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Dining in an 100 Year Old Colonial Mansion at Sri Lanka’s Liya Wela Restaurant

The Motorized Fans Above Gleaming Wood Tables at Ulagalla’s Liya Wela Restaurant

It’s always cool when a hotel has a bit of history. At Ulagalla eco-resort in Sri Lanka, the hotel’s reception, bar, and the Liyawela restaurant of are located in a beautifully restored 100 year old Wallawwa (colonial manor house) that once belonged to the village chieftain.

The Sri Lankan Breakfast Was Spicy and Satisfying

I ordered the Sri Lankan breakfast which included a local specialty called string hoppers, chicken curry and sambol (a chili-like condiment). It was the right degree of hot for me. The menu also had an American breakfast and Continental Deluxe but what would be the fun in ordering that?

The menu had a variety of dishes including vegetarian options. I enjoyed the curries especially. Sri Lankan curries are hot, but I found Ulagalla’s to be nicely spicy. At dinner, the biryani was particularly tasty.

The Wine Tree Was a Whimsical Touch

Why can’t E. Guigal Chateauneuf-du-Pape grow on trees? It’s my favorite (and pairs nicely with spicy food). Ulagalla has an underground wine cellar with a glass roof, should you like to pair your food with a nice bottle. This tree, decorated with empty bottles is located at the entrance to the Lilaweya dining room.

The Motorized fans help keep you cool even if the food is hot

Ulagalla believes in bio-cuisine and has food available whenever you are hungry. While 24 hour room service is available, I preferred to dine with my fellow guests in the hotel dining room. One night during my stay, tables were set up poolside which was a nice treat. You can also arrange to dine in one of the rice paddies if you’d prefer.

Dinner portions were just the right size  for the tropical climate

Night at Ulagalla’s Restored Colonial Mansion

One night I ate at a table set up near the pool. It was lovely.

The Estate’s walawwa, or grand manor house, was orginally built over a 100 years ago.

Scenes from a restored colonial mansion

A view from my breakfast table overlooking the pool at Liya Wela



Ulagalla Resort is located in Thirappane village and about 20 KM from the ancient city of Anuradhapura. Ulagalla is member of SLH Hotels and can be booked directly from the SLH website.