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“Tea Trails lives up to the hype” 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
Bahrain
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Tea Trails lives up to the hype”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2011

My husband and I just had time for a quick holiday and we followed the advice of many of the posts below who said "if you only go to one place in Sri Lanka go to the Tea Trails." I was amazed at just how many shades of green there were!

The internet showed that there was no availability, but we called the property directly and there was space in Summerville bungalow. As many have mentioned the Tea Trails is a collection of bungalows spread out throughout the tea plantations. Honestly, there is no "bad bunglalow" and you will have a wonderful time no matter which one you choose.

Summerville: 4 Rooms, lake view- we stayed in the Goddard suite, which had a private garden, no pool (but I don't know if we would have used it anyway) We really enjoyed staying here--- I would say this would be my number 2 choice.

Castlereagh: We thought this was the best villa-- you could see the lake, it had a pool, not sure how many rooms, but seemed bigger than Summerville. It had more common areas than Summerville did

Norwood: no lake views, but really amazing gardens and a pool. It was close to the tea factory.

Teintsin: we didn't see that one, but heard that it was the most traditional-- it does not have a view of the lake.

The Pros: too many to list,

The food was nice, we really enjoyed the Sri Lankan food and would suggest that everyone tries it. I would highly recommend the tea plantation tour-- it was very interesting. After the tour we had lunch at Norwood and then hiked back to Castlereigh-- the staff had then arranged a boat to take us to Summerville-- it was a great day. (pay attention to the trail markers, if you haven't seen one in a few hundred meters, you have missed a turn), more than anything the chance to relax. The tea was fantastic and always available :) I think I have a new appreciation for tea.

The cons: we arrived at 4 am and went straight to the Tea Trails-- we were expecting a long car ride, but we were not expecting nearly the entire way to be hair-bend turns-- I got car sick and normally don't feel nauseous in the car--- take your medicine before hand (the trip back we went through Kandy and it wasn't as bad). The sceenry was beautiful. I think a little motion sickness medicine before hand and a couple of stops along the way would be a good idea.

At the tea trails, the only negative thing that I could say is that when you are in the room, you can hear EVERYTHING in the hallway-- foot steps, voices, a pin drop... it isn't as disrupting as it sounds because people aren't running around screaming, but it does make you think that if you can hear everything from the hall way, they can hear everything in the room-- it seemed to come through the door, not the walls. I would hope that the management would take some measures to remedy this. Again, this shouldn't deter anyone from visiting, just something to be noted.


There is no denying that was expensive, but I think that it was worth it. The natural beauty was amazing, staff was superb, it was very very relaxing and we wouldn't hesitate to visit again. If you like the area, but just can't afford the price, there did seem to be quite a few B&B's in the area-- I have no idea how much they were or how you would get in touch with them-- many had similar names (Summerville, Norwood, etc)

The central hills of Sri Lanka and the Tea Trails were truly amazing and should not be missed!

I highly recommend the Tea Trails and hope to go again. :)

  • Stayed December 2010, 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?
2 Thank BahExpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
malikjfernando, Owner at Ceylon Tea Trails, responded to this review, 17 January 2011
Thank you for your positive review of Tea Trails. I wanted to address the issue of sound traveling from the corridor at Summerville bungalow. As this is an old, heritage bungalow, we are constrained in fully noise proofing the rooms. Sound can travel across the ceiling, it isn't really through the door. We are looking at possible options and expect to be able to improve the situation. Thanks for your helpful feedback!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
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English first
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
79 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 January 2011

After reading all the glowing reports we knew we had to stay here and try as we may we couldnt find a single thing to complain about. We were staying in Norwood Bungalow which was sensational, the staff were unreal, even when they bought the tea to the room in the morning they asked "would madam like the bath run" - loved it!!

We settled in to curry for breakfast quite quickly, (you can have anything you want) the meeting each night with the chef was a real eye opener, this is 5 star dining in Australia and would cost a fortune.

Yeah we read the comments about the price but if you could put a price on the breakfast, 3 course lunch, high tea, canapes with afternoon drinks (whatever you fancy), 4 course dinner, followed of course by chocolates and port or any drink you fancy, beers, gin and tonic, wine, champagne, tea and coffee on demand then its got to be great value.

We did the 2hour walk to Castlereagh for lunch one day, firstly to walk off breakfast, secondly to take in the view and thirdly to work up an appetite for lunch at Castlereagh. The greeting at Castlereagh was no different to Norwood, superb and we werent even their guests.

