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“Calm, beautiful, faultless, great value.”
Review of Ceylon Tea Trails

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Ceylon Tea Trails
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Certificate of Excellence
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Calm, beautiful, faultless, great value.”
Reviewed 8 February 2014

We were a bit worried that Tea Trails could not really improve on an already wonderful and luxurious holiday in Sri Lanka. This was dispelled immediately on arrival at Norwood. Jagath and all the staff were absolutely top quality in every respect. This is magical, and absolutely worth the money. Instant calm.

Just the nuts and bolts: beautiful buildings and gardens, great rooms, top notch cuisine (including high tea) with a daily consultancy with the chefs for individual fine tuning, including the ability to take any meal at any of the bungalows, all drinks inclusive with a good wine choice, free transport between bungalows, free mountain bike hire (brand new, high quality bikes), marked walking and cycling routes, swimming in a proper 25m pool, croquet, tennis at Tientsin, a really excellent tea production tour - these are all included. Beat that in Europe for the price !

Then add a friendly, informative guide to bring the extraordinary flora and fauna to life - well worth the small fee - and the things that can't be bought: the location, the air, the light, the climate, the views and the fabulous people you meet everywhere, in what must be the most beautiful 'industrial' landscape in the world.

This works whether you want to lounge about, dash about, or both. A unique and faultless experience. We'll be back.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank timatfoxdown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2014

Even to a jaded traveller like me, this was an amazing and very memorable place to stay; my only regret was not staying longer. We stayed in the Tientsin bungalow; simply impossible to fault the experience, the food, the quality of the room, the service. It's a unique and very beautiful area, but it is also of exceptional interest for anyone with even the slightest interest in history, economics or agriculture. The tour of the factory is a must (and it's included) - Andrew Taylor is a superb guide. Make some time to go for a walk through the plantations and see/meet some of the Tamil workers who hand pick the tea leaves.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank J0nah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2014

We stayed at Norwood Bungalow and everything about this place was superb. The service, the views, the pool, the food--everything! While quite a journey to reach, worth the trip. If I return to Sri Lanka, this is a definite to return to!!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
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3 Thank ant270
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2014

Tea Trails, Summerville bungalow is a gorgeous place to relax and enjoy the best Sri Lanka has to offer. All inclusive; the service, food and setting could not be faulted. We stayed 2 nights at Summerville and loved dining on the terrace overlooking the lake. It was superbly peaceful and beautiful. We took the very informative tour of the Tea Factory with Andrew Taylor and used this opportunity to lunch at Norwood bungalow , then walk for about 2 hours to Castlereigh bungalow through tea plantations and small villages, before being paddled across the lake back to Summerville. We recommend doing this.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank JenniandIan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
198 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2014

We stayed in two of the five bungalows run by Tea Trails , Castlereagh and Norwood for a total 3 nights .These are surrounded by tea plantations with signposted walks for you to explore , every amenity you could want , full service including laundry , and even drinks were included in the price .Without doubt this was the best establishment we stayed in out of the 5 on our Sri Lankan tour.They are isolated , but with various stunning views and as I say truly all inclusive , the staff are incredibly well trained , and do everything to make you feel welcome and indeed pampered.Your rooms are all named after planters , and even the WiFi works everywhere including the rooms,unlike many places we stayed in Sri Lanka, where often only one place does the wifi work and never your bedroom.
We also wanted a Sri Lankan dinner , and this was organised and again was the best we ever had throughout our trip , the chef even goes through the motions of consulting you over the meal menu .If you want luxurious accomodation in style this is for you

Room Tip: They are all good
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank jeff B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2014

We have been fortunate to stay at many great resorts over the years and this one is right up there, fully deserving of the many TripAdvisor accolades they have earned. There is little to add to the many previous reviews regarding the outstanding quality of this resort but a few practical tips may be more useful. We stayed at Castlereagh and Sommerville only, but had lunch at Norwood. The first 2 resorts were by far our best picks given the beautiful water views, particularly with the mist in the early morning. Bear in mind that Tientsin is quite a bit further on from Norwood which itself at least 15 minutes further than Sommerville and Castlereagh. The travel is the key consideration around this trip with Sommervile (the closet to Colombo) being around 4 hours of pretty tortuous driving (even with a tour driver). The roads are narrow and the traffic relatively heavy, and there are not many obvious restroom opportunities along the way!. Our family was "shredded" by the time we arrived! Given that, we would recommend at least 3 nights there as at best you are likely to arrive around lunch time on day one, and the second morning is likely to be taken up by the very good tea experience. This leaves no time to relax and hike/walk before making the journey back. We were recommended to do the tea experience tour (which is close to Norwood) and then arrange lunch at Norwood, followed by hiking back to Castlereagh and then being rowed back to Sommervile were we were staying! This trip was the highlight for us, it is about a 9 km walk and took us a bit less than 2 hours. We also did the excellent but strenuous S2 walk at Sommervile, which took a little longer than 2 hours but was lovely, and a good walk from Castlereagh. A number of guests took the opportunity to walk between the various bungalows and then had a meal when they arrived, before being transferred "home". All the properties we saw had excellent pools and Tientsin has a tennis court as well. Some time next to the pool is recommended! High tea is a real treat but on top of all the other food highlights why some walking is recommended. The food is amazing for such an area and the staff fantastic. Head and shoulders the highlight of our trip to Sri Lanka but be ready for the tough road trip!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank tony_cleo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gibraltar
Level Contributor
32 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2014

Off the bat it is worth saying that the Tea Trails should be on most peoples must list if you are looking for a 'get away from it all' type escape within Sri Lanka. The setting is magical, and it does genuinely feel like being transported back in time.
The set up of this hotel is quite confusing. There are essentially 4 bungalows spread over a fairly large area, covering different tea plantations. We stayed at the Tientsin bungalow so our review refers more specifically to that bungalow. However, what we did one day was set out for an early start to the Norwood bungalow, and then walked the ten km or so to the Castlereach bungalow where we stopped for tea before catching a short boat ride across to the Summerville bungalow before arranging to be collected and taken back up to Tientsin (around 30mins by car). Having seen them all, I would say that Tientsin had the most remote and definitely 'colonial' feel to it. Gardens were amazing etc. Arguably one negative of Tientsin it is that literally just across the hotel, down into the valley there is a small town which can get rowdy and you can definitely hear the noise at the bungalow. BIzarrely the worst affected room is the master suite. The others face onto the garden the other way. Saying that, the walks out from Tientsin are spectacular. Castlereach and Summervilla have the benefit of views over the reservoir which really are amazing. They also have a slightly more modern feel to them. I would say bottom of the list (for me personally) was the Norwood bungalow (but please remember this is all relative and they really are all great places to stay).
Everything about these bungalows is special. From the service, which is absolutely superb at all levels, to the quality and variety of the menus put forward every day, the guides and activities in the area, and.....THAT high tea. The only thing I could not recommend as top class is the quality of the spa/massage services (not an actual spa). Treatments are in room, and are not at the level of what you might expect with everything else at the tea trails.
Absolutely loved our stay and would really strongly recommend putting the tea trails onto your agenda.

Room Tip: At Tientsin I would steer clear of the master suite. faces the wrong way, and doesn't have the g...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Pillarofhercules
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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