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“A must-do in Sri Lanka” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ceylon Tea Trails

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Ceylon Tea Trails
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   46/38 Nawam Mawatha | PO Box 5, Hatton 22000, Sri Lanka   |  
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Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Hatton
Hong Kong
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5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A must-do in Sri Lanka”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2012

As we climbed the hills of Sri Lanka's tea country we knew that Tea Trails was going to be something special. We were not wrong!
On arrival at the Norwood bungalow we were warmly welcomed and taken straight to a three-course lunch. For the next two days we ate like royalty! The food is fantastic and the chef's desire to make everyone happy really makes a huge difference. I was actually 3 months pregnant by the time we got round to taking our honeymoon, so my diet was more restricted than normal - the chef made me my own dishes at every meal. You can't ask for better treatment than that!
The bungalow itself is like a home from home. We spent daytimes walking through the tea plantations, afternoons by the fire playing scrabble and evenings enjoying the peace and quiet (and my husband, the plentiful wine).
The service was the best we found in Sri Lanka. Though it may seem like an expensive stay, it is worth every penny. We just didn't want to leave!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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667 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2012

I'm not sure if we've fallen in love with Sri Lanka or Tea Trails - but for me the two are inseparable. We stayed at Castlereagh and Somerville, but it doesn't matter where you spend the night, as all four bungalows are part of the same group, and you can sleep in one, have lunch in another and then change locations on your second or third day depending on how much you want to move around.

All the staff were amazing, not only the way they made us feel like family (in a very nice way) but also the way they were so polite and helpful (especially towards some rather obnoxious guests who complained about the singing in the nearby village and asked the hotel if they could ask request local residents to stop the festival celebrations!) "Sigh" - is all I can say.

The food, whether Sri Lankan or western was to a very high standard and the chefs couldn't do enough to meet our needs. Particularly special for us was celebrating my husband's birthday there and the way the staff made our elderly parents feel relaxed and as if they were in a second home from home!

We will definitely be back for a third visit and hope it will be early in 2013!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Perth, Australia
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2012 via mobile

That says it all for us!! Stayed at Norwood again, walked to castlereagh for lunch (again) and for something different rowed across the lake to Summerville.

The food if it is possible was a wee bit better than a year ago, would be considered "fine dining" in Australia.

If you want to be completely indulged in the most superb surroundings by the most gorgeous people, this has to be in the must do list.

Once we've done a few more trips on the list, we will be back for a third time I'm sure.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2012

This is the place to be if u looking for the most peaceful and wonderful place to relax.
We had a wonderful suite with nice living room, great bed and cute bathroom, also we had a great beautiful garden where u can have a nice afternoon tea looking the sunset.
The Tea Trails is very colonial decor, which make the place more special.
The food is amazing. The hotel have a nice pool and beautiful view from the river and the mountains.
The service is great, i really recommend u stay at last 1 night in this luxury and magic place!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

As I've mentioned elsewhere, I simply do not believe anywhere offers the value for money Sri Lanka does.

Tea Trails is relatively more expensive than some of the other exceptionally fine boutique hotels in Sri Lanka but is worth every cent. We stayed at the ridiculously beautiful Castlereagh bungalow with five beautiful rooms. We chose a garden room and I would highly recommend this as the grounds and gardens are just exquisite. We had our own private garden off the small living area in our suite and would sit out on the white chairs in the afternoon watching the sunset absolutely persuaded to throw in everything and buy our own bungalow in the Tea Country.

The bungalow is decorated in a colonial manner and the attention to detail is flawless. We were fortunate enough to meet the architect who was designing one of the new bungalows that will be built in the hills above Castlereagh. My partner and I were sitting in the library partaking, rather generously, in the complimentary sherry and port before dinner when a lady appeared with a measuring tape and started to measure the dimensions of the sofa we were sitting in. When I asked her what she was doing she said we looked so comfortable and relaxed she wanted to capture the exact dimension of the sofa we were sitting on. After dinner we relaxed in the library chatting with her and she explained the lovely history of the Tea Trails and that it is Dilmah Tea's first venture into the leisure business. Well done Dilmah! If everybody suddenly stops drinking tea, you would make a fortune replicating the Tea Trails concept elsewhere.

