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“Superb attention to detail”
Review of Ceylon Tea Trails

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Ceylon Tea Trails
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
167 reviews
122 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“Superb attention to detail”
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
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Globaladventure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
8 Thank malalajan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok/Singapore
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 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 with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank ChangLee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex, UK
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2007

This was our first port of call when we arrived in Sri Lanka. After a tedious car journey from the airport to the Tea Trails - and breaking down en route - we were greeted with such a warm welcome it was a joy to arrive finally.
We stayed at the Norwood bungalow and because our car had broken down getting there we did not arrive until 11.30pm. The manager showed us quickly to our rooms where we could freshen up and asked us what drinks we would like.
When we walked into out room, they had lit candles everywhere and showered the bed in rose petals and it relaxed us instantly.

The cook then paid us a visit and asked us what we would like to eat. I think this was such a lovely touch and made the whole experience unforgettable. They laid a candlelit table on the lawn for us and we had a four course meal prepared for us. Truly amazing place. The next day they set up a candlelit dinner on the verandah where it was just me and my husband dining under the stars. A place we will never forget! The staff are on call for you 24 hours a day and cannot do enough for you. The pool is lovely and refreshing and as are their drinks!

we visited a tea factory and enjoyed it very much, i would definitely recommend going to one of these.

we were only there for three days but i wish we had longer. The different kind of baths are a must also. Every attention to detail is thought of here and we will be returning when we go to Sri Lanka again.

The only downside is that the accommodation our driver had to stay in was not in a very nice condition, which is such a shame as i would have thought they would treat the drivers with livable accommodation. we heard this from other people staying at the Tea Trails also.

Apart from this a true bit of paradise.

  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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Helpful?
5 Thank Josnow79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Athens
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed July 16, 2007

We stayed 2 nights at Norwood. It's a plantation bungalow among tea plantations and beautiful views. They try to make you feel as if you live in the bungalow, instead of a hotel, and for this service is very personal and in an all inclusive basis.

What exactly is all inclusive? It's bed tea (I had to ask what exactly this meant...), breakfast, lunch, high tea (afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones and cake), dinner, and unlimited snacks and drinks throughout the day. But don't think it's a simple thing. They have a chef and a buttler per bungalow, who will discuss with you all your needs and your food, to make everything to your taste. Laundry is also included. The only thing we paid extra were the massages we had by a therapist that you can book to come to the bungalow.

There are several activities you can do from the bungalows. Train trips, hiking, rafting, etc., as well as a tea factory visit, which is for free. As we were doing a rest break in the middle of our Sri Lanka tour, all we did was a one hour walk through the surrounding tea plantations, where we got to see and photograph the plantation workers picking tea. It may not be the best place to serve as a base to explore Sri Lanka, but it is worth staying for a couple of days at least to enjoy and relax!

Food was fantastic - we particularly liked the rice and curry for lunch, which was the best we had in Sri Lanka. The room was luxurious, although a bit small, and service was attentious, without being intrusive.

It is really a fantastic place.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Mosquitos after sundown
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PedroAthens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
112 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2007

I stayed at Norwood Bungalow for two nights, but I wish I had stayed longer. The most modern of the four bungalows (1930s I believe) but in my opinion also the most stunning in terms of the garden, views over the tea plantations and the splendidly long and dark blue pool in front of an in impressive grove of giant bamboo.
The all-inclusive element allows you to feel completely pampered; the elegant and discreet staff are always there when you want them.
Unusually they do Western and Sri Lankan food equally well. Everything we had at Norwood was wonderful, and considering the frequency of meals (including the daily high tea) the portion sizes were just right.
Even on a rainy afternoon we had a very pleasant time sitting next to the log fire playing scrabble and drinking wine.
The rooms are impeccably white and colonial-style. We enjoyed our four-poster bed and its romantic (and necessary) mosquito net.
There is no need to suffer any colonial hangover guilt when you are sitting on the sunny terrace eating breakfast and watching the morning break over the tea plantations below, as Tea Trails comes at a price. I believe it is a price well worth paying.
Lastly I must mention the tea menu - there is a long menu of different teas you can try, all very different but very fresh. A must for tea lovers! If you really must, they do a admirably stiff coffee as well.
I can't wait to go back.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing to dislike
  • Stayed May 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank Gaijinette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingen, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2007

I was so impressed with the superb service so polished, impeccable. The meet and greet given by our butler at Norwood was the stuff of dreams, great to see ! So many high end properties attempt this but rarely can carry it off The rooms are immaculate, linens whiter than white.
Outstanding value for money ! Tea Trails rates highest in Sri Lanka when it comes to excellence in hospitality. Faultless.
The place to be to enjoy fine tea, after a walk through the tea plantation !

  • Liked — Spotless
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank MissJaynesjourney
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

Property: Ceylon Tea Trails
Address: Dunkeld Estate, Hatton 22000, Sri Lanka
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Ceylon Tea Trails 5*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ceylon Tea Trails, Sri Lanka's first Relais & Chateaux resort, is a collection of five colonial era tea planters' bungalows restored to impeccable style, offering a taste of gracious living in 26 suites and rooms, with butler service and original furnishings, accompanied by gourmet meals. Walking trails connect the bungalows which are from 2km to 15km apart. Follow the Tea Trail from one unique bungalow to the next, staying a night or two at each or just laze in one. Rates are fully inclusive of gourmet meals and drinks, including 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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