Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Ulpotha is a beautiful private hideaway open to guests for part of the year for relaxation, rejuvenation, and resourcing through yoga and traditional Ayurveda.

Meditation Retreats 1

Limited availability

Speaks English

from US$2,940
from US$2,940
Price for:

15 days / 14 nights

Instructors 1

Laura Gilmore

Laura’s teaching is adapted to the specific needs of the students, giving a deeply nurturing experience and the opportunity for supported self-healing. Laura conveys the true spirit and philosophy of yoga through movement and stillness, warmth, and humor. With more than 25 years practice and 15 years teaching experience, her deep knowledge and intuition enable students to experience positive transformation, both physical and mental. Laura is a creative, inspiring teacher, responding to the needs of the students before her while relying on the yogic wisdom passed down from her teachers.

Testimonials 30

  • a traveler Germany

    TripAdvisor website

    It took my unbelievable 9 months to write my review on my stay at Ulpotha. Now here is the thing: my memories are just as vivid today as they were 3 weeks after being back home. I just need to close my eyes and think of the yoga shala, think of my hut, the lovely people and I am right back: feeling the sand under my feet, feeling the light breeze on my skin while being savely tucked under my mosquito net at night, smelling the woods, diving into the most delicious food villagers are preparing for you every day. Looking back now Ulpotha was a "heart thing" for me and I am so glad I went. Many thanks to Pri who made me feel so welcome even weeks before I got on the plane, to Padma who is the best host ever as she makes you feel her love and respect while having a great great sense of humor, to Ken and his fantastic body work / massage, and all the people (villagers and guest alike) who made this 2 weeks unforgettable (despite that fact I was SERIOUSLY scared of snakes before - there is nothing to worry about!). It's just awesome. So I will be back! If you look for a yoga retreat that is really different, sporty, yummy and relaxing at once - GO! and say hello from me!

  • Katarina

    TripAdvisor website

    Are you ready for a fairy tail? Go visit Ulpotha. This must be the best place if you are interested in Yoga, beautiful nature, friendly people and as a bonus - ayurveda. Best food, beautiful houses and surroundings and friendly people. This is for persons looking for a slow and mindful holiday among nice people and monkeys!

  • a traveler France

    TripAdvisor website

    A place that stands on its own with nothing to add and nothing to remove. A place to get inspired by the beauty, the kindness and the smile of the people, the quality of the food, the local music and the infinite luxury by its simplicity. A place where time flies with the rhythm of the nature. For all the people in search of authenticity i highly recommend ULPOTHA, a sample of paradise.

  • a traveler Indonesia

    TripAdvisor website

    What if a place could bring you back to your center, to yourself.. close to your heart and your body? Feeling yourself. Experiencing the "Nothing", the "Pause", or call it also "the Off" state will really change your life. It’s the proposition of ULPOTHA and the philosophy of AYURVEDA.

    Softening with natural surroundings. I wanted to practice on deepening a body relax and a mind so soft for my whole energy to flow… part of it was the yoga and the ayurvedic treatments.

    Our dear Yoga Teacher, Mika de Brito, took us in the the Place: the state of flow in a garden of grace.. I wanted to work on creating space in my body and thus in my soul.

    What I get: the Fire in my belly !! Letting everything in Pause, a timeless pause... from where things happens, the beginnings.. you will find that in ULPOTHA.

    What I get the space in my soul to create, the lightness in my body to receive.

  • a traveler Spain

    TripAdvisor website

    It is a unique and special place, not any yoga retreat you can imagine, but the best option to disconnect and relax with delicious Sri Lanka vegan food and good yoga. It is in the middle of jungle, rooms are huts, no privacy but comfortable and clean ( you live with ants, squirrels, birds, and monkeys all around) , shared bathroom ( I mean one for 3 pers, no need to wait for the shower), no electricity, just a solar panel for mobiles, and of course no internet!

    There is a big lake if you feel like swimming, swings and chill outs to rest and read, vegan meals are cooked on fire with veggies from the garden, and served in common areas. If you feel like you need a real detox that's the best place. Two yoga classes a day (check the schedule) , some short hiking trails to enjoy the view and meditate, the lake and wild nature to relax and get some sun tan, good healthy food, fresh coconut water at any time, an Ayurveda center in the retreat and two massage therapists, what else do you need during a retreat.

  • a traveler

    TripAdvisor website

    It's hard to put into words how amazing this place is, the nature, and the people, The food, the whole atmosphere is one of rest, relaxation and healing. As a Vedic treatment center, it has a wonderful rustic elegance about it. The doctor is wonderful and the staff are always smiling.If you can make it here you should do so!

  • Shay Xianyi

    Ulpotha Facebook page

    Paradise! Counting the days until I come back.

  • Cristina Balcells Spain

    Ulpotha Facebook page

    Amazing and unique place in the world.

