Wilfried van Els is a Belgian who has realised his childhood dream: to go and live in splendid Sri Lanka. As a young boy he was fascinated by the adventures of the sailors of the VOC (the Dutch United East Indian Company) especially the conquest of Ceylon. He got ‘hooked’ on the descriptions both about the splendour of its nature and about the ever present smiles of its inhabitants.
In 1992 he got a chance to take up the managing directorship of a large company and started exploring ‘his’ island that he got to know like his pocket. The adoration for Sri Lanka could but mature and a lasting friendship with many highly educated individuals was the result.
They voluntarily helped him also in his search for colonial period furniture… and building materials that, due to civil war, risked destruction or exports. After ten years of safeguarding and – often – restoring, he decided to settle down in the ‘navel’ of the island: Haputale, located at 4500’ and featuring a not too warm ‘European’ climate.
The collection of antique doors, frames, beams, columns… was enough to equip a 5-storey old style house, on a hill crest with a 360 degree mesmerizing view, featuring three luxury guest rooms.
The island’s interior, especially the spectacular tea country, has stayed rather untouched, leaving quite a bit of lush and unspoiled landscapes, especially for 't En Zal, offering a view from the Indian Ocean (clear weather needed) from inside the Southern rooms, to the impressive Uva Valley from inside the Northern rooms.