Fleewinter

Tea Trails Hatton, Sri Lanka - SLN004

In central Sri Lanka, just 3 hours from Colombo and at an elevation of 4000 feet above sea level, lies Ceylon Tea Trails. 4 classic colonial bungalows built for English and Scottish tea estate managers.

Each of the four bungalows which are set around the stunning Castlereagh reservoir valley has a different character. Summerville with an air of a country cottage, Castlereagh with an eclectic style of its own, the high colonial Tientsin; one of the first planter's residences to be built in Ceylon and the more modern Norwood; abounding with 60's character.

Each house comes with its own manager, chef, butler and houseboys and from 4 to 6 luxurious Master Suites, Garden Suites and Luxury Rooms, which can be booked individually or collectively. Each room is decorated in its own unique style ranging from neo-colonial to classic English and the Master Suites come with a separate living area, while the Garden Suites have their own private verandas.

The properties have immaculate grounds, with sweeping lawns, clear blue swimming pools and English gardens filled with roses, dew-filled agapanthus and spring crocus. There are communal living areas with sumptuous sofas, open fires and an extensive array of reading material, plus a separate room for watching television and DVDs. Limited internet access is also available for those who need an occasional dose of modernity.

The food at Tea Trails is outstanding. Almost everything is imported to ensure standards that we would expect from any European restaurant. Even the Sri Lankan chef at Norwood was shipped back from a 15 year career in France and all other members of staff have been carefully selected with extensive experience in their field.

We enjoyed afternoon tea on arrival, with fresh homemade scones which were cooked as we waited. Then a 4 course dinner of caramelized duck with a chilly, cucumber and spring onion salad. Pumpkin soup then followed, with a perfectly cooked sea bass fillet for main and a triple chocolate moose infused with 'tea' and accompanied with a lime jus to finish. After dinner we were served coffee and liqueurs in the lounge. Simply delicious!

One of the best things about the Tea Trails is the concept. Although you only stay in one of the four bungalows located around the magical Castlereagh Reservoir, they are all open to you. So if you want to have breakfast at your bungalow and then stroll down to another through the tea plantations for lunch you are more than welcome. Likewise if you fancy afternoon tea or dinner at a different one, that too can be arranged. Summerville and Castlereagh bungalow sit opposite each other on the shores of the reservoir about 10 mins from each other. Norwood is in the same valley but located high up on the tea terraces 15-20 mins from the two lower bungalows. Then finally Teinsten in just over the way in a neighbouring valley (30mins away) but still equally as beautiful.

Other activities include, a complimentary visit to the estate's tea factory, mountain biking, kayaking, croquet on the lawn or excursions to Horton Plains, Adams Peak and World's End. You could even catch the scenic railway down to Kandy for the day or up to Nuwara Eliya, otherwise known as Little England due to its colonial past.
In keeping with the private bungalow atmosphere, and as there are no restaurants or bars in the area, rates are all inclusive. The price includes:-

Bed tea
Cooked English or Sri Lankan breakfast
Lunch (packed lunch if on excursion)
Afternoon cream tea
Pre-dinner cocktails
4-course dinner
Australian house wines
International house spirits
Beer, juices and soft drinks
Tea & coffee
Laundry
Calls within Sri Lanka
Tea fields and factory tour
Other bungalow amenities

Spa treatments, premium spirits, a la carte wines and cigars excluded.

Max of 2 extra beds per room and only in the Master Suites. The Luxury rooms and Garden Suites can take 1 extra bed comfortably.

20 Bedrooms, Sleeps 40
£400 - £500 per room per night

Luxury Accommodation
Stunning Views
All Inclusive
Butler Service
Open Bar
2 Swimmingpools
Tennis Court

'Tea Trails - 5*, a real home from home, exceptional service (although a little too attentive at times), beautiful setting and best food.' LW August 2014

'Exceptional service, location and villa.' JP - April 2014

'Just incredible. The views were like a fantasy - hard to believe somewhere that unspoilt still exists. Rooms, service, food - everything was faultless. If I really had to nitpick I would say that the pool was a little high up to be unheated and as a consequence was freezing!' - C. Reston, January 2014. 'Superb stay, felt really luxurious and one we certainly wish to repeat. Food was beautiful.' B. Marshallsay

'The trip from Yala to Tea Trails was too long really. We had some rain (torrential!) but it took 8-9 hours and pushed the kids to the limit. My fault - i made you squeeze it in! Once there however, Tea Trails really was nice but actually was not my favourite - perhaps not quite our style? The tea tour brilliant, setting amazing but perhaps due to the journey it did not blow me away as I had expected. Food was great, did lots of laundry for us (!) and generally could not do enough for us. Picnic they gave is when we left was amazing!' J. Nash

'Tea Trails blew us away. What a fantastic place and thank you so much for being so insistent! The service was out fo this world, as was the food. We had high tea on arrival, and I have never tasted such delicious scones and lemon tarts. We all stuffed ourselves and weren't too full for a 4 course supper afterwards! A beautiful room. Very comfortable set-up.I had a wonderful in-room massage when I got back, whilst david took the kids for a walk through the tea plantations - and met a few leeches on the way (an encounter that had quite bloody consequences for Holly but has given her a great story to tell at school!)' CN

'We didn't take the train from Kandy to Hatton (Shelton's suggestion) - but the car journey was fantastic - breathtaking - beyond our wildest dreams! And Sommerville - well what can I say!!!! I was in Heaven - it is the most amazing place I have ever been to in my entire Life. The views,the staff, the food - just EVERYTHING!!" Stephen Rose

'Tea Trails was wonderful in every way - great location, wonderful service, super cooking.The tea factory tour was fascinating. It was a shame that the weather wasn't too good.' CH

'5/5 - The best place I have stayed in. A beautiful location. Fantastic service and incredible food. We were also very lucky to stay there over Sri Lankan New Year.' MF

'Tea Trails was the No 1 - the service,the setting and the cooking were just wonderful. We revisited Norwood and went by boat to Castlereagh but decided that Summerville was the best of the lot.' CH

"The Tea Trails were wonderful as was the journey there. We didn?t have time to go to Kandy but would make sure we went next time. We would have liked to have been in a bungalow with a swimming pool but we were paddled across the reservoir to Castlereagh for a swim and could see that Sommerville was more suited to a family. Two nights there was enough for us because it was very formal but we did the tea factory visit and were very glad we had been there."

"Tea Trails - we stayed at Castlereagh and Summerville. The accommodation in both was superb and the locations were beautiful. The food was excellent. I think we both preferred Summerville as it felt a little more relaxed." MG

"Tea Trails - two words - absolute heaven!!!!! We loved it SO SO much, I cant think of anywhere I'd rather have been. The staff, food, pillows, everything was out of this world. We didn?t want to leave." MA

"Tea-trails was an amazing experience with immaculate service and food. The 'tea experience' & trip to the tea factory was unexpected but a real highlight. The one problem was that it is quite isolated making trips to explore other areas of the hill country time consuming. Ideally we could have had a night staying near Nuwara Eliya or Hatton to see more of the area before descending into the luxury of tea trails." SC

"Lovely staff and food. Very restful" MS