This stunning heritage property is the first-ever Relais & Châteaux resort in Sri Lanka. Comprising four bungalows built in the late-19th to mid-20th century, Ceylon Tea Trails is a gorgeous retreat of 21 rooms and suites, each with its own personal butler. The magic comes in expansive tea-estate grounds with curated experiences linked to the world’s favourite drink.
There are just five bungalows at Ceylon Tea Trails – they date back to Victorian times – peppered on the lush hillside of Bogawantalawa, aka the spiritual home of the deep gold infusion. Ceylon Tea Trails (although it wasn’t known as that back then) was the escape of British colonialists – who came here for the temperate weather as a respite from the humidity and heat of Colombo. They certainly choose (took) the best spots. The benefit of that (the aspect choice, not colonialism) is that the view from our bungalow was stunning, looking down into the valley.
The interiors also played into the old-world: cane chairs, a four-poster bed, roll-top bath and gaslights in our accommodation completed the theme. We saw that other cottages had more ‘modern’ furniture, but by modern, do bear in mind we’re talking something you’d see in a more traditional London hotel. If we were to return, we would opt for Dunkeld cottage, as