June 20 2010
Sri Lanka has been showing signs of genuine recovery since the 26-year war between its government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ended last May. On the heels of the reopening of the 425sq-mile Wilpattu National Park in late February, a few new heritage hotels are preparing to début: most notably Ulagalla Resort (www.ulagallaresorts.com; from $350) in the north-central Anuradhapura province.
Built on the site of a 200-year-old walawwa, or aristocratic country estate, its 25 spacious chalets each have wide mahogany terraces, leafy courtyards and private plunge pools, and are scattered about the resort’s 58 acres of cultivated gardens and grounds – also home to the largest solar farm in the country (which supplies an impressive half of the power Ulagalla uses). The chalets’ modern airiness, furnished with teak chairs and beds, contrasts with the main walawwa, where a team of chefs concocts organic dishes from produce grown on the farm.