Cinnamon Wild is an eco-friendly, four-star wildlife resort on the edge of Yala national park, Sri Lanka's most popular, and its rustic chic ambience has many admirers. The central feature is a meandering swimming pool with an expansive deck that spreads throughout linking the public spaces housed in several magnificent pavilions. Enter through the reception and lounge pavilion designed with cinnamon wood furniture, gigantic cinnamon stick ceiling lamps in the shape of bird’s nests, and photographs of Yala’s elusive leopards. Accommodation is in luxurious Jungle and Beach chalets immersed in nature. Rise at dawn and head to the jungles of Yala national park famous for leopard, elephants, sloth bear and over 150 species of birds. Once back at the game lodge, cool off with a relaxing swim and by nightfall, sink into a comfy sofa at the roof deck and star gaze with the calls of the wild all around.
There are 76 timber chalets on stilts of which 68 are Jungle Chalets and eight are Beach Chalets. The interiors are comfortably furnished with king-size canopied beds fitted with mosquito netting. Ensuite bathrooms have h/w rain head showers. In-room facilities include a/c, overhead fans, 32 inch LCD TV with satellite channels, wifi, IDD telephone, mini-bar, tea/coffee facility, and safety deposit box.
Jungle Chalets: The 68 Jungle Chalets are scattered across the gardens. Each has a private verandah.
Beach Chalets: The eight Beach Chalets are closer to the Kirinda beach and have a verandah with sea views. Further away from the main restaurant, lounge, and swimming pool.
The lounges, restaurant and bar are in separate stylish pavilions with high timber roofs and polished cement floors and open on to the fresh-swimming pool and surrounding nature. The main restaurant and roof deck bar are on the upper floors of the reception area and has spectacular 360 degree views of the Yala jungles and lagoon where wild animals often come to drink water. Sri Lankan and western cuisine is served at the main restaurant. Snacks are served at the roof deck. Laundry service, doctor-on-call, nature treks, bird watching trails, animals trails for children, turtle night watch at Kirinda beach, wildlife documentaries.
Why we like it
The rooftop bar to watch the sunset is one of Sri Lanka's best spots for a beer at dusk
Being in such close proximity to Sri Lanka’s most popular national park, Cinnamon Wild are involved in a variety of local wildlife initiatives, from Project Leopard – protecting the leopard population that lives outside of the park by supporting and educating local farmers – to the Cinnamon Elephant Project which encourages best practices in elephant tourism in Sri Lanka. Cinnamon Wild are also passionate about water management and are aiming to move towards a renewable energy source in the form of a bio-gas digester.
Cinnamon Wild is scattered over 10 acres of scrub jungle bordering Yala National Park and the secluded Kirinda beaches in the south-east of Sri Lanka. Just 10 minutes away from the park entrance. Yala can be accessed via the south coast and from the hill country via Wellawaya.
Location: Yala National Park, Yala
Style: Wildlife Hotel
No. of Rooms: 76
Key Features: Large swimming pool; buzzing atmosphere; close to Yala National Park