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Jetwing Vil Uyana Resort - Sigiriya, Sri Lanka | Hotel Review

Safe bet, but it lacked any wow factor.


Jetwing Vil Uyana is an eco-friendly hotel located in the midst of a man made nature reserve in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka. A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, this hotel is located 101 miles from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. The famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress is just minutes away.

Vil Uyana offers 25 suites spread across 24 acres of wetlands right in the heart of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. All the suites have been constructed using natural materials like teak, bamboo and grass to resemble a village setting. The different types of accommodations available are Paddy Field/ Marsh, Forest and Water. While water dwellings feature suites built over the lake, paddy and marsh dwellings are surrounded by paddy fields. Forest dwellings blend in with the forest habitat and feature a swimming pool.

First Impression/Lobby: We were met at our van by the bellman who transferred our bags to the golf cart and then drove us to the reception area. The reception area of Vil Uyana was very plain, but I am sure this is because the hotel wants the guests to take in the natural beauty of the area. We were offered cold water, tea and juice as well as cool towels.

Reception: Our check-in was quick and we were off to our forest dwelling in a jiffy.

The Suite: To be honest, I can’t say I was crazy about our forest dwelling. Built with earth and stone, our dwelling was built on two levels. The living room was located outside and consisted of just a couple of seats and a table with two chairs. A swimming pool with a couple of lounge chairs was located near the living area. The décor was kept really simple. The suite was equipped with all modern amenities such as a coffee/tea maker, a mini bar, a cable television with DVD player, electronic safe, complementary Wi-Fi and a telephone.

The bathroom was located inside and was rather dark. A stone bathtub and open rain shower were the main features. The bedroom was located upstairs. Off the bedroom were two tiny balconies, each with a chair and a small table. All of these have seen better days and are long overdue for a makeover or upgrade.

Room Service: We did not order room service as the menu was limited. Also, when we checked about ordering off the main restaurant menu it got too confusing for the staff. In the end, we just headed down to the restaurant to eat.

Housekeeping: Our dwelling was clean and neat upon arrival. Overall, housekeeping did a good job.

Concierge: We did not get around to using the hotel’s concierge services.

Restaurant: Vil Uyana offered two restaurants and a bar. The Apsara is a fine dining restaurant that offers commanding views of the Sigiriya rock. The menu offered Eastern and western fare along with a Sri Lankan menu. However, the Sri Lankan chef at this restaurant informed us that his specialty was Italian. Needless to say, we were disappointed as we were hoping for some excellent Sri Lankan fare. We finally ordered a pasta dish and were pleasantly impressed with its flavor and presentation. It still would have been nice to have some local dishes. Service was attentive.

The Sulang offers light snacks and refreshing drinks. The Graffiti bar is adorned with Sigiriya frescoes and offers wines from around the world along with a number of cocktails and mocktails.

Pool/Spa/Activities: A large infinity pool overlooks the lake and is ideal for relaxing. The Spa at Vil Uyana offers Ayurveda and naturopathy treatments along with a set of spa treatments. The spa also features a steam room and a plunge pool. A gym is also on available.

Check-Out: Check out was quick and easy. The bill did not have any issues. However, there was not much the staff could have gotten wrong since we had stayed for only two nights and had just one extra charge (from dinner) aside from the room rates.

Overall Impression: Unlike most of the reviews on Trip Advisor, we did not find Vil Uyana to be a perfect hotel. The staff in general were “dull” in their interactions with us and most of the time we felt as if we didn’t even exist. In fact, passing by the staff on walkways or when being transferred via the golf cart were pretty much silent events.

The only person that really made us feel welcomed was our waiter. Otherwise, I found the staff to be bordering on rude. This experience was way different from our experiences at other luxury resorts and hotels in Sri Lanka.

Vil Uyana as a whole was very quiet and had a unique setting. However, the hotel somehow lacked the wow factor that we were expecting. Given an opportunity, we would definitely go back as it is centrally located in the cultural triangle. Though Vil Uyana is definitely not a place I would go for a long vacation, it’s a safe bet while visiting the sites in the area. Our rating for Vil Uyana is between Bombastic and Not.

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