Jetwing Kaduruketha opened in 2015, an eco-friendly hotel, 30 minutes from Ella. The hotel is discreet but luxurious, away from the backpacker hub in the centre of town. Surrounded by mountains and lush paddy fields, the property is hidden and the 25 cabins (rooms) are disguised among the greenery. Bikes rest by the entrance of each room for guests to travel around the grounds.
We were in cabin 24 with amazing views of the paddy fields and mountains in the distance. Simplicity reigns in the Kaduruketha rooms – a large bed takes centre stage with a small writing desk in the window. The decor is accented with deep red throughout the room. Several cupboards house the safe, lightweight dressing gowns, and tea and coffee facilities to use as you please. A separate indoor bathroom has a powerful shower, sink and toiletries in reusable glass bottles (plastic is not used anywhere in the property).
The hotel tries to bring as much nature into the room as possible. There are no glass windows, instead they have mesh mosquito nets to keep out unwanted bugs while letting in the sounds of the neighbouring animals.
To keep electricity use down, there is no air conditioning in the rooms – the mesh windows and a ceiling fan keep the rooms cool.
In the main building you will find a scenic infinity swimming pool, an al fresco restaurant, and the bar. A small library has an amazing collection of National Geographic magazines to keep you entertained during the spectacular tropical storms. The small spa specialises in Ayurvedic treatments with several modest private rooms for relaxing and revitalising treatments.
When guests are not out exploring the countryside, they can enjoy activities in the hotel’s large grounds. The hotel hosts morning and night-time tours (charged at extra cost) so guests can get to know the animals that are local to the area. Bird watching takes place with a guide at 6.30am each morning and evening wildlife walks are given at 10pm. Some of the animals you might be lucky enough to see include fishing cats, hornbills and flying foxes – they also have a butterfly garden that you can visit in your own time.
In the evening, we enjoyed a romantic private dinner experience by the pool. To start, we sampled complimentary Sri Lankan snacks including spiced savoury doughnuts and pakoras. For the main course I chose the Sultana cashew pulao rice, served with bhindi masala, salt and pepper vegetables and mint & mango chutney. The rice had a good balance of sweetness from the sultanas and crunch from the roasted cashew nuts and the assortment of sides were fragrant and delicious. My guest chose the Sri Lankan putti with potato white curry coconut curry leaf sambol, which was also tasty but he found the putti quite a dense carbohydrate. For dessert, we went for a light and refreshing milk and white chocolate mousse.
The next morning, we started the day with a decadent breakfast on the terrace of our room. We were overwhelmed by the array of Sri Lankan dishes (sambal, potato curry, putti) and European classics (Eggs Florentine) they brought to the room. Beautiful to look at but also very flavoursome and tasty.
Before rushing off to our next destination, we had just enough time for a quick dip in the hotel’s infinity pool and a few minutes of much-needed sun worshipping.
More information and book a stay at Jetwing Kaduruketha here.