Hidden in the mountains and wildlife of Sri Lanka, hides one of the most magical places I have ever visited, that place is called Ulpotha, the best yoga and Ayurveda retreat in Sri Lanka and maybe in the world…
I have been dying to visit and experience a wellness retreat spa with a taste of authenticness and spirituality for the longest time. I always knew I wanted to do in a place like Costa Rica, Bali or anywhere in Asia really. I just never expected to find what I was looking for in an off the grid road path in the villages and wilderness of Sri Lanka.
This place truly stole my heart away from the moment we arrived; it actually stole the heart of all the bloggers I was visiting with. I think a big part of it had to do with the amazing soul that greeted us as we arrived; her name was Shay, the host of Ulpotha. Through my travels, I’ve learned that a lot of times, the places we enjoy the most are the ones with amazing souls we meet. Shay truly was an amazing soul and the rest of the staff that we met during our visit in Ulpotha was great as well.
As to my personal opinion of this place, well, I’m a bit obsessed. I could totally use this place as the perfect getaway to escape and soul search. I really loved every little thing about this place. From the design to the vibrant colors, to the treehouse, swings, yoga classes, Ayurveda treatments, the monkeys, fireflies and the people, it was just perfect.
Ever wanted to disconnect from the outside world, escape technology, the internet, just life and reconnect with nature, your mind, body and soul? That’s what Ulpotha is all about. Ulpotha has become well known for their eco-friendly, vegetarian cuisine (and may I say amazing vegetarian food) Yoga retreat, that also offers Ayurveda treatment. Situated at the base of the Galgiriyawa Mountains in the heart of the jungle of Old Ceylon, 3 hours away from the capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo. It has been featured in Vogue and Elle magazine and after spending a magical day in some sort of heaven, I can totally see why magazines as big as Vogue and Elle would feature this place. Simply described in two words as “Pure Bliss”. The property is a beautiful private hideaway open to guests for part of the year (space is limited, so book in advance).
Ulpotha doesn’t consider itself to be a hotel and does not aspire to be one, so the only way to really know about this place is by word of mouth. Aren’t you lucky to know me? 😉
“The entire experience is a spiritual high” – Vogue Magazine
Guests who come to Ulpotha will find a natural sanctuary of exceptional beauty, where the main activity is simply relaxing in its remarkable atmosphere of peace and calm while indulging in feasts of exquisite organic vegetarian cuisine.
I really loved the way this whole place was set up. Upon arrival, you have a guest lounge, where guest can find organic tea, juices and snacks. There is a sweet local woman that runs that area and is always brewing fresh tea and making delicious organic snacks. It’s also a great area to hang around, meet people and socialize.
Ulpotha has everything you need to escape reality; it features a yoga studio, although sometimes, yoga classes can be at nature location on the property. It has a beautiful lake that you can safely swim in. A whole section of the property is dedicated to different Ayurveda treatments. It even features a tree house and many bed swings all over the property, some of which are located over the lake and others spread out throughout the property. There is even a library of books in different languages and if you’re lucky at night you can even spot fireflies, along with monkeys running around freely during the daytime.
Besides all of that, there is a magic about this place that can’t be described, you have to feel it for your own self.
The land itself is pretty big (20 acres), but accommodations are limited. There are only 11 guest huts in Ulpotha, which accommodate 2 guests per a room and another hut for 3 guests. You can even spend the night in a treehouse, which was probably one of my favorite features of this place. I was completely obsessing over the treehouse that overlooked the lake that I just didn’t want to leave. There is even a honeymoon room and the only way to get to it is by taking a small boat.
Each room is uniquely designed and no rooms are the same. One of the most interesting things about the rooms is that there are no walls. It’s open sleeping/living areas and covered with a pitched roof of thatched palm fronds. When I meant connecting with nature, I really meant it. Don’t worry though, you have a mosquito net to protect you from any bugs that can enter the room and it’s safe.
Here are just a few photos from the beautiful rooms.
Eco-Friendly and Community
Ulpotha uses natural materials for all its buildings while following organic farming practices that follow the lunar cycle and use no mechanical means.
Though there is no electricity, light is provided by flares, lamps and lanterns, lending Ulpotha an ethereal quality at night.
Ulpotha is largely run by the villagers themselves, which I think is great. The villagers who live and work there are part of the experience enjoyed by guests. Though they have deliberately not been given any training in any aspect of hotel-type service, they are gracious, hospitable and a lot of fun.
I’ll be honest, I’m totally afraid of the dark, even though I’m a night owl and love the night, however, something I found to be really interesting is this place is even more amazing at night.
Originally we were only supposed to spend a few hours at Ulpotha, but were offered to stay until night time to watch the fireflies and have a delicious dinner. We couldn’t turn down the offer and thank G*d we didn’t!
If you thought this place is magical during the day, just by even looking at some of these photos, this place is even better at night! Candles are lit all over the entire property, which creates such a calming vibe, it was just pure bliss. For a moment I even considered living at a place like this.
If you’re ever visiting Sri Lanka or want to escape the world, I highly recommend this place. It’s best fitted for young professionals, mostly solo travelers, but all are accepted. We saw couples there and families.
Most guests come for a week to 2 weeks, however, you can also come for a week stay.
For more information on Ulpotha check out: http://www.ulpotha.com/ or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Rates start at $2,940 for 2 weeks.
•Full board on a twin-sharing basis (three tasty organic veggie meals per day & snacks)
•All yoga & meditation classes
•One massage from international therapists per week (additional massages available depending on availability of therapists)
•One herbal steambath in the Ayurveda center.
•One free consultation with the resident doctor in the Ayurveda center.
•Use of all amenities (including boat, bicycles, treehouse, lakehut, lake Ambalama, depending on availability)
•One excursion per week to a cultural site or the beach (entrance fees, lunches, dinners & drinks are NOT included)
•Guided walks within Ulpotha and to the neighboring Temple and Free Clinic
**Vanilla Sky Dreaming was invited by Sri Lanka Tourism to attend the Ulpotha experience. Thank you to Sri Lanka Tourism and Ulpotha for welcoming Vanilla Sky Dreaming! As always, my opinion is my own.