The Best Hotels in Ella, Sri Lanka

The Secret Ella is set in a 10-acre tea estate
The Secret Ella is set in a 10-acre tea estate | Courtesy of The Secret Ella/ Expedia
Emma Sparks

You don’t need to venture far from Ella – a quiet mountain village peppered with temples and tea rooms – to find a valley awash with waterfalls, green tea plantations and hiking trails galore. It’s just a few hours from Colombo, but far enough away to feel immersed in Sri Lankan nature. From eco lodges and jungle resorts to homely B&Bs, these are some of the best places to stay in Ella, all bookable with Culture Trip.

1. Ekho Ella


Ekho Ella_daa51e45
Courtesy of Ekho Ella / Expedia

There’s a subtle railway theme at Ekho Ella, where homely rooms feature ‘1st class sleeping berths’ (beds) and ‘observation saloons’ (windows). Gimmicks aside, the scenery takes centre stage. Nab a plush lounger on the grassy lawn to take in some of the very best views of the valley and Ella Gap, where layer upon layer of hilly silhouettes fade into the misty distance.

2. Ella's Edge Resort


Ellas Edge Resort_69ba8a53
Courtesy of Ella's Edge Resort / Expedia

Want to watch the sunrise over Little Adam’s Peak without getting out of bed? You can do just that at Ella’s Edge Resort; each of its large, clean rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies looking out over the Ella Gap. It’s an easy walk to reach Ella town – don’t miss a generous dinner of rice and curry at Matey Hut.

3. Ella Nature View


Ella Nature View_c5f0fda6
Courtesy of Ella Nature View / Expedia

Ella Nature View overlooks a cascading waterfall and jungle shrouded mountains. The modern rooms are great value – even the showers have show-stopping views. Want to get out there? You can reach the top of Ella Rock in less than two hours from town – ask the friendly staff for the best routes up it (tip: you don’t need a guide).

4. The Secret Ella

Boutique Hotel, Eco Hotel


The huge mountain-view chalets and suites at The Secret Ella have freestanding tubs and private terraces. Tour the hotel’s 10-acre (4ha) tea estate, soak up the sensational views from the infinity pool, or opt to get pampered at the spa inside the hotel’s sister property, 98 Acres Resort. Keen photographer? Take your camera to the Nine Arches Bridge to capture colourful passenger-packed trains trundling across the scenic viaduct.

5. 98 Acres Resort and Spa

Boutique Hotel, Resort, Spa Hotel, Luxury, Hotel


Say ayubowan (hello) to dreamy valley views and romantic seclusion at 98 Acres Resort and Spa. The 28 rooms here have been made with upcycled and reclaimed local materials, but you wouldn’t know it – this is eco-luxury at its most stylish. Think soaring ceilings, stone bathrooms and a cocktail bar hewn from railway sleepers. The steep but scenic hikes up to Little Adam’s Peak and Ella Rock viewpoints are both within easy reach, but if that sounds too much like hard work, you can enjoy the panorama from the free-form pool.

6. The Tenth Hotel

Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast


The budget-friendly Tenth Hotel is a dusty 10-minute walk from Ella’s train station and main cluster of restaurants. Rooms have terrazzo floors, private balconies and killer mountain views. This may be tea country, but tea alone won’t fill you up after a strenuous hike up Little Adam’s Peak. Book ahead to join a cooking class at Ella Spice Garden, where you’ll learn about Sri Lankan condiments, pick fresh herbs and spices, and add them to your very own curry.

7. Grand Peak Hotel

Bed and Breakfast, Eco Hotel

Grand Peak Hotel_cf5702c6
Courtesy of Grand Peak Hotel / Expedia

The clean, white rooms at Grand Peak Hotel feature comfy beds and broad shared balconies. Sonny and his wife are gracious hosts and can help you arrange transport and activities around Ella and beyond. From here, it’s a short hike to the Nine Arch Bridge. Swing by Newburgh Estate Tea Factory to rehydrate on some of the region’s finest green teas, while learning how they’re grown and processed.

8. Ella Jungle Resort


Ella Jungle Resort
Courtesy of Ella Jungle Resort / Expedia

Like to arrive in style? It takes an off-road drive and cable car to reach Ella Jungle Resort, which spans 150 acres (61ha) of lush valley between Ella and Wellawaya. Due to the resort’s remote location, it’s not the best base for sightseeing. Luckily, there’s lots to do within the resort, from getting your hands dirty at the organic farm (the fruits of which you’ll find at the vegetarian restaurant), to yoga, canyoning and ziplining.

9. Ella Rock House


Ella Rock House
Courtesy of Ella Rock House / Expedia

With modern guest rooms and a rooftop breakfast platform offering views of Little Adam’s Peak, Hiker’s Lodge is a practical spot to rest and recuperate between hill treks and tea tours. Ella’s classic trails and tea plantations are all on your doorstep. Save time for a trip to the region’s glorious waterfalls too – Ella, after all, means ‘waterfall’ in Sinhalese; hire a driver to take you to the impressive Ravana Falls or the (not-so-) Secret Waterfall, south of town.

This is an updated version of an article originally by Orana Velarde.

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