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“A wonderful world away from hustle and bustle”
Review of Ceylon Tea Trails

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Ceylon Tea Trails
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Certificate of Excellence
Falkirk
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
“A wonderful world away from hustle and bustle”
Reviewed 26 January 2014

"Heaven. Tortuous climb on narrow roads with many hairpin bends but well worth it to arrive here at the Tea Trails Norwood Bungalow. Perched in the midst of the Norwood Tea plantation we have one of 5 luxury rooms. We have a butler, waiter and chef. The latter comes to discuss what we would like to eat. For lunch we have pea and mint soup (organic produce from their own garden), cheese ravioli and cinnamon apple pudding with ice cream, made for us. It is excellent. Our lunch is accompanied by decent wines, which are complimentary, and we finish with orange pekoe tea from the estate. Then relaxing by log fire before changing for dinner. After dinner the waiter enquires about our preferences for breakfast and at what time we would like 'bed tea' served in our room on waking. The views are splendid and the threat of rain has disappeared leaving a gentle evening glow." So we noted our first day at Tea Trails, Norwood.

Norwood is one of 5 bungalows which make up this 'hotel'. They are all individual and enjoy totally separate and different locations. Guests can access each for meals travelling by foot, bicycle or minibus. We had the Wyatt room at Norwood, a recent addition but still very much in keeping with the others, which while being a bit smaller was still a good size, complete with king- size bed, desk, chaise-longue and classic bathroom and bath (complete with proper, non leaking, plug on a chain!)

The essential element of a stay here is peace and relaxation in beautiful surroundings while being looked after by a fabulous staff team. Everything is made easy and everything is included. Meals are at time to suit you. If it becomes cool in the evening log fires are lit. The grounds are immaculate, bushes trimmed and tidied by hand. There are vegetable plots and raised beds with herbs discreetly placed above the bungalow which provide ingredients for the lovely food. After dinner, or at any other time, guests can avail themselves of drinks, complimentary, from the small bar area in the lounge though staff are only too willing to make and serve. The range may be small but includes good single malt and blended whisky, premium gin etc.. Cocktails are also available and staff do not skimp on the alcohol!

In short, we loved our all-too-short stay and wish we'd known more about Tea Trails before we booked our tour in Sri Lanka. It had not featured in the Kuoni brochure and we had made special request for it (our driver had not visited before). If we were to return to Sri Lanka we would almost certainly build in more time at Tea Trails, perhaps combining stays at more than one pif their properties. Very highly recommended.

Room Tip: Frankly, we doubt it matters too much but some are a bit larger.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank sakiScotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reading, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2014

These properties are marketed as five star properties and are priced accordingly. Travellers should beware, however, as not all the rooms are any where near 5 star standard. We were allocated a room at the back of Tientsin Bungalow, next to the kitchen, with no view and poor natural light. There was no AC , so even in this Hill Country location the room was hot at night.We had been allocated a "luxury" room on our Trail Finders Itinerary but the manager explained that a "luxury" room was actually their basic room! We found this cocept hard to grasp.
We also arrived at the Tea Estate during a 3 day holiday so there was no tea picking evident and the factory was not working so could not be visited. The administration did not make any alternative arrangements for activities until we spoke to the manager. In general add-on activities were expensive and priced in US Dollars - always an indicator of an over priced item in these regions.

Room Tip: Insist on a "Garden Room" - a luxury room is a basic room -as we found to our cost. (We le...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TeaTrails, Public Relations Manager at Ceylon Tea Trails, responded to this review, 25 February 2014
Thank you for taking the time to post a review. We have 3 categories of rooms as explained on the website – Luxury Rooms, Garden Suites and Master Suites. Apparently your travel agent had mistakenly shown you a photo of a Garden Suite although you had been booked into a Luxury Room. We apologise for your disappointment although our Luxury Rooms are spacious and well received. Traditional tea planters’ bungalows don’t have air conditioning and only ceiling fans, as the climate is generally cool. 5 Star type categorisations apply to conventional hotels, which we strive not to be! As the tea estates were not working due to the Thai Pongal harvest festival we offered a complimentary trek and bird watching walk with our activities manager. Guided Activities are priced in US$ as that is easier to understand for most guests and the same currency as the room rates. Once again I apologise for not meeting your expectations.
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Reading, England, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2014