Ok I have a negative - there's too much food, you could end up kilos heavier, so do the walk. When we come back (and we definitely will), my husband is going to have a word to the chef and scale down the food seeing as I cant say no. Fully intended to but it is so good.................(we passed on high tea each day). We requested curry one night (thought we could have the sensational lamb rack at home) and 7 different curries - unreal.

If you get the chance - just do it!

  • Stayed December 2010, 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?
1 Thank worktotravel010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
72 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2011

We stayed at the Dickoya House and I have to say it was magic. It might seem like a very pricey place to stay, but there is some serious value here. I love the concept that everything is included. How wonderful. We had excellent meals with wonderful wine, afternoon tea both days and the best breakfast selection in Sri Lanka. We sent a week's worth of clothes to the laundry (and we have 2 children) and they were returned with 24 hours pressed and looking lovely.
We mingled with other guests in the living room before dinner and were served amazing appetizers. This place is absolute heaven.
It is quiet, relaxing and spacious. We also played about a dozen games of croquet which just feels right when you are staying at such a colonial gem.
I can't say enough wonderful things about our stay. It would be really fun to book the whole house for a group. We plan to do that next time.

  • Stayed December 2010, 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?
1 Thank dangerkitty18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
martula
Level Contributor
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 January 2011

My husband and I loved our stay at Castelreagh in early December. The bungalow is beautifully situated (that lake couldn't be more picturesque) and our room, a garden suite, was lovely. The food was great -- especially the Sri Lankan dinner and b'fast (def recommend). We were originally placed at Tiensin but had a depressing room facing a wall and decided to upgrade to stay at Castelreagh -- boy are we glad we did. The staff was kind and genuine and it is a wonderful place to take walks and read books and enjoy the view and the tea. Speaking of tea, the highlight of our stay was the tea tour with Andrew Taylor, an absolute gem of a man. We stayed two nights and I wish we stayed three, but on a tight tour from NY it was all we could manage. Go!

Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank martula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Staffordshire
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 January 2011

We went to Castlereagh bungalow but also visited Sommerville after the complimentary tea factory tour with Andrew (Taylor) Andrew is so passionate about tea it is wonderful to listen to him talk. Smmerville bungalow is also superb! This is the business!! There simply are no faults with this one. Everything is superb. Have a massage in your room, it's fabulous. One tip - go there last as you will not find anything to compare after this! I thought how wonderful to go to either of these for a family celebration as you could have the whole bungalow, it would be fabulous.

  • Stayed December 2010, 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 ElCubo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 December 2010

The only downside to Tea Trails is the long drive to get there from Columbo, but this was expected and so worth the effort.

We stayed at two different properties, Tientsen and Norwood. Both were superb but different in several ways.

Tientsen has beautiful gardens and lovely trails through the tea fields. The house is quite large and we stayed in the room with the terrace, while our children stayed in one of the inner rooms. I would definitely stay in the room that opens out into the garden as the setting is idyllic. Damien, the head butler and his staff were incredible and catered to our every need. The food was wonderful and well presented.

Norwood was smaller and had more scenic, panoramic views, and again everything was just excellent. We enjoyed the arranged factory tour at Norwood and found Andrew there to be an extremely informative guide. We have a new appreciation to what goes into a good cup of tea.

The pools at both places were lovely, but it is rather cool in the hills, so using them is for those who don't mind the chill.

  • Stayed December 2010
    • 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 dag5000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Singapore
Level Contributor
29 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2010

Get there via rail from Kandy, which is one of the most scenic train rides in Asia. Tea Trails consists of four classic colonial bungalows built for British tea estate managers in the days of the Raj, now sympathetically restored, and offers gracious living thanks to butler service, gourmet cuisine and authentic period furnishings. You can sample life on a working tea estate, whilst revelling in five-star luxury. Castlereagh and Summerville bungalows have lakefront positions, Norwood the best pool, and Tientsin is the most realistically colonial. At an altitude of 4,000 feet, the panorama is stunning. But if you need to get higher, climb Sri Lanka’s most famous pilgrimage at Adam’s Peak. Inform Tea Trails’ superbly attentive staff and they will pack a haversack filled with sandwiches and energy drinks to get you through the gruelling four-hour uphill trek.

  • Stayed May 2010, 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?
4 Thank capulet85
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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