It’s hot up in Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle and there is so much to explore - from ancient cities, rock fortresses, cave temples and an incredible elephant safari at Minneriya. If you're craving some space after all your adventuring and need a bit of luxe and someone to look after you - and want to swim in the biggest pool you’ll see in Sri Lanka- then make sure to book a few nights at the Jetwing Lake Dambulla.
The resort opened in early 2017 and everything about it is big, sparkling and spacious, and the staff - like everyone we met in Sri Lanka - are just so lovely and helpful. You’ll be treated like royalty here and made to feel so special, and we all like that.
The Resort is around 10 minutes from the famous Dambulla rock caves and the rock painting museum which is just a few doors up fromthe temple - and is only 30 minutes from Sigiriya where you can climb the incredible Sigiriya rock to the ancient fortress on top. Another must-do for us in this area is taking an incredible elephant safari at Minneriya National Park to watch literally hundreds of wild elephants wandering around the lake, happy and free.
We loved this Jetwing Hotel for a rest from our activities and the heat. We were greeted on arrival at the huge open lobby with cool towels, flowers and a welcome drink and escorted to our room down wide airy open corridor and across a bridge connecting the main building with the accommodation.
At first I was surprised at the structure - two large rectangular greyish modern buildings rising out of the dry grassland. It’s a contrast but one that for some reason seems to fit. The buildings make you notice just how much space there is out here in the grassland, and with the lake, sun-hazy mountains and blue sky in the background, everything is just so wide and open.
There is so much space at this resort - from the huge rooms and balconies, to the open dining and lobby areas, the vast 18 acres of grounds and the vista from all rooms and dining areas over the banks of the ancient Siyambalaweva water reservoir, one of the ancient tanks built as part of Sri Lanka’s irrigation program in ancient times.
The massive pool
Our most favourite part of Jetwing Lake is the swimming pool. It is huge and crystal clear and sparkling. It’s the biggest I’ve ever seen, and is absolutely spotless with lounge chairs and umbrellas down one side and grass stretching out to the lake on the other. The perfect temperature - not warm as some pools get here in the heat of the day - and not freezing but just right. There is enough room for playing, for swimming laps and for groups of people to have undisturbed time alone - it’s just that big. This is an absolute highlight of this hotel.
The rooms are large and luxurious and the bathrooms are massive!
I love that Jetwing amenities are in ceramic pots and water is in glass jars - it’s one of the many ways Jetting hotels work to minimise their impact on the environment.
The balconies on these rooms are absolutely massive too. We could have had a party on ours and Emmie love practicing her cartwheels outside.. Comfy chairs and lounges and a beautiful view across the land to the lake and beyond make this a lovely place to rest and recline - and you can see the view from your bed too.
The only advice I will give is that the windows are see-through and unless you have the room shades closed entirely you’re at risk of being seen from outside - so be careful that your shades are down when dressing. Rooms on the lower floors are more open so I suggest requesting a higher level. Shrubs have been planted so when these grow they will provide some screening for the rooms.
The dining here is amazing. There are two restaurants - one is Chinese and the other is modern dining where we ate every meal at! It’s really a fine dining experience at dinner, the food was superb. The restaurant is open air and looks out across the grassland and the lake and is such a beautiful spot, and so peaceful.
Breakfast is so great cause it is a mixture of traditional Sri Lankan breakfast - hoppers, sri lankan curry and yoghurt, plus fresh fruit, delicious coffee, cereals, pastries and other western breakfast dishes.
There is an outdoor bar too, in between the pool and the restaurant with little tables and lounges, It is really the most relaxing place. We really loved the food here.
Whilst I wouldn't say this is specifically a family resort there is enough for kids to do here over a one or two day rest - but it's definitely a chill kind of place so your kids will need to be able to enjoy the pool and lake while you're there (unless you do plan on activities during the day).
Bigger kids will enjoy bike riding around the property and everyone will enjoy the pool.
You can walk around the lake, play under the sprinklers on the grass and swing under the trees by the lake. The pool of course, is the highlight and kids will love it.
As this resort is more expensive than others the area I would use it as a rest-stay and stay in cheaper accommodation while exploring as you’ll be out most of the day. Stay at Jetwing Lake for a couple of days to rest and recharge before getting back to the Cultural Triangle trail again and continue to explore this most incredible country.
We were hosted for one night at Jetting Lake and paid for an additional night.