Leading global hospitality company Hilton today announced the opening of Hilton Yala Resort, marking Hilton’s third flagship-branded property in Sri Lanka. Just outside Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park and surrounded by lush greenery, the resort provides an elevated escape for guests seeking adventure and relaxation, with a vast view that overlooks the Indian Ocean.
“We are delighted to welcome Hilton Yala Resort to our expanding portfolio across Sri Lanka and South East Asia,” said Alexandra Murray, area vice president and head of South East Asia, Hilton. “Through the resort’s immersive and rewarding experiences, which beautifully showcases Yala’s natural wonders, we are confident it will be a haven for guests looking to fully connect with nature, enabling them to embark on a journey of self-discovery like no other.”
Distinct Nature-first Design
Designed to immerse guests in the wonders of nature, the resort boasts striking architecture that draws from Yala’s natural beauty. The 42 stylish rooms, suites, and villas feature contemporary interiors that are decorated in neutral tones with safari chic accents and local artworks, which add subtle hints of the locale. Vast windows draw the eye to the resort’s natural surroundings which is home to an abundance of flora and fauna. Ground floor rooms feature private pools, which span from eight to 16 square meters, while those on the level above offer private hot tubs, providing a serene space for guests to unwind.
“Set in the best destinations around the world, each Hilton Hotels & Resorts property places guests at the centre of it all,” said Alexandra Jaritz, senior vice president, Brand Management, Asia Pacific, Hilton. “With its prime location at the edge of the country’s most popular national park, Hilton Yala Resort serves as a beacon for the brand in the region, extending more rewarding and enriching travel experiences to the world. We look forward to empowering guests to make the most of their getaway with renewing experiences that inspire and excite, all complemented by Hilton’s signature hospitality.”
Hilton Yala Resort’s guest experiences extend far beyond its perimeters. The resort offers an elevated and environmentally responsible safari experience – with locally trained rangers. This team of wildlife experts is dedicated to helping guests experience the best of Yala National Park through customizable, twice daily game drives. Each safari tour is dedicated to delivering enlightening and impactful educational sessions to bring about a stronger sense of awareness and appreciation of the wildlife and ecosystem.
The protection of Yala’s biodiversity and environmental sustainability is at the centre of Hilton Yala Resort’s ethos, with the resort designed to ensure the utmost care for the surrounding environment, ecosystem and local communities. Hilton is working with many local partners to advance efforts to preserve and protect local habitats and biodiversity as part of their destination stewardship efforts. An onsite animal research program has also been initiated under the support of microgrant funding provided by the Hilton Global Foundation, equipping rangers with the latest wildlife information, technology and necessary tools, such as solar-powered weather sensors, and night vision binoculars to monitor wildlife in and near the resort, helping them further understand and protect indigenous species. This research will be in collaboration with the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) Small Cat Advisory, Leopard Diary and the Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT) to better inform local conservation efforts.
“We are delighted that Hilton Yala Resort is dedicated to contributing to both conservation and economic opportunities for the communities in the vicinity. This is the first international hotel resort chain in the Yala locality and it will give a huge boost to responsible tourism. It is heartening to know the steps that Hilton Yala Resort has taken to conserve the biodiversity around the property. Being responsible in how the property is managed is very important. Sri Lanka needs responsible and sustainable tourism and we believe that a leading hotel chain such as Hilton will lead the charge in the Yala National Park to conserve the region ethically. We are especially glad to be partnering on wildlife research with the resort’s ranger team and to be working on a longer-term project to collaborate with the farming community to protect wildlife across the Yala zone and expand the purchase of locally grown produce for the hotel. In addition, we are excited to be exploring the development of community education programs with the resort,” said Jehan
CanagaRetna, President of WNPS.
As part of Hilton’s efforts to advance its destination stewardship objectives and career advancement goals, the global hospitality company has also established a ranger academy program to increase the talent pool of qualified rangers in Sri Lanka and to provide meaningful employment and conservation opportunities for members of the local community. The program will be conducted by a Field Guides Association of Southern Africa-certified trainer. Upon completion of the program, successful graduates may be offered employment with Hilton Yala Resort.
Gastronomic Delights from Local to Global
Three exceptional restaurants stand unrivalled, spotlighting head chef Jerome Tissera’s repertoire of contemporary Sri Lankan cuisine, which feature predominantly locally sourced ingredients. Guests can explore the flavors of contemporary Asia at Dhira, the all-day dining establishment; Sandali, a premier dining destination known for its Western cuisine or indulge with cocktails at night at Vanya, while enjoying scenic views. For a truly memorable meal, guests can venture into the wild to experience Lanthaaruma, the resort’s bespoke dining experience set between the lush jungle and the lapping waves of the Indian Ocean, where a fully customized menu of the freshest and highest quality ingredients is accompanied by sommelier-selected wines.
At the heart of the resort is the outdoor pool, which blends seamlessly with its breathtaking surroundings. The resort also features a fully equipped gym, and a state-of-the-art spa that sits beside the main building, providing relaxing treatments in a beautifully designed space. Hilton Yala Resort is part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest loyalty program for Hilton’s 22 distinct hotel brands. To celebrate the resort’s opening, Hilton Honors members will receive 10,000 bonus points with a minimum stay of three nights booked from now till December 1, 2023, when booking directly with Hilton.