Luxury living in the hills of Sri Lanka's stunning Central Highlands
Sri Lanka’s first and only Relais & Châteaux hotel, there is something truly special about Ceylon Tea Trails, a collection of four colonial-era tea-planter’s bungalows set high in the spectacular Bogawantalawa Valley, dubbed the ‘Golden Valley of Tea’. The nearest town, Hatton, is 20 minutes’ drive from the northernmost bungalow and 45 minutes from the southernmost.
The four Raj-inspired bungalows are spread well apart, connected by a series of picturesque walking trails. Each offers Master Suites, Garden Suites and Luxury Rooms, as well as outdoor pools, wood-burning fireplaces, timbered ceilings, private verandas, chef and butler service, and spectacular views of Castlereagh Lake and the tea-planted hills. Summerville is the quietest, offering a cosy cottage atmosphere; Castlereagh sits right on the lake’s edge; Norwood is closest to the tea factory and has sensational valley views; while Tientsin is the highest in altitude and has perhaps the best pool.
Each bungalow has a chef, butler and team of houseboys and almost anything you could want to eat can be delivered to your side from dawn until midnight. Relish the colonial tradition of Bed Tea served by your own butler as a gentle wake-up call, then kick-start your day with a full English or Sri Lankan breakfast at your garden table. A picnic in the hills is an excellent choice for lunch, and with fresh bread, scones, croissants and pastries baked daily, the picnic baskets are always worth sampling. Come evening retire to your bungalow’s formal dining room, where the chefs will be happy to prepare dinner to your liking, taking full advantage of locally-grown vegetables, herbs and teas.
We highly recommend the Tea Experience tour, on which the resident tea planter will guide you through the tea-making process, from hillside to factory and finally to cup, ending with a tasting of the estate’s finest blends. There are guest bikes to hire and an excellent spa, as well as clay tennis courts and croquet lawns. This is also beautiful walking country, with tea trails to wander and more challenging treks not far away, like climbing the steps to the top of Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka’s most sacred mountain, where the Buddha is said to have planted his foot on his way to Nirvana.
Stay here on these holidays
From sweeping tea plantations to UNESCO-listed treasures and the wildlife of the Yala National Park, spend two memorable weeks exploring the history, culture and beaches of this Indian Ocean gem, a land of smiles that's long made it a travellers' favourite.
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