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“The Amba feeling”

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Amba Estate Farmstay
Ranked #6 of 157 Ella B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The Amba feeling”
Reviewed February 10, 2014

Amba Estate was a really beatiful experience. In fact it was the highlight of the 3 weeks we spend travelling around in Sri Lanka, from Sigiriya to Unawatuna. The bungalow is furnished with wooden tables and chairs, maps showing the local surroundings and the opportunity of making a nice cup of tea in the kitchen. The bedrooms and bathroom is clean and comfortable. Such good taste. Not to mention the veranda outside. The view is stunning, and we spend hours just reading, drinking tea (and a tiny bit of coffee - I dare not write it :) while our kids were exploring the area, probably in the good company with some of the cutest dogs in Sri Lanka.

We didn't go on any trips, except from where our feet could take us - the local riverside, Ravanna waterfall, Tims hill - and it was more then enough. When you add delicious well coked meals, very freindly staff and the inspiring company of the people working in the tea factory - whether it was the tea pickers or the managers - you simply can't ask for more.

As I'm finishing this review I'm also finishing a cup of green tea from Amba. The taste brings back memories which I'm sure I will keep in my heart for the rest of my life. To summarize I felt very much alive and very much at peace at Amba. Hope some of you who read this review will have the opportunity to explore the 'amba feeling' by yourself. I'm sure you will never regret it.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Anna-Claudia E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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155 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong, China
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 3, 2014

Stayed here for two days and couldn't have had a better time. This is a wonderfully thought out guesthouse on a boutique tea estate. Bedrooms are sparse but neat and clean and a fantastic value for the price (we had to double check they didn't make a mistake with the bill!) Shared bathrooms but very well decorated and clean.
The estate is owned by international development consultants - and it shows. Beverly, who runs the plantation, is so passionate and knowledgeable about tea, and the things they have done for the community have been wonderful. I just wish there was more we could have done to assist the wonderful projects she has done for the valley. We were also invited for drinks at their bungalow and were shown a warm welcome by Beverly, Neil and their neighbours.
The food and service by Garmini and Siri were wonderful, from the candle-lit curry feasts they prepared for dinner to the amazing bread and hopper breakfasts out in the garden. Honestly some of the best food we had in Sri Lanka! Our every need was anticipated and Garmini personally led us to the start of the hike to a wonderfully secluded waterfall and swimming hole nearby. This and the dawn hike we made to the top of the nearby hill were unique experiences and the highlight of our trip.
I cannot recommend this place more. Be sure to stock up on their tea that is handrolled by Beverly's "ladies" and stocked at Fortnum and Mason's- the best we had in Sri Lanka!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank destistations
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2014

My boyfriend booked this place as a small step up price wise and treat for our anniversary. The room was about 5000 with breakfast and you spend almost that again on lunch and dinner for two.
I really cannot reccomend this place enough. Siri the Cook and Garmini the tea tourer and general overseer of the bungalow can't do enough for you. The place really felt like home to me, the tea and coffee are incredible and free for you whenever, as are the generous helpings of Siri's delicious cakes!
The bungalow is clean and modern and the front porch is a lovely place to sit and read. I got up in the mornings to do yoga with another guest in the garden which felt private even though you're close to all the tea action!
As well as being in love with the place, scenery and staff, what the owners are trying to do here is fantastic! Everything is top class and they employ locally AND have a fruit/veg garden which provides the ingredients for the amazing jams. I reccomend the passion fruit and vanilla jam and you will love the Lemongrass tea. Neil is not being big headed when he says it's the best in the world right now. Yum.
They also wrote out very detailed maps for hikes and provided transport at much cheaper rates than you will be able to bargain for with a tuktuk.
A memorable stay.

Room Tip: Rooms on your left stepping in have a garden view.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank RandSTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
37 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed January 30, 2014

We stayed 4 nights and just loved every aspect of this place.

Accommodation is in a cozy and quaint converted plantation workers house. With only a few bedrooms, you really get personalised and dedicated service. Siri and Gamini, who run the house, are amazing and cater to your every need. You will be sad to say goodbye to them, just as we were!

I've now stayed in many places where tripadvisor reviewers have said "this is the best food we had in Sri Lanka". Well at Amba it really was! There is no menu but with the personalised service you can have the food tailored to your tastes, western or Sri Lankan. Don't go past the homemade papaya, passion fruit and vanilla jam, either with your hoppers or on some freshly baked bread or cake.

Once you are at Amba, there is nothing to do except unwind. Eat, drink premium teas, relax in their garden, do a guided tour of the plantation, learn about their tea making process, or go on some great walks without the crowds and some of the best views in the country!

