What to expect
- Sleep Quality
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Well where do we start? From the moment we arrived at Chena Huts we knew we’d made the right choice. After a quick golf buggy ride from the car park up to the reception, we were greeted (by name) by the General Manager Haleem who introduced us to the Front Office Manager Kasun who then gave us a brief explanation of everything we needed to know. As we had flown in to a local airport rather than having a very long journey by road, we had arrived over 5 hours before the usual check-in time but Kasun immediately offered us the use of one of the vacant huts to relax in whilst ours was being cleaned. Before heading off to relax though, we were offered breakfast (which I’ll get onto in a bit) whilst our luggage was taken to the temporary hut for us. After a couple of hours of much needed rest (following a middle of the night departure from our previous hotel in Negombo,) Kasun phoned the room to say that our hut was ready. Again, our luggage was collected and moved and we retired into our luxurious hut for the start of our 4 night stay at Chena. We have been fortunate enough to stay in some lovely resorts in the past but we can honestly say that we have never had accommodation quite like this. Besides being very well equipped, they are huge, with an enormous (and very comfortable) bed and spotlessly clean throughout. There was a beautiful message written with petals and leaves on the bed for my wife’s 50th Birthday (and our 25th wedding anniversary) which I had let them know about prior to our arrival but was still unexpected. The shower was lovely and powerful and the bathroom area with his/her basins had everything you could possibly need. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to soak in the ‘two-person’ bath tub but it did look inviting! There was a large screen TV (not that we wanted or needed that) and also an amazing sounding Bluetooth speaker that filled the room with sound once I got my phone connected! One of the best aspects of the hut though was the verandah, complete with plunge pool / jacuzzi – perfect! We deliberately chose hut No.15 as I’d read a tip that it was the quietest and most private, (although they all seem to offer that) and ours overlooked the watering hole. We had a resident peacock, a family of wild boar and some ‘mad’ bush squirrels in the trees that kept us entertained. Sadly, there wasn’t too much wildlife around the watering hole while we were there (besides spotting the odd monkey) but we heard stories of elephants and water buffalo visiting occasionally. There was always plenty of birds to spot though and the watering hole was such a peaceful place to sit and reflect. When we headed back to the bar / restaurant for dinner, the head chef Sujith came out to introduce himself and discuss what food we liked and any dietary requirements. My wife is vegetarian but also loves fish & seafood so he made recommendations and took note of everything we liked / disliked. We’ve certainly never had individual attention to detail like that before! Now onto the food! Again, we’ve been lucky enough to eat in some nice restaurants before but we both agreed that we have never had food quite like this on holiday - ever! At breakfast (following the delicious fresh fruit and pastries that are brought out), my wife fell in love with the ‘Fluffy Eggs’. I defy anyone to make better scrambled eggs than these (I thought mine were quite good but not a patch on these) and she now expects me to make them for her all the time! Haven’t got a clue how they make them that fluffy though? We tended to skip lunch most days (still full from breakfast) but the menu always sounded delicious. Dinner in the evening was another delight and there was always something that suited us both on the menu. On our second night, we were taken to a ‘special’ table that had been set up on the sand, surrounded by candles and I realised that this was a surprise for our joint birthday / anniversary celebration. Sujith had prepared a meal specifically for my wife – a starter of lightly curried red snapper, followed by dressed lobster in a creamy garlic butter sauce, which she devoured and said it was the best lobster she’d ever tasted. My main of various cuts of meat, cooked in a variety of ways was also to die for! Then they bought out a birthday cake, with a beautifully hand-written message iced on and they all came out to sing Happy Birthday – much to her embarrassment! The first barman Suranga sadly left on our second day to be closer to his wife and young family but Dino stepped in to replace him and helped make our stay extra special. He loved to make cocktails and one evening presented us with a Pina Colada and a ‘Spicy Martini’ (having previously asked what we liked) that he had apparently spent all afternoon planning