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“Stunning setting, impeccable service and memorable food”
Review of Ceylon Tea Trails

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Ceylon Tea Trails
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 18, 2014

We stayed at Norwood bungalow for 2 nights.

The journey from Galle to Hatton was long and at times bumpy, but worth every minute of it to stay at Norwood in its breath taking setting in the stunning Sri Lankan hill country.

Service is impeccable
Food both western and Sri Lankan is excellent. The best we found in Sri Lanka!
Afternoon tea on the veranda was a highlight
Incredibly relaxing atmosphere with little touches like a croquet lawn and billiard room add traditional character to the bungalow
The bedroom was well furnished in a traditional style and comfortable, the room was slightly let down by the erratic plumbing in the bathroom
Lovely large swimming pool

I will remember eating the delicious breakfast on the terrace with the wonderful views across the hills for a very long time.
Another highlight is to take a walk in the hills (bring walking trainers) around the tea plantations and watch the women hard at work plucking the tea. Everyone you meet is so friendly and welcoming to visitors.

Room Tip: Take a tour around the factory. Andrew Taylor makes the journey from plant to cup come alive and th...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Lovetotravel44_82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 18, 2014

We stayed 4 nights in Summerville bungalow and it was fantastic! The food, service and setting were incredible. If you are considering booking, do it - you won't regret it!! A little slice of paradise.

Room Tip: We saw Norwood, Castleriegh and Summerville and thought Summerville was the nicest.
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  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank RPasLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2014

The Norwood bungalow, one of the 4 tea trails bungalow has been recently refurbished and in my opinion is the best of the four bungalows, though each have their own charm. The staff are excellent and the resident chef was equally good at both Eastern and Western menus

Room Tip: Choose a room that overlooks the front garden
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Waffy03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

We stayed in the Fraser Garden Suite in the Tientsin Bungalow. The suite was absolutely perfect. In fact, I wish I lived there, or at least had a bedroom just like it! The french doors opened up to a private garden just for our suite. There were two chairs and a table out in the garden too. There was also a fire place, but we never used it. We were visiting with two other couples. We played croquet, lounged by the pool, drank cocktails in the Living Room, and ate the most divine meals. We all loved every minute of our stay. There were two highlights for me, since it was my second visit. Firstly, hiking through the tea plantation and up to the top of a hill, led by a friendly and knowledgable guide, we reached the summit where the bungalow had arranged a wonderful picnic for us. The setting was beautiful, as were the views. The next day we all toured the Norwood Tea Factory, which was fascinating, entertaining and very informative. Having observed the tea pickers in the fields during our hike, and then learning how the tea was processed for consumption in the factory, I now feel I really know a lot about the beverage I drink practically every day! It was another perfect vacation.

Room Tip: All the rooms in Tientsin are wonderful, but given the choice, I would choose a garden suite.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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2  Thank dudette59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2014

We spent three nights in Norwood Bungalow and were only sorry that we could not extend our stay by one night.
We were in Andrews room which opened straight out onto the beautiful grounds. The room and bathroom were large and airy, very 'colonial' in style, if a little tired - but that just added to the charm.
The service was impeccable from the moment we arrived. Nothing was too much for the staff: the food - all 3 meals of it plus proper English tea! - was excellent, and you could basically have anything you fancied.
The walks were wonderful with breathtaking views - and as challenging as you chose.
We would have no hesitation in recommending it to the most discerning traveller!

Stayed: March 2014, traveled solo
1  Thank Boris2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2014

NORWOOD
Our two-day stay at Norwood was in stark contrast to the sublime luxury offered
by the sister property Castlereagh (see below). Our room (Jeffry) was a disgrace for a property of this status. It was small, user-unfriendly and with a bathroom little more than a narrow corridor (one had to take it in turn to use it). If this was not enough, the room and bathroom were severely overlooked from the new restaurant and potentially from waiting staff and other guests, who had to walk past the window. When we arrived there was not even a net curtain in situ! The room's proximity to the restuarant, meant that from 05.20 each morning sleep was wishful thinking. The final straw came when we realised there was neither AC or a ceiling fan and that the floor fan was worn out and so noisy it was quite impossible to use. Although we asked for a replacement, we were informed it was not possible. We left tired and disgruntled after 2 sleepless nights and spending a lot of money.. If you choose to stay here, do not book a room without knowing its location - there are two like ours.
CASTLEREAGH *****
Brilliant ambiance, excellent service and food. Our two-day stay in a suite in Castlereagh Bungalow more than met our expectations of the luxury and attentive service of a fine Relais et
Chateau property. The bungalow was well managed and the cuisine excellent. The lakeside location (from where there are some interesting walks), provides a tranquil, yet scenic location. Thoroughly recommended.
Service *****
Value *****
Sleep Quality ****
Cleanliness ****
Location *****
Rooms *****

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Palma8910
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TeaTrails, Public Relations Manager at Ceylon Tea Trails, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2014

Whilst thanking you for your comments on your stay at Castlereagh, please accept my sincere apologies for the issue at Norwood. The new dining area wasn’t adequately shielded from your room. As we were full we could not offer a change of rooms. Measures have been taken to create a small private enclosed garden in front of both the rooms that face this area and this will address the issue. We are also redecorating the room. I am very sorry for the disturbance caused.

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Reviewed March 8, 2014

We stayed in the Baker room at Castlereigh.Having read visitor's reviews,the Tea Trails literature and saw the Relais logo our expectations were high.First the good news;The property has a fantastic position with fabulous views,a beautiful garden and lovely clean infinity pool.The staff was generally pleasant and eager to please although we felt that to some extent we were being "processed".This may be due to the high turnover of guests since we believe most are new and only there for a night or two. Now the disappointing part;What we didn't appreciate was that we will be staying in what we recognized to be a British 60's style bungalow that was now somewhat tired and ready for a significant makeover.We were reluctant to use a bathtub/shower with a curtain that at least to us smelled of mildew,grout that confirmed mold and similarly afflicted caulking.In our bedroom their were stains on the ceiling complemented by cobwebs and dust on the windows and poorly painted woodwork.We may simply have been unlucky.When it comes to meals however,we felt truly mislead by the impression given that a chef was on hand to prepare high quality meals to please every guest.In fact,given the remote location of the property and the small number of rooms ,it is clear to us now that,when offered,such variety came at the expense of freshness.Based on our experience we would recommend sticking to Sri Lankan food which was wasn't always on offer but was very good.
We discussed our concerns with management who appeared to appreciate the feedback.Hopefully refurbishment will take place(the season ends very soon) and Sri Lankan cuisine, based on fresh seasonal local ingredients ,will feature more prominently.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank sweetiesPennsylvania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TeaTrails, Public Relations Manager at Ceylon Tea Trails, responded to this reviewResponded March 13, 2014

Thank you for your kind comments on Tea Trails’s location and the staff. We have not had complaints of poor maintenance before but have arranged a complete deep clean of your room. My sincere apologies. The bungalows have been busy and we will be refurbishing in the low season. As for food, being in a remote location, we need to bring provisions in but we do so carefully. The head chef travels to the fishing village of Negombo twice weekly and brings back seafood which is then portioned and refrigerated. We haven’t had prior complaints of freshness but will ensure that Sri Lankan cuisine is always available to those who prefer it. Thanks again for your feedback.

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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 - $930 (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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