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“As Good As It Gets !!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ceylon Tea Trails

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Ceylon Tea Trails
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
90 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“As Good As It Gets !!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2014

We have been lucky enough to travel the world for 30+ years with our jobs and think we have a decent understanding of quality..."Ceylon Tea Trails" is as good as it gets, anywhere in the world. The bungalows are stunning and you live like you are in a bygone era...we stayed in the Palmer Suite of the "Castlereagh Bungalow" and enjoyed every minute of it...the food is wonderful, the staff are superb and the setting is magnificent. We decided to do the Norwood Tea Factory tour which sounds a tad "touristy", but it was brilliant thanks to Andrew Taylor who is a retired tea planter and a wonderful character. Overall, "Ceylon Tea Trails" is boutique hospitality at its very, very best...BRILLIANT!!!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank dspencerstripe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,093 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (283)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Bromborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
141 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2014

Light and airy Norwood is furnished in plain 1950's style, very evocative of my long-distant childhood. It appears to have been recently refurbished; everything was immaculate including the glorious gardens, full of flowers. Views and climate are wonderful; peace reigns. It is the perfect place to sit in the sun with a book.

We were told to treat the place as our own (even bedroom keys are not issued unless requested) and it is amazing how quickly that feels just right. I don't think I have ever been so relaxed in my life.

Our room was Jeffery. Not huge but perfectly fine, dark red furnishings very 1950's, and we loved the plain white bathroom with a big tub (shower over) and pair of washbasins. Safe, hairdryer, no TV, no airco (not needed at that altitude), instead a big fan which we also did not need. As usual in Sri Lanka, no tea/ coffee facilities but a morning tray was brought in.

Drinks (hot/ cold/ alcoholic, all inclusive) available pretty much any time. An orange juice took rather long to arrive but only because it was being freshly-squeezed.

All inclusive deal even included free same-day laundry service (no dry-cleaning) which was very useful mid-tour.

There is a pool table, plenty of books and magazines and there are quiet places to sit or sprawl, inside and out. My husband took the full-morning tour of the Norwood tea factory, with very knowledgeable guide, and was well impressed. There are marked walking routes in the area, which I would guess are wonderful for the able-bodied.

Unfortunately the beautiful pool was really cold; unavoidable no doubt; I love to swim but I couldn't stay in long.

Food was plentiful, well-flavoured and beautifully presented, including wonderful afternoon tea.. My one criticism would be that meat, both pork and chicken, seemed to have been incorrectly cooked (dry-roated to death I think) - rather dry and hard. The Caesar salad with prawns was lovely.

Much is made of the chef approaching to discuss the menu but it is really only to inform what is being served; I did not have the impression there was a choice available though no doubt if you object something else can be arranged. I did appreciate being asked on arrival whether we had specific dietary requirements - we don't but good to know that those who do are catered for.

Service throughout was excellent.

As I mentioned, we were happy with our room though not the biggest at the property. However, we did talk to other guests who said they were unhappy with theirs, due to small size, few windows and sleep disruption due to location next to the kitchen.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Trisha K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Folkestone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
158 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2014

Somewhere along the way my $200 headphones went missing :o(. We arrived at Summerville after a tedious 5 hour taxi ride from Colombo airport. Beautiful place, great room, immaculate service. We only stayed one night and then moved onto Tientsin. Another beautiful bungalow although unfortunately there was some celebration happening in a nearby village so the lovely peace & quiet was continuously interrupted throughout the day and night by loudspeaker wailing.

Food was amazing in both bungalows although a bit hit & miss with the daily ritual of choosing a menu with the chef! Personally we like to choose from a written menu and it gets a bit embarrassing when the chef offers two starters that neither of us fancy (& we are definitely NOT fussy eaters!). It ended up like a guessing game. By day 3 we just wanted tomato soup & pasta! Loved high tea & the sausages at breakfast were amazing. Special Sri Lankan curry made for my partners birthday and birthday cake brought out by all the staff singing happy birthday - nice touch.

Went on the tea factory tour one day. Not sure about the hygiene or safety standards there - birds flying around, guys standing on tables fixing lights/machinery - got the distinct impression you get the party line we were given doesn't reflect the reality.

