This is a beautifully remodeled old "wallawwa" in the middle of a jungle. Its minimalistic and modern. It's about 5 km in from the main rd, conveniently located next to the cultural triangle. We were based out of this villa, and visited Sigiriya, Dambulla, Polonnaruwa, Minneriya park and Anuradhapura.
The place has 4 main rooms each with attached bathrooms. A main living area dining and secondary seating area. The outdoor living is the best feature of hidden side.
Paul is gracious hosts. He and his staff took care of our every need. The food was amazing. The "kola kanda" ( green porridge) was everyone's favorite off the breakfast menu. Dinner was a variety of Sri Lankan dishes
Every morning we went on a expedition to find wildlife. Saw some peacocks roaming the grounds were not lucky enough to see any elephants. Do not be surprised if you have a little frog or two in your shower to serenade you. You are in the jungle after all.
Overall it was a wonderful 3 days at hidden side. Wish we had more time. This place is highly recommended by us.
If you like: 1. Sitting in a comfortable chair, reading a book, with a glass of papaya juice as you quietly watch the sunset and are caressed by a cool breeze, or 2. Taking a walk or run where you might see peacocks, elephants, monkeys, frogs and many colorful birds (including birds of prey) as you saunter through the jungle, or 3. Love Sri Lankan food, or 4. Want to be located within an hour or so of 4 major UNESCO/tourist sights, or 5. All of the above.... This is the place for you. I booked one night at Paul's place and ended up staying four. His home is nicely constructed in brick and rubbed concrete and doors made from trees from the property. Inside is decorated with beautiful and ornate wood furniture. Wall hangings and wonderful photos of elephants abound. The bathrooms are new and modern, with large vanities, rainforest shower heads and of course hot water (from a solar-powered water heater). The rooms are also equipped with ceiling fans and if you prefer to avoid the cool breeze, air conditioners. Each has a real bed with comfortable sheets and real towels. There are plenty of common areas -- a patio, and outside area with benches, another outside area with cushiony chairs, an inside dining room with a large table that gets the cool night breeze as well as a sitting area with a TV, and an internal area complete with magnificently carved wooden benches. All of this space makes the home ideal for larger parties wishing to enjoy their holiday together. You could see many a late night here just talking amongst yourselves!! But it was also spectacular for me, a solo traveller. I did not have a car and was concerned with being 5 km from the main road. But Paul promised, and made due, that he would get me to the main road to take public transport to the sights. He even took me, as well as Uma, Ayesha and EK, to hike Pidurangala (instead of Sigirya). So we all went up together! He intends to get some bicycles for the future. It is also easy to hire a tuk-tuk. It was quite nice to go away for a few hours, see the sights and come back to this relaxing respite away from all the hustle and bustle of the towns. The food was amazing. I took breakfast and dinner every day and always was given something different. Uma and Ayesha are wonderful hostesses. They cook up many of the Sri Lankan specialties -- some you won't see in a restaurant or even know to ask for -- and they also take great care and pride in trying to serve you as if you were in a five star hotel. Everything is beautiful prepared and laid out, china is used and they are always asking if you want something more. Each meal was a ceremony. Just go.
We stayed at HiddenSide for 3 nights in December and had a wonderful time. We were party of 11 and the property accommodated us easily.
The villa is beautiful, the surroundings are peaceful and quiet, and the interior of the villa is maintained to a high standard.
Uma, the chef, did an excellent job of catering for us - not an easy task when we had 1 vegan, 5 vegetarians, 1 pescetariam and 4 non-vegetarians. However everybody was really happy with the quality of food.
Paul was easy to communicate with, accommodating of our various needs and helped us a lot with our trip.
The only thing to note is that the villa is tricky to find, and on a slightly narrow road for our 27seater Toyota coaster. However our driver called Paul who gave us good instructions and even met us on the road to show us the way, and we managed it twice every day with no problems thereafter.
Thanks Paul for a great stay!
We stayed at Hiddenside for 2 nights and we had a great experience. Great facilities and the place is hidden away in a quiet serene location away from the busy roads, we woke up to the peaceful sounds of mother nature.
Paul and his staff were very nice, helpful and professional. The food was great the cooks are highly skilled, breakfast included in the accommodation was a full Sri Lankan breakfast with all the trimmings not just toast and coffee. Paul also organized a wild Safari on our request which we enjoyed immensely.
Excellent value for a great price and we got what exactly came looking for. Highly recommend Waya Ulpatha Hiddenside.