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I have just had an amazing return trip to Sri Lanka. This time I wanted & needed to visit the East Coast that has only been accessible since the war ended in 2009. There are now a few hotels & I was lucky enough to have stayed in the best hotels in both Passikudha & Trincomalee – both Uga Escapes properties. I arrived in to Colombo airport having taken the only direct option with Sri Lankan Airlines. The flight was good, but as usual completely full. On arrival I headed north to Chilaw for a 1 night logistic stop at the Anantaya Resort Hotel. The hotel was nice, pool was great to have a nice swim in- after the long flight. I had a lovely ocean view room with a huge bath & balcony. This is a great option to break the journey to or from the East Coast & is only 2 hours from Colombo airport.

Instead of heading straight to the East Coast- which would be a 6 hour transfer I had a treat- having 1 night at what is now 1 of my favourite Sri Lankan properties –Ulagalla @ Anuradhapura. This is such a special property & I absolutely loved it. It was a 2 hour transfer from Chilaw & there was a lovely arrival ceremony to bring health & happiness. They took a photo which I was then given in a frame when I left- such a nice touch- if only I had known I would have put some lipstick on!. The property has a total of 58 acres, currently has 20 villas but 5 new ones are due to be finished for 2019 & the property has a large swimming pool, their own horses & a spa. Each of the villas have their outside terrace area with a large plunge pools, table, chairs & sun loungers. They also leave a bicycle for each guest booked into the villa for their use during the stay. After my property inspection I had some time to relax & enjoy my villa. My private plunge pool was lovely & I had an audience of monkeys & a couple of peacocks observing me. There are lots of wildlife around, which I loved. Dinner was superb & the chef came out to talk thought the menu with the diners, which as a vegetarian I found so helpful when making my choices. Breakfast in the morning was eventful with the cheeky monkeys stealing my toast when the staff were not looking. They were so quick, the staff were mortified but I thought it was funny. After only 1 night I was very sad to leave & promised myself to return & stay longer.


I then head across to the East coast, which is a fabulous beach option especially between June & October, which is high season for this region. The sea is extremely calm so it perfect for swimming & has gorgeous white sandy beaches. Another advantage that the East Costa currently has over the more popular south coast beach areas, is that hotel guests can be on the beaches without being hassled by lots of beach sellers.

My 1st East coast stop was in Trincomalee. It was only a 2.5 hour transfer to my next Uga Escapes property- Jungle Beach. This property opened 5 years ago & the reception, bar & reception area looks like a big tree house. The property has a swimming pool & 49 rooms. The lead in room type are the Lagoon rooms- lovely room & the balconies overlook the lake. The downside of these rooms are that they are closer to the road so the noise from the buses & lorries can be heard when on the balcony. They then have Jungle cabins which are lovely & they have 3 located in 1 a cluster that shares a small swimming pool – ideal for a large family or group of friends travelling together. I stayed in a Beach Cabin, which as the name suggests are on the beach. From the terrace door I could leave & walk along my own little path to the beach – perfect. Close by are the local attractions of Pigeon Island & Nilaeeli Beach. This region is perfect for diving & snorkelling.

Next I headed further south along the East coast to Passikudha & my 3rd Uga Escapes property –Uga Bay. This was my favourite of the beach hotels, the beach was stunning & the sea was so calm – you can walk out quite a distance before it gets deep. There are 48 rooms in 2 storey buildings – each has the beach view rooms at the bottom with the Ocean View rooms on the top floor. Plus there are 2 larger suites, the Bay Suite located above the main building & the very private Beach Villa. I stayed in the building closest to the beach & in an Ocean View suite.. It was perfect. I had some free time to enjoy the beach & loved every second. Everything abut this hotel was wonderful – the excellent service, fabulous food & stunning location. I did visit some other hotels in the area & they were good options for clients with a lower budget & more likely to use them when availability is an issue @ Uga Bay.

So that I did not return the same way as I arrived I went into the Cultural Triangle for 1 night @ Sigiriya. Last year I visited the Jetwing Vil Uyana property but did not stay there, this year I managed to stay here- only 1 night but better than nothing. This is a beautiful luxury property made up of individual bungalows set on paddy fields, reed beds & lake. Some of the villas have private plunge pools, which are great but there is a communal pool in the main area- where the reception, bar & restaurant is found. Guests are surrounded by nature & when I went for breakfast I spotted 2 crocodiles in the lake – a space distance away.

Back to Colombo for 1 final night- to meet up with our ground agents for dinner. I stayed at the relatively new Movenpick hotel, in the city. A modern hotel & in a convenient location – next to a shopping centre!