Ceylon Tea Trails
What We Love
- The Castlereagh and Summerville houses have prime perches overlooking Castlereagh Lake
- Swiss-trained butlers are Sri Lanka’s finest
- Led by the Planter in Residence, the free tea experience—which takes you from the field to "liquid gold"—is fascinating
What To Know
- The resort is at an altitude of 4,000 feet
- Expect a four-hour ride from the Colombo airport, sharing the snaking road with some seemingly kamikaze truck drivers
- The Norwood bungalow has the resort’s most enticing swimming pool, but the decor is modern 1960s, not colonial
- Monsoon season is June to July and October to November
- Free WiFi
A scout was hired to scour the velvet-green countryside north of Colombo for authentic 19th-century planters bungalows scattered within a few miles of one another. Having located four—built between 1890 and 1939—Dilmah restored the cobwebbed relics into an innovative collection of accommodations linked by walking trails through the lush greenery. Intended to introduce guests to the planter’s life (albeit with modern luxuries), each villa is divided into four to six rooms and suites filled with period antiques, cane furnishings and plush beds. No two guest rooms or houses are alike. Colonial enthusiasts gravitate to the Summerville and Castelreagh bungalows, both built in the 1920s, while the croquet lawn and larger swimming pool at the Norwood work well for families. The romantic Tientsin, named for the Chinese village from which this estate’s original tea seedlings came, has four-poster beds, an aromatic rose garden and a black-and-white-tiled bathroom with a clawfoot tub. Tea, of course, is available at every meal—Dilmah’s single-estate Watte range is fantastic—while food includes a broad selection of delicious Sri Lankan curries, classic British fare and a tea-infused food menu with such quirky dishes as prawn and asparagus rolls with spicy berry tea sauce, and jasmine green tea chicken breast with tomato salsa. Mountain biking, whitewater rafting and sunrise hikes up the local pinnacles are on the daytime menu. Or stroll between the villas via walkways that cut through dense jungle and gently rolling tea slopes and follow the Planter in Residence on the signature tea tour.
How to Get There
Getting to the the is a bit of an anti climax especially after all the hype associated with this property.
The entrance is not clearly marked if you are coming from the opposite direction one would normally. The GPS somehow didnt locate the property accurately.
The roadway just before the property needs to be done whatever the reason for not maintaining it... I was given a reason but I think it has a more negative impact in this instance.
That is the only somewhat negative comment.
This should in no way should effect the overall experience which is exemplary.
The check-in process and overall arrival process is very welcoming the staff well trained.
The set up of the property itself is luxurious and set up beautifully.The rooms are truly spacious,well appointed with many meticulously thought out facilities.
This is a must visit property if you planning on visiting any luxury hotels in sri Lanka.
It was truly memorable experience for me.
Did a factory tour with Bernard Holsinger, a tea specialist with Tea Trails.
He was a mine of information and easy to listen to. Very amusing anecdotal and historical facts were presented with aplomb and the whole tea-making, grading and selling process was fascinating to learn about. The aroma of the tea being produced was delightful and the tasting ‘shots’ were a great idea, followed by a lovely cup of tea and biscuits. This tour is highly recommended to improve ones’ perception of the tea producing process from the bush to the consumer. Bravo Mr Holsinger and thank you for an enjoyable and informative presentation.
What a wonderful and beautiful area of Sri Lanka amidst the tea plantations of Hatton. We arrived at the Relais & Chateaux member hotel Ceylon Tea Trails after a interesting train journey from Kandy.
We were made so welcome by our butler at the Summerville Bungalow where we had a garden suite room called Cosby which was luxury personified.
We stayed two nights and were indulged in Michelin star quality food , wine and service by all the staff one couldn’t have asked for anything better.
We were taken on a tour of the Dilmah tea factory and were shown and fully explained the workings of a tea plantation it was very interesting.
The whole setting of the Bungalow and grounds were wonderful and made our dream trip come true we cannot praise all concerned enough what wonderful smiley people the Sri Lankan’s are who are in service.
My husband and I were invited to an evening event and so our stay was short. However, that one night and following morning was a wonderfully relaxing, pleasant and replenishing escape from the city. The luxurious rooms with tasteful decor had a calming effect, complemented by soft but sufficient lighting. The bed and pillows are very comfortable with soft linen. The entire property is beautiful and impeccably maintained. We found the staff very professional as they are attentive but discreet; ensuring our comfort and privacy. The food and presentation is excellent and service is quick. A dip in the salt-water infinity pool before bed and after breakfast was a lovely touch of wellness. We would love to come back!
Tientsin bungalow is a luxurious colonial-era tea planters bungalow set in beautiful tea gardens. It has separate bedrooms and living rooms,verandas and private gardens.
You have your own manager,chef ,butler and house boy.
Bandara,his team Samantha,Kumar,Nes and the Chef catered to our every need from Bed tea,to massages in the privacy of our room, to gourmet meals,to organising a trek thru the tea plantation to the forest p.
Our 2 night stay was heavenly. We were very sad to leave.
The service is incredible and everything is included food,alcohol and tea production tour.
Extra for massage and treks.
Have to thank Yurani and Susila for one of the best massages we have ever had!!
We will be back,cannot thank you enough.