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Reviewed October 12, 2011

The Tea Factory is exactly what it says, a converted “tea factory!” and superbly done it is. Located high in the mountains surrounded by acres of tea plantations the outside the building is virtually unchanged from the day it was last used but the inside has been transformed in to a fascinating hotel.

To get there you need to travel a long way often along narrow badly maintained roads so it takes a long time! Despite the journey, the staff are very welcoming and willing. On arrival guests are welcomed with tea and spices and painted with a Bindi.

The rooms are a good size well decorated with a comfy double bed. A nice touch was a small plaque which told you exactly where your room was located in the old factory and what that area was used for, also tea making facilities are small tea caddies with a choice of leaf tea rather than tea bags. The bath had a powerful shower but there was a big step up to get into it and this could be a struggle for some. The mini bar was also padlocked which was strange – not that it bothered us! The room also had free Wifi.

The hotel has a supposed dress code for dinner and we dressed up that night, even having our by now very creased clothes pressed but were disappointed to find they do not enforce it. Another disappointment for a hotel who claims to set high standards was that they serve wine in totally inappropriate glasses. We are no snobs but this simple thing added to the overall disappointment that night as did the lack of choice at the buffet.

However, we would recommend trying to book to dine in the TCK 6685 railway carriage. It was fully booked the night we stayed but got to look inside and the member of staff gave us a flavour of what guests would enjoy and it looked fun.

Being in a mountain area it is cold in the evening so allow for this. There was also a small mini tea factory/ museum but we did not get to see this.

Summing up – I so wanted to like this hotel a lot as I am fascinated by conservation projects like this but when a hotel makes a big thing of the awards they have won and how they have high standards it’s important that they themselves perform. They allowed smoking on the landings, did not enforce the dress code and our dining experience was a disappointment. All these things meant we left wondering if it was worth the long journey. But don’t let this put you off as maybe they were just having an off day as everything else was fine.

This was the fourth hotel of 5 we stayed in during our tour of Sri Lanka so if you are travelling check out our other reports.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Scarybird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM-HTF, General Manager at Heritance Tea Factory, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2011

We wish to thank you for the constructive comments that have been made on the Trip Advisor and would like to rerspond to certain factors that have been commented upon.

Dress code:
As the Management we do our best to inform our clients in regard to the dress code for dinner. However, it is unfortunate that a few of our clients do not understand the intentions of the Management. We expect our clients to dress neatly for dinner which we consider as an important event and thereby to respect the other diners. No person is allowed to enter the Restaurant in shorts and any client who does not have appropriate attire for dinner is offered a sarong. Therefore we totally deny that any person was allowed to have dinner in a pair of shorts. The only way a person could have been in a pair of shorts is while passing through the Restaurant to the Hethersett bar where we do not follow a dress code as it is a public bar. The dress code is strictly followed in the Restaurant.

Smoking:
First and foremost, we wish to inform that ours is not a Non-smoking hotel and that smoking is restricted to certain areas of the hotel. Smoking is not allowed inside the room and in all public areas. Therefore, any person who wishes to have a smoke is allowed to do so in the atrium areas and at the Hethersett bar. Those who do not smoke could make use of the Goatfell Tea Bar, which also serves all types of beverages.

Food:
As regards the some of the not very positive comments that we have received in regard to our food, we wish to inform that for dinner we offer 17 varieties of salads which also include sea food and meat, 05 varieties of salad dressings, 05 varieties of condiments, 03 varieties of soups with different types of bread along with butter, 09 varieties of multi cuisine hot dishes which includes a minimum of 04 types of meats along with sea food, 03 action stations including a carvery, an Asian food corner, 03 indigenous dishes, 03 health dishes, a Sri Lankan corner with local dishes, 12 varieties of desserts with Ice Cream counter and cut fresh fruits and cheese and crackers.

Although we are proud of the accolades and the certifications that we have received, the comfort of our guests is our paramount target. Therefore, we do not wish to deprive our valued guests of their comforts in the name of accolades or certifications for our hotel.

If one may go through the trip advisor, they would note that 77% of our comments have been Excellent to good, while only 16% had been average, and 7% being poor which is a clear indication of guest satisfaction.

