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Tea Trails is the world's first tea bungalow resort, perched at an altitude of 1250 metres in Sri Lanka’s panoramic Ceylon tea region, bordering the World Heritage Central Highlands.
This iconic collection of five restored colonial era tea planters' bungalows offers period furnishings, gracious butler service & gourmet cuisine. Bungalows vary from 4 to 6 rooms & suites; 26 rooms in all.
Each of the five bungalows is unique - lakeside Castlereagh. Summerville & Dunkeld, Norwood with panoramic views and Tientsin, the most traditional colonial. The bungalows are connected by walking trails through scenic Ceylon tea gardens.
Norwood Bungalow: The bungalow at Norwood offers a fine view of the eastern end of the Bogawantalawa valley and rests in the shelter of bamboo stands. 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. Below are the room categories at Norwood Bungalow:
Tientsin Bungalow: 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 far away land. Each suite retains its original design with polished wooden floors and high ceilings; some with four-poster beds. A large swimming pool and raised garden offers panoramic views of the tea-carpeted mountains that lead towards the World Heritage Horton Plains National Park. Below are the room categories at Tientsin Bungalow:
Castlereagh Bungalow: 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. Below are the room categories at Castlereagh Bungalow:
Summerville Bungalow: High above the lake at the edge of a tea plantation, Summerville stands sentinel. This four-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 cozy lounge where picture windows provide a backdrop to a roaring fire as the evening mist draws in. Below are the room categories at Summerville Bungalow:
Dunkeld Bungalow: 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:
Each bungalow has its own chef and staff. Meals are cooked to order using fresh produce, with dishes ranging from western fare to tea-infused creations and Sri Lankan classics.
Wake up to full English or a traditional Sri Lankan breakfast along with a fruit platter and toast. Picnic lunch baskets are provided for those on expeditions - perhaps cold roast beef sandwiches with a delicious salad - and for those who'd rather savour the views back at the house, there are soup and a range of curries.
Sundowners can be taken on the terrace or in the garden - there is a cocktail of the day. Dinner usually has four courses - lamb with an Earl Grey tea crust followed by chocolate mousse cake, for example - and you can select your favourite tipple from the Australian wines and spirits on the drinks list. You can dine on the terrace (overlooking the pool if in Castlereagh), in the dining room, in your suite, on the veranda or in one of the summer houses in the garden (weather permitting).
The Tea Experience: This is the essential Tea Trails experience. The resident Tea Planter will show you first hand the age-old tea making process. First, follow the trail of the planters then watch the tea pluckers pick leaves and then head to the factory where the all-important conversion to black tea happens. The tour ends with a tasting of different grades of this great brew.
Scenic Walks and Hikes: 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. Enjoy the view of mountain lakes, manicured tea gardens, forests and doll’s house villages. A guide can be provided or guest can walk themselves at the marked trails which are selected for varying levels of ability. Guest can walk from one Tea Trails bungalow to another for a meal or cup of tea.
Mountain Biking: The unspoiled beauty of the surrounding valleys and hills are a great biking experience. The Bungalow provides complimentary mountain bikes for its guest. For longer rides it is recommended to take one of their guides along.
Croquet: All bungalows have a croquet lawn where you can unleash tricky tactics against family and friends.
Spa Treatments & Luxury Baths: Enjoy one of the special aromatic baths to begin or complete your day. Choose from Cinnamon Spice, Green Tea, Black Pepper & Orange, Jasmine or a Bergamot & Geranium Bath. Or luxuriate in a spa treatment in the privacy and the comfort of your room after a hike or bike ride and soothe any aches and pains away.
Tennis: Tientsin bungalow has a fast clay court. Transport can be provided from other bungalows. Indulge in high tea at Tientsin after your game.
White Water Rafting: Your 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, you’ll jump right into the action. Seven high quality, class III rapids and warm water make the Kelani a premier introduction to the sport of whitewater or an exciting choice for experienced rafters.
Excursions: Excursions to Adams peak, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy and Horton Plains National Park can be organised.