Ceylon Tea Trails, Sri Lanka's first Relais & Chateaux resort, comprises four luxurious colonial era tea planters' bungalows, connected by walking trails through stunningly beautiful Ceylon tea gardens. Each of the four bungalows is different. Summerville with an air of a country cottage, Castlereagh with an eclectic style of its own, the high colonial Tientsin, one of the first planter's residences to be built in Ceylon. The more modern Norwood abounding with 50's character, 21 exquisite rooms, and suites in all. Built between 1888 and 1950, the bungalows offer a taste of gracious living thanks to butler service and period furnishings, accompanied by gourmet meals. Guests can follow the Tea Trail from one unique bungalow to the next, staying a night or two at each or just laze in one. Trek, bike or picnic at spectacular locations each day in cool comfort.
Luxury rooms average 40 square metres and offer an impeccably appointed bedroom with king bed, elegant bathroom with twin vanities, a bath and walk-in rain shower.
Garden suites range average 50 square metres and offer a gracefully furnished bedroom with four poster king bed, a luxurious bathroom with twin vanities, a bath and walk-in rain shower, and a private garden.
Master suites range average 70 square metres and offer a king bed, a separate exquisitely furnished living room, lavish bathroom with twin vanities, a bath and walk-in rain shower, as well as a private garden.
The bungalow at Norwood commands a fine view of the eastern end of the Bogawantalawa Valley and rests in the shelter of one of the finest bamboo stands to be found anywhere. The suites are oversized with imposing colonial style furniture, some with four-poster beds and very elegant bathrooms. A spacious lounge and billiard room lead out to a croquet lawn, a large swimming pool and sun deck.
Named after the Chinese village from which the original tea seedlings came, this very British residence is a historical landmark. Six glorious rooms and suites open onto magnificent English gardens still standing loyal to the colonial planters’ wives who created ‘a little bit of home’ in a faraway land. Guests can wander the glorious rose terraces and hide away under a leafy arbour to the myriad sounds of the many birds that make their homes there. Each suite too is faithful to the original design with polished wooden floors and high ceilings, some with four-poster beds. A large swimming pool and raised garden offer panoramic views of the tea-carpeted mountains that lead towards the World Heritage Horton Plains National Park.
Travellers approaching Castlereagh Bungalow from the road can glimpse tantalising views across the lake of this magnificent symbol of the glory days of colonial life. Nestled in a wooded dell close to the water, this century old bungalow offers unrivalled water views and superb garden suites to suit every taste. Elegant parquet floors all around with open fireplaces in the dining and drawing rooms, evoke recollections of the life and times of the tea planters who once lived here. In the extensive grounds, summerhouses can be found where tea is served and a good book enjoyed until the sun goes down over the water and it’s time for sundowners on the terrace overlooking the lake.
High above the lake at the edge of a tea plantation, Summerville stands sentinel. This five-room bungalow enjoys magnificent views of the water and beyond to tea planted mountains in the distance. Some suites open to private gardens and all accommodations have easy access to the cosy lounge where picture windows provide a backdrop to a roaring fire as the evening mist draws in. Summerville offers individual accommodation or the entire bungalow can be booked for a group to enjoy the very personal atmosphere of this great house.
Poised high above Castlereagh Lake, the bungalow looks down on the verdant tea fields of Dunkeld Estate and the tea factory, with spectacular views of the Great Western mountain range. The infinity-edge swimming pool offers awe-inspiring panoramic views, whilst the hot tub seemingly floats above the lake surface. The secluded ‘Owner’s Cottage’ offers a romantic one-bedroom residence hidden privately in the tea fields.
Bar, Laundry Service (Available), Pool, Restaurant, Spa
Bath, Fireplace, Lounge Area, Shower, Verandah
In the essential Tea Trails experience, the resident tea planter will demonstrate the age-old tea making process. The daily complimentary group tour ends with a tasting of different grades of the great brew.
A leisurely walk or an adventure trek is a delightful way to experience the varied landscapes, exotic flora, abundant birdlife and the sweet rhythm of life in a tea garden. A guide can be provided on request.
All bungalows have a croquet lawn where guests can unleash devious tactics against family and friends, with a Pimms No 1 in hand.
Tientsin bungalow has a fast clay court. Guests can indulge in high tea at Tientsin after their game. Transport can be provided from other bungalows.
The adventure starts at a beautiful nature base in Kitulgala about 75 minutes from Ceylon Tea Trails. After a safety briefing and a few pointers on rafting technique, guests will jump right into the action.