Famed Sri Lanka nature reserve and resort Vil Uyana hailed by upmarket Jetsetters travel weblog


The upmarket Jetsetters travel weblog and YouTubeTV channel is extolling Sri Lanka’s first ever man-made nature reserve and eco-luxury resort—Jetwing Vil Uyana at Sigiriya.

Modelled on the UK’s London Wetland Centre, this 28 acres of sustainable tourism was the 2002 brainchild of Jetwing chairman Hiran Cooray and environmental architect Sunela Jayawardene.

Says Jetsetters: “Vil Uyana is highly praised for its layout of a wetland system with lakes, reed beds and forest to form a private nature reserve allowing dwellings to be built within a variety of habitats.”

During construction it was revealed that the site was home to 24 species of butterflies, four species of fish, three species of amphibian and reptiles, 29 species of birds and 12 species of mammals.

Those number have now swelled to 36 species of butterflies, 120 birds, and 20 species of mammals, which is testament to the careful work undertaken to enhance and nurture the local environment.

As a result, Vil Uyana was awarded a PATA Grand Award in 2007—“and 10 years on in recognition of the value of the programme, the same award was received in 2016 for its valuable contribution”.

Says Hiran Cooray: “Jetwing Vil Uyana was a risk, no doubt—a project of this scale and scope had never been undertaken in Sri Lanka at the time! The location was completely rural, the investment was sizeable, and the tourism industry at the time was hard hit due to the civil war.

“All we had was a vision, and a dream to create an eco-resort that truly allowed guests to experience the finest nature had to offer, without compromising on luxury and comfort.

“Today, I look at Jetwing Vil Uyana and I am very proud. Our associates, the community, and all our guests over the past 10 years have given the resort a personality of her own; a concept can be copied, after all, but a personality and identity is unique.”

Read more here.

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