As I was planning what to include for our Sri Lanka itinerary, a friend highly recommended going to Ella. The town is located within the lush mountains of central Sri Lanka and has recently gained fame due to the wonderfully scenic train ride it takes to get there. However, there’s a lot more to offer in this stunning location. There’s no better place to immerse yourself in the area’s immense natural beauty than at the Ella Jungle Resort. Get ready for an adventurous journey below!
Heavenly Natural Setting
As its name indicates, this resort is in the jungle…. deep in the jungle! The resort lies completely hidden within the jungle, 12 kilometers from Ella Town and near the famous Ella Gap. The environmentally friendly resort are located on sacred grounds right on the banks of the Kirindi Oya River and within 150 acres of tropical forests, rice fields and waterfalls. The setting is truly simply sublime.
In order to preserve this unique and pristine location, there are somewhat “unique” means of accessing the resort. Guests are met on the main road at the resort’s café, the Cafe on the Bend which boasts gorgeous panorama and is a great place for a drink or meal in the area. From here the resorts 4×4 safari jeep, take you down their private road to a landing area (caution, this is quite steep and bumpy, hold on tight!). From here you can either reach the resort by a suspension bridge (!!) … or cable car (!!!)! We got to do both during our stay. The cable car is the only one in Sri Lanka and offers fabulous views over the valley. We didn’t know about these arrival methods before we arrive, so we got the full surprise effect and embraced this as the beginning of a great adventure at the Ella Jungle Resort!
Sacred Grounds and Serene Accommodation
Once you get to the resort, you are entirely surrounded by nature. You won’t hear a single noise of the “world” except when you are around other guests or the staff. The resort was next to some river rapids, so their gushing serenade is the primary soundtrack which you are at the resort, accompanied by the occasional caw of the wandering peacocks and other nature sounds. During your stay you’ll also likely encounter monkeys, lizards, squirrels and an array of birds.
There are several main buildings, made of wood and usually open-air pavilions where there are several cozy lounges and some covered sitting areas overlooking the river. Guest accommodation is found down a small path and facing the river. There are three categories of rooms: 16 Eco Jungle Chalets, 6 Eco Jungle Cottage and 6 rooms in Eco Jungle Cabins. We stayed on the upper floor of an Eco Jungle Cabin which had a romantic aura thanks to its four-poster netted bed, cathedral ceilings and position above the river rapids, the wonderful sound of which will put you to sleep each night. You can take in the tranquil ambiance of the river at any time of day from your room’s balcony.
Healthy Food and Adventurous Activities
There is really no reason to leave the resort at all during your stay, which I recommend to be two nights, in essence this gives you one full day at the resort. In addition to soaking up the peaceful and spectacular setting, you can hike to the waterfall and then do some of their adventure activities, like ziplining to an incredible view over the river (and with another waterfall in the background). These adventure facilities of the resort is actually open to some groups of outside guests who come for an adventure excursion from Ella.
To respect the sacred nature of the site and to be in harmony with nature, the resort only serves vegetarian food. This was served in the form of a buffet with lots of tasty options. In the evening, dinner is served on the outdoor patio with a central bonfire, which adds romantic allure.
Overall, the Ella Jungle Resort is an extremely unique place and the perfect place to switch off, enjoy nature and quality time with your partner. The staff is friendly and can help you with activities and advice about getting around.
You can learn more about this special hotel and start your Ella Jungle Resort adventure on their website here.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Ella Jungle Resort, however, all of the opinions expressed below are entirely my own.