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Uga Jungle Beach

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

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The Premises 

Uga Jungle Beach – by remote rural village Kuchchaveli, in Sri Lanka – is the kind of tropical pad Robinson Crusoe would have lived in, had Defoe browsed Architizer. Set in luxuriant shrubland, the hotel has a near-deserted beach, treehouse-style restaurant and bar threaded through with exotic foliage, and castaway-chic villas cloaked by mangroves – perfect for privacy-seeking twosomes.

Uga Jungle Beach

27th Kilometer post. Pullmudai Road Kuchchaveli, Trincomalee, Trincomal Trincomalee, Sri Lanka



Compliments of the House 

30-minute jet-lag massage for two

At the Hotel 

CHECK-OUT: 11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm. Arrivals can stow their luggage away and dine, drink or swim while they wait.
A lavish Continental breakfast spread costs US$32 an adult, US$16 a child.


Spa, private beach, gym, library with DVDs to borrow, free WiFi throughout. In-rooms: flatscreen TV and DVD player, iPod dock, radio, minibar, tea and coffee service, free bottled water. Jet skis and bikes can be borrowed on request.


A torch for safe nighttime manoeuvring, and an Indiana Jones-style fedora for jungle posturing.


All ages welcome. Extra beds for under-12s (US$15 a night) and cots for under-3s (free) can be added to all villas, and babysitting is available (must be booked a day in advance). There are kids toys and bikes to borrow, water polo and crab hunting.


Uga spa is set by the beach. There are two open-air treatment rooms, where guests can indulge in Swedish and Balinese massages, facials, and Ayurvedic and rejuvenating treatments. Couples’ treatments are available on request, and a spa therapist can be summoned to your villa. Meditation sessions are held during high season.


The curvilinear pool meanders around the natural path of jungle vegetation; lined with green tiles to mimic the lagoon, it’s kept cool and shaded by the tree canopy. The bar’s just a few steps away, but staff will happily ferry drinks to your day-bed. The Jungle Cluster villas share a pool, and the beach is safe for swimming year-round – with calm waters and a fleet of lifeguards on patrol.


Getting to the hotel might be tricky, but all public areas have wheelchair access and villas 21 and 22 are outfitted for disabled guests.
Planning to get on one knee? Or even if you already have, staff can set up swoonsome stage dressing for a special private meal: a lantern-lit beach picnic under the stars, or a table on a tree-ringed terrace, with a five-course meal or fresh seafood to snack on.


Early check-in and Late check-out subject to availability. Charges may apply.


Villa decor is smart and modern; however, it’s the otherworldly scenery that steals the show. With this in mind, we love Room 15, a beach cabin set away from the main building, for its seclusion, scenic views and private beach access. If staying in a Lagoon Cabin, request the upper level to catch scintillating sunsets in all their glory.

Food & Drink 

Unforgettable Features 

Chef Vichalya Fernando crafts oh-so-fresh seafood dishes – garlic-sautéed rock lobster, prawn cocktail with caviar, and charred cuttlefish – using the catches of the day; he makes excellent curries with vegetables and spices grown nearby, too. The intimate tree-pierced restaurant pavilion has the lilypad-laced lagoon to one side and tables spilling onto the beach on the other, with upper and sunken levels for extra privacy. Breakfast is also served here: a generous spread with doughnuts, croissants, breads, fruit juice or a smoothie, yoghurt, eggs any style, sausages and beans, and a few extra treats.

Liquid Bliss 

The open-plan bar is next to the restaurant and pool, with white sofas and candlelit tables under a thatched roof. Beer, wine and champagne grace the menu, but it wouldn’t be a tropical getaway without an outrageous coconut-and-rum concoction, which the bartender will happily shake up for you.
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Experience the Extraordinary 

Blessed with picture-perfect beaches, curvaceous lagoons and unspoilt swathes of jungle, Kuchchaveli and its rural surrounds remain untouched by the country’s tourism boom, for now. Uga Jungle Beach’s remote locale means you’ll spend most of your time on site, but there’s plenty to do when you’ve finished contemplating the reserve’s natural beauty: swim and sunbathe and play volleyball. There’s an underwater Vegas of neon reef fish to see on snorkelling and scuba-diving trips, or you can zoom over the ocean on a jet-ski or sailboat. For trips off site, you can self-drive, but an easier option is getting the hotel to hire drivers and plan a day trip for you. If you want a change of scenery, of sorts, head to groomed Nilaveli beach or wild Uppuveli – 20–30 minutes’ drive away. Trincomalee town, a former Dutch colony, has plentiful historic sites, including one of the world’s most impressive natural harbours (the site of many a colonial sea-battle). Circumnavigate Portuguese-built Fort Frederick’s walls, and see the sacred tree, gold Shiva statue and Chola bronzes at Koneswaram Temple, both perched atop Swami Rock. The site also has a vertigo-inducing Lovers’ Leap. Swap soaking in mineral-rich waters, for a fun yet unceremonious bucket dousing at Kanniya Hot Springs, a 25-minute drive from the resort, and wander through the unearthed dagaba base and statuary at Thiryaya archaeological site – a 10-minute drive north from Kuchchaveli. Nature lovers can hop on a dolphin and whale-watching trip or spend the day on Pigeon Island National Park, but hiking and biking through the jungle provides plenty of flora and fauna-spotting opportunities.


Set on a mangrove-crowded 10-acre reserve to the north of Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province, 30 minutes from Trincomalee town, Uga Jungle Beach sits between Periyakarachchi lagoon and a white-sand beach.


Fly into Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport, and hop on an air taxi to Trincolamee China Bay domestic airport; the hotel is a 40-minute drive from there. Flights arrive at Colombo from the UK and Europe via Doha International; flights across the Pacific arrive via Kunming Airport, or direct from Australia. Call our Smith24 Team on 03300 376 891 to arrange flights and transfers.


The hotel’s remote locale makes a hire car handy – if you’re quick on the draw with the horn and brake, and are an able cow dodger. Acquire an international driving licence and recognition permit before you go. Airport transfers (US$200 each way from Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport; US$55 one-way from Trincomalee) and drivers for excursions can be arranged. Colombo is a four-and-a-half hour drive away; Jaffna, three hours, and on-site parking is free.


The hotel has a helipad for those who want to arrive in a more dramatic fashion.


27th Kilometer post. Pullmudai Road Kuchchaveli, Trincomalee, Trincomal Trincomalee, Sri Lanka

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