We stayed in Norwood bungalow as part of our honeymoon and the whole stay was absolutely idilic. The scenery was breathtaking, the bungalow itself was simple yet luxurious and the staff charming and helpful (almost oppressively so at times, but that was probably only because we're not used to the level of service and because we're British!)

We did the tour around the nearby tea factory and did the walking trail between Norwood and Castlereagh bungalows which were both highly enjoyable but for the majority of the time we just basked in the sheer tranquility. All of the food is prepared in house by a local chef despite the relatively small size of the bungalow and is all absolutely delicious. Be warned though, with four meals a day (afternoon tea of course), all with multiple courses, you may end up doubling in size during your stay!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Ian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2014

"Chef would like to discuss your requirements for dinner this evening," inquired our butler and I immediately thought, I could get used to this!..This is a truly magical destination. The view from the Castlereagh Bungalow overlooking the lake and the glorious fields of green, dotted with the occasional brightly coloured sari, was simply sublime. The excursion to the tea factory was great as our charming guide was so full of enthusiasm and good humour. Despite the elegant surrounds, luxurious rooms and outstanding food, this place is not at all stuffy. We had great fun playing croquet on the lawn and dipping our toes in the pool following the truly exceptional high tea. Oh I yearn to return.

Room Tip: Castlereagh Bungalow was beautiful.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank DreamingSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
206 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2014

Tea Trails have covered a number of old Tea Plantation homes into beautiful retreats, with 4 to 6 guest rooms.

We stayed at nestled between the working tea plantation and lake, surrounded by beautiful gardens. The meals are amazing, and one night the chef even whipped us up a special meal when we requested something different. High tea is served in the afternoon, and pre dinner cocktails in the lounge. The rate includes all meals and drinks, and the wine choices are very good.

The small team of staff stay on site and take care of your every need. You can organise a boat ride, or wander through the tea plantations to have a meal at one of the other houses. The staff organised a packed breakfast for us to take one morning when we had an early start.

This is a tranquil, personal and very special place to stay when enjoying the Sri Lankan Hill Country. It is a little hard to get to, but assuming you have a driver who knows the way, it is well worth staying here for a few days.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are spacious and well decorated. If you want a real treat book one of the larger s...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank BaileyC_21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kandy, Sri Lanka
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2014 via mobile

We stayed in two of the Tea Trails locations, Norwood and Teintsin. Both were outstanding. Beautifully appointed rooms, an extraordinarily attentive staff, evening cocktails with other guests, well prepared meals, free laundry. Extraordinary by the best international standards.

One caveat, Teintsin is not as nicely situated. No views and located right across from a small village which was quite noisy. Blaring music at times and barking dogs.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank holdstein
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2014 via mobile

We are midway through a 12 day trip in Sri Lanka. Just spent 3 glorious nights at Tea Trails. The resort has 4 "manor houses". We stayed at Castlereigh which I loved. Their website does an accurate job depicting the different places. We saw 3 of the 4. IMO I liked Castlereigh the best ( we were in the Tate room), Summerhill second and Norwood third. The houses are not particularly close together- but you can walk, boat or van amongst them. Summerhill and Castlereigh on the water. The other two are not. They allow you to have lunch or tea at a house other than the one you are staying at. There are lovely walks/hikes through the tea trails. Really a spectacular setting and worth the journey to get there. While it may seem expensive by Sri Lankan standards, it includes 3 meals a day plus tea, liquor, washing service. The only bill we had at the end of our stay was to purchase some tea. I would highly recommend.

Stayed January 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank chichichicago
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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