Ceylon Tea Trails

Ceylon Tea Trails

Hatton, Kandy and the Hill Country, Sri Lanka

At a Glance

  • Five colonial era tea planters' bungalows, infused with a new and decidedly gourmet vibe

  • Guests are absorbed into life on a working tea estate, whilst revelling in five-star luxury

  • Each bungalow has its own Manager, Chef and Butler

  • Each villa, built between 1890 and 1939, offers a taste of gracious living thanks to butler service and authentic period furnishings

  • The unique Tea Experience tour with the tea planter in residence will show you the wonders of Camellia Sinensis (the botanical name for tea)

  • The atmosphere is that of staying in a house party, rather than a hotel

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Year round destination. Because the Hill Country it so high up it rarely gets unbearably hot. The months of December to April are probably the best time to visit, as temperatures rise to around 28C during the day but cool down at night. During the monsoon season from October to December you can expect heavy downpours. June to September are the driest months here, when there’s almost no rain at all.

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Insider's View

After enjoying breakfast on your veranda, take a walk (not forgetting your camera) through the hills to another bungalow for lunch. You’ll build up your appetite and if you’re too full to walk home your driver will be at your disposal to come and pick you up!

If you are staying at Tientsin, head a little further along the road to buy single-estate tea from the Kotiyagalla estate

Don't miss the evening tea in the beautiful settings overlooking Castlereagh, it's one of the most exhilarating experiences.

Playing croquet with a Pimms in hand makes for the perfect pre-dinner entertainment.

Borrow one of their walking route maps and enjoy a gentle stroll through the surrounding scenic tea plantations, keeping an eye out for wildlife and tea pickers hard at work.

Don't miss the hotel's complimentary ‘Tea Experience’, where you will be guided through the tea estate with a resident tea planter tea and Dilmah's Norwood factory on an insightful two-and-a-half-hour tour.

Try the inter-bungalow walk if you fancy a challenge! It’s best to do this between meals so you can experience the food at another of Tea Trails’ amazing bungalows – it’s good to mix it up!

After exploring the tea plantations make sure you are back in time for afternoon tea

Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Ceylon Tea Trails or take a look at our itineraries to Hill Country

Description

Ceylon Tea Trails consists of five old colonial bungalows which have been converted into luxurious accommodation. The scenery is spectacular and guests can walk between the bungalows meeting the locals or simply relax in the beautiful gardens.

Nestled amongst the hills of the Dickoya region in central Sri Lanka, at over 5,000 feet above sea level, is Ceylon Tea Trails which is one of just three Relais and Chateaux resorts in Sri Lanka. The concept is very British, with high tea served in the afternoon and rooms decorated in keeping with the feel of the colonial era.

The hotel offers five classic colonial era bungalows with luxurious suites, a manager, butler service and chef. Rooms feature four poster beds, elegant bathrooms, some with verandas, opening out onto private immaculate gardens. The food is fantastic with Sri Lankan classics and seafood grills using locally sourced ingredients some of which come from organic vegetable plots around the estate.

The surrounding countryside is out of this world and guests can walk from one bungalow to the next, greeting locals on the way and taking in the fabulous views. You can be as lazy or as active as you want here, either lounging by the pool or trying some white water rafting, riding, tennis, croquet, boating or visiting local tea estates.

Excursions offered by the hotel include visits to Kandy the Hill Capital of Sri Lanka in the central highlands, Adam's Peak, Nuwara Eliya and the national parks of Horton Plains and Uda Walawe, Sri Lanka's top eco tourism destination in Sri Lanka and famous for its large population of elephants.

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Accommodation

Ceylon Tea Trails offers guests five enchanting bungalows: Castlereagh, Summerville, Dunkeld, Tientsin and Norwood. Each bungalow features between four and six charming rooms and suites decorated in an unique style, ranging from neo-colonial to classic English. Each bungalow has a manager and chef, and butler service ensures that every need is attended to. The Dunkeld bungalow has an infinity pool while the Norwood and Tientsin bungalows each have a pool. Some suites have verandahs leading out onto private gardens and most bathrooms have gorgeous free standing baths to relax and unwind in after a long day exploring the surrounding countryside.

Childcare

Children are welcome but there are no specific facilities. Children will enjoy all the activities on offer in and around the hotel. They will also love the cultural trips to local tourist destinations especially a journey to the Uda Walawe national park which is famous for its large population of elephants.

