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“Unique hotel in a beautiful setting”

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Heritance Tea Factory
Ranked #1 of 28 Hotels in Nuwara Eliya
Certificate of Excellence
Panadura, Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
54 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Unique hotel in a beautiful setting”
Reviewed April 4, 2013

The hotel's a tea factory converted to a 4-star hotel. The exterior of the hotel is identical to any tea factory and is surrounded by tea cultivations and misty hills forming a beautiful landscape. The road to the hotel is long and winding. Having your motion sickness tablets at hand is advisable for those who tend to get travel sick.

The uniqueness of this hotel is its preservation of its tea factory heritage. Among preserved items is the engine that powered the entire factory along with different shafts to which it was connected. The engine is run daily from 7:15pm to 7:45pm - a treat for those who love engines and mechanics. Massive tea factory fans still adorn the interior. Simply, it's just "tea" all around you at this hotel.

The rooms are comfortable. But only rooms in one side of the hotel have balconies with great views.

The hotel's very particular about the dress code for dining (which is smart casual with an emphasis on "smart"). Food was a let down. Dinner buffet didn't offer much variety and most items were cold. Variety was good at breakfast but again, not so tasty. Didn't get to try it but they have a restaurant "on wheels" - where guests can dine in an actual (stationary) train carriage.

It's nice to walk around the hotel. There is a rose garden, a small children's park, and you can trek along roads around the hotel. One great thing to do is see the "mini tea factory" just outside the hotel. The hotel produces their own tea in a small-scale and you can visit this factory and get a short guided tour as to how tea is produced.

The hotel seems to take an honest effort to go green. Power was cut off during Earth hour. Candles were what kept the hotel alight during that time - which in itself was a nice experience. But a few more candles at the buffet area would've made things easier for guests.

Staff were friendly and helpful.

Heritance Tea Factory is a unique hotel that's definitely worth a visit.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank sundomain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London
Level Contributor
73 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2013

I can't honestly say I've ever stayed in a hotel quite like the Heritance Tea Factory before, it is certainly something different. The staff, as I found in most hotels in Sri Lanka, were very friendly and service impeccable. They have a very tidy dress code that reminded me of how railway conductors might have dressed back in the days of the old steam engine. In fact, the entire place has a very strong sense of tradition about it but still feels modern and clean in terms of decor. It's a very prestigious affair and clearly a hotel that takes its history very proudly with pictures of Prince Charles visit on the wall and lots of cute little homages to its tea factory heritage. There is a tea bar at the back of the hotel serving varieties of tea with a pool table and selling some small gift souvenirs and a huge machine on the ground floor that was used in the old days for generating power which they turn on for novelty effect each evening. The buffet lunch was plentiful and of a high standard although without the panache of other hotels we stayed at such as Cinnamon Lodge. We only stayed at the hotel one night whereby they observed the electricity cut of Earth Hour but this actually made the experience all the more interesting with candles in the restaurant giving a romantic vibe and candles lighting the stairs to the upper floors. It made it all feel like an old British country house. A fine dining experience was available inside a converted train cart which was a good novelty but we passed due to the price, which upon reflection we regret. The grounds outside offer stunning views of the surrounding tea plantation hills and there is also a mini tea factory outside along with a rose garden with a rabbits pen. We would have liked to have stayed longer to do some of the nature treks organised by the hotel but were only stopping briefly on our way to Dalhousie. The only drawback I could think of is the painfully long winding road it takes to reach the hotel. We had a driver guide but I wouldn't have liked to have found my way here independently although I do think the hotel runs a free shuttle service into the town which is very far away. Having said that, this is why the hotel feels so special, perched on a hill overlooking the countryside rather than stuck in the middle of town.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1 Thank The-Rapture
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pershore, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2013

We stayed here for two nights when on a scenic tour. Hotel is set within the tea plantation and the views are well worth the trip up the winding road which seems to take forever or maybe it was our driver. High tea is well worth trying we found that one between two was more than enough and the waiter was more than happy to let us have plates and cups for two and value for money £6 wow! Bathroom could have been a little better but did not cause us any concern. A la carte dinner was more than adequate and service was superb, breakfast was again adequate and nothing too much trouble. Staff very happy to stop and chat and give you information on the hotel.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank scampiman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

2nights stay as a family. Wife on the way (the narrow winding road even after driving away from Nuwara Eliya proper!) complained why are we coming so far, but on site of the tea-factory-made-into-a-hotel she agreed I had made the right choice. My son added his agreement upon entering the hotel and seeing the train themed interiors and the classic elevator (which he insisted on operating for the entire stay).
Welcome tea was a very nice spice tea that promised a good stay ahead. Said that, nothing really that special other than the history of the old tea factory. Good but not great food, but we learned that is probably true for any hotel or restaurant who tries to cater to western crowd who may prefer to have something other than curry during their extended stay. It's always funny to see people eating cereal for breakfast in any country that has a lot more to enjoy...
The sun rise is a must see. View from the front yard is good enough, but if you can wake up early enough, walk back the driveway that leads to the hotel (be aware of the stray dogs...), and in about 15-20min (I guess if you have a private car you can get there in a minute or two :-) there is a spot that you can see the hotel standing all by itself with the sun rise coming right behind it. A magnificent view!

