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Heritance Tea Factory
Ranked #2 of 31 Hotels in Nuwara Eliya
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 13 May 2014

We stayed at the Heritance Tea Factory for a single night as part of a week long tour of Sri Lanka.

Our driver took us from Kandy along the amazingly named Kandy Road to Nurwara Eliya and the Tea Factory, but this was no short ride. The drive was probably around three hours.. if not more.

Despite the drive, the scenery on the way more than makes up for it. You travel through small towns and villages and most drivers will be happy to stop for a break and let you grab something to eat and spend a short while walking round.

The real treat comes when you hit the hills and begin the ascent to Nurwara Eliya. The drive uphill goes on for an age, literally over an hour or so as you wind around the circumference of the hills, which gradually turn in to tea plantations. Occasionally you will pass a small village where the tea pickers live, and the landscape is truly amazing. Photographers will be wanting to get out and take images every few minutes.

Once you leave the Kandy Road, having driven through Nurwara Eliya, the Heritance Tea Factory is still about a 20min drive.

On arrival we were greeted by the staff with a traditional welcome of some tea, sugar and spice and hot towel... all very pleasant and seeing the the restored factory is interesting.

The room itself was a good size, with a good size bed and it was clean.

As a fairly authentic recreation of the tea factory, the rooms are a little dated. They are clean and comfortable, but this obviously isn't all sleek metal surfaces and flashy gadgets - if you want that you are in the wrong place.

The bath was small in our room, though if you wanted to you could sit in the bath and look out the window at the plantation.

Dinner was ok - It is a buffet with enough variety, but the food was ok, not great.

I made the effort to drag myself out of bed at 6am the next morning to catch sunrise and the scenery and my photos looks amazing. Watching the sky change colour and the silhouettes of the mountains appear as the sun lit them from behind was breathtaking. Even once the sun was up the abundant hills still meant that pockets of the valleys weren't lit up, and photographers will love exploring the various views from around the grounds of the hotel, and the small winding road that leads to it.

In summary go for the location, scenery and history of the place, not for the hotel facilities and you will enjoy it.

Room Tip: There are a few rooms that offer both a east and North facing aspect, meaning that you can watch the...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Rich_Sibs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 May 2014

This property is absolutely stunning. As frequent travelers we should've been in love with it based on first appearances. Beautiful green gardens and tea fields abound in these mountains and the factory itself is remodeled with some character. Touting a spa and fitness center we were very excited about our stay. The staff were the clear issue here as well as the building itself. Staff at the front desk did not ring genuine and at times seemed reluctant to help. Staff in the dining area just seemed to hover over you every minute of the meal, reaching under us at times to remove plates or utensils while we were in mid dinner conversation. One staff member took the spoon out of my hand as I was finishing a bite of something. I couldn't decide if this was an effort to curb my eating or just an over eager gesture. I do think it may not have been intentional but a lack of understanding of cultural cues and gestures. The fitness center had malfunctioning treadmills and is extremely out of date. The room was nice but we could hear the accordion from the the dining area all the time and the walking of people staying right above us constantly. It was not quiet and our sleeping ability suffered. It was ok overall but when we had a spa service we were hit with immediate additional taxes which turned an $80 massage into $140 massage. I would prefer if these hidden costs were stated upfront. Overall for the money spent it was not worth it at all.

Room Tip: We stayed on the second floor above the dining area (not by choice) and I would not recommend this a...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Anonymous566
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2014