and ages making just for us, bless him! (see the pics attached). After the ‘Sundown Cocktails’ on the beach each evening, we would sit chatting to him and the other guests over several beers before dinner. Now for the safaris! We had our very own guide Harry who introduced himself on our first night and answered all the questions we had as well as asking what we were hoping to see. As with safaris anywhere, it is pot luck whether you get to see any ‘exotic’ animals but Harry used his vast knowledge and experience to make our three trips out as memorable as possible. The leopards didn’t elude us completely but sadly we only had a glimpse of one darting across the road in front of us and another fast asleep up on some rocks away in the distance but other guests had some video taken the same day of a leopard and her cubs very close to their jeep so it really is a case of being in the right place at the right time. We did one morning and one afternoon trip into Block 1 but for our last trip out, Harry recommended going to Block 5 which was much quieter (only a few jeeps compared to the hundreds in Block 1). It meant an even earlier start but was definitely worth it as we got to see some amazing birds, a rarely spotted King mongoose, as well as loads of elephants right next to our jeep. Definitely ask for Harry as your guide if you can! Chena Huts is the most memorable hotel / resort we have ever stayed at but what made it so special is the incredible staff. They really can’t do enough for you and are so kind and attentive. From the lovely barman Dino, our waiter Lasantha, along with Lakshan his assistant and the Restaurant Manager Jayalath, to Pasan and the reception staff and also the Management team (and not forgetting the incredible head chef Sujith and his amazing team), they couldn’t have done any more to make our stay the most incredible experience that it was. We will never forget it! No it isn’t cheap but please trust us when we say that it is worth every penny and you will not regret it! A huge ‘Thank You’ to the entire team at Chena Huts. We are busy recommending it to everyone we speak to and one day – we will be back! With warmest wishes, Graham & Catherine Harris
Incredible Honeymoon at Chena Huts
My husband and I stayed at chena huts for 3 nights and we could not fault it. The accommodation is spectacular, the food is great and service is impeccable. The staff go above and beyond to make sure you have the most incredible stay. Special thanks to Johnny, our game driver who was so knowledgeable and made each safari so enjoyable. It really is the perfect balance of luxury and adventure. We would go back in a heartbeat.
Epic honeymoon adventure and stay at the Chena huts
My husband and I stayed at the chena huts in Yala national park as part of our Sri Lanka tour on our honeymoon. Words cannot describe how amazing the resort is. From the location which is in the middle of the forest and right on the beach, to the food, the staff, the guides that are there when you go on your morning and afternoon tours throughout the park. This place was epic!!! We had the absolute best time and are so thankful to have these memories to cherish forever. The bartender was so great and kept the drinks coming for us thirsty Americans :)) definitely this place is a must we have never received this great of service at such a high level many thanks to all the staff!
Wow... what an incredible place!
We have just left the Chena Huts in Yala after a 2 night stay, as part of a wider tour of Sri Lanka. We were looking forward to staying here as the reviews had all been fantastic, and our experience didn’t disappoint. We managed to go out on a safari drive the evening we arrived which was good as the rest of the drives were cancelled because of concerns over corona virus. This didn’t impact our stay as it gave us time to enjoy the amazing surroundings within the hotel, and we even had a visit from an elephant on the nearby beach. The team who look after you are exceptional. They know your name and can’t do enough to make your stay as comfortable as can be. The food was excellent and the drinks selection really good too. The best bit was the accommodation. Possibly the best we have ever had. Your own private splash pool that overlooks the park is a brilliant touch and makes the perfect place to animal watch. I dearly hope people continue to visit this amazing hotel. It’s a truly special place to spend a few days.
A very memorable stay!
We absolutely loved our stay here. The friendliness and attentiveness of the staff is superb. The quality of the accommodation is amazing and the game drives were memorable! Yes it’s “all inclusive” but not a buffet in sight! All menus, all quality, fresh ingredients and we really couldn’t fault our stay. Hope to come back one day!
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