finally to the south to the Chena Huts.
Residence by Uga Escapes – A homage for the colonial times
If you examine Colombo from a cultural and architectural perspective, you will recognize that the city is a mixture of a variety of ethnical influences – Indian, Arabic, Chinese, Malay, Portuguese, Dutch and British.
To this very day the colorful metropolis is still a melting pot of different cultures. The Hotel Residence by Uga Escapes is located in the middle of the urban jungle, in the heart of the capital of Sri Lanka. – A house full of history and stories – Placed between a green park-alley and the buddhistic temple of Gangaramaya, you can find a lot of cafés, museums and shops, all in the common surrounding. One of the best restaurants of the city is just around the corner! On the one hand the residence is your space for retreat and on the other hand it is the centre spot to explore the lively city.
The victorian mansion which was built in the 19th Century comes with eleven luxury suites. The ten park suites have a total size of 75 square meters and all of them have a living room, bedroom, a bath and a patio. Indirect light sources, warm colors, extraordinary carpets and elegant ornaments provide a homelike atmosphere. The Residence Suite has a overall size of 176 square meters and also a private garden, which offers more space for even more atmosphere.
The restaurant „rare“ which is in possession of the hotel, is not only popular by guests of the hotel, it is also a popular hotspot for the locals and is one of the best in Colombo itself: Traditional Haute Cuisine, refined with striking spicery like saffron, cinnamon and cuminum – prepared in a modern way – give you a good insight of the traditional kitchen of Sri Lanka. Guests can spend the evening at the bar, the cigar bar or the library and enjoy a cocktail or a wine. For the ones who prefer a bit more intimacy, can dine at their private patio. It is possible to use the room service which serves around the clock. Enjoy your meal!
Outside the hideaway you have the chance to discover a lot of sights. Close to the hotel you can find the buddhistic Gangaramay-temple which is a very important one because it keeps a relic of Buddha. If you go on a couple of meters you will hit Pettah, the bazaar district. In the past the Portuguese and Dutch people traded at this bazaar. You will find a lot of galleries, street food shops and shops which sell handcrafted products, but also the Nationalmuseum is not far away.
Ulagalla by Uga Escapes – A Royal residence hits a modern Hideaway
Ulagalla – Royal dynasty instead of a standard hotel, nature instead of All Inclusive: As the first house of the Uga Escapes, Ulagalla brought the term „traveling luxurious“ up to a new level. The boutique resort is located in the middle of the cultural heart of the island-state. And it is the perfect spot to start discovering all those cultural sights of this region. The center of this luxurious hotel is the lovely restored „Walawwa“, in the past the center of administration of the Sinhalese tribal leader.
In total, the 23 hectare wide property offers 19 villas with 80 square meters living space each. Every villa has its own private terrace and its own pool. The Nikaweva Villa is designed specifically for families and friends. It has 170 square meters of living space with two bedrooms. A colonial design, handmade antique furniture and brazen lights are supplemented by natural materials like rattan or curtains.
With its ecological sensitive principles and its construction method, Ulagalla is a pioneer for responsible luxurious tourism on Sri Lanka. But why is this hideaway so unique? Well there are a few reasons:
Instead of destroying the historical environment of Anuradhpuras and building a completely new hotel, the Ulagalla was built all around the 150 year old „Walawwa“. The lovely restored property is the historical center of the hotel and is placed on a rice paddy with a total space of 17 hectare. Additionally Ulagalla owns the largest private stock of solar plants on Sri Lanka and covers half of the energy consumption, for example for air conditioning or hot water. Since its opening the hideaway passes on plastic: Renewable packages and straws out of bamboo are standard equipment. Absolutely great: Not a single tree was hewed during the construction phase, on contrary – After the construction phase more then a 1000 native trees were planted. For their tours they use carriages instead of buses. They offer cycle tours to the temples or kayaking through the paddy fields. They don’t have to import any goods because they got their own garden where they grow their own vegetables. So 90 percent of the dishes were made of homegrown goods. Even the rice is grown there. Their paddy fields are 7 hectare large. They grow enough vegetables and rice to serve all of the five houses of the Uga Escapes. If you join Ulagalla you will sleep in the middle of the nature, including animals as neighbors. The hideaway resigns to loud machines and music, to not disturb all the animals. If you are a nature lover, you could join the „Naturalists“ in the early morning hours, take a walk and explore the environment of the hideaway. Or you could join a kayak-tour and watch the domestic wild life.
Do you look forward to a trip to Sri Lanka? Then tell us in the comments section. Or if you want to get further information then check our second part about Sri Lanka!