More and more, Sri Lanka is gaining popularity for having some of the best mountain resorts you’ll ever find anywhere. In stark contrast to the hot and crowded beach towns is the cool mountain climate of the Central region, where breathtaking views and a wonderful plethora of hikes and nature trails are a guarantee wherever you look. Here’s a list of the five best mountain resorts in Sri Lanka.
Santani Wellness Resort and Spa, Sri Lanka’s premier natural Ayurvedic wellness and yoga retreat. Built on a former tea plantation that is surrounded by paddy fields, this 48-acre resort opens out into the Hunnasgiriya and Knuckles mountain ranges just 1.5 hours away from Kandy.
Offering some of the most comprehensive and luxurious wellness and spa retreats in Sri Lanka, Santani Wellness Resort and Spa is an internationally recognized resort with a unique dedication to being as eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious as possible while simultaneously ensuring the most rejuvenating wellness experience you’ve ever find, all atop a breathtaking expanse of nature high in the Central Hills of Kandy.
Opened in 2018, Aarunya Resort is a collection of nine private luxury villas situated high on the Knuckles Mountain range overlooking Kandy. With a name that means “first rays of sunlight”, Aarunya Resort boasts a fitting location perched atop the Central Hills near Kandy. With an authentically Sri Lankan dining experience in their renowned Ahaara Restaurant, Aarunya offers a plethora of nature excursions in and around the Knuckles, just as much as it offers you the perfect eagle-top perch to rest, relax and drink in the spectacular Central views.
Ceylon Tea Trails
Ceylon Tea Trails is a luxurious collection of beautifully restored tea planter’s bungalows all clustered around and overlooking Castlereagh Lake. Boasting a view of the surrounding environs from a perch of 1250m, each bungalow comes with ample suite space for taking in the tea trails as well as its own gracious butler service. Opt for a curated experience that’ll have you picking your own tea, sitting down for a typical Planter’s meal as well as heritage excursions into Kandy and Nuwaraeliya to maximize your time here at Ceylon Tea Trails.
98 Acres Resort
98 Acres is a unique resort in Ella featuring a collection of charming individual chalets made of recycled wood and roofed in traditional thatched straw to blend in with the lush greenery of the surroundings. With suites that open up, literally, into the hills surrounding the charming town of Ella, you can’t get much further up in Sri Lanka. Bask in the cool waters of the pool or sample the delectable cuisine in the restaurant and bar.
Marabedda Garden’s Resort
Located just a scenic, hour’s drive from Kandy is Marabedda Gardens Resort, in Dimbulkumbura. Built-up atop a flat rock, Marabedda Gardens Resort is a colonial-inspired resort surrounded by lush greenery, paddy fields, natural streams and a plethora of untouched natural beauty that is so abundant in the area. A garden and an infinity pool offer breathtaking views all around, as does the open dining area of the restaurant. Off the beaten path, Marabedda Gardens resort’s main draw is the visible proximity to many of Sri Lanka’s most famous mountain ranges that is sure to simply blow your mind at just how close to the clouds this palace of a resort really is.
Mandaram Eco Resort
Mandaram Eco Resort is a unique resort located high up in the shadows of the Piduruthalagala forest reserve near Nuwaraeliya. Perched almost 2000 meters above sea love, the name Mandaram, which means cloudy, is apt because the resort is surrounded by the mist-covered hills famous in the region.
The resort itself comprises a main British Colonial Mansion and a collection of private individual villas around it, finished in warm wood and glass that aim to maximise an unbeatable indoor-outdoor staying experience.
Being so close to the Piduruthalagala forest reserve means that there’s a wide variety of hiking options nearby as well as waterfall escapades and an unforgettable ATV bike ride high up in a mountain to opt for when staying here.