Cinnamon Wild Yala – Hotel Review

Tucked away in the southeast of Sri Lanka, the remote Cinnamon Wild Yala hotel retreat promised us a honeymoon escape that was as wild and untamed as the surrounding Yala National Park.

After an eventful day in Galle Fort, we embarked on the next leg of our Sri Lankan honeymoon journey to the captivating Cinnamon Wild Yala.

Entrance at Cinnamon Wild Yala with two security guards outside the barrier

Even before we arrived at the hotel, imagine our excitement when we spotted a wild elephant quenching its thirst by the roadside.

Our driver paused, allowing us to soak in this magnificent sight. We watched, spellbound, as the majestic creature sauntered across the road, disappearing back into the embrace of the wilderness.

A wild elephant crossing the road in Yala Sri Lanka

Check out our video shown below

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Cinnamon Wild Yala property is conveniently located on the outskirts of the Yala National Park. Its proximity to the national parks, a mere buffer zone away, makes it an ideal location for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers.

The vast Indian Ocean lies on one side, offering breathtaking views and tranquil beach walks.

A vibrant green jungle canopy surrounds the resort and chalets. Then, the other side is graced by a lake filled with crocodiles, so there is plenty to explore.

Luke standing looking out at the lake next to Wild Cinnamon Yala where there are wild crocodiles

This remote location provides a unique blend of tranquillity and excitement, delivering a truly immersive experience in nature’s lap.


Our stay at this Cinnamon Wild Yala retreat was a brief yet incredibly memorable one night. We couldn’t help but wish for a longer stay! Ensure you reserve your spot for the morning safari, and if you’re lucky enough to stay for two nights, don’t miss the opportunity to book an evening safari.

We used Apple Vacations for our Sri Lanka honeymoon journeys. They went out of their way to ensure we had a wonderful stay. You can read more about them in our other blog posts (coming soon).

Reception desk at Cinnamon Wild Yala


The lobby is sheltered but open and known for having wild visitors occasionally! This photo of an elephant at the check-in desk is one of the funniest things!!

A wild Elephant standing at the reception desk in Cinnamon Wild Yala Sri Lanka

As we entered, we were relieved to be given a cold flannel and a welcome drink from the welcoming receptionist. As we waited to be checked into our room, we were shocked to see grey langar monkeys casually hanging around the pool area!

Kay sitting near the swimming pool in Cinnamon Wild Yala Hotel with grey langur monkeys sitting next to pool


The Cinnamon Wild Yala Resort on-site restaurant, Tuskers, serves an array of delicious Sri Lankan and continental cuisine.

Dining area in cinnamon wild resort Yala

Indulge in a sumptuous buffet spread rich in variety and flavour. The restaurant has open-sided views of the wilderness you can enjoy while dining.

I must also mention the commendable attention to cleanliness in the buffet area. The establishment has gone to great lengths to ensure food hygiene and freshness, most evident in the salad, fruit, and dessert sections.

Dinner buffet section in cinnamon wild resort Yala

This area was well-maintained in a separate air-conditioned room equipped with an automatic door, keeping it fresh and free from flies. This attention to detail comforted our dining experience. The breads and chutneys were also stored behind sliding door cabinets.

Our booking at Cinnamon Wild Yala included dinner and breakfast, a delightful treat.

Dinner Cinnamon Wild Yala


The dinner was a vibrant spread of local and international delicacies, beautifully laid out as a buffet. Each dish bore the hallmark of authentic flavours and fresh ingredients.

Whether you fancy a traditional Sri Lankan dish or crave a taste of home with a Western favourite, ‘Tuskers’ will not disappoint.


We had an early morning safari but returned in time to enjoy the buffet breakfast. It is equally enjoyable as dinner, with various options for every palate.

Breakfast Cinnamon Wild Yala

Every bite was a delight whether the traditional Sri Lankan or classic English breakfast, making our dining experiences seamless and enjoyable.

They also offer a special champagne breakfast by the lake. Let them know ahead of time to arrange it.


Cinnamon Wild Yala boasts two exceptional bars for those who enjoy a nice drink at the end of an adventurous day. Each offers a unique ambience that complements the wild surroundings.


Grab a drink from Pugmarks, the Cinnamon Wild Yala well-stocked bar. After the long drive to Yala, it was the best place to unwind with a chilled drink.

