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Yala Village

  We chose Yala Village as our hotel for our safari to Yala national park as it was the closest one to its entrance.  Billing this hotel as luxurious is a bit of a stretch but supposedly is the best in the area.  The hotel was closing down for renovation and change of name (becoming Chaaya Wild Yala) about a week after our departure.
  Staff Service
  Check in and check out were handled smoothly and service, although not excellent, was of a good standard.  We got a feeling that staff were slightly disinterested in their jobs.
  Hotel Location and Ambiance
Being situated near the entrance to Yala park, location is Yala Village's strongest point.  It has pretty much the same surroundings as the park and is right on the ocean, even though the water is dangerous to swim in.  Wildlife truly strolls the same grounds as you do and the hotel recommends you do not go out unaccompanied at night.  During our stay at Yala Village we saw monkeys, lizards, water buffalo, boars and all sorts of birds within touching distance.
  Room
 
We spent two nights in a relatively cozy little hut that was raised about a meter from the ground.  Yala Village
positions itself as an ecolodge and the hut, although not luxurious was well decorated.  Exception to this were the porch furniture which were plastic pretending to be wood.  Everything in the room worked but there was no safe.  Vegetation was quite thick so there was no real view but sitting on the veranda was relaxing especially at night when only the sounds of nature could be heard. 
  The bathroom although somewhat dark was decent and our only grievance was that hot water would run out very quickly.  It seems each room has its own water heating system but capacity is rather small.
  Food and Beverage
  Food was good with breakfast being offered as a buffet with plenty to choose.  Omelets and hoppers were made to order in front of you.  It was the only place were waffles were already made but if you asked they made fresh ones for you. 
  Dinner was again buffet style with reasonable choices including not so spicy carries.  Drinks were reasonably priced and service was good.
  Facilities and Entertainment
 
After the safari and breakfast the only thing we wanted to do was relax.  We lounged at the pool for quite some time although water was cloudy.  As nothing bad happened to us this was most probably due to the dust in the area.  At the top of the restaurant sits an observatory with a bar affording great views of Yala Park and the ocean.  We found that a great spot to have a drink and check up on emails as free WiFi is available at the common areas of the hotel and not the rooms.
  Entertainment is sponsored by nature and comes in the form of animal and bird watching.  We watch an extended family of about 80 wild pigs thundered around the hotel grounds, tried to match the slow motion of a water monitor, played hide and seek with the shy monkeys at the edge of the tree line near the ocean and tried to avoid the enormous droppings water buffalo left during the night all over the place.
  Our opinion
  Great location.  After renovation it should truly be the top place to stay in Yala.

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