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.
- 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