Tea Trails Bungalows

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Tea Trails Bungalows In central Sri Lanka, just 4 hours from Colombo by car to the Castlereagh Lake, lies the Bogawantalawa Valley, known as the Golden Valley of Tea and home to old Ceylon, replete with rolling green hills, plantation bungalows, high tea and exquisite service.

Here in solitude, at an elevation of 4000 feet above sea level, lies Ceylon Tea Trails, 4 classic colonial bungalows built for British tea estate managers in the days of the Raj. These historic houses have been restored by Dilmah Tea with the co-operation of Bogawantalawa Tea Estates, to offer guests the unique experience of life on a working tea estate. Bungalow sizes range from 4 to 6 rooms; 20 luxurious rooms and suites in all.

You set your own pace while at Tea Trails. Unwind in our beautiful gardens, visit a factory for a gentle education in the art of Ceylon Tea or spend an adventure-filled day biking, trekking and white-water rafting. We promise you an unforgettable holiday that will rejuvenate your spirit in the heart of the magical world of Ceylon tea.

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 and the more modern Norwood; abounding with 60's character. Summerville and Castlereagh are situated opposite each other on the shores of the Castlereagh lake, Norwood is at the other end of the valley about 15 minutes away by car and Tientsin is about 30 minutes away in the next valley.

Each house comes with its own manager, chef, butler and houseboys and from 4 to 6 luxurious Master Suites, Garden Suites and Luxury Rooms. You can book a room or the entire bungalow.

Follow the Tea Trail from one unique bungalow to the next, staying a night or two at each or just laze in one. Trek and picnic at spectacular locations each day in cool comfort. These four bungalows realise your dreams in a "non-hotel" atmosphere. Heritage with a contemporary style is the hallmark of the Tea Trails experience.
Distance From Colombo : 127 km
The 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 hills 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. Summerville offers individual accommodation or the entire bungalow can be booked for a group to enjoy the very personal atmosphere of this great house.
Master Suite - Shuttleworth
Garden Suites - Garnet & Goddard
Luxury Room - Middleton (Twin Room)
Facilities include: Summer House /Sunbathing Deck /Garden Dining

The Castlereagh Bungalow - Travellers approaching Castlereagh from the road can glimpse tantalizing 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, evokes 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.
Garden Suites - Baker /Alston /Palmer
Luxury Rooms - Jamieson (Twin Room) /Tate
Facilities include: Swimming Pool /Summer Houses /Croquet /Library /Garden Dining

The Tientsin Bungalow - Step into the world of Tientsin and step back in time. 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. 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.
Master Suite - Irvine Stewart
Garden Suites - Bretherton /Moir
Luxury Rooms - Fraser (Twin Room) /Brebham /Meares
Facilities include: Tennis court /Garden dining /Library

The Norwood Bungalow - 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 well-stocked library lead out to a croquet lawn, a large swimming pool and sun deck. It is here where planters of the past invited friends to enjoy the pristine air and glorious outlook. You too can wander the gardens unchanged since yesteryear, soaking up the atmosphere of a time gone by.
Master Suite - Hazel
Garden Suites - Irvine / Andrews
Luxury Rooms Trevaldwyn (Twin Room) /Jeffery
Facilities include:
Swimming Pool /Summer House /Croquet /Library /Garden Dining
Tea Trails Bungalows
Positive :
Each bungalow takes you back in time to the way the British Planters lived, butlers and maids etc, etc. And the view from each bungalow is exceptional, beautiful, beautiful tea country as far as the eye can see. Needs to be experienced to be believed! We often have guests who book 2 nights at the Tea Trails, then call us on arrival and want to extend at least another 2 nights!
Negative :
The road to Castlereagh Bungalow is rather tiresome and more like a gravel pathway, and winding and winding takes aeons to get there... But once you ARE there, everything seems to just fade away, its honestly like another world that you've stepped into and nothing else matters.
Activities :
First the "Tea Experience" with our Planter in Residence. Follow the trail of the planters of old Ceylon, as they trekked through the dense jungle looking for the best slopes on which to plant tea. Then on to watch the tea pluckers pick two leaves and a bud with deft hands. A tea factory visit is a must to see the care with which the leaves are dried and processed for the 'single origin tea' that Dilmah is famed for. Follow the scratch marks of the Gallus Lafayetii the endemic jungle fowl on a bird watching expedition. Kayaking, rafting on the white water or boating on the lake. A dawn expedition to climb the famed 'Adams Peak' mountain nearby. Golfing, biking and trekking are some of the exhilarating sports on offer.

Trek through some of the most beautiful and scenic country in the island. Tea Trails provides many activities for the adventurous. White water rafting is also a day's excursion from the Tea Trails in Hatton.
Tea Trails Bungalows
"I arrived at Norwood with extremely high expectations, but not only has this wonderful place exceeded every one it has proved to be better than I could have ever imagined. The food has been excellent (Perfect portion sizes allowing you to indulge but never to excess). The bungalow is stunningly beautiful from every angle and our host and his team are outstanding. Professionalism and appreciation for uncompromising standards echo round this magical Sri Lankan gem. Thank you so much, I can't wait to return to the UK and spread the word about Tea Trails to my friends!"
Tea Trails Bungalows
  • "Hottest new hotel!" - Condenast Traveller 2005
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