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“The best place to stay ever” 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
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593 people have reviewed this hotel

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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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London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2007

We spent 3 nights at Tientsin and are particularly glad we did. The trip is fairly tortuous, wherever you come from (we'd come from Galle, and it was 7.5 hours - partly because our Red Dot-supplied driver didn't know how to get there.....). However, from the moment you arrive you are made to feel at home and comfortable.

It's pretty remote up there, and there isn't much around, but they lay on all sorts of activities designed to make the most of the stunning surrounding countryside - we just went for a tour of a tea factory, took a guided walk around the estate and went up Adam's Peak, but there are plenty of other options too.

The staff were all excellent, although special mention must be made of Damian, the manager, for his ability to make sure that everything is done for guests with the minimum of fuss and the maximum of efficiency. And the food was outstanding.

It'd be interesting to try one of the others - Castlereagh looked like a nice setting right on the reservoir, and has a pool too, but I can't recommend Tientsin highly enough.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Wellington NZ
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2007

This surely must be one of the best kept secrests in the travel world! Many may be reluctant to visit Sri Lanka in view of the long standing conflict, but by doing so, "gems" like the Tea Trails lodges are being overlooked. We travelled from the wonderful city of Kandy to "Tientsin" a beautiful lodge (impeccably restored former tea plantation managers bungalow) near the village of Hatton. Tea Trails is the vision of Malek Fernando and his family (Dilmah Teas), who have made a significant contribution to life in the tea country. There are three other lodges available- we visited one other; Norwood which again was in a charming location and offered the same very high quality lodge experience. From the moment of arrival at Tientsin, one is made to feel very special. The service is of an extremely high standard, yet relaxed and informal. The food was as good as any 3 star Michelin experience we have encountered. The "bungalow" itself is a tranquil oasis with quality furnishings and fabrics faithful to the days of the British planters. However what surpasses all of this is the garden! The most beautiful planting that you will find anywhere in the world, and immaculately maintained by 5 proud and cheerful gardeners. This truly is heaven on earth! To work off the 4 meals a day included in the package (the usual 3 plus the very British high tea) there are interesting walks through the tea plantations, and Damian, the senior butler and his staff are very obliging in facilitating any activity guests may wish to undertake. We particularly enjoyed the Norwood tea factory visit, hosted by Andrew Taylor, a descendent of the first tea planter, John Taylor. He provided a most informative and humerous insight into tea production, and I only wish we could have had him over as a dinner guest. One of the best things to do at Tientsin is .............nothing! Hard to do however with so many inviting verandahs overlooking the garden that are begging for a book to be read on them!
This truly was the hilight of our trip to Sri Lanka. The war does not seem to involve the tourist. Yes, there are many checkpoints manned by soldiers, but they all smiled when we waved to them and generally do not stop tourist vehicles. I felt they were there for our safety. Guided tours are the only way to go. This country has much to offer those interested in going down the "road less travelled" and represents outstanding value for money in todays world. We cannot wait to return to Tientsin and thank Malik Fernando for this haven in the hills

Stayed November 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
95 hotel reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2007

I cannot speak highly enough about the experience at Ceylon Tea Trails. This is definitely a place that has got the formula right. We stayed in Norwood Bungalow, which has a beautiful position higher up the hills - so magnificent views over the tea plantations and valley. The house is beautifully restored and is immaculately maintained. The gardens are magnificent, with amazing flowers (plus the largest bamboo I have ever seen - spectacular) and there is a lovely pool.

The whole experience really gives you the feeling of living the life of a Tea Plantation Manager. The Team who run the house are wonderful - friendly and great service. The fully inclusive factor of the experience makes Tea Trails excellent value for money. From your morning tea delivered by your Butler, through to the amazing breakfast, three course lunch, high tea and and a four course dinner, you literally roll out the door on your departure. The standard of cuisine is first class and the Chef comes to discuss all menus with you prior to any meal (a nice touch). On our last night, we had an amazing Sri Lankan feast - the table was literally groaning with food!

The decor is classic and well laid out. My only critisism would be that because the shower is over an old fashioned bathtub, the curtain is very restrictive and therefore does not make it easy to shower. A highlight of the attention to detail is the little sprig of tea that is placed on your bed at turndown.

There are a nice range of activities for you to do. We went biking around the lake, which was a lovely ride. Our Butler arranged for us to have lunch at Castlereah and we also stopped in at Summerville. Both bungalows are again beautiful. I prefered the layout and decor of Castlereah, to Norwood - but Norwood's gardens and position in the valley is better. Summerville has a beautiful lounge and its garden overlooking the lake are lovely. Our Guide was very professional and enjoyable to spend time with.

There is a DVD library, music system, boardgames etc... and evenings are spent around a beautiful fireplace.

The homes are between 4 and 6 bedrooms. We luckily were the only people at Norwood Bungalow, so I am not sure what the experience would have been like if other guests had been there. The bungalows are great places to take over with a group of friends, or family - perfect for a celebration.

When visiting Sri Lanka, you MUST incorporate Ceylon Tea Trails into your visit. It is one of the best experiences I have ever had and will definitely return.

  • Liked — The attention to detail
  • Disliked — Shower
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2007

We have just returned from a four-day break at the Tea Trail's Norwood bungalow, in the middle of the Monsoon with more rain than a wet weekend in Blackpool.
So how was it?...

Fantastic!

From the minute we walked through the doors we were made to feel completely welcome and relaxed in the beautifully restored and comfortable surroundings of this old Planters bungalow. The secret of this is to make you feel as though the time is completely your own, the delicious food is served when you want. There is no menu but the chef will discuss in the morning your preferences and then present a meal that would put many restaurants to shame.

Despite the rain we braved some of the 10km walks around tea estates and were rewarded with stunning views and friendly waves from the scattered teams of tea pluckers. This really is one of the most stunning areas of the country and we would recommend the Tea Trails as the perfect base to view it from.

When we come again, and we will, the weather will be better and we look forward to more time outside exploring, but this is one of the few places that I have stayed where the most torrential downpour couldn't dampen the experience.

  • Liked — Location; Staff; Food; Rooms
  • Disliked — n/a
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok/Singapore
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2007

We stayed at the beautiful Castlereagh Bungalow overlooking the Castlereagh reservoir. The view was magnificent at anytime of the day. Staff were very attentive and the service was faultless. Entire bungalow and the suite we stayed were very comfortable and well appointed. Food was superb and we were consulted in advance by the chef personally regarding each meal and the menu was done according to our wishes. What else can you wish for…… This little gem is the best kept secret in Sri Lanka. We highly recommend it.

  • Liked — Personalized service
  • Disliked — getting there
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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*
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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