Thank you once again for your comments

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2011

This hotel has a dress code, but jeans are OK for the evening meal.
Room was rather small; indeed the chap delivering the cases asked us where we’d like him to put them.
There was no information about the hotel or its facilities and the mini-bar was locked. We were thirsty so I phoned down to get the mini-bar opened. In due course a chap came to open it and it had one can of beer and four soft drinks. He explained that if we wanted anything else we would have to phone down for it. He also said they didn’t have anything to tell guests about such things as facilities, etc. Oh well, we’ve time for a bath before dinner. To stop water from the shower coming out on to the floor a Perspex sheet had been fixed into place for about 2/3 of the length of the bath, from the taps. The other 1/3 had a sliding Perspex door. I stretched in to turn on the water on and got the top half of my body drenched in cold water from the shower. I, of course, left the enclosed space quite quickly. So I now had to switch from the shower to the bath and that meant getting wet, so I took my shirt off and dived in, but no I got out pretty quickly because it wasn’t the cold tap that I opened but the hot. Ouch, that water is very hot. In fact, from my experience of ISO14000, which the hotel proclaims they are compliant with and for which I am a trained auditor, I would say it was too hot to be energy efficient, because cold water was needed to make it usable. The bath is filling up now and I can’t reach the tap to turn it off. Luckily my wife has a brain and she uses the flimsy shower curtain in front of the window as a shield and turns the hot off. I don’t know what the people taking tea at the front of the hotel thought if they’d seen us. This bathroom, I think, is dangerous to use, even for an able-bodied person. There are no warnings about the water temperature either. It would fail an OHSAS 18001 Health & Safety audit. The room remains warm and stuffy. There is no air conditioning, so do we open the window (and let any insects in) or keep it closed? Unlike all the other hotels on our trip through the centre of Sri Lanka, we were not offered a buffet. This was probably due to the fact that there were not many folk in the hotel. Instead there were choices from a menu and all were very nice.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Tilt-scale-gyro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM-HTF, General Manager at Heritance Tea Factory, responded to this reviewResponded October 17, 2011

We wish to thank you for the constructive comments that have made on the Trip Advisor and would like to respond to certain factors that have been commented upon

Dress code:
As the Management we do our best to inform our clients in regard to the dress code for dinner. We expect our clients to dress neatly for dinner which we consider as an important event and thereby to respect the other diners.

Hot water:
The issue on hot water being too hot had not surfaced before and the temperature of hot water is being maintained at the recommended levels between 50c – 60c degrees. Even at a recent Health and Safety Audit conducted by an international auditor, we were advised to maintain the temperatures at the aforesaid levels. Being situated at an elevation of 2000 ft. above sea level with the climatic conditions being cold, it is imperative that the temperature of hot water is at the required levels.

Although we would be delighted to receive more accolades as well as certifications, the comfort of our guests is our paramount target. Therefore, we do not wish to deprive our valued guests of their comforts in the name of accolades or certifications for our hotel.

We thank you once again for your constructive comments,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2011

We stayed at this hotel for couple of nights during our honeymoon in 2009. It is a very clever idea to convert a old tea factory in to a world class hotel. The service and the food was excellent. We also took the mini tour in the little tea factory outside the hotel. You can also have dinner in the train carriage in the hotel garden. The hotel has a amazing view of the mountains around it. The hotel is located in a great place to visit Nuwara Eliya and the Haggala Botanical Gardens, We had a great time.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Voyager_the_great
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2011

We stayed here for one night as we drove from the historic area of Sri Lanka to the south coast.
The building is spectacular and interesting in a fascinating location.
Public rooms are adequate and our bedroom a reasonable size although we got cold during the night.
Breakfast was good with plenty of fruit.
We would ourselves stay here again if traveling through and would similarly recommend it to other people. More than one night would be boring as there are no extra facilities in the hotel or area.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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Thank HasHout
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2011

We selected Nuwara Eliya as our first destination of Sri Lanka so that the toughest drive from the Colombo Airport can be taken first. Took us around 6 hrs from airport incl a one hour detour for Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. We were not disappointed.

The hotel is 40 min away from the city and that is a good thing as well as bad. Good for people who wish to stay away from all hustle and bad for people who wish to do a lot of sight seeing. Since it is far the car driver would take you only once to the city.

The property is awesome and gives you a feel of british era, a true heritage property. The view from the property is awesome and they take you for a small hike around the property for 60 min for LKR 200 only. This is a must do.

There is a pony ride for LKR 500 and Tea plucking for LKR 500 which you may do in free time.

There is a small but neat garden at the property where kids would love to play. Also there is a small flower garden in the property if you are interested in them.

We had some problem with food as we were vegetarian. The property also serves Jain food.

All in all a great place for resting.

Room Tip: If you are vegetarian pls do not stay on the first floor as there is a smell of non veg from the restaurant. Another flip side is that the rooms doesn't have Air conditioning. While you dont need AC during the night as it is cold, but in the afternoon you may feel the need.
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank JiguPiyu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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