Wild Coast Tented Lodge to open in Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park


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The Sri Lankan family behind the Dilmah Tea brand and Resplendent Ceylon group of hotels has today announced plans for its third property, a luxurious tented wildlife camp which will open in December 2016. Wild Coast Tented Lodge will be situated on a pristine beach on the edge of Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park. The property is the third hotel venture from the Fernando family, who opened the country’s first tea bungalow resort, Tea Trails, in 2005, and cliff top resort, Cape Weligama, in 2014.

Wild Coast Tented Lodge will comprise 28 vaulted tented suites, each offering the same level of comfort as a traditional luxury hotel, but with the excitement of a safari-style wilderness experience. Each air-conditioned suite will measure a generous 55 square metres and will be furnished to the highest specifications, including sumptuous outdoor bathrooms complete with free-standing bathtubs, in-room massage areas and private decks. Four secluded beach-facing suites will have their own plunge pools and provide a more private experience for couples and honeymooners. In turn, a further 16 suites will be dotted around five watering holes designed to attract a variety of bird life and amphibians, which can be viewed from each suite’s outdoor viewing deck. The Family Cluster, located away from the couples’ suites, will be home to eight sizeable tents and a play area equipped with slides, swings and rope ladders. Each of the family suites will come complete with adjoining twin-bedded children’s ‘Urchin Tent’ so that both adults and children can have their privacy.

A bamboo-clad bar and restaurant will serve up creative daily changing menus of locally produced Sri Lankan cuisine, whilst a delicious ‘picnic tea’ will form part of the safari drive experience. The Lodge will boast an Ayurvedic Spa offering a unique range of natural and Sri Lankan treatments developed in-house and made from the abundance of surrounding herbs and plants. Facilities will include a steam bath, oil massage area, yoga pavilion and a relaxation deck for guests to lounge pre and post treatment. The library area will double up as an educational centre where guests can learn about the wildlife in the park and watch documentaries accompanied by explanations from the Lodge’s guides.

Exceptional safari and educational experiences will allow guests to immerse themselves in a restored and rejuvenated part of the wilderness that is home to some of the richest biodiversity in Sri Lanka, and one of the highest leopard population densities in the world. Hybrid vehicles will glide silently through the magnificent profusion of flora and fauna, whilst a variety of learning experiences will be on offer daily, including lectures on wild elephant behaviour, bird watching workshops and nature walks.

These will be led by a local team trained by renowned specialists and will feature a range of experiences tailored to the young adventurer. An onsite dive centre in connection with sister property, Cape Weligama, will allow guests to discover the diverse world that lies beneath Sri Lanka’s waters, including the haunting wrecks of many Portuguese treasure-galleons.

The Lodge’s unique design, masterminded by a consortium of Dutch, English and Sri Lankan designers, sees the man-made structures blending seamlessly into the surrounding landscape thanks to the use of carefully selected natural materials. The use of fabric and bamboo allows each of the 28 tents to take on the shape and colour of the rocks and boulders that lay scattered nearby, whilst a clever layout in the shape of a leopard’s paw alludes to the area’s elusive resident.

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