Set in the shadow of the majestic Poonagala Mountains, surrounded by verdant forests and with paddy fields right outside the guest cabins, the Jetwing Kaduruketha promises a taste of rural Sri Lanka at its most enchanting.
This was not our first trip to Sri Lanka, so a friend asked: what’s makes you return to the island? This simple question gave us a pause because the answer is not straightforward. There are so many things here that make it a one-of-the-kind destination — a destination infused with unique culture and warm hospitality of its people.
And in many ways, Jetwing Kaduruketha embodies all the best things Sri Lanka has to offer.
Jetwing Kaduruketha offers an agro-eco-luxury resort experience in the picture-perfect shades of blue and green. Set in a peaceful village location, near the town of Wellawaya, the place is surrounded by the mountainous landscape and fringed by vast working paddy fields and tropical forest. The area is frequented by wild peacocks, monkeys, frogs, squirrels, and colourful birds. It’s all very picturesque and close to nature — and presents an opportunity to meet the locals and experience the traditions of a rural farming community.
The resort is also well placed for exploring the region. Reaching Little Adam’s Peak and the Diyaluma Falls is easy from Kaduruketha. Ella with its Nine-Arch Bridge and the railway station is nearby too. Many people choose to disembark here after a train journey through the spectacular landscapes of the country.
But Jetwing Kaduruketha is first of all a fine resort, with all the comforts that come as part of the experience.
Luxury in the paddy fields
The guest bungalows are designed to utilise natural ventilation. They feature bamboo and wood furniture and the king size bed sports a beautifully-draped mosquito netting. Our spacious, airy bedroom lead to a patio with a low bench that became an excellent site for a picnic slash à la carte breakfast-in-room experience… with a beautiful paddy fields landscape as a backdrop.
The main attraction at the resort is the fabulous swimming pool. Positioned to maximise the views, it is the best spot from which to gaze at the scenery. There is also the hotel’s open-sided restaurant right here, overlooking the pool. Here a well-composed menu offers a mix of traditional Sri Lankan food, contemporary Asian cuisine, and international dishes.
And when done with all the swimming, sunbathing and sightseeing, the next obvious thing is to try out the Ayurvedic Spa and yoga program. The hotel has three different treatment rooms where to indulge in relaxing massages using traditional herbs and oils.
Each guest enjoys services of a personal butler, whose assistance will include advice on local attractions. Among them, the “secret waterfall” (Ella Wala Waterfall) not far from the hotel is a must-visit. The place is isolated, does not have many visitors, and gives the opportunity of swimming under the roaring water. It was one of the highlights for us.
In a sense, Jetwing Kaduruketha has the best of two worlds: the level of service has the hallmarks of a well-established luxury resort, and yet it never loses touch with the rural side of Sri Lanka.