Ella Jungle Resort – Ella, Sri Lanka

It rained for two consecutive days and the unreliable internet connection wasn’t helping at all. Me and my buddy were in the middle of a tropical rainforest with the sound of crickets and gushing water from the stream as our lovely background music. As disconnected as we could’ve been to the outside world, we were left with the beauty Sri Lanka’s seemingly untouched wildlife as seen from the glass walls of our chalet. Ella Jungle Resort was just the perfect place to get stuck to.

Sri Lanka was the third country on our two-month Beach Hop Asia 2016 backpacking trip. After revisiting Malaysia and Thailand, me and my buddy went to Colombo for an overnight transit and then moved to Sigiriya for a four-day temple run then went to Kalkudah and Arugam Bay before going to our last stop, Ella.

Ravana Ella Falls Sri Lanka
Ravana Ella Falls, a roadside waterfall in Ella.
Ella Jungle Resort with its 150-acre size deep down the jungles was our home for four days in Ella. It took us three buses to reach it; Arugam Bay to Monoragala – LKR249 each (US$1.66), Monoragala to Welawaya – LKR59 each (US$0.39) and Welawaya to Ella – LKR69 each (US$0.46).

From the main road, we were brought deep into the jungle through a 4x4 truck which I must say was an adventure in itself. The winding muddy dirt road showed no signs of a resort. After fifteen minutes of butt-numbing ride, we came to a halt. I shrieked when I saw an old school cable car when I got off the truck.

I was trying not to wiggle the thing when I was loading it but as soon as my buddy and our stuff went inside it moved sideways. We bid our goodbye to the driver as the cable car moved, apparently, it was manually operated by someone on the other end. The view from the car was spectacular. With a number of waterfalls in sight and abundant greens, it felt like I was transported to our Jungle Adventure in Laos way back in 2015.

Ella Jungle Resort Sri Lanka
It rained all throughout our stay but I ain't complaining.
Ella Jungle Resort Sri Lanka
Open-aired hallways
Situated some two and a half kilometers within Ella’s forest, Ella Jungle Resort is truly what you’d expect it to be, a lovely resort smacked in the middle of the jungle.

We were welcomed by a gentleman named Sunil, the Guest Services Manager, then escorted us on an open-aired receiving area to complete the registration while sipping a hot ginger tea. After a short briefing, me and my buddy were ushered to our chalet for three nights.

Ella Jungle Resort Sri Lanka
Receiving area
The resort has a total of fourteen river-facing chalets with 28 rooms in total. A villa has two levels and we were luckily appointed to the lower level, the bigger one (check for discounted rates here).

I wasn’t expecting anything, as always, and was surprised as Sunil opened the door to our room. The rectangular room was cozy with its wooden furniture with a four-poster bed as the focal point. It had a romantic sheer mosquito net, which is very common in Sri Lanka, and some wooden end tables with lamps on both sides.

Ella Jungle Resort Sri Lanka
Our semi glass house
Ella Jungle Resort Sri Lanka
We're one with nature
I pushed the drapes aside that revealed a glass wall only to realize, as I finished opening up all the curtains, that three walls were all made in glass! It was great as it opened up to the beautiful lush greens outside. It’s as if we’re one with nature at the comforts of our room.

Ella Jungle Resort Sri Lanka
Our favorite spot
We moved to the glass doors on far end and went outside to our private balcony just above a stream. It was so beautiful that I mentioned, I could stay here for a week, as I settled on a wooden chair and watched the beauty of nature.

Ella Jungle Resort Sri Lanka
Our coffee/beer spot
The toilet and bathroom were also unique as it had this outdoor feel to it. Located inches away from the main door, the open-aired bathroom with hot and cold shower provided a nice view of the surroundings. It is technically a shared one if someone occupies the second level of the chalet. In our case, we were the only ones in it so we had it all by ourselves.

Ella Jungle Resort Sri Lanka
Communing with nature on our outdoor toilet and bathroom
My buddy was busy unpacking his stuff while I loitered around the room, still couldn’t believe that almost every wall was made of glass.

Three meals each day were included on our package but you may opt to choose and avail it whilst you’re there. Its location in the deep forest may be difficult though as you do not have any option but to dine at their al fresco restaurant. And have I mentioned that Ella Jungle Resort is a no-meat, vegetarian resort? I was doomed when I told my buddy about it. Haha.

Ella Jungle Resort Sri Lanka
We could've done a short trek to a waterfall but the rain prevented us to do so.
We were surprised on how huge each meal was considering that they only serve fresh veggie produce and other substitutes. We had toasts, jam, eggs, fresh juice and brewed coffee for breakie; clubhouse sandwiches and such for lunch; and a hefty typical Sri Lankan rice and curry for dinner. We were also serenaded each night with a live performance from the staff, including Sunil, that featured traditional Sri Lankan folk music. And yes, they also serve beer! Yay for my buddy.

Ella Jungle Resort Sri Lanka
Dinner for two!
Ella Jungle Resort Sri Lanka
This. Is. Yummy.
The common area was our refuge for our WiFi needs. The open-aired hut was filled with comfy lounge chairs and pillows while the loft provided a great view of the river and rice paddies. We planned on hiking on a nearby waterfall or probably walk around the resort grounds but were stuck on our room as the heavy monsoon rains hit Sri Lanka during our stay. It was unfortunate as we really wanted to explore more. But then again, our chalet was the perfect place to get stuck to.

I woke up one morning with the sound of a heavy downpour. The glass walls were partly covered with mist, but still I could see the beauty of nature in spite of the gloomy weather. It was a kind of retreat; away from the maddening deafening noise of the outside world. We’re one with nature, and I should be thankful that I get to experience it at the comforts of my bed. I snoozed back and the cycle went on for a day; serenity at its best.

Ella Jungle Resort (check for discounted rates)
Karandagolla, Ella,
Badulla, Sri Lanka
Contact Numbers: (+94) 1127.61101 | (+94) 7773.52352
Email Address: info@ellajungleresort.lk

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