The Best Hotels in Ella, Sri Lanka
Fresh coconuts in Ella © SarahTz / Flickr
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.
4.5/5 (30 Reviews)
Ekho Ella | 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.
Ella's Edge Resort | 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.
Ella Nature View
5/5 (1 Reviews)
Ella Nature View | 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).
The Secret Ella
Boutique Hotel, Eco Hotel
5/5 (1 Reviews)
The Secret Ella overlooking the valley / Courtesy of The Secret Ella
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.
98 Acres Resort and Spa
Boutique Hotel, Resort, Spa Hotel, Luxury, Hotel
4.3/5 (6 Reviews)
Take a dip in your personal pool at 98 acres / Courtesy of 98 Acres
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.
The Tenth Hotel
Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast
3.5/5 (34 Reviews)
Privileged views from the rooms at The Tenth Hotel / Courtesy of The Tenth Hotel
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.
Grand Peak Hotel
Bed and Breakfast, Eco Hotel
3.8/5 (48 Reviews)
Grand Peak Hotel | 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.
Ella Jungle Resort
3.9/5 (85 Reviews)
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.
Ella Rock House
4/5 (81 Reviews)
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.
These recommendations were updated on May 4, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.