Travel Anecdotes – Aliya Resort and Spa, Sigirya

Retreat in Sigirya

I recently visited Sigirya with my husband and mother in law and we stayed for 3 nights 4 days in the Aliya Resort and Spa. My main search criteria was for a local brand resort that had an option for 2 bedrooms in one accommodation, and Aliya Resort and Spa hit the mark.

It’s hard to be super-objective about this trip because we were there a few days after the bomb blasts in Colombo in Easter 2019. My traveling mood was quite down and tense, and a daily read of travel advisories for Sri Lanka in those days made us generally a little reluctant to do much.

Nevertheless, despite the cloud of tragedy that hung over us, it’s clear that this was a quality resort and recommended for those stopping by Sigirya. It is set on sprawling grounds with a beautiful view of the Sigirya rock and the Pidurangala rock. The best place to admire the rocks would be from its massive infinity pool. While I am not sure if the Ceylonese aesthetics is quite as delicate and thoughtful as those India, the property highlighted beautiful traditional accents through its furniture and art. The staff were generally super accommodating and attentive and the buffet had multiple options.

Elephants were a main theme of this resort, with Aliya meaning Elephant in Sinhalese
Main lobby area
Breakfast buffet area is in a glass room
Classic wooden shutters with beautiful tiles
Pathway to the rooms
View of Sigirya rock from lobby
View from lobby and restaurant


The Suite

We also really adored the suite (there are only two in the resort) which is the higher end option. It’s perfect if you are going with family. It had two huge bedrooms with en suite, a sizeable garden, a kitchenette and a private pool. It was a lovely respite after the long and hot drive from Galle.

Entrance to the pool suite
Pool and garden once you open the door
Pool Suite – Kitchenette between bedroom 1 and bedroom 2
Pool Suite – Bedroom 1

The less positive aspects of the resort is the fact that it was not friendly for less mobile guests. We came with my mother in law who is generally a fit 78 but still the distance from one end of the property to another under the hot sun was quite tiring for her. There doesn’t seem to be a buggy option either. The family suite (which is a different room than the private pool suite mentioned above) in particular, was a lot of work. There are 2 flights of steps to climb, and most of the villas was quite far from the Lobby.  It’s in a duplex format, the lower floor was the master bedroom and bathroom and there is a spiral staircase which connects you to the attic. In the attic there are 2 single beds which you can join together and a working desk. There is no bathroom so attic guests have to use the bathroom downstairs. We were definitely not a fan of this range and would not really recommend it, especially for very young kids or the elderly.

Family Suite, master bedroom
Family Suite – spiral staircase connects to the upstairs attic for another bedroom

Finally, I would also recommend the spa treatment. I had an hour long massage which put me off to sleep quite fast. The style of the spa is not quite luxurious but more on the rustic side, thought it was still a nice and non expensive option.

Spa waiting area
Masseuse leading the way to the massage room
Spa entrance
Spa entrance

Final words

Overall, we would definitely recommend Aliya Spa and Resort for those looking for some chill out downtime in a nature retreat. The spa is also recommended as a relaxing way to spend the evening before dinner time, desert and a good night’s sleep. If it’s available, and if traveling with more than one or two pax, the private pool suite is a must try.

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