Luke holding a pint of beer at the bar in cinnamon wild resort Yala

Set in an open-air sheltered bar. The attentive staff, unique ambience and beautiful lighting, complete with the sounds of the wild, bring you closer to nature.

Luke sitting at the bar area in the Yala Cinnamon Wild Hotel

The drinks menu at Pugmarks is truly fantastic. It offers local and international beers, wines, and creatively mixed cocktails.

As the morning light began to seep in, Pugmarks transformed into a perfect sanctuary for us, the early birds. We indulged in tea and coffee and petted the well-looked-after dogs before setting off on our thrilling safari adventure in Yala National Park.

Luke stroking a dog and drinking a cup of coffee

Accompanying our hot beverages were some cakes and biscuits, providing the vital energy kick we needed to fuel our day’s explorations.

Peacock Bar – Alfresco Roof Top

In the evening, head to the rooftop bar, with panoramic views across Yala National Park, whilst you watch the sunset over the wild plains, turning the sky into a canvas of vibrant hues – a truly unforgettable experience on our honeymoon in Sri Lanka!


Whether you’re a nature lover seeking an immersive jungle experience or a beach enthusiast looking for tranquil ocean views, the chalets at Cinnamon Wild Yala ensure an unforgettable stay in the heart of Sri Lanka’s wild beauty.

Jungle Chalet

Our accommodation at Cinnamon Wild Yala was nestled within a Jungle Chalet, a truly unique experience that amplified the excitement of our stay.

Kay standing outside the Cinnamon Wild Yala-Chalet room 157

Upon arrival, we were informed that as darkness falls, it is mandatory to call the reception for an escort from the chalet to the dining area or bar and back due to the nocturnal activities of the surrounding wildlife. This introduced an exhilarating twist to our adventure!

During our evening escort, we encountered wild boars, amd a stealthy snake. During the day, we saw a chameleon, land monitors, monkeys and loads of birds from the balcony.

Chameleon in the grounds of Cinnamon Wild resort Yala Sri Lanka

And in the early dawn, before our safari, mischievous monkeys leapt over the chalet roofs and dived across the trees.

Luke standing looking at views from the Yala Cinnamon Wild Chalet Balcony


We were swept off our feet as we stepped into our large, beautifully decorated chalet. A large bed with a delightful display of swan towel art that added just the right touch of charm and romance, perfect for our honeymoon retreat.

Big double bed with mosquito netting round the sides in the chalet of the cinnamon wild resort

With free Wi-Fi for guests, cable TV, laundry service, and air conditioning to keep us comfortable.

Bathroom area with safe in the chalet in the cinnamon wild resort Yala Sri Lanka

The bathroom was another delight. It was well-lit, showcasing a lovely waterfall shower that offered us a refreshing retreat after our long days of exploration.

We were pleasantly surprised to find a separate storage room designed to house our suitcases. This clever feature kept our room looking tidy and uncluttered.

Wardrobe area with safe in the chalet in the cinnamon wild resort Yala

We were also treated to some chocolates and biscuits, a delightful surprise from the staff to celebrate our honeymoon.

Biscuits and chocolates in the on a plate

Bottled water and tea and coffee facilities are included. There is also a mini bar, including soft drinks, beers, and international spirits (chargeable on check out).

Our honeymoon stay at Cinnamon Wild Yala was made truly memorable by the dedicated staff and the stunning chalets.

Beach Chalets

The resort also offers Beach Chalets, providing alternative accommodation options for guests who prefer the cool ocean breeze and the calming sound of the waves.


The pool at Cinnamon Wild Yala offers a tranquil oasis amidst the wilderness. Open until 9 p.m., it provided us the perfect opportunity to indulge in a leisurely evening swim.

Swimming pool at night with Luke having a swim in the cinnamon wild resort

As the sun dipped below the horizon, the sky dotted with stars, we dipped our toes into the cool, inviting water.

The gently lit pool offered a romantic ambience that was the perfect cap to our adventurous days. It was a memorable way to cool down and unwind during our stay.

Luke and Kay in the pool at cinnamon wild resort at night


Cinnamon Wild Yala is also close to a stunning beach, a potential highlight for many guests.

Now, this is where we sheepishly admit amidst the abundance of activities and the allure of our jungle chalet, we, unfortunately, didn’t manage to visit the beach during our one-day stay. Yes, we know – how could we miss the opportunity?

