Yala Village is a hotel of 4 star ranking with a resort atmosphere, yet in the wild where the wildlife roams through the hotel compound, giving a true Jungle feel. Wild hares come almost to your door step early in the morning. Also, elephants trespass the hotel premises at night, certainly adding to the excitement.
This is AN ECO RESORT, so no pretty walkway that leads to your cabana - only a gravel foot path. If you want manicured gardens, this place isn’t for you. You are with nature and besides, the elephants walk where they want. What you have is jungle all around, but the garden pathways are well maintained. Be aware of the wake up calls you get early morning with monkeys running on the roof as the jungle wakes up at the crack of dawn.
The trained staff is very helpful. They come over to escort you to and from the room after dark, as there are Elephants on the prowl within the compound some times. The hotel has done well to preserve the environment through recycling, and can be considered to be eco-friendly.
It is nice to BE NEAR THE BEACH, although you can't actually swim in the sea. The beach is dramatic and great to walk along. Just keep your eyes open for elephants and remember they are wild. Do the nature walk. See local fisherman cutting up their catch. See water buffalo and crocs in the lake.
The breakfast and dinner buffets are good but limited in spread.. On request, the Chef will prepare a PICNIC BREAKFAST AND LUNCH for you to take along on safari, even when you have to leave at 5:30am.
The main hotel building houses a bar, restaurant, and top floor observation deck with bar overlooking the water hole and ocean in distance. The 360 degree OBSERVATION DECK HAS GREAT VIEWS of sunsets (with a beer) and dawn sunrise (with fresh fruit juices) and the amazing host of animal activities at the waterhole.
The pool is great to chill out after the long, dusty safaris. Laze on a sun deck on the POOL TERRACE WITH A VIEW of the water hole and animals. This is in the jungle and the wind is constantly blowing leaves and insects into the pool and the pool attendant is constantly cleaning up. So don’t be deterred by natures touch when you take a dip.
Between 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM, be at the sunset deck and bar above the treetops, get yourself a cool drink and WATCH AND LISTEN TO THE JUNGLE SETTLING FOR THE NIGHT. At night, here is one of the best star lit skies you will ever come across.
The Yala National Park is the best in all of Sri-Lanka and maybe in all of South Asia. The roads are bumpy and dusty, but the wild life is incredible. There are ample herds of elephants, spotted deer, sambar deer, jackal, mongoose, hanuman langurs, toque macaques, crocodiles, water and land monitors to be seen. Rarer to find are the elusive leopard and seasonal sloth bear.