Sri Lanka’s first world class game lodge opens on Nov. 1 when John Keells Hotels Group launches Chaaya Wild Yala adjacent to the Ruhunu National Park.
Keells Hotels has invested Rs. 40 million and Architect Channa Daswatte has metamorphosed what was the previous Yala Village on the coastal fringe of the park 80% acquired by the JKH group in Oct. 2005 at a price of Rs. 175 million.
“The very idea of espying leopard on the legendary Leopard Rock in the twilight of an evening while sipping a sundowner, or seeing herds of elephant majestically winding their way on their endless journeys, all very up close and personal; all the while, enjoying the sights and sounds of the jungle in the wild, seated amidst the subtle luxuries of a world class game lodge,’’ is how Keells Hotels showcased what’s on offer.
“Chaaya Wild Yala, John Keells Hotels’ newest resort sitting adjacent to the environs of Sri Lanka’s largest wildlife park Yala, is worthy of some dedicated poetic verse for the adventures it births, the experiences it yields and the memories it evokes. This is the very first world class game lodge in Sri Lanka that truly espouses the rudiments and features that make for an unusual adventure in the wild.’’
Yes, being a four star resort, Chaaya Wild must conform to international star rating standards and that it does with great aplomb, adding even more subtle luxuries for additional comfort. However, Chaaya Wild imbibes the environment, making it impossible to work out where the natural habitat ends and man-made facets begin, the owners said.
“The rustic feel of the mud hut-like chalet, the rejuvenated vegetation that is so very characteristic of this part of the country and the sounds of the myriad insects and birds form the perfect backdrop for the almost assured sighting of leopard and Asian elephant and of course other members of the Island’s Big Five,’’ a news release issued in connection with the launch said.
“With Sri Lanka having the highest density of leopard within a square kilometre and the largest sightings of Asian elephant within any single location, Chaaya Wild has assimilated these facets of nature into its own, becoming centric to some of the most spectacular adventures in the wild.’’
Says Sector Head – Sri Lankan Resorts of John Keells Holdings Jayantissa Kehelpannala: “The ethos we carry through in the resort is one of sustainability, inside the Game Lodge, we have introduced luxuries that most people will be surprised to see, given the rustic exteriors they first encounter. The public spaces are all about blending in with the environs so there are open spaces to get the best view. Our most spectacular is the rooftop Observation Deck, Bar and Lounge, which truly is a first in this region, given that it has a 360 degree view of the surrounding jungle and an unencumbered view of Leopard Rock, where the chances of seeing a reclining leopard silhouetted against the moonlight is great..”
Chaaya Wild’s chalet styled air conditioned rooms have unbridled luxuries within from free Wi-Fi, to 32″ LCD televisions, mini bars and DVD players, with the chances of spotting some animal in the wild, added as a complimentary memory.
But it’s simply not an epic safari that Chaaya Wild offers, while that does herald the beginning of a never before experienced adventure. State of the art technology has been infused subtly as has the knowledge and experience of a highly knowledgeable safari team, who continue to remain one of the best in the land, the hotel claimed for itself.
Nature treks, chena visits and bird watching trails, taking guests on a journey that is truly different, given that this team has been studying the paradigms of the wild for decades and are well aware of the habits of each, which they use to give the guest a truly memorable experience.
The Nature Trails team have also added Lake visits in search of water birds, animal track identification and Camera Trap setting for children along with guided leopard safaris, although one of the most exciting would be the Mini Night Safari, looking into the night with sophisticated night vision equipment, guests embark on a true journey of the wild at night.
“And if you need to glean more, simply chat with the team, explore their extraordinary journeys in Yala, tracking leopard, elephant and other animals and birds, or watch the abundance of wild life movies and slide shows on offer and simply make your own epic adventure safari in the wild come alive at this world class game lodge, the release said.