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“Living the Life of Luxury”
Review of Ceylon Tea Trails

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Ceylon Tea Trails
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 25, 2013

When we booked our three-night stay at the Tea Trails bungalows in Sri Lanka we had requested to stay at Norwood bungalow. However, just before we left Australia, we were told we'd been moved to Castlereagh, as Norwood was being renovated and extended. While we didn't visit Norwood bungalow when there, we saw where it was as our tea tour was conducted at the Norwood Estate tea factory just down the hill from the bungalow. We also visited the other two bungalows in the Tea Trails group: Summerville, which is close to Castlereagh; and Tientsin, the most remote of the four bungalows and probably the prettiest because of its extensive gardens and its building style (it's the oldest of the four, with timber-panelled hallways). Castlereagh and Summerville face each other diagonally across the Castlereagh lake. Summerville, which is the smallest of the four, has the most spectacular setting and view, but all rooms lead off a tiled, slightly utilitarian corridor. Castlereagh feels much grander, and our room (Palmer), at the end of the wide hall, lead directly onto the garden. It was probably the pick of the rooms in this bungalow, however its side windows faced the early morning chanting broadcast by loud speaker from a nearby Hindu temple, which interrupted any plans to sleep in. Apart from the tea tour — which was a fascinating insight into the world of tea, led by the very knowledgeable and urbane Andrew — there is little to do but sit and relax and go for the occasional stroll around the plantations in an attempt to walk off the enormous amount of food (three and four courses at each meal) prepared by the talented chefs at each guesthouse.
The one downside is that we were a little disappointed with the country where the Tea Trails bungalows are located. It's certainly not as lush and verdant as other tea country we passed through on the way to Yala. Planting more trees on land not used for tea, such as the crests of the hills, which have all been cleared, would certainly improve the feel of the area and perhaps help alleviate erosion, which was starkly obvious in places.

Room Tip: Garden rooms are larger and open directly onto private garden areas with chaises. If you're at a...
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JoyFlight101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 25, 2013

Had a wonderful time staying at Tiensin with the family. So many things to do. Food was 'haute cuisine', tea out of this world- best I ever had! Can't wait to go back ! Such a luxury to have the laundry cleaned and folded without asking!

Room Tip: Bungalow is small, all rooms are nice and have scenic views.
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Wendy781
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2013

Stayed 2 nights at Tientsin bungalow with friends and it was a perfect oasis of calm and perfection. The staff were so helpful and couldn't do enough, the rooms huge and comfortable and the food was amazing. We needed a break from the hectic tour and they provided just that. The gardens were stunning and the gardeners a so proud of them and rightly so and the pool had amazing views.

Did the tea tour at Norwood estate which was excellent and Andrew Taylor was very entertaining in delivering all things about tea. We had a packed lunch and went for a walk through the tea plantations, well worth it, the pack up was excellent and the walk with views just stunning. Cannot say enough good things about it, was just wonderful.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Powderbirdffs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2013 via mobile

Lovely position with the tea plantation all around,overlooking a lake, efficient staff, spacious rooms, peaceful and really good food. The all inclusive package is a great idea. We had such good fun chatting to other guests over pre dinner drinks. They were a super bunch of interesting people. The chef took such care with planning the menu and talked through every meal with you. The food was beautifully cooked and presented. We did the walking trails and really enjoyed the experience. There are clear laminated maps to take with you and you can see tea plantation life at your own pace. Boat trips to other bungalows for tea are available but we were so happy and settled playing croquet and just enjoying the wildlife that we stayed put . Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: November 2013
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Thank Beverley73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2013

My wife and I spent 3 very pleasant nights at the Tientsin Bungalow near Hatton. Despite the long journey over from the coast, we thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The location has lovely views (especially if you like tea!), the food (and tea) is great and the staff went out of their way to make our visit special.
To avoid becoming stir crazy (and to reduce our food and drink intake), we took the train from Hatton to Kandy which was great fun (sit on the left side going, reverse coming back); Kandy and the surrounding area is definately worth a visit.
We also took the hotel's shuttle bus over to 'Castlereagh' (one of their other bungalows) and this was in an even more spectactular loction by a lake, but is a lot more 'remote'.
It was a nice touch to meet and chat to the other guests at pre-dinner drinks, which made the whole dining experience such fun; however if the lovely colonial dining room had been used instead of individual tables on the verandah, converstaions could have continued (a small moan).
Another suggestion to improve the ambiance, would be that management should get the local village DJ to turn his music down a tad! All in all though a great place and well worth a visit.

Room Tip: No choice given, but ours was fine - but you will need to use the mosy nets!
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank danjude2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2013

We stayed in the Baker room in the Castlereagh house and it was amazing. The service is friendly and effective, the food is amazing (Sri Lankan and Western) and the surroundings are so tranquil - it was the perfect first stop of our honeymoon!

Room Tip: Baker room in Castlereagh House
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Martha30_2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2013

Stayed at Tientsin residence for 3 nights - everything was absolutely first class: The food, the walking trails, the tea factory tour and especially the staff. Well worth the long drive and train journey from Kandy.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank David_Bole
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 - $935 (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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