We were booked into this hotel as part of a countrywide tour. We had a car and driver for the duration so sat back and enjoyed being delivered to various places and different hotels. Of all the hotels we stayed in, this was the worst. The others were all fantastic, no complaints. But the same cannot be said for this one.
The hotel itself is amazing, I.E. the building and the way it has been restored and converted. It could be a wonderful place to stay. Unfortunately the Management and Staff are so up themselves they think it is all about them. They need to realise that it is really about the customer. They think they are so special and what they offer is so special and everyone should accept that attitude. Well they are wrong.
It was bad enough to see a brass plate on the inside of the bedroom door with a dress code for dining etched into it. The dress code was 1947 style. At first I thought it was bit of fun. But then when you arrive at the dining room there is an illuminated flashing sign with the same instruction on it. Whilst I agree with a certain amount of common sense being used whilst dining in a hotel restaurant, it should be just that, common sense. It is not the type of establishment who's clientele wear wife beater t shirts and shorts. And to make maters worse, when you get into the restaurant, the food is diabolical. I have had better meals at a motorway service area and better service too.
On the first night we tried the a la carte menu and were utterly disappointed with both the service and the food. At breakfast we found the fresh bread displayed under a hot lamp so it was dried up and crispy. And when we approached the staff they agreed to get some from the kitchen, this was not much better and it appeared to be such a pain for them to organise. The second night we tried the buffet. Appalling display of lukewarm food is all I say. We skipped breakfast on the following morning opting to stop en-route to our next venue. On our first night the waiter tried to persuade us to complete an assessment form, we declined on the basis that we would see what the following night delivered. We were never asked again because it was evident we were not happy with the food. When it came to settle the hotel bill we were not asked to complete a form although every other couple checking out was requested to do so. I guess they new what was coming.
With better management, a decent chef and staff training this could be a wonderful hotel. Unfortunately it isn't. My advice, don't bother, go and stay somewhere where they treat you like real people.

Room Tip: Don't.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Raymund0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2014

An amazing setting in the tea plantations just outside of town. comfortable rooms but the grounds are the real highlight. lots of activities and excellent buffet, and make sure you take home some tea. a lovely stay.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Jacques A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2014

We only stayed the one night, this hotel seems to be on the popular tourist trail from Dambulla through to the south.

The road to the hotel is a winding 3 km through the lush countryside, however having endured already the driving / roads from Kambala, this last 3 km made us both quite motion sick.

The hotel itself stands proud on the high elevation and it does look like from another era.

It was a very interesting hotel, it’s history as a tea factory and how they have converted it. How once again the building has become part of the local community, hiring people who’s family were previously involved in the plantations, even just creating the road into the hotel has changed the lives of those around.

Arriving at the hotel felt a little ‘intense’, the way everyone was dressed from the old era, the formal greetings. It felt very colonial and ‘proper’. I'm sure this type of old world service would be a delight to many people, we felt underdressed in our casual attire.

The conversion is interesting, you can still see the old wheels turning, and there was a gorgeous book in the room detailing the history of the hotel.

The room was simple, and felt old style. Like I was back in England in the 70’s. Something about the old bathroom, the central heating, the headboard.

The views over the country side was beautiful, and watching the mist come in and consume the view completely was quite amazing.

Dinner was buffet style, and again quite ‘stiff’, the greeting at the door, the table service. I could see through to the cigar lounge where an older man was sipping whiskey dressed in a suit. A little surreal.

The food, after the incredible Kandalama, was a let down. There was a small choice, very limited vegetarian, and more local Sri Lankan dishes which were quite spicey.

The next day we strolled through the little French style gardens, and into the mini tea factory to learn about tea production. A little pony went by with a child on it, you can book these.

We’re glad we went there, but in all we didn’t really relax at the hotel, and it felt like a theme, a project. It’s great that the hotel has had a positive impact on its surrounds, but we wouldn’t return. Ironically, as we are English, the pomp and ceremony of the colonial service just didn't relax us.

Room Tip: Higher up will give you better views of the country side
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank antibes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2014 via mobile

This is one of the most creative hotels I have ever stayed in. The theme is very authentic to the area being an old tea factory and they kept true to it while renovating. A must stay in when in the region. Rooms are clean and view is stunning. The also have this really cool train ride dinner experience which is a welcomed add on to what is already a great hotel

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Ismail I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2014

A old former tea factory converted into a modern, comfortable hotel -- a conversion that works very well. A lot of effort was put into retaining as much of the original fabric of the building as possible, especially in the interior features like the period lift and the old steam engine in the basement that fires up every evening to operate the circulation fans up the central column of the structure. It makes for an interesting show watching all the pulleys and cables turning everywhere. The hotel is also located in a secluded and beautiful setting.

The rooms are basic but new, clean and we'll-appointed. The staff are excellent, and the food is also very good. Overall a very enjoyable experience.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank UK_Gator_67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Heritance Tea Factory

Address: Kandapola, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Nuwara Eliya
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Nuwara Eliya
#2 Luxury Hotel in Nuwara Eliya
Price Range: £192 - £442 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Heritance Tea Factory 5*
Number of rooms: 57
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Also Known As:
Heritance Tea Factory Hotel Nuwara Eliya
Tea Factory Nuwara Eliya
Tea Factory Hotel Nuwara Eliya

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