Uga Ulagalla 

Pool villas on an historic estate

A beautifully restored colonial mansion surrounded by gardens and paddy fields.

The traditional bell-ringing ceremony as you arrive at Uga Ulagalla sets the tone for the rest of your stay and there’s a real focus on providing both sublime service and a sense of destination here. Located approximately 40 minutes from the centre of Anuradhapura and the town’s famed ancient ruins, this hotel is something of a hidden gem. While you’ll be close enough to the main sights of the Cultural Triangle, including 45 minutes by car from Sigiriya, you can also relish the sense of privacy and seclusion the resort provides. A favourite spot of ours to retreat to following a day of exploration is the beautiful infinity pool which overlooks the extensive grounds. It’s either that or the tranquil and tucked-away spa.

Why we love Uga Ulagalla

  • There are just 25 luxury pool villas spread across 58 acres of land, so you’ll never feel overlooked 

  • It’s our only featured property in the Anuradhapura region and a serene base for Cultural Triangle explorations

  • With a 150-year-old mansion at the heart of the property, you’ll feel as if you’re stepping into a piece of history   

  • It offers authentic cultural experiences, including Sri Lankan cuisine in a paddy field and village bike rides

5 stars
Dec - Mar
Colombo 10½ hours
Lakeside, approximately 40 minutes’ drive from the ruins at Anuradhapura
Approx. 5½ hours by road from Colombo airport
Boutique, Sustainability

This resort has earned internationally recognised certification that conform to standards set by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.



  • Restaurants & bars
  • Board
  • Spas & wellness
  • Diving & Watersports
  • Sustainability
  • Children
  • Good to Know

With two restaurants, one of them in a pavilion surrounded by rice fields, and imaginative private dining choices, dining at Ulagalla is a joy and a cultural experience in one.

Liyawela\  The main restaurant has a dining room and an open-air terrace overlooking the pool and lush gardens. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it offers authentic Sri Lankan cuisine alongside international and fusion dishes.

Part restaurant, part experience, the 22-seat Kamatha is located in the middle of a working paddy field and serves up traditional dishes from the local region every evening.

It’s hard to imagine anywhere more authentic than Kamatha, where you’ll dine on delicious recipes handed down for generations.

What's included

Breakfast at Liyawela.

Upgrade options

Half Board • Breakfast and dinner at Liyawela
Full Board • Breakfast, lunch and dinner at Liyawela.

With wattle walls that are barely visible through the greenery that surrounds it, the spa is truly a hidden gem. Here, expertly trained therapists provide a tempting range of pampering global treatments, from turmeric and sandalwood body scrubs to Balinese massages.Private yoga classes are available on request.

The small fitness centre has a selection of cardio and strength-training machines, including a treadmill and an exercise bike. Alternatively, you can get on the provided bicycles to pedal around the 58-acre grounds or the nearby village; test your upper-body strength with an archery session; or go exploring on horseback.

There are dawn and dusk kayaking excursions to a historic nearby reservoir where you can paddle past villagers fishing with nets and an array of birdlife.

Food miles are kept to a minimum thanks to produce from the hotel’s organic garden and local farmers and fishermen. In 2020, Ulagalla launched an Elephant Research Centre (ERC) to help resolve local issues with elephant-human conflict. Community projects have included the installation of a reverse osmosis water treatment facility in a local village. There’s a focus on energy efficiency, with LED light fittings, motion detectors and sensors. Uga Ulagalla is a Travelife certified property.

With private pools and no near neighbours, the villas here are ideal for families, and there are activities to keep them entertained.

Younger guests can join the Junior Ranger Program to learn about nature and wildlife through fun activities.

Compulsory Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve gala dinners, supplements apply.

Guest reviews


Average Rating

Based on {{tripAdvisor.tripAdvisorSummary.num_reviews}} reviews

Very good

{{review.user_location}} {{}}

These reviews are the subjective opinions of individual travellers and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.