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“Fantastic”
Review of Ceylon Tea Trails

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Ceylon Tea Trails
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Certificate of Excellence
Worcestershire
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
Reviewed 6 November 2013

Despite the lengthy travel time due to the poor road system in Sri Lanka the journey is worth it. With stunning views and great service a must if you are in the area. All of the bungalows differ and offer unique service/amenities.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank SimonN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Cape Town Central, South Africa
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 November 2013

It's not hard to see why Tea Trails wins awards and people keep returning. It is absolutely stunning!!! The setting is beautiful, so serene, the service impeccable and the food is some of the best I have ever experienced (and I have stayed in hundreds of hotels around the world). We stayed at the Summerville bungalow, which certainly has a nicer view and balcony than Castlereagh (at least in my opinion) although the folks we met at Castlereagh were thrilled with their bungalow too. The staff are amazingly attentive. I woke one morning at 3:45 a.m. to head off to climb Sri Pada (Adams Peak) with our amazing driver and guide Shaluka who owns and operates Heritage Lanka Tours (who is awesome by the way) to find that one of the butlers was awake. He had packed a backpack for me with energy drinks, biscuits, fruit, sandwiches etc. He knew I was climbing on my own and wanted me to have more than enough food and energy. He had even included a flask of tea for the hour long car trip and a touch light in case it was still dark when I got there. Those small gestures are common at this special place. Its relatively expensive to stay here but was worth every penny and for people considering it, I will tell you its a MUST. I am planning my next trip back here next year and I will bring all 10 family members with me

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
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1 Thank NicoleNortmann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2013

Although it was a long drive to get to this secluded area, the journey was very well worth it. Beautiful colonial rooms, good food, and great service in a serene setting. If you are looking for a place to relax in luxury, this is a solid choice. The staff were professional, and the other guests were good company.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank dollarwon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 October 2013

Our third stay at Tea Trails and it is consistently excellent. We have stayed at Norwood bungalow, Castlereagh bungalow and this time at Summerville. All bungalows are terrific with Norwood being better for a big group (five to six bedrooms) and Castlereagh and Summerville being better for couples or two coupes, as we were this time. The staff are superb - friendly, polite, discrete yet always second guessing your requirements. The location is magical - overlooking the lake and its various calming activities and changes of light. The rooms are luxurious yet unpretentious - all needs catered for in generous servings of space and beautiful linens and furnishings. The food is superb and plentiful and the wines are excellent (we noted an improvement since our last visit in 2010). Make sure you take a tea factory tour with Andrew Taylor - great knowledge, presentation skills and sense of humour!

Room Tip: Book early to increase your chances of getting your first choice.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank RobynFordyce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 October 2013

Just returned from three glorious nights at the Ceylon Tea Trails. You feel like you are being transported back in time - and you can imagine being one of the lucky wealthy, being served hand and foot by team of friendly and always present household staff.

In case you are confused about which bungalow to stay at (which I was before seeing the place for myself, here's the lowdown:
- Tientsin is the oldest bungalow and the one that has the most of a historic feel to it. The rooms are lovely and the gardens are grand - done English style. Dinner is served on the patio (in tables of two) which is lovely as you can look out at the hills in front of you. Downside is that there is a village located directly below the bungalow, so you can hear cars passing and if there is a festive season, noise and music from the celebrations. Also, i was hoping to get a view of the "layered" tea plantations in front of the bungalow, but sadly, the tea bushes in front view were more spotted and haphazard than nicely laid out in rows.
- Summerville has got to be my favorite bungalow. It is the smallest (4 rooms) and a more modern layout - typical of a summer home (so no colonial trappings here) but the views are breathtaking. You get rolling hills plus a lake view. What else can one ask for?
- Castlereigh is also beautiful and can be accessed by boat from Summerville. Great views also, and large flat gardens which would be great for kids to play around.
- Norwood was closed so I didnt get a chance to see it.
So if you are looking for a taste of the past, visit Tientsin. If you want a relaxing holiday with fabulous views, choose Summerville or Castlereigh.

By the way, Tea Trails offers you the option of visiting the other bungalows and having a meal there instead of your base bungalow. I enjoyed that option, but book ahead and budget time for travel. Travel between the bungalows takes a couple of hours given the poor quality roads.

Warnings:
- the journey to get to any of the bungalows takes a long time. I travelled there from Negrombo and the 192 km journey took me close to 9 hours due to the narrow winding and terrible roads.
- the food is lovely and plentiful. Make sure you take time to go hiking or you will end up gaining a few pounds. We had to tell them to only give us 1 portion for tea time so that we could just sample the wonderful pastries.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank JellyBug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2013

We approached this visit with much excitement having so enjoyed our last stay in Norwood. Sadly this bungalow was closed due to refurbishment. We had to stay in two locations but as more than two days in any location is sufficient this worked our well. The weather at the start of our visit was dreadful with non stop rain for 30 hours. This made even walking in the garden too much. Summerville is more modern in interior with nicely appointed rooms and very efficient staff. The grounds are not extensive and do not have as nice gardens as others but still are very impressive. The fires and hot water bottles made the stay very nice. Food was excellent and nothing too much. We cycled on afternoon for tea at Castlereigh. We also had lunch at Tiesteen which had very impressive gardens and what appeared to be lovely reception rooms. Castlereigh was probably the least impressive in terms of the rooms and gardens. The food etc in all properties is exactly the same. One point to be aware of is that the roads in the area are generally poor with the section between Summerville and Castlereagh frankly appalling. We were embarrassed that our taxi driver had to come to collect us. I would have expected the hotel to lay on a shuttle rather than expect a car to drive through the numerous potholes. Those who are susceptible to car sickness should beware. The tea factory tour by Andrew was fantastic and a must. Tea trails organised our train pick up from Hatton which was very easy.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank ColinMunroUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 6 Contributor
377 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2013

Arriving at this gorgeous oasis amidst lake and mountainous countryside after difficult roads was a lovely surprise. We stayed at Summerville but also visited Castlereagh for lunch after which they transported us back by little canoe. My preference was for Summerville but both are beautifully situated. The staff were fantastic, chef and food beyond comparison. Our room had a lovely little reading nook that opened into a private little garden. The pool is just below the house looking out over the lake . We did a tea factory tour, well worth the time and I learned SO much, never will take tea for granted again.

Room Tip: Tientsin not as nice. Book for a few continuous days rather than move from one bungalow to next.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank TeePodd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ceylon Tea Trails

Property: Ceylon Tea Trails
Address: Dunkeld Estate, Hatton 22000, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Hatton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Ceylon Tea Trails 5*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ceylon Tea Trails, Sri Lanka's first Relais & Chateaux resort, is a collection of five colonial era tea planters' bungalows restored to impeccable style, offering a taste of gracious living in 26 suites and rooms, with butler service and original furnishings, accompanied by gourmet meals. Walking trails connect the bungalows which are from 2km to 15km apart. Follow the Tea Trail from one unique bungalow to the next, staying a night or two at each or just laze in one. Rates are fully inclusive of gourmet meals and drinks, including spirits and wines. Even service charges, taxes and laundry are included. We won't bother you with bills. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ceylon Tea Trails Hatton
Ceylon Tea Trails Sri Lanka/Hatton

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