The enchanting waves, the cool breeze, and the soft sand were all there, just a short stroll away. But time ran away with us, and we knew we had Trincomalee Beach Hotel booked. Should you visit, don’t make the same mistake we did. We’ve heard nothing but splendid things about it!


Cinnamon Wild Yala is nestled in the heart of Sri Lanka’s largest wildlife sanctuary and boasts a wide range of activities for guests to participate in. From game drives, bird-watching excursions and walking safaris – you can take advantage of all that nature offers.

Luke and Kay standing next to a lake with crocodiles swimming in the lake behind them

One of the staff took us for a walk to see the wild crocodiles in the lake. We were close to them but reassured that we were safe with the guide! He even took some nice photos for us sat on the rocks.

Luke and Kay sitting on a big rock in the lake at cinnamon wild Yala

For those seeking something more relaxed, take a stroll along the beach, enjoy a spa treatment, relax in your jungle or beach chalet. Or read about the Yala National Park leopards on the reception area boards.

Pictures of different leopards that get seen in the Yala national park in Sri Lanka

They also keep a record of the daily sightings seen on the safaris.

Daily sighting board of animal sightings at the yala national park


While we were thoroughly charmed by the myriad of facilities at Cinnamon Wild Yala, regrettably, we did not find the time to experience the spa. We’ve heard it offers a selection of rejuvenating treatments that promise to soothe and revitalise the senses.

Though we missed out on this relaxing experience during our stay, we look forward to indulging ourselves on our next visit. It’s on our must-try list for returning to this wildlife haven!

Things to do near the Cinnamon Wild Yala

Undoubtedly, the prime attraction near Cinnamon Wild Yala is the Yala National Park itself. Embarking on a safari in this wildlife haven is necessary for any visitor.

Yala National Park

Whether you’re a seasoned wildlife enthusiast or a curious explorer, a safari through Yala National Park will provide an adventure filled with unforgettable encounters.

From spotting leopards lounging lazily in the trees, a sloth bear crossing the path, a herd of elephants, or tropical birds flitting through the sky, this safari is truly a feast for the senses.

Read all about our fantastic Yala National Park Safari.

Luke and Kay standing in front of a safari jeep

Beyond the Yala National Park, a wealth of popular attractions close to Cinnamon Wild Yala further enrich your stay.

Situlpawwa Rock Temple

For history buffs, the ancient Situlpawwa Rock Temple, dating back over 2200 years and home to intricate stone carvings, provides a fascinating glimpse into Sri Lanka’s historical and architectural legacy.

Kataragama Temple

The Kataragama Temple, a holy shrine revered by Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Christians of Sri Lanka, is a noteworthy visit.

Kay standing infront of a Bodhi tree ( the people tree inside the Kataragama Temple in sri lanka

Bundala National Park

Venturing beyond, you’ll find Bundala National Park. It’s a birdwatcher’s dream, hosting 197 bird species, with the Greater Flamingo’s massive migrating flocks as a key attraction.

Conclusion Review of Cinnamon Wild Yala

Concluding our review, we loved our experience at Cinnamon Wild Yala! It’s safe to say that this place has stolen our hearts. It stands as our favourite hotel throughout our entire honeymoon in Sri Lanka. Every aspect of our stay was nothing short of perfection.

The delightful array of food delighted our palate, while the courteous and accommodating staff ensured our every need was catered to, making us feel exceptionally welcome from check-in to check-out.

Kay sitting in a swing chair next to the reception at the cinnamon wild resort Yala Sri Lanka

The exquisitely designed and well-appointed rooms offered a serene retreat amidst the wilderness. The property’s amenities were commendable, providing many experiences and fun-filled activities.

As for the location couldn’t have been better – nestled in the heart of a wildlife sanctuary, it served as the perfect base for our explorations. We couldn’t find a single fault with our stay. Everything was simply flawless.

Our stay at Cinnamon Wild Yala was a perfect blend of luxury, adventure, and natural beauty, making our honeymoon a truly unforgettable experience. We look forward to trying other cinnamon hotels in Sri Lanka on our next visit.

Bookings Rating

Where to next?

As we bid farewell to our lovely stay at Cinnamon Wild Yala, we visit the captivating Udawalawa National Park for another safari experience next on our Sri Lankan honeymoon journey.

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2 thoughts on “Cinnamon Wild Yala – Hotel Review”

    • Thank you so much for the kind words, Nic!
      Seeing the elephants upfront like this an amazing experience, this hotel is perfect place to see so many wild animals 🙂


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