The awesome part of being a John Keells employee, is that you get to stay at their wonderful hotels for a special rate. Most of us (Including myself) Don't find time to utilize this great deal. Without being the ones to whine about it later, we thought of making use of the employment to book our stay at Cinnamon Wild, during our Yala Trip. However, the staff bookings are confirmed purely on lucky, as confirmation is subjected to room availability. In other words, these bookings come as 2nd priority. To be safe, we had a back up accommodation option prepared, just in case we didn't get the confirmation.
We might not be lucky with the leopard, but we were with the confirmation! Yay! I was excited for the stay, after scanning through the hotel's website and the pictures. The earlier post covered about the entire Yala tour, so this post is dedicated to the experience at the hotel
The hotel is situated in the border of Yala National Park. The closest hotel to the Park entrance. From the main road, you get the hotel entrance to the right of you. At the entrance, you get a notice board with the "Last Seen" date of leopards, Bears or Elephants, in the vicinity. From the entrance, up to the hotel, the route looks pretty much the same like how it is inside the Yala Park. Dusty bushes and narrow sandy vehicle paths. In middle, you get a scenic rock, where the leopard believes to come for a nap. Then, a lake, which was dried out the day we visited. You get enough and more Crocs and Pigs there, and a few peacocks too.
The hotel is not set up as one whole building, but as huts where each contains two rooms. You get the option to choose either a Beach Chalet or a Jungle Chalet. Since Pasikuda trip gave us enough and more sea view, we opted for the Jungle chalet. The room has a diagonal setting. It doesn't have much space inside, but the rooms are comfortable. Triple rooms, get the extra bed in a cozy little corner, closer to the window, and I wanted a corner as such for myself as a reading nook. Showers, Writing Tables, TV, The room is equipped with all what you need.
As a security measure, we were advised to call for an escort after 6pm in the evening. Reason being, there can be animals also in the paths that lead to the rooms. For us locals, calling an escort at 6 or 7 in the night feels a little awkward as you know you can make it to the other end of the hotel with no help. Maybe the advice matters to those who stay at beach chalets, as they are a bit further away.
The Beach chalets are elevated, to give a view of the ocean, but it's not right next to the beach. In that way, The Jungle or Beach chalet doesn't have much of a difference except for the elevation.
Have fun trying to locate where the shower is 😀 It is built in to a branch of a tree, totally Eco-friendly. The pool is of 4ft depth, and there are little islands made in the middle. For a dwarf like me, having a 4ft depth all over the pool was nice. I'm not a good swimmer. If only the Lake next to the hotel was full and lively, it would have been a beautiful scenery to gaze from the pool.
The Main restaurant is located on top of the reception area. For someone who can't use the stairs, there is a lift but you have to walk a bit further. Our meal plan started off with Dinner and the food was great. No complaints.
The issue was the breakfast buffet. Most of those who reside at this hotel, are bound to go on a morning safari. Unfortunately, the hotel doesn't hold the buffet for a little longer, even if the hotel website states that we have to inform about the late arrival and they are happy to extend. No, it didn't happen. They gave us a deadline of 10.15 am. My awesome mother who didn't go with us on the safari due to the knee pain she had, has loaded plates for us and kept it, before the buffet was closing at 10 am. So we did have enough food. Otherwise, there were only a limited choice left in the dishes. I really wish the hotel considered the type of visitors and extend the closing time of the buffet.
For Lunch, we were too full as the breakfast was late. We decided to get a take away pack. We got an impressive pack of food, loaded with sandwiches, yogurt, apples & drinks. Also, as compliments, we got tiny woven boxes filled with macaroons and cookies. Sweet!
Cinnamon Wild gave us a wonderful stay at Yala. Unlike the typical hotel experience, we loved how it gave us the wildlife feel. The food was great, the service was awesome and the hotel staff is not only great, but they are sensible too. Recommending this place for anyone who loves an unconventional accommodation experience.