Apart from an incredibly tasteful and well executed period renovation, the absolute stand out of Castlereagh was the food. Shortly after checking-in, we had a brief chat with the Chef who proposed a 4-course lunch and 5-course dinner. The food was of a quality and sophistication that would put any international 5-star hotel to shame.

If I had the opportunity to do it again, would I do anything differently? Yes! I would stay at Tienstin - the oldest and smallest of the bungalows. It was just exquisite.

Do take the tour of the tea factory! I discovered the perfect Broken Orange Pekoe. Just like Castlereagh, it was tasteful, refined and eloquent and I just couldn't get enough of it.

The food is

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2012 via mobile

If you are worried about splurging, you will nit regret it. Stayed for 2 nights at Tientsin bungalow and could have stayed for longer. Included in the price is all food and drinks and a tour of the near-by Norwood tea factory. The bungalow is beautifully appointed and each room has its own style and decor. We stayed in the Moir room with a small terrace overlooking the lawn. Pre-drink drinks are from 7pm with the other guests and dinner is at the time you choose. Your menu for the day is discussed with you at breakfast each morning. If you have room after the three course lunch, high tea is held in the afternoon from 4pm. We would highly recommend staying at the tea trails. It is unlike anyway we have ever stayed before and well worth the expense.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2012

As a seasoned traveller, one of my greatest travelling pleasures is discovering that expectations of a meal/hotel/activity have been surpassed. Whilst the Internet (and tripadvisor in particular) guide us to places that are likely to be enjoyed, one of the downsides of all this detail provided is the fast diminishing thrill of the exceeded expectation. Well it happened at the tea-trails !

As expected, the scenery is truly spectacular. Serene, enchanting, and peaceful. Such a contrast to the hectic and bustling cities and towns in the recent of the country, and the exhausting journey on roads that only seem to become more windy and pot-holed as you draw nearer.

We were very pleased, (like previous comments), by Norwood Bungalow. It does not have views of the lake, but sits high giving you a sense of isolation, with commanding vistas. Our room (Andrews) was comfy and very spacious. The indoor and outdoor common areas (meals/lounges etc) are shared with guests from the 3 other rooms, which we enjoyed, lingering over pre/post dinner drinks (all included) or just relaxing in front of the fire playing backgammon, or croquet on the lawn. Wifi is excellent throughout all of the bungalows (if you must).

Whilst many will prefer to relax, don’t miss Andrew Taylor’s enthusiastic and informative 90 min tour of the tea factory. There are also many walks around each bungalow, or between them, for those more adventurous. Our highlight was a 2 hour mountain bike trip through the tea plantations and tiny villages, back to Norwood from the Tianserin bungalow we had visited for lunch and tennis (easy to arrange with staff)

What exceeded our expectations was the food (spectacular, with the chef chatting with each room separately to personalise their menu), and the truly exceptional service, without being overbearing or intrusive.

The highlight of our 2 week trip to Sri Lanka.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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

Address: 46/38 Nawam Mawatha | PO Box 5, Hatton 22000, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: 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 Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Hatton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Ceylon Tea Trails 5*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ceylon Tea Trails comprises four luxurious colonial era tea planters bungalows connected by walking trails through stunningly beautiful Ceylon tea gardens. Each villa, built between 1890 and 1939, offers a taste of gracious living thanks to butler service & period furnishings, accompanied by gourmet meals. 20 exquisite rooms and suites in all. Tea Trails is Sri Lanka's first Relais & Chateaux resort. Rates are fully inclusive of gourmet meals and drinks, including top shelf 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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