Jetwing Vil Uyana featured as one of world’s 15 best eco hotels by Condé Nast Traveller

Wednesday, 3 May 2023 00:15 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


Popular publication Condé Nast Traveller has named Jetwing Vil Uyana as one of the 15 best eco hotels in the world.

Jetwing Symphony PLC Chairman  Hiran Cooray said:  “Jetwing Vil Uyana has been our flagship resort since 2006. The ambitious project designed by acclaimed environmental architect Sunela Jayewardene, along with a team of experts in various fields, set a new tone for eco-luxury hotels in Sri Lanka and the region. We are honored to receive this recognition by Condé Nast Traveller, one of the leading travel publications in the world, and the opportunity this gives to take our island forward as a leading sustainable travel destination.”

The benchmark of eco-luxury hotels located in the heartlands of north-central Sri Lanka, Jetwing Vil Uyana’s story from concept to operations is a testament to the positive impact a hotel can have on the planet. 

Drawing inspiration from the Barnes wetland on the outskirts of London and from ancient Sri Lanka, Jetwing embarked on a mission in the early 2000s to convert 28 acres of abandoned paddy fields into a thriving wetland, the first of its kind in present-day Sri Lanka. A daunting  task, as surveys carried out at the site prior to construction returned paltry results. However, with Jetwing’s persistent commitment and passion, the dream of making it a wetland teeming with wildlife has come to fruition.

Jetwing Vil Uyana’s doors opened in 2006, and as of 2022, the faunal diversity has swelled from pre-construction numbers along with the stabilisation of the wetland over time. The property currently boasts over 157 species of birds and over 29 mammals, with the numbers of butterflies, reptiles, and amphibians also showing significant growth. 

Alongside the overall increase in biodiversity at the hotel’s premises, the story of the Grey Slender loris has garnered special consideration since being discovered on site in 2010 in an area earmarked for expansion; their existence prompted the management to abandon the development plans and declare the area as a loris research and conservation site – the first of its kind in the world. And today, the conservation project of over 12 years has seen the birth of 29 lorises, the development of a research center, and the publication of two books.

Sustainability is typically associated solely with the environment; however, Jetwing Hotels is guided by a comprehensive six-fold sustainability strategy that involves the community and nature alike. From the thatched roofing, which was inspired by traditional Sri Lankan architectural concepts, to sourcing and producing everything possible in-house utilising space within the property, opting for in-house grown and locally sourced produce, to award-winning community initiatives such as the Jetwing Youth Development Project and Second Careers, which provides work opportunities for middle-aged women to achieve financial independence, Jetwing Vil Uyana sets the benchmark for responsible travel in all aspects.

Jetwing restored a wetland that fits with their business model through simple planning and the desire to make a difference.