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. :)
- 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 27 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