So, back to the headphones..... these were dutifully packed into the rucksack from the plane upon our arrival at Colombo airport. We never used them or even took them out of the bag during our stay at the bungalows and didn't even realise they were missing until we got on the train at Hatton heading back to Colombo. We emailed Tientsin immediately as that was our last port if call - we didn't receive a reply. I emailed head office when we got home & received a bog standard 'we don't have them' reply - have never heard anything since.

All in all the holiday was great. We loved the bungalows, we loved the tea trails, we loved the food, the atmosphere & all in all ambience. You really are looked after, just make sure u utilise the safe for everything u can get in them.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Hufflepuff33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Felbridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2014

We stayed here for three nights and would say that, without a doubt, this is one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in. The quality of the location, the service, the food, the accommodation is absolutely unbeatable - all served up with the charm of a bygone era. We cannot hesitate to recommend this highly enough.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jackie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
107 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2014

Entering the colonial style Norwood bungalow, there are all kinds of awards on the wall – and even on first impressions they were thoroughly deserved. On arrival – an incredible mocktail of orange, passion fruit and a magical secret ingredient was delivered whilst we waited in the drawing room. The chef came out to tell us our privately created dining menu would be served whenever we would like. In the meantime, we are invited to take high tea. After a wander around the simply breath taking grounds we checked out our amazing rooms.

Our butler (yep, we press a button and our own butler pops over) asked us what time we would like to be served wake-up tea in bed in the morning. And what would we like to do after that? Will we be taking the tea tour across the estate? Do we want a private yoga class? A private guided hike or mountain bike trip? Perhaps a picnic somewhere in the grounds? Just press the butler button when we’ve decided.

After a quick freshen up, we return to the drawing room for G&Ts and canapés before sitting for dinner. They make a fire for us and we’re invited to the dining room. An incredible 4 course dinner and drinks (all included) are served by the nicest waiters, and the rest of the evening is like something from the 1920′s.

This was our favourite spot of the whole honeymoon – perfect service, perfect food, perfect accommodation, perfect weather. (not too hot, not too cold, amazing sunny mornings, eventful thunder storms mid-afternoon, cool relaxing evenings).

I think this place goes to the top of my nearly 100 trip advisor reviews. A new best. Recommended in every way.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Olideacon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 April 2014

This hotel was by far the most special and my favourite of my stay. I can not even describe the feeling and peace i received while here. The staff are amazing and everything is done for you. It is like walking back in time 100 years when travel was special and travellers were really looked after. The place has stunning views of the tea terraces with amazing hikes within the property. I suggest a sunrise hike on Trail 1&2. The High Tea is better than you would find in London. The food is 5 star quality. The venue is small and you will have drinks in the lounge before dinner when you can meet the other guests and exchange stories of your travels next to an blazing fire. This is a real must! Also take the Tea Plantation tour. Have a massage in your room and get an herbal bath at the end of the day filled with cinnamon and rose petals.

Room Tip: All rooms are good - the best faces the garden and opens up to the terrace with it's own fire pl...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Denise P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
28 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2014

We stayed one night at the Summerville and one night at the Norwood. Both are beautiful properties but I preferred the Summerville. It is a smaller bungalow with only 4 rooms. It is more intimate and the view is breathtaking. You can have an easy walk through the tea plantations in front of the bungalow and just take in the scenery as you relax on the terrace with tea and amazing food. The staff is wonderful and make it all the more a lovely place to stay.

Note that the drive from the airport can take 4 hours or even more as the road is windy and very narrow.

We stayed in the Goddard room at the Summerville which has a beautiful garden. We also stayed at the Irvine at Norwood but the garden was not as private as the Goddard, so if I had known, would have opted out of the private garden at the Norwood since the whole property is a beautiful garden in itself.

The only reason I give it 4 out of 5 is that some of the amenities were a bit rundown. We had a lamp in the room with exposed wires which caused a pretty big electric shock. We would request the hotel to check the electrical equipment often.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JKHK76
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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Ceylon Tea Trails Hatton
Ceylon Tea Trails Sri Lanka/Hatton

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