An Icon of Sustainable Tourism
Our home of Sri Lankan hospitality is a pristine sanctuary that has been nurtured over centuries. With 28 acres of fertile agricultural lands, Jetwing Vil Uyana has been committed to preserving and promoting our community and environment, even before we opened our doors in 2006. Over a decade has passed, and our harmonious dedication to sustainable tourism is stronger than ever – be it through our natural habitats, environmentally-responsible architecture, flora, fauna and many more treasured elements that make Jetwing Vil Uyana the icon of sustainability that it has grown into today.
Energy and Carbon
The signature open architectural design at Jetwing Vil Uyana is seen across our restaurant, lounge, and library – large, open spaces which reduce the requirement for artificial illumination and ventilation. The lounge and library also enjoy the benefit of being built over our surrounding waters, which aids in the passive cooling of spaces. The thatched roofing inspired by traditional architectural concepts helps reduce heat gain during the day, minimising the need for air conditioning, while the roofing material and clay-mixed plastering also serve as natural cooling systems for our interiors.
In addition, when commuting within the environs of Jetwing Vil Uyana, we provide you with electric buggies – a zero direct emission based mode of transport, while our associates commute with bicycles. Finally, our kitchens are also of note with the inclusion of both biogas stoves, and the use cinnamon wood-fired biomass stoves as well.
Water and Waste
The man-made lakes of our exclusive sanctuary at Jetwing Vil Uyana are filled with water that is harvested entirely from rain. Not extracting water from local sources such as irrigation canals, our wetland avoids competing for water with local farmers. The wetland even helps stabilise the water table in the region by acting as a groundwater recharge point.
In addition, all wastewater from hotel operations is treated onsite and is used for irrigation purposes to reduce freshwater usage at the property.
At Jetwing Vil Uyana, a purpose-built biogas plant that features a heating jacket with a dedicated solar array is able to process all food waste generated from hotel operations and produce up to 33m3 of gas. The CH4-rich output gas of the plant is also used for two stoves in our main kitchen.
Finally, all garden sweepings and other tree clippings from the lush landscapes of Jetwing Vil Uyana is composted, where the product compost is used as a nutrient-rich soil enhancer across our gardens and organic farm.
Before Jetwing Vil Uyana, the agrarian lands of our home were an abandoned slash and burn (chena) cultivation area. Over a period of four hardworking years, an expert team built our hotel with a single vision: to be the most exclusive sanctuary on Earth. Today, majority of the land area is dominated by a man-made wetland habitat, which has resulted in a significant increase of diverse flora and fauna. The land is also used to grow paddy using traditional methods, and has been reforested with species native to the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Other than these indigenous trees, only native fish species were introduced to the man-made reserve – all other flora and fauna have naturally chosen to make Jetwing Vil Uyana their home. Frequent wildlife surveys have shown that all groups of animals have shown increases, especially birds – with over 140 species recorded at our home of Sri Lankan hospitality.
More importantly, Jetwing Vil Uyana has become one of the best locations in Sri Lanka to spot the elusive slender grey loris. As a result, we have set up a dedicated Loris Conservation Area and Loris Information Center to contribute to the preservation of this nocturnal primate. A number of locally threatened cat species have also been recorded at Jetwing Vil Uyana, including a resident population of fishing cat, along with the jungle cat and rusty spotted cat. Studies via visual observations, pug marks, scat identification and camera trap footage etc. are being used to garner a better understating of the behaviour of these elusive small cat species.
Financed by the dedicated ‘Loris Conservation Fund’, Jetwing Vil Uyana opened a Community Wildlife Education Centre and Library at the nearby Rangirigama Monastery in Sigiriya. As the first public library in the area, the centre creates opportunities to educate the local youth and enable the community to acquire a better understanding of wildlife and conservation.
Community and Culture
Since the inception of the company, the incredible story of Jetwing’s sustainable commitment to Community and Culture has been a beacon of light at Jetwing Vil Uyana, with the Jetwing Youth Development Project (JYDP) that was established prior to its opening, and later went on to win a PATA Award in 2007.
Now practiced across a number of properties in our family, the JYDP initially focused on training school leavers from disadvantaged farming families in Sigiriya. With the help of a teacher in Polonnaruwa, the cooperation of Chief Monks from nearby Buddhist Temples, and the unwavering dedication to learn from each school leaver, Jetwing carried out a free six-month training programme that gave each participant a powerful working knowledge of hotel operations as well as English, etiquette, cultural history, as well as industry insights. Today, many of these young individuals are proudly associated with the launch of the most exclusive sanctuary on Earth, and have successfully inspired several ambitious youth like themselves across many of our homes of Sri Lankan hospitality.
Sourcing and Production
Four acres of land at Jetwing Vil Uyana are dedicated to paddy cultivation. Both cultivation and harvesting occur with the co-operation and involvement of our local community and the villagers, using traditional methods that have been practiced here for centuries.
An onsite farm also produces a variety of local fruits, vegetables and herbs that are used in our kitchens, and later prepared within exquisite dishes that are served to you.
All glass water bottles used throughout the property are sourced from our very own bottling plant located at Jetwing Lake nearby.
Finally, the iconic environmentally friendly design of Jetwing Vil Uyana is a remarkable feature in itself. Each of our dwellings has been constructed primarily with locally-sourced natural material such as wood, bamboo, and thatch among others. An innovative plastering mixture of clay and cement was also used in order to eliminate the need for paint, which not only results in a lower cost of maintenance, but also the prevention of emitting any volatile organic compounds (VOCs).