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank RajeevChocoseiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
299 reviews
210 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 187 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2013

Located high and it's cold up there, but great view of the surrounding tea plantations (although very misty at times, blocking the view). It's definitely an interesting experience to visit a tea factory converted into a hotel. The mechanism still works and they ran it in the early evening to demonstrate.
We also visited the actual small tea factory still there, right next to the hotel. Also very interesting. All in all, I recommend a short stay for the experience.

Room was plain but decent, spacious enough with two beds and a sofa bed and a small but ok bathroom. Dinner buffet was just ok, the Sri Lankan dishes/curries were really good but the other (Western) dishes bland. Restaurant service was abysmal. Breakfast buffet was ok too but not memorable.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Eric1313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool
Level Contributor
62 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2013

During our first week touring Sri Lanka we stayed at the Tea Factory for one night. This was a welcome break from all the hustle and bustle of the other places we stayed at. The hotel is surrounded by tea plantations and even has a miniature tea factory in the garden, that you can visit. The garden appears to be totally organic and the hotel has won many awards for its organic input. The main garden is like an English country garden with a few exotics plants thrown in for good measure. On arriving at the hotel itself we were offered some sweet welcome tea with hints of cinnamon. It was absolutely delicious. However, it appeared that you can only have this when you arrive they do not sell it or offer it at any other time even though we asked. This was a great shame. We booked a superior room. The first room we were shown to was at the back of the hotel overlooking the yard area. Ask for a room at the front which overlooks the hills. They changed our room without any fuss. We had some time to spare so decided to have a double spa treatment. Go for the full body hot stone message. It was the best hot stone message I have ever experienced. There is lots to look at in the hotel and they even have some original machinery which is switched on at 7pm every evening. This is sitiuated in the central stairwell of the hotel. The service was excellent and the restaurant was good too. we would recommend choosing all the local dishes as these are what they cook best. We would also recommend lunch from the bar menu. This hotel is a definate must for a quirky boutique stay.

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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lynne Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidstone, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2013

Whilst the surroundings to the Heritance Tea Factory were stunning, it was a great shame that the same couldn't be said for our stay at this hotel. We were very disappointed that from start to finish the hotel failed to live up to expectation and very relieved we decided to stay for only one night.

The hotel lacked atmosphere, something I'd have expected it to have plenty of given its history. The closest it got was when the staff at dinner decided to dance around guests to 'The Lambada' in a somewhat bizarre attempt to entertain, but which for me was rather reminiscent of my teenage holiday trips to the Costa Dorada in the 1980s. I'd have expected something slightly more upmarket for a supposedly top range hotel.

On the subject of dinner, the food quality was just about average, the choice mediocre and the staff slow to clear away empty plates and deliver drinks that were ordered. The highlight was when my partner extracted a 9 inch long hair from his prawn curry; we could only assume this belonged to one of the kitchen staff! Furthermore, for a hotel that insisted on smart dress for dinner, I'd have expected to see an iron and ironing board in the room, which has been available at all our other hotels in our trip to Sri Lanka.

Some of the staff were helpful, others less so. There was no wifi throughout our stay and when we mentioned this, they weren't really interested. When we returned to our room in the morning to collect our possessions after a tea picking excursion and to check out, the room had already been emptied and remade for the next guests with our valuables still in the security deposit box.

A disappointing stay! Avoid visiting and stay in nearby Nuriya Elia. On the way through to Yala our driver showed us around the Grand Hotel which looked lovely and we regretted not staying here so well worth investigating instead.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MarkW1973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Heritance Tea Factory

Property: Heritance Tea Factory
Address: Kandapola, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Phone Number:
Location: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Nuwara Eliya
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 28 Hotels in Nuwara Eliya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Heritance Tea Factory 5*
Number of rooms: 57
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Also Known As:
Heritance Tea Factory Hotel Nuwara Eliya
Tea Factory Nuwara Eliya
Tea Factory Hotel Nuwara Eliya

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