Facilities

Facilities include a swimming pool, tennis court (Tientsin) and library. The hotel offers a butler service.

Your meals are all included during your stay and comprise Sri Lankan or English breakfast, a three course lunch or Sri Lankan rice and curry, pre-dinner cocktails and a four course dinner. All the meals include recipes made from tea in line with the hotel experience.

Activities

The hotel offers complimentary swimming and tennis. Activities at an additional cost include in-room spa treatments, guided walks, kayaking and rafting. There are some fantastic tourist destinations close by such as Kandy, the Hill Capital of Sri Lanka in the central highlands, Adam's Peak, Nuwara Eliya and the national parks of Horton Plains and Uda Walawe.

Reviews

4

Jack Mace (Staff)

Wow! Absolutely incredible from start to finish. I stayed in Castlereigh which I really loved but all of the Bungalows have their separate character which makes this concept so special. I was lucky enough to visit 4 out of 5 of the Bungalows and I can say there's no bad one. If you are there for a few days, which you really need, I'd recommend doing lunch or high tea at different Bungalows as they all have different perspectives on this amazing area. I'd definitely try a walk from one to another if you have a chance, although take the boat over to Summerville. The thing I really liked about Tea Trails was that although super luxurious, the atmosphere is very relaxed and it's not uncommon for every to eat together and talk about their days over a few drinks. When I was there it was little baby Alexa's 1st birthday and we all got together, sang her happy birthday and enjoyed the delicious chocolate cake! It goes without saying that the accommodation, food, service, drinks was second to none. Amazing experience that I'd love to enjoy again!

4

Scarlett Richard (Staff)

Ceylon Tea Trails make up five beautifully resorted plantation bungalows dotted around the stunning hill country. A stay here feels like you are staying in someone's home where you will be well looked after, dine on amazing cuisine and enjoy the most incredible views out over the tea plantations. Guests stay here on an all-inclusive basis meaning you can really make yourself at home. Indulge in the daily high tea served out on the verandah every afternoon, enjoy a gin and tonic before dinner in front of the roaring log fire or wake up to a cup of tea served to you in bed. There are plenty of activities available to get outdoors and explore. My highlight was taking a long walk out over the tea fields and watching the local tea pickers working in the fields. A stay here offers a really authentic experience in total luxury.

4

Jessica Cator (Staff)

Four fantastic bungalows in four unbeatable locations. I particularly liked Norwood which had a wonderful pool facing over the tea plantations and the most beautiful surroundings. One of the best things about Tea Trails is that you can journey between them and enjoy a picnic on the way. It is a great way to explore the Hill Country.

5

Clare Monro (Staff)

Ceylon Tea Trails feels much like you are staying in someone's home and the bungalows have the most incredible views out over the tea plantations. Being on an all-inclusive basis really means that you don't need to hold back! They are quite traditional in design with wonderfully large bathrooms. I loved being able to head up the hill for a walk, wandering through the tea plantations and watching the tea being plucked. It is fantastically relaxing and the individual bungalows have lovely gardens with swimming pools. They are all quite different in style, design and location but each bungalow is charming and has fantastic food and service. I loved the garden at Tientsin in particular and the fact that it has a tennis court.

5

Susie Reynolds (Staff)

Without question, the best properties in the hill country. The bungalows are beautifully appointed with excellent staff and old world charm. Combining modern comfort with colonial service and style, each bungalow acts as a home from home with stunning surroundings and delicious food. I could very happily move in and never leave - Milroy and his team at Castlereigh in particular are an absolute dream!

5

Susie Reynolds (Staff)

Another perfect stop on your colonial tour of Sri Lanka, these four bungalows have been beautifully restored to their former glory, all with their own individual character. My personal favorite was Tientsen, the most `old colonial' of the four luxurious bungalows as well as possessing historical significance as the first British tea bungalow built in what was then Ceylon!

Offers

Resplendent Cylon, Sri Lanka - Tea, Sea & Safari Discount

Receive up to 20% off when you book your Tea, Sea & Safari tour with Resplendent, Sri Lanka.
Please note that amount of discount depends on minimum nights, travel dates and properties stayed at. Terms and conditions apply. Subject to availability. Please contact our specialists for more information.
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Experiences

  • Anuradhapura Ancient City

    Anuradhapura dates from the sixth century BC and is one of Buddhism's holiest sites, containing the 2,200 year old Sri Maha Bodhi tree, grown from a cutting of the Indian tree beneath which Buddha found Enlightenment.

