Foozoo Travel presents.
The Best Nature Resorts of Sri Lanka.
The emerald isle’s scenic and natural beauty is fast becoming one of its key attractions. From lush rainforests to jungle reserves which are home to elephants, leopards and bears, to swathes of marshland teeming with hundreds of bird species and mountain forests shrouded in mist, Sri Lanka is home to perhaps the most diverse landscapes and natural beauty in a compact space. And as word spreads, international travellers are choosing Sri Lanka as a holiday destination for its green and wild spaces, just as much as they select it for its fabulous beaches, historic marvels and cultural fusion. Increased tourism to wild and natural destinations, however, puts a strain on hypersensitive environments and already threatened wildlife. And with most hotels and resorts sporting ‘Green, Eco, Nature’ taglines, it is hard for the discerning traveller to distinguish the genuine.
This series hopes to help you out by highlighting nature-based hotels, resorts and small accommodation experiences that also excel in their overall experience and service. And as a local travel agency that seeks to champion environmentally friendly and sustainable travel to Sri Lanka, we are also well informed and connected with the ground realities, sensitive habitats and the latest environment concerns. Further, we have stayed at these properties, met the teams and noted their various efforts towards a truly nature-based and nature-friendly operation.
Wild Grass Nature Resort – A perfect congruence of comfort and nature
We had a busy morning filled with meetings and calls that got even more complicated by a later than expected start. So we, Damith and I, were quite ruffled when we drove into Wild Grass. A large tree stood at the Centre of a clearing surrounded by what seemed like an eternal forest. 5 minutes later, having been graciously welcomed by the Front Office Manager at the minimalist reception area we found ourselves to be at complete peace. From experience, we know that trees are living breathing beings with healing powers. But the calm and joy that swept over us felt instantaneous. In the pristine stillness, all we could see was green, freckled with the bright spots of butterflies bobbing about and all we could hear was the constant call of numerous birds overpowering the chatter of the insects.
Later, we were escorted to our villa. The pathways were wide so you could see any creature clearly ahead of you should they step up for a quick hello. The paths (which we later found out) were also well let at night but with a mechanism to switch off once we had passed on, so as to make minimum impact on the wildlife. Just beyond the paths was the forest, alive and left to its wild ways. The layout has been planned out well so that one doesn’t get lost or inadvertently trespass on the privacy of another.
Our villa was one of 8 at the property and each of them was unique in design and layout. We stayed at a Villa named ‘Mouse Deer’ and the two of us played the part! And boy oh boy were these villas a treat. First off their architecture was simple, minimalistic and elegant. The layout was thoughtful, the amenities spot on and the cleanliness was top notch. A tough yet wonderful achievement when you consider that all this is the middle of the jungle where things can get truly messy. This also meant that the use of resources was considered well and the solid construction and high-quality facilities would last a considerable amount of time. Plus marks in our books as we also consider the strain on natural resources and construction of the properties we recommend. Concrete, glass and timber were the main materials and were ideal for this environment. The spaces were large and airy with soothing aesthetics that enhanced the setting. A footpath that extended from our villa went straight to a lake in which some buffalo were playing in the warm mid-day sun. Large, floor to ceiling glass panels offered us beautiful views of the forest around was spectacular as an evening thunderstorm brought sheets of rain, making our stay feel even cosier.
The team had used a cinnamon-infused cleaning agent to naturally repel insects and creepy crawlies but a few did get in and that is in no way a complaint because anyone choosing to stay here would obviously be 100% okay with sharing space with mother nature and all her wonderful creatures. But in case you are a little too sensitive to bugs, bringing your own insect repellent might be a good idea.
Meanwhile, the food was amazing! We tried the Sri Lankan food as we feel we can identify the authenticity of our cuisine versus more standardized western fare and the team at Wild Grass hit yet another home run. The portions were generous and the flavours were just the right blend. The elevated dining area treats you to beautifully wild views by day and star-filled night skies at dinner time. The remote location means you cannot head out for food elsewhere with ease, but we had no complaints considering the rich menu and wonderful service.
The following day, we prodded Mr Nimal Thennakoon, the Resident Manager who had overseen the operations for the last 6 years on all that makes Wild Grass a genuine nature-based resort. As he pointed out the property offers Bird watching excursions that incorporate the local farming community for added value, offer reasonably priced tours to Sigiriya and other places of interest nearby and one can enjoy a bicycle ride, hike the nearby rock or stroll around the 30-acre gardens. But what struck us the most was the lengths Wild Grass goes to protect the environment on a day to day basis. The use of solar power for electricity, minimizing external wastage, segregation, and recycling, water treatment practices that prevent groundwater contamination are all essential practices for a truly eco-friendly and sustainable practice that shares its space with original and wild inhabitants of the area. And as guests are made aware of these practices and value of nature, we believe a stay at Wild Grass is also an educational one that will leave a lasting imprint, encouraging more and more people to think and travel in a way that respects and cares for nature and the wider environment.
Finally, a holiday is about rest and relaxation. And here Wild Grass scores a perfect 10. The level of privacy we enjoyed was outstanding and the bliss we experienced, cut off from all outside contact was magical. This is why we highly recommended Wild Grass for couples who would like to connect with each other, families who need some time out and for those seeking a completely refreshing and rejuvenating holiday.
The wildlife we saw:
Numerous birds including an eagle, peacocks and the jungle fowl, insects, butterflies, lizards, buffalo, monkeys.
02 Nights (we only stayed for one)
Sigiriya Rock, Dambulla Rock Cave Complex, Kalu-Diya Pokuna. Don’t miss a drive or bicycle ride to Kandalama Lake which is stunning.
Food and Beverages:
Coconut Roti, Papaya Salad, Kiribath (Milk Rice) served with an assortment of curries, Mojitos
Privacy, Nature setting, Genuineness
Wild Grass Nature Resort Website:https://www.wildgrass.lk/
Wild Grass Nature Resort on Trip Advisor:https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g304141-d1747302-Reviews-Wild_Grass_Nature_Resort-Sigiriya_Central_Province.html
Foozoo Travel Tours featuring Wildgrass Nature Resort: