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“The Best Small Hotel in Sri Lanka”
Review of Ceylon Tea Trails

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Ceylon Tea Trails
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 27, 2013

It is difficult to add a great deal to the superlatives that have been given to Tea Trails on this site. Tea Trails comprises 4 diffierent luxury bungalows located within tea plantations near Hatton -- each with only 5 or 6 rooms. Ours was Castlereagh, which has fabulous views of the beautiful lake of the same name, from its terrace and well-tended garden, and its backdrop of green-clad hills. Everything about it was idyllic, including the luxuriously appointed bedrooms, the great pool (with croquet lawn alongside) and the immaculate service from the friendly, well-trained staff, who were helpful and attentive without being fawning and obsequious (a problem in many upmarket hotels). We must give a special mention to the house manager, Bandera, who was charm and helpfullness personified. And then there is the food -- 4 meals a day, including afternoon tea, if you could manage them, all served with perfect style on the terrace -- with free wine and other drinks. The food itself was superb, at least Michelin one-star standard, with some quite subtle and sophisticated flavour combinations (possibly too sophisticated for children/ young teenagers). The menu combines Sri Lankan themes with European dishes and the results were almost always delicious -- and looked beautiful on the plate. If you are prepared to splash out on a few restful, pampered, expensive days in Sri Lanka, this is the place to stay.

Room Tip: Choose one of the three rooms facing the lake for the best views and ambience -- even though the one...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Carl G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 22, 2013

We stayed 2 nights at this fantastic bungalow, originally built in 1868 which is really a 6 star hotel in disguise. With just 6 rooms, you really do feel like living as a colonial tea planter.The setting was magical, the service and food magnificent and the quality of the rooms beyond the very best hotels I have had the privilege of staying elsewhere in the world.
The walks in the tea plantation were a real experience, the locals were incredibly friendly, curious and a pleasure to chat to.
I cannot recommend this bungalow hotel enough, together with its unique location.
The Morris family

Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
3  Thank Howard M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 20, 2013

This is an outstanding hotel which is impeccable in its management and service. Absolutely recommend this. Stayed at Castlereagh bungalow and it was outstanding.
The scenery is fabulous - when you get there. be brave with the roads getting there.
Tea Factory tour interesting and informative. You don't have to love tea to enjoy here but it could help!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank AngeliaJolie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2013

My husband and I are nearing the end of 4 nights at Summerville bungalow. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here. The food and service has been fantastic. 3 course meals for lunch, 4 course meals for dinner. The quality and presentation is like a top rated restaurant. There are walks from Summerville - we did a 45 minute walk on first day and a 3 hour walk another day. Views were wonderful and paths easy to walk on. Also took out bicycles. Another activity was being taken by boat to Castlereagh bungalow and we did a 2 hour walk from there and we're rowed back afterwards. Could not find fault with anything.

Room Tip: Liked Summerville bungalow for location next to lake. Also not as far to travel from Colombo as oth...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Nomes_from_crowie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 8, 2013

One can easily get lost in oblivion while staying at the Ceylon Tea Trails. What a perfect place, high up on the hills between the tea plantations. We stayed 2 nights at Tientsin and 2 at Castlereagh and could have easily stayed longer. Bungalows and rooms are lovely, beautiful details everywhere, gardens, views, excellent food and lovely helpful staff. It is almost a pity to leave the place for an excursion, but the tea factory visit was great, as was the climb up Adam's Peak.
Next time we will stay longer and do absolutely nothing!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Miriamdxb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2013

We stayed at the Summerville Bungalow, situated above the reservoir. It had attentive staff, 4 well equipped rooms and a distinct 'homey' feel. All the good stuff said of the 4 bungalows of Tea Trails is true. Bliss!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Paddingalong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2013

We spent three nights at Castlereagh Bungalow, which is one of the places you can stay with Tea Trails, high in the beautiful hills of Sri Lanka in the midst of verdant tea estates. Everything about this trip was wonderful. The bungalow, a beautifully restored and maintained managers house for the tea estate is exquisite. The rooms were spacious and comfortable with nothing forgotten or left to chance. The grounds, garden and view were mesmerizing in their beauty. The meals were perfectly delicious and the staff were eager to accommodate dietary demands. Drinks were generous. High tea or cream tea was really something. Delicious.

This is a place where you enjoy nature. There are hikes, walks, mountain biking, water water rafting, and tours of the tea estate and a tea factory. There are also massages and a yoga instructor seems to have recently joined. The tour of the tea factor is a must do - fascinating and polished. I was deeply impressed by everything I saw and learned. The guide, Andrew, has an encyclopedic knowledge of tea making, botany, and the area. We hiked to other bungalows owned by tea trails and had lunch on arrival - all coordinated by the our marvelous butler. Each bungalow is lovely and has its own character and views.

A very nice thing about the environment is size and attitude. In Castlereagh there were four rooms and four tables for meals on the charming veranda. One is not given a key (the room has a safe) which removed the sense of being in a hotel entirely and made us feel 'at home' or hosted by trusted friends. Other guests were extremely nice and the set up allows one to chat with others or just be alone exactly as much as one likes.

Finally, the very best thing was the staff. Every single person we encountered during our stay was gracious, dignified, service oriented and capable. They were perfect. Tea Trails is all inclusive and it really is all inclusive. There was never a whiff or a hint of any staff member suggesting we should tip or pay for anything - nor was there any parsimony.

All the people we encountered while hiking and visiting the tiny jewel of a colonial-built Anglican church were also nice, courteous, helpful, and dignified.

This place is perfect. It takes some work to get there - at the end of a VERY long and bumpy road, although you can be flown in apparently if you wish. But the remoteness is part of its charm.

Room Tip: They are all good rooms
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Br0wnster
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) Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Price Range: $928 - $963 (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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