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“An English hideaway in a foreign land”
Review of Kirchhayn Bungalow

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Kirchhayn Bungalow
Reviewed February 2, 2014

This pretty bungalow is hidden away up a long winding lumpy road, through a tea estate. It is well worth the drive. This is an old Hill Station, which has been turned into attractive accommodation. The gardens are absolutely beautiful and still maintained in the "English" style, with rose beds all round the bungalow, a lovely swimming pool and some peaceful walks. The food was unpretentious but good. However, don't expect 5 star luxury. There are, for example, no shampoos or shower gels.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Olddragonslady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8 - 14 of 20 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2013

I would definitely give this place a miss if you are a couple traveling through Sri Lanka there are many better suited and the price/value ratio on this accommodation is way off.

Although this is an absolutely gorgeous property with beautiful gardens, the inside however is far from being a luxury property and in need of some serious cleaning and repairs.

For a stay which cost 265 € (via Agoda) and a dinner of 50€;(no wine or beer) no choice of going out as nothing is around and no indication whatsoever of the price but there are no other options anywhere around, we felt cheated.

The good points
The dinner was quite good and the staff was very oldy worldy which I thought was fun. They referred to my husband as 'Master' a first for him. You can tell these guys have been here for a long time and are quite proud and that was really good and interested. Fresh fruit in the morning and a nice breakfast served outside with lovely porcelain dishes. And again the gardens and surrounding grounds are lovely.

The bad points
-For 265€ they had powdered milk (yikes) for these prices I don't care where you are in Sri Lanka real milk would be a good thing especially since lots of their clients are English (tea drinkers) and this used to be a working tea plantation

-Our room (the expensive 'luxury one' on the back facing the pool) Had stained rugs, moldy walls, a huge crack in the bathtub, half the lights out in the bathroom and a smell which confirmed this place had not been rented for a while. Everything filthy dirty dusty and in need of update and repairs. Lets not mention around the toilet.

-The main area. I am all for charm but I don't feel the need to have magazines from the 90's all tattered and the like and furniture to match. So much stuff from the 80's and 90's almost like a shrine from people kind enough to leave their reading materials... hint it maybe a good time to through this stuff out.

-The pool had no water in it (we stayed during high season)!



The problem with this place is the price. There is just no price value here and as cool as it was to have the oldy worldy staff it doesn't make it.

It could be so much better!
This place either needs to cut prices ALOT so there is a price/value ratio here for clients
or
Unless you wish more unhappy customers, don't sell this property as being luxury upscale as the accommodations are far from that. A total refurb is needed and perhaps the owner being there from time to time would not be such a bad thing either.

There is a whole writeup in the sitting area explaining that this bungalow being a b&b was for tax reasons and well, that pretty much shows.

I do hope that the property owner reads this. I am not sure as similar comments and concerns were sited on TA over a year ago however I can confirm that there doesn't seem to be any improvements made at least not as of January 2013

Room Tip: Find another place if you are couples. This may however be a good place for a family or group gathe...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank WTravelGirl50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

We (family with a 2yr old and 5yr old) stayed here for 2 nights after a flight from Singapore and very long drive from Colombo (I would not recommend coming here in the same day as flying in - it is about 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 hours from Colombo even with an experienced Sri Lankan driver.

The true charm of this place is the location and setting. It is very much off the main road (you will likely even be questioning yourself when approaching on the semi-maintained roads to get there). However, once you are there you will be glad you made the trip (and glad that the road doesn't invite every tourist that direction).

The property is essentially a family estate turned guest residence with a long tea plantation history. It is set on a hillside surrounded by tea plantations, while a great pool (if you can take the chill), a rose garden, their own coffee plants and even a grass tennis court (does not distract from the natural beauty). There are some nice walks directly from the house.

The staff were friendly, but not overtly service oriented (rather quiet and reserved). I was not at all displeased by the service / staff, but also not overly impressed. The food was very good, and they have a nice range of spirits / wines to offer for a charge.

This is also a great point to explore the area - perhaps not as convenient as Ella, but if you are looking for a combination of sightseeing and a day or so hanging out and relaxing, then this could be a perfect choice.

The rooms were simple, but very spacious and adequate. A few ants throughout the house, but that can be expected for the climate.

Overall, a very pleasant, relaxing stay for all traveler categories.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Brett S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2012

We used to stay in this unique planter's bungalow in the 1980s when it was privately owned and we needed to escape from the heat and hurly-burly of Colombo. It was wonderful to be back there amidst the peace and quiet of what is still a small functioning tea plantation. Still much the same, evoking a past era, though the bathrooms have been splendidly updated. The estate manager, Michael Richardson, is a great guy and the team he has running the bungalow is first class. Excellent food, beautiful gardens and very comfortable, spotlessly clean rooms. Tranquility assured!

Room Tip: We used the Bostock and Pyman suites which are the largest with direct access to the garden, but all...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank colkirk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2011

Small, lost in the middle of tea fields, just a few rooms, just magnificent!
Pool, tennis court, excellent food. A place to spend a whole week just doing nothing!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ITQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2011

We stayed at the bungalow for two nights- the bungalow is very pretty from the outside and the gardens are well maintained. It does have a certain colonial charm but we would definitely not describe it as high spec or luxurious accommodation. The rooms are a little tired and our room and bed felt damp. The staff are quite attentive but in our opinion the place needs a bit of a shake-up and some money spent to get it up to the same standard as the Ceylon tea trail properties, which are comparable in price but a much a higher quality of property / standard.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank gjn24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2010

The most peaceful bungalow you could ever imagine. located just outside Bandarawela, its colonial planter bungalow converted into a most comfortable boutique hotel. I think it can be booked as whole or as individual suites. The staff are amazing and the cook is super! Ideal for the family or romantic escape. We travelled with a group of around 15 adults and children and had the whole place to our selves. The pool though chilly was extremely refreshing!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank RyanColombo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kirchhayn Bungalow

Address: Attimpitiya Road | Aislaby Estate, Bandarawela 90100, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Uva Province > Bandarawela
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 35 Specialty Lodging in Bandarawela
Price Range: $156 - $189 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Kirchhayn Bungalow 3.5*
Number of rooms: 5
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Also Known As:
Kirchhayn Bungalow Hotel Bandarawela

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