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“Outstanding”
Review of Ceylon Tea Trails

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Ceylon Tea Trails
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Certificate of Excellence
Essex
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Outstanding”
Reviewed July 16, 2013

Remarkable place. Food great, staff fantastic and location superb. We stayed in Castlereagh and had a great three days. It is pricey but if you can manage don't hesitate. It is a tremendous experience.

Room Tip: Garden rooms are best
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank jage3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Lincoln, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

If you ever wondered what it would be like to live the colonial life of a tea planter try the Norwood bungalow of Ceylon Tea trails. It takes a fairly uncomfortable ride to get there but just the greeting is enough to shake off the weariness.
The bungalow manager greets you with the usually scented cinnamon towel and a cool fruit juice and then shows you to your beautiful suite. I am pleased I had my binoculars at hand as the rooms were massive and furnished in the style they would have been a hundred years ago.
The gardens are beautiful and there is access from every room, there are 5 gardeners and they do a fantastic job, not a blade of grass out of place. There are views all around as the bungalow is on top of a small hill in the middle of the tea bushes where lady pickers can be seen at work.
There is a very pleasant reasonably sized swimming pool on one of the lawns, we did not manage a swim as our visit was in the rainy season.
And then the food! All food and drinks are in the price and there is no reluctance to them offering either. The chef would not have been out of place in a London top hotel, lunch was 3 courses and dinner 4 and it was all fresh, beautifully prepared and delicious.
At 9:30 of the morning after our arrival Andrew Taylor, a relation of the original planter took us on a visit to the tea factory nearby. I never thought tea could be so interesting made more so by the jolly presentation of Andrew, intermingling stories from the past with the actual process of making your morning cuppa.
I had absolutely no negative or even indifferent points about this amazing place, you will not regret a visit.

Room Tip: No tip required they are all really nice although we were upgraded to the master suite.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Stayed at the Norwood bungalow, and the place is amazing, beautiful views great service , and the food was outstanding, we wish we would had better weather, because it rained both days we were there, got to do the tour of the tea factory and walk a little bit around the trails. Would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to stay in a beautiful spot.

Room Tip: The room named Jeffery is a bit noisy because is next to the living room
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jherr7114
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp, Belgium
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Stayed just one night which was too short to enjoy the true hospitality on offer. Stayed at Norwood which was a fantastic property. Very peaceful location. The service was good although at bit impersonal at times. The food quality was excellent, although I thought the wine was not commensurate with the quality of the food and the property's status. It was very disappointing to only have cheap wines available and no champagne for example. Overall, it's a great property but to fully enjoy it, you need to spend at least two nights there to soak up the serene setting. Stayed in the master bedroom which is very large and not necessary. They were able to host our driver (I recommend SL Driver Tours, ask for Maju who is excellent!).

Room Tip: Norwood was excellent. The master bedroom is not worth the price as the property is quite spacious.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Swav_and_Rhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TeaTrails, Brand Manager at Ceylon Tea Trails, responded to this review, July 22, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post a review and for your kind comments. We normally insist on a minimum two night stay as one night is simply too brief to fully enjoy Tea Trails! A free flowing mid-range Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc is included in the rate, together with all meals. Guest feedback is usually positive on these complimentary wines. We offer aficionados a premium, chargeable list of better wines and champagne. I’m sorry if this was not explained to you. We hope to see you at Tea Trails again, for a longer stay this time!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2013

A light misty rain welcomed us to Norwood Bungalow, as 4 of us and my 2 year old girl arrived for our 3 night stay in July 2013.

Given that it had been a rather hectic journey from Colombo by train to Hatton station, and then a drive up to the bungalow, we were immediately settled into the library overlooking the beautiful gardens for a spot of high tea. Sipping on the tea and looking out over the mist covered tea plantations enveloped us in a capsule of tranquility that we were to reside in for the duration of our stay.

Meanwhile, our bags were taken to our rooms by the efficient and discreet staff - full marks to Mr Jagath and Ajith for their firm commitment to excellence in service of their patrons at Norwood.

Meals were a fantastic proposition, even for my 2 year old who has a palate that might test a Michelin-starred chef, and we wanted for nothing. Dinners consisted of lamb racks, Sri Lankan curries, filet mignon and even duck breast. Breakfasts were calorie laden eggs Benedict (by choice of course) with excellent sauce Hollandaise. Lunches were a lighter affair. All the produce is of superior quality, with herbs and some vegetables sourced from their own gardens.

Drinks are included, as is laundry, although the house wines on offer are not on par with the rest of the Tea Trails experience.

The rooms, which included my Garden Suite, was luxuriously appointed and immaculate. They remained that way over the course of our stay and this was in no small part due to the dedication of the cleaning staff - keeping in mind that my 2 year old daughter has the destructive instincts of Genghis Khan himself.

We did avail the spa treatment services, which while limited in range, were of good quality. I would recommend increasing the range of treatments provided and number of therapists available.

The lunch arranged by the staff at Summerville Bungalow was also excellent, and I was pleased to note that service standards and quality of food were consistent throughout.

This is a place that harkens back to a time when life was slower, where more time was spent on reflection - it is also one of the few places in the world that I would return to consistently.

I highly recommend this experience to all travellers visiting Sri Lanka, as your Ceylon experience will be incomplete without it.

Room Tip: Take either the Master Suite or Garden Suite at Norwood - they are well worth the added expense.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank AMD-TheWanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chelsea
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2013

In June 2010, my extended family of 13 stayed at Castlereagh. We were the only guests to occupy the Bungalow, and so felt as it were in our own private home. To say that we loved our time here would be an understatement. Breakfast, lunch and high tea was served on the decking in the garden, and dinner in the private dining room. The meals are sumptuous. A cup of beautifully made tea was always at hand. We did not have to lift one finger - everything was at our beck and call. It is a long, weary drive to the Tea Trails, and the rates are expensive, but given that all your meals and drinks are incorporated in the price, the beauty of this place makes it certainly worthwhile. The luxurious setting of this beautiful old world home on a lovely lake, the old colonial style rooms with mosquito nets, the stunning gardens - make this a must on your "Things To Do in Sri Lanka" list. The climate is quite mild up-country - around 17 degrees - and it does rain here. Take a stroll down the local lanes, and see the gorgeous school children. The staff are so humble, friendly, gracious and discreet, catering to your every need. We were sad to leave, and we live in the hope that we will one day return to this little piece of paradise.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Seagulls5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed July 3, 2013

We have just had three nights in the Goddard Suite at Summerville Bungalow. We originally booked Castlereagh Bungalow but were changed to Summerville as Castlereagh was closed for refurbishment.
We were more than happy with Summerville...the setting over the lake is stunning. We ate every meal out on the verandah gazing at the gorgeous vista. The room was comfortable and opened onto a private garden.
We seemed to never stop eating beautifully prepared food which was discussed personally with the chef as to our choice for every meal.
The staff were fantastic. Discreet yet there if you need them...and what a treat to ring a bell by your bed on waking to call for what they call 'bed tea'. Within minutes a tray with a perfect pot of Ceylon Tea is delivered to your room. ...what luxury!
One day we went to visit Tientsin Bungalow for high tea. They arranged it all and drove us there. Another fantastic bungalow set in gorgeous gardens. From there we were driven to Norwood Bungalow. Also a grand place . Both of these bungalows were gorgeous but for us the smaller bungalow Summerville would be our choice. To breakfast viewing a mirror - like lake with spectacular reflections...a small boat rowing across it in the early morning mist in the midst of the tea country. ...so special. The infinity pool sits on a lower level in the garden with the lake as a backdrop.
Thank you Tea Trails for this memorable experience.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank FlyingKiwi01
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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