Stay here. We are already jealous of you:)

  • Stayed January 2014
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Helpful?
2 Thank LivingTheDream_KN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2014

I had the great pleasure of staying at Amba on my recent trip to Sri Lanka. The bungalow is wonderfully designed, spacious and really comfortable. The staff is lovely - fantastic cooks and they are happy to help you in any way they can. The setting is magical. The scenery is spectacular - the views of Ella rock and the surrounding hills are incredible. And you've never seen so many stars from the patio at night. Amba is dedicated to and passionate about tea. Do a tasting and take a tour. It will change the way you enjoy good tea forever. Amba is a special place - I already miss it and am planning my return!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank LFL65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manila, Philippines
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2014

Reflecting on my visit makes me smile... the location (best traveled to during daylight) is beautiful. Set on a tea estate made complete with fruit trees, spice plants, exotic birds, colourful flowers and rescue cows, I was able to completely relax. I spent my time sitting outside reading, taking short hikes to admire the amazing views, and chatting with Neil and Simon to learn about the history of the estate as well as the good work Amba does for positive social impact and community development. The bungalow was comfortable, clean and attractive, the staff were helpful and friendly, and the food was fantastic! Egg hoppers, fresh baked breads with the most delicious jams (try the mango ginger!!!) and delicious vegetarian curries. Not to mention the artisanal teas AND coffee. I fully enjoyed my stay and look forward to future returns. Thank you Amba Estate!!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank smilintraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 2, 2014

Amba Tea Estate is absolute paradise. Beverly and Neil have done a fantastic job is setting up the guesthouse and establishing a siesta unable working tea farm.
We were lucky enough to have the entire bungalow to ourselves and felt spoilt. The house is furnished very comfortably, with great beds and a real bathroom (a rarity in Sri Lanka). The food was amazing - proper home style Sri Lankan cuisine. My only 'complaint' Was that there was too much food!!! (But tastes soooo good).
There's lots of really nice hikes around with great views, and best if all you will probably have the view to yourself, unlike the busy ella rock or little Adams peak. Be sure to do a tea tour too. This is the only place in SL which hand rolls the tea leaves and the process is really interesting.
I highly recommend a few days here and hope to return again,

Room Tip: They're all perfect.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Drew_lisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Amba Estate Farmstay

Property: Amba Estate Farmstay
Address: Ambadandegama, Ella 90090, Sri Lanka
Location: Sri Lanka > Uva Province > Ella
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 157 B&Bs / Inns in Ella
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Amba Estate is a working organic farm in the Uva Highlands of Sri Lanka. The farm is approximately 30 minutes drive from Ella, perched in a small valley above the Ravana-Ella Waterfalls, with views of Ella Rock and Lipton's Seat. We produce a range of artisanal teas, coffees, spices and preserves, and we work with the local community to support a variety of educational, economic and environmental initiatives. We offer guests the opportunity to stay in the Estate farmhouse, learn more about organic farming and artisanal tea-making, and enjoy our little corner of paradise. Built 100 years ago by one of the first local families to develop their own tea estate, the bungalow has 4 double guest bedrooms, as well as a small study, where we can set up 2 extra single beds. There are two shared bathrooms. For larger groups looking for the ideal place for a group retreat, we can also make arrangements with a couple of nearby guesthouses - offering up to 12 rooms in total. Meals are eaten together, and food is mainly vegetarian, using as much of our own organic produce as possible (including of course our famous Amba tea and coffee!). We offer B&B and half-board rates, and can also prepare sandwiches for a picnic or a simple farmhouse lunch. We are not licenced, but guests are welcome to bring their own beer, wine and spirits.We recommend staying at least 2 nights so that you have time to enjoy the excellent hikes and stunning sunsets and sunrises in the valley. There are a variety of hiking trails in and around the valley, including gentle walks around the estate and more strenuous climbs - up Ella Rock or St Catherine's Mount, or down to the secret pools atop the waterfall or through our own mini forest reserve. The valley is home to a wide variety of birdlife and wildlife, including deer, wild boar, mongoose, porcupine, peacocks, kingfishers and much more. We also have a couple of bikes, binoculars and a big selection of books and board-games that guests are free to use. For guests with a vehicle, there are number of lovely spots just a short drive away: spectacular views at Lipton's Seat and Pilkington Point, the monolithic Buddha statues hidden in the forest at Buduruwagala, and the wild elephant pools at the top of Diyaluma Falls. And Arugam Bay, Yala and Udawalawe National Parks, Nuwara Eliya and Horton Plains are all within 2-3 hours drive. Please note: due to increasing popularity, tours of Amba's artisanal tea-making operation are available for outside guests only at 11am on weekdays; the factory is closed on weekends, poya days and other holidays. ... more   less 

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