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“Ten stars”
Review of Ceylon Tea Trails

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Ceylon Tea Trails
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 23, 2013

We stayed at Summerville Bungalow, on Castlereagh Reservoir. Tea Trails is high end accommodation $ wise, but well worth it for a couple of nights. The location is stunning, the staff brilliant, the rooms and bungalow beautiful, the food magnificent and it is just sooooo relaxing. We walked the tea trails of the plantation opposite, did the gruelling trek to Adams Peak and learnt a lot about tea t a factory tour. A fabulous three days, we loved every minute!

Room Tip: The Garnet room has French doors onto the garden and is lovely .
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank bungangirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 17, 2013

Recently we have visited and stayed at Summervilla bunglow at Hatton and we were very much satisfied and very happy that we choose this property for our stay.Staff was very friendly and helpful.Food was delicious and the location is superb.Location is very beautiful.
Tea Trail was an excellent experience with great facility ,lovely food and even better service .It is an experience we will never stop talking.

Room Tip: All rooms r good but please make your reservation in advance.
  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank jagmahek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Very special place, with impeccable personal service - stay in one bungalow, travel to another for a spot of lunch, tennis and afternoon tea. The chef is at your service to cook whatever you want - Sri Lankan or western and the butlers are always on hand to bring you some tea or a cocktail. Great tour of a tea factory included in the hotel - beautiful wooden floored rooms with well chosen, classic colonial decor.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LondonCymruambyth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

General impression: This resort is the best option for touring the Ceylon tea area. Make sure to go during a season where rain is less probable, as staying indoors here gets old pretty quickly. The scenery in the area is generally beautiful and at times over-the-top stunning. Apparently in the 1800s many different tree varieties were brought in from Africa and other countries, so there is an eclectic mix of lush greenery everywhere.

Bungalow thoughts: We stayed at Castlereagh during a rainy stay in the area -- it had a traditional British colonial feel and overlooked a man-made reservoir. We visited the other bungalows as well. Norwood was under renovation but seems to have the grandest views of the rolling tea hills. Tientsin has impressive English-style gardens, but noise from the nearby village was loud and unpleasant. Summerville has a more modern feel and would be our first choice if we ever returned. Given there are so few rooms at each bungalow, it’s easy to chat with and get to know other guests.

Lodging: Our rooms were nice with a colonial decor. As it was quite humid and the bungalows are not air-conditioned, indoor areas often felt damp and moist. Common area windows/doors are kept open, so flies and mosquitoes tend to be prevalent indoors. Breakfast is served outdoors on a patio, and birds fly all around. A crow visited the patio each day, and on several occasions swooped in to diners' tables and stole food as they were sitting -- nerve-wracking and unpleasant…

Service: Staff members were attentive and friendly, although erred on being polite and not really warm. They try very hard but just don’t have that level of hospitality/behavior that one might find at other all-inclusive resorts in this price range.

Food: The chef discusses all menus and meal preferences each morning, and the food was generally solid (although meats tended to be overcooked). The Sri Lankan omelet and local sausage at breakfast were highlights. We took advantage of trying many of the local teas. Look for the more rare/expensive white tea, which is subtle but wonderful.

Activities: The tea factory tour with Andrew was informative and interesting. He does this same tour on a regular basis, but his enthusiasm still comes through. We took a hike one rainy day from Castlereagh to Norwood. Be careful of leeches if you walk around the area in the rain – they are everywhere in wet weather.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank CDP5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

We had an amazing 3 night stay at this salubrious, charming place. Treated like royalty. Perfect balance of colonial decadence and Sri Lankan kindness and warmth.
Highlights for us were the delicious food which reflects the sophisticated surroundings (every morning the Chef discusses the days menus with each guest personally) and the Tea Factory Tour with Andrew Taylor (he was a tea planter and this was his home). Andrew is a true gentleman with a passion for his subject.
We will return to this wonderful hotel.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Jules S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

The view of the hills from Norwood bungalow must rank with the finest in the world - I was totally mesmerised, and decided that the colonial tea planters probably found it ample compensation for exile from Blighty.The bungalow's own garden is also very attractive, with a stand of bamboo at the end of the drive which is nothing short of magnificent. There's also a pool if you are brave enough (temperatures in these hilly parts of Sri Lanka are a far cry from the coast).

Despite all this, it's a bit of an odd experience - it's like a home but it's not your home, because you are sharing it with other guests. And the super-attentive staff (except on arrival, when we were sort of abandoned while they negotiated with our driver about something) make you a bit self conscious. Having said that, the service is generally very good, with everything from your morning 'bed tea' to hot choc for the kids available at the twitch of an eyebrow. The quality (not to say the frequency!) of the food was fantastic - the chef will agree the day's menu with you, and has plenty of ideas - we found we were just happy to let him come up with the goods. Some nights a Sri Lankan banquet is available - well worth opting into. A well stocked drinks trolley stands available in the lounge.

A trip to the local tea factory is thrown in, and head honcho Andrew will entertain you with his well rehearsed tour. I wished I had known beforehand about some of the longer trips available from Norwood - they will fix you up with transport and a guide to climb Adam's Peak, for example. We might well have stayed an extra day for that (well, maybe one of us!).

The road trip up from Kandy is tortuous (tinhatted with an extremely rocky driveway to the bungalow), although with some sensational views - the colour of Castlereagh Lake is something I've never seen before and it will certainly stay in my memory. I would advise coming up by train to Hatton if you can. Staff told us that the driveway is due an upgrade, and that the property itself will be overhauled and extended soon.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Wyvernian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2013

We stayed here on our third leg of a weeks trip. Our house was called Castlereagh and had 5 bedrooms, 2 lounges, a swimming pool and lots of outdoor space.
Our room was huge with a big bathroom and an outside terrace with loungers. At breakfast the chef comes out to go through the evening menu with you to make sure you like what he will be cooking later. All the food we had was lovely and was eaten out on the verandah. The guests all dined at about the same time so it was great to get to know the others and find out about their travels around Sri Lanka.
Unfortunately the weather wasn't good while we were there so we didn't use the pool or lounge around the garden. We did go for a 5mile walk around the paths (map provided) which was great for meeting the local children and there parents who work on the tea plantations. Take some sweets with you.
We loved staying here, the view across the lake, the rooms, the service, the relaxed atmosphere, everything about it (except the rain) was perfect.

Room Tip: The rooms at the back have a small garden area.
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank lauralou911
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

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: $884 - $938 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Ceylon Tea Trails 5*
Number of rooms: 27
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 27 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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