  • Dambulla Buddhist Caves

    Dambulla is an ancient historical site set on a large granite outcrop. The caves at Dambulla are famous for their temples and have been repainted several times in the 11th, 12th and 18th centuries with secular and Buddhist scenes.

  • Kandy Royal Botanical Gardens

    The Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, Kandy, is renowned for its wide variety of plant species

    and beautiful flowers. Of particular note is the collection of a variety of orchids.

  • Polonnaruwa Ancient City

    The ancient city of Polonnaruwa dates from the 10th century AD. Originally planned as an expression and statement of imperial power, the city was eventually abandoned in 1288. Many of the remains are still in excellent condition.

  • Sigiriya Rock

    The Sigiriya rock rises majestically from the jungle floor. It is famous for its ‘mirror wall’, so called because of its highly polished surface. Half-way up there are galleries with frescoes in brilliant tempera. Sigirya dates from the 5th century AD.

  • Temple of the Tooth

    This evening you will visit The Temple of the Tooth. The stunning 17th-century Temple of the Tooth (Sri Dalada Maligawa) is believed to house the left upper canine tooth of the Lord Buddha himself.

  • Train from Kandy to Hatton

    The 2 hour train journey to Hatton is a glorious way to see the rolling countryside from your observation car, as you climb into the hills and tea plantations.

Vacation Ideas

  • Highlights of Sri Lanka

    Kotugoda, Sigiriya, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya & Weligama

    from $3600 pp 12 nights

    • You will have your own private driver/guide to show you around the country
    • This itinerary lets you see all the main highlights of Sri Lanka
    • You will have the opportunity to experience the ancient cities, the Hill Country before heading to the South Coast
  • Honeymoon to Sri Lanka and The Maldives

    Kotugoda, the Tea Plantations & the Maldives

    from $4500 pp 11 nights

    • A leisurely itinerary combining Sri Lanka and the Maldives
    • Explore the city of Kandy which was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.  
    • Learn all there is about tea in the Hill Country
  • Sri Lanka and the Maldives

    Kotugoda, Cultural Triangle, Hill Country & Maldives

    from $5200 pp 11 nights

    • One of the best honeymoon 'twin-center' itineraries you can do offering a perfect mix between culture and beach
    • Your own driver/guide throughout your time in Sri Lanka giving you flexibility to explore the sights at your leisure
    • Fantastic boutique hotels in Sri Lanka that are ideal for a honeymoon
  • Sri Lanka in Style

    Kotugoda, Ancient Cities, Kandy, Hatton, Yala & Tangalle

    from $6500 pp 14 nights

    • A Scott Dunn Flagship itinerary
    • The ultimate Sri Lankan adventure, staying at the best hotels and traveling in style between them
    • Activities and experiences tailored around your interests - with the use of a hand-picked private elite guide throughout
  • Sri Lanka by Air

    Kotugoda, Hill Country, Weligama

    from $5400 pp 9 nights

    • A great twin center itinerary combining the beautiful lush Hill Country with the tropical South Coast of Sri Lanka
    • Enjoy some fantastic views whilst making your journey around Sri Lanka by plane
    • A perfect itinerary for couples or honeymooners
  • Sri Lanka and The Maldives in Style

    Colombo, Kandy, Hatton, Yala National Park, Galle & North Malé Atoll in The Maldives

    from $6700 pp 13 nights

    • An incredibly varied trip of Sri Lanka taking in beautiful scenery, wildlife, tea plantations and colonial history
    • Stay in beautiful historic hotels and bungalows that were built during the colonial period
    • End with time on a private island in The Maldives, home to some of the finest beaches in the world

Location & directions

Hatton, Kandy and the Hill Country, Sri Lanka

All 4 bungalows are situated around the Castlereagh Reservoir, near Hatton, in central Sri Lanka in the Bogawantalawa Valley, known as the Golden Valley of Tea.

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Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation to Ceylon Tea Trails or take a look at our itineraries to Hill Country

Ceylon Tea Trails

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