  • Armelle Planchon France

    Ulpotha Facebook page

    A magic, pure place to go! When you Have the chance to come In Ulpotha. Your Life Will Not be the same. I'm gonna miss the place and all the people there. Thanks Life,

    thanks Ulpotha!

  • PJ Peajay

    Ulpotha Facebook page

    After the first week, the magic starts to take effect. Ulpotha holds a very special place in my life. Perhaps I am an Ulpotha addict as I have been to Upotha six years in a row. This is the one place in the world I have found where I can completely unplug and connect to myself. Where I say goodbye to the digital world and hello to whoever is that person inside. At Ulpotha, being embraced by nature is a big part of the transformative experience - the mud huts are open to the jungle air and the paths are compacted sand. At the same time, everything is clean - the paths and mud huts are swept twice a day, the mossy nets over the bed are brought up in the morning and down in the evening. If it's chilly at night you get a warm water bottle. The guests drawn to visit Ulpotha come from interesting walks of life - often quite open-minded and intellectually curious. And thus, I have met many friends from all over the world with whom I keep in touch. Alternatively, you can get lost from the crowd if you wish, as the grounds are quite expansive. Sit on a swing by the lake and listen to the birds forgetting that there is even a book in your lap and unintentionally take an afternoon nap. Come without prejudice or expectations, be open to the flow and allow whatever is coming to you to transpire. You will be held on a soft cloud from which you will not wish to descend.

  • Felix and Katie United Kingdom

    TripAdvisor website

    It's almost impossible to review this incredible place, words don't seem to do it the justice it deserves. It is so much more than it promises, it is overwhelming, a beautiful, peaceful community. Attention to detail everywhere you look, food is outstanding, rooms and showers stunning, and the whole place is other worldly but intimate and friendly at the same time. Giles, Viren, Suzie, Anthe what a world you have created and what fabulous hosts! You are all welcome at our humble B&B if you are ever in the UK. Thank you for this unforgettable time.

  • a traveler United States

    TripAdvisor website

    A remarkable, otherworldly place. The natural beauty, a (near) prohibition on cell phones (enforced by no electricity, with a solar charger for mobile phones - usage limited to lakeside - and small cameras), delicious food, and lovely staff all combine to deliver a deeply recharging experience - one from which even the very enthusiastic Sri Lankan mosquitoes cannot detract.

  • Susie United Kingdom

    TripAdvisor website

    Ulpotha is as it is described on their website. Anyone thinking of going should read what they say and realise it has a unique quality of basic, fine living, the most delicious vegan food and well thought out routine for yoga enthusiasts of all levels. I had a very special Christmas here at Ulpotha made exceptional by the group of people who were fellow travellers. Ulpotha has a community feeling from the beginning of your visit - there is a routine of food, yoga, treatments but also the chance for your own time if it is 'reflection' you are seeking. The yoga teaching obviously varies each week - I was really lucky and loved our teacher. I believe the standard is pretty good throughout the year but imagine it will change according to personal preference so if you are fussy about your technique do look at the teaching schedule before you go.There is no electricity or internet - it is such a relief to be away from it as the surroundings take over. The 'tank' (lake) is amazing and the fresh water and spring water in the taps is such a rare treat.I'd highly recommend Ulpotha - as a single traveller it was a particularly brilliant discovery as it ticked the box of space with the added extra that you could choose fine, like minded company.

  • Davwal Dylan United Kingdom

    TripAdvisor website

    A truly beautiful and spiritual place has been created in the Sri Lankan jungle. Courteous, obliging staff, amazing food and total escapism. An uplifting and inspirational place to visit. I was there for a week. 10 days or two weeks would have been better.

  • Dogwalker United Kingdom

    TripAdvisor website

    I'm always a bit reluctant to review Ulpotha because it's one of those magical places in the world that you want to keep returning to time and again. So I guess if too many people feel the same way I might not get a hut the next time. I feel so blessed in my life to have found Ulpotha - a yoga village in the jungle which is run to the most ethical and highest standards. The Ayurveda centre is bliss with the most caring and wonderful therapists. The massage therapists are also world class. There is no mobile phone coverage except by the lake, there is no wifi coverage - so you really do get a chance to chill. It's a bit strange at first, slowing down and then you realize that slowing down could be normal. There is no electricity and torches light your magical way back to your hut at night. You sleep at sundown and wake up at sunrise. The food is excellent and grown locally - all the dishes are vegetarian. We eat communally, getting to know each and having inspired conversations, or not. The choice is yours - to swim in the lake or not. Do a yoga class or not. The last time I was there the yoga teacher was James and he was truly one of the best teachers, ever. So I'm going back - back for some more yoga with James, back to my jungle village with those smiling happy faces ready to greet you. I am now ticking off the months, then the days, then the hours.

  • Georgina W. United Kingdom

    TripAdvisor website

    Knowing places like Ulpotha exist, makes the whole world seem more magical. I stayed for a week with my sister in March and a week was just not long enough... If you need to relax, re-charge, or simply feel alive you would be hard pushed to match this place. There is magic to it which is hard to explain. If you have the chance to visit Ulpotha do not hesitate for a second. Just do it! Your body and your mind will thank you!

  • Sara M United Kingdom

    TripAdvisor website

    I last visited Ulpotha 15 years ago; having just spent a week there I can report it is just as magical as it was then. The whole experience is like a dream. To spend a week without wifi, minimum phone use, and to be immersed in nature is completely restorative.

    I would advise prospective guests to read the website properly - there really is no electricity - no fans, no hairdryers! It is really remote and there are frogs in the shower, geckos in the roof and monkeys in the trees. If you want a western spa with chlorinated pool this is not for you.

    Also if you are only going to stay for a week, go for the first week of a course - there is a lot of information given and general bonding of the group in the first few days. If you arrive for the second week it is likely to be harder to "get" Ulpotha. Suzi was a wonderful hostess and the villagers are amazingly gracious and helpful. Gingi is a fantastic yoga teacher and managed a very mixed group brilliantly.

    Ulpotha is not a hotel or a normal holiday..I highly recommend it if you are open to new experiences and a chance to escape the madness of western life.

  • a traveler

    TripAdvisor website

    I was blessed with the opportunity to spend two weeks in Ulpotha in February. The whole experience was so amazing. The village, the villagers, the yoga, the food.. it's un-describable.

    To have such haven, with no electricity, no internet, no television, no radio, and no phone is't just so relaxing and wonderful. I truly loved my stay at Ulpotha, and returning to a normal life was much harder then living without all the technology that we are used to. I am will always bring the experience with me, and will definitely return as soon as life gives me the opportunity again. Thanks to Suzy for your way of making everyone's stay a true fairy-tale, thanks to Viren and Giles for creating this haven, and for keeping it unspoiled.

    Thanks to Mika for his yoga lessons, which was both fun and challenging, and to the therapists which both went beyond and above to give us all massages, and therapy and sharing their philosophy on life even on their time off...For anyone who want to have a genuinely different journey and a time spent in "heaven", I highly recommend Ulpotha! Can't wait to return!

  • Mathew

    TripAdvisor website

    Ulpotha is a charming and special place. Suzie is an incredible hostess and we were made to feel welcomed and very well looked after. Travelling with our eight years old twin daughters, we were a little apprehensive as to how they would experience Ulpotha - needlessly as it turned out. They had a wonderful time and enjoyed the experience, especially the yoga, their massages, and the 'tank'.

    How you find your time at Ulpotha probably boils down to your expectations, and the website and Trip Advisor give a good oversight of this. The food indeed is lovely - it is nourishing, healthy, and 'clean'. It can also feel quite monotonous however, so I would suggest packing some 'treats' for a bit of variety if this may be a concern for you - it certainly was not for many others on our retreat.

    The excursions alternate - a half day and a full day excursion on alternate weeks, so if you only go for a week, you may get either a full day or a half day trip. If you do go pack plenty of bug spray and topical ointments for treating bug bites that you invariably will get; go with an open mind and enjoy your time on retreat.

  • Stina Sweden

    TripAdvisor website

    The most amazing place on earth. I have just returned home after my second visit to Ulpotha. Last time I visited, I stay one week. This time I had the opportunity to stay two weeks I was a little bit worried if it was going to be too long.

    Now I understood why they to recommend a stay of two weeks. I was not bored or regret staying two weeks at once. A two week stay gives you the opportunity to really get into your yoga properly as well gives you time to wine down and build up your stamina in a god way. If I ever get chance to visit again will I aim for a three week stay.

  • Leonie M

    TripAdvisor website

    Ulpotha is probably the most magical place I have ever experienced. If you want to recharge your batteries and disconnect from the world there is no better place. Living for a week with only the sound of birds and crickets was extraordinary. It makes one realize how utterly disconnected we all are from nature. Thank you Suzi for making me feel at home.

  • Rina Germany

    TripAdvisor website

    I had the most amazing time during my stay in Ulpoltha and made only the best of experiences. i would definitely recommend to stay min 2 weeks to feel the full benefit of this secluded place and to really unwind. The yoga classes have been great, the food is more than amazing und the hospitality of suzi and the villagers leaves nothing to be desired.

  • a traveler Germany

    TripAdvisor website

    I just came back from a wonderful restorative vacation at Ulpotha! Ulpotha is really one of the best places I have been in a long time. Surrounded by a stunning landscape, you can totally disconnect and find inner peace. The food is absolutely amazing, the massages are heaven, staff is so warm and friendly and the yoga is great. Suzie is an amazing host and does everything to ensure that everyone has an amazing experience at Ulpotha. My only regret was that I only stayed one week - you really need two weeks to totally 'come down' and relaxIf you are looking for a place without any technological 'interference', do not need luxury, do not being close to nature and look for an authentic & different experience - then you have to come to Ulpotha!

  • Jessie A. United Kingdom

    TripAdvisor website

    Ulpotha is a sacred place. We felt immediately at home in our rustic yet comfortable mud hut. The food is beyond delicious, incredibly nourishing, everything made with love. Although my boyfriend isn't a yogi, he loved it too and was able to relax, join in when he wanted to, but there is no pressure at all, you are able to create your own schedule at Ulpotha, the emphasis is on reconnecting with yourself and the earth, slowing down, being still.

  • Mahitab W

    TripAdvisor website

    I had a wonderful time in Ulpotha with my two young boys aged 7 and 5. Our experience was surreal. The place, food, yoga, treatments and hospitality was way more than what I had expected. It was a great time for me and my boys to unplug and bond together. I highly recommend Ulpotha to anyone wanting to disconnect from the busyness of the fast paced life including children.

  • Phil M

    TripAdvisor website

    Firstly this isn't a resort, its in the Jungle not on the coast there is no pool or room service, youre only going to get out what you put in, and it will take commitment and a little work. The end result is an enriching, satisfying and joyful experience as well as an escape from the grind of western capitalist, consumerist and city life. If youre prepared to spend two weeks without hot water, electricity, wifi and a phone signal this could be the place for you. The reward is spending time with a group of diverse wonderful people in an eco-village where you are treated not like a guest but part of the community. You are provided with a tasty vegetarian buffet meal three times a day. You can practice yoga twice a day then relax with a massage, swing in a hammock next to the paddy field or take advantage of the Ayurvedic clinic which is run by a local doctor. I have taken away from this trip an appreciation of quietness a sense of inner peace and my own yoga practice that I can do anywhere without the need of a led class. Dare I say life changing

  • Shay Australia

    TripAdvisor website

    Ulpotha is such a special place. Serene, beautiful, nourishing, warm, and inviting. The food is amazing - so fresh, fragrant, vibrant, and with so much variety! The perfect place to unwind, connect with nature, reflect, meditate, and practice yoga with some of the best teachers. The people that you meet makes it even more special. I can't wait to go back.

  • a traveler United Kingdom

    TripAdvisor website

    I went looking for nothing and came back with everything I needed. Food for the soul. A friend and I spent a week at Ulpotha and it will stay with us forever. We were looking for a yoga holiday with a difference, not a boutique hotel with yoga classes.This place is founded on land worked by local villagers, who will be your neighbours, staff and friends. The concept is raw, and basic. There are no doors or windows to your accommodation, no electricity throughout the village, and no hot running water, no reliable mobile signal. But there are large lakes to swim in, delicious locally grown organic vegetarian prepared meals, twice daily yoga, lots of wildlife, beautiful sunsets, and stars galore. You go to bed by the moon and get up with the sun. This place will push you, but it will be to a better place.They offer Ayurveda treatments in the local clinic; your payments for such go towards running a clinic for the local villages. Our yoga teacher was Padma, one of the longest associated with the village. She was inspirational. The massage therapists were Victoria and Julie - both were very talented.Pack - a head torch, mosquito spray, and not as many clothes as you think.As many have said I too am a bit reluctant to review Uplotha, I don't want to share this secret, I don't want it to ever change.Till next time, and there will be a next time.

  • Trine Norway

    TripAdvisor website

    I had the best time at Ulpotha and I will definitely go back very soon. The food, the people, the yoga, and the atmosphere were all amazing! I loved every minute! We were seven girls traveling from Norway and we all had the best time. Being there for the right reasons is important. Finding inner peace and being tuned with nature

  • Gry Germany

    TripAdvisor website

    As a former travel journalist, I have travelled a lot, but no place ever changed me so much as Ulpotha: When I arrived, I was over-worked, borderline burned-out, sleep deprived, and so white, it was actually more like I was see-through. When I left, I was super rested out and energetic as a seven year old, stronger than I've ever been, tanned as a coconut and -quote my wonderful Ulpotha Thai massage therapist - had not a single tension in my body. Not to forget that I also swam every morning and evening in the lake, were surrounded by more animals than in a Disney movie, massively improved my yoga skills, found the love of my life, and met amazing people I am sure will both change my life and stay my friends forever. Oh yeah, and the food is heavenly. I'm still dreaming of the hoppers and the eggplant - and garlic curries and the red rice and the coconut balls and everything else I stuffed myself with constantly. Quite a miracle that I actually still lost weight, but I guess that just proves that its true what the Ulpotha people say: It might all be out of this world tasty, but surprisingly enough, it's still extremely healthy. It was a blast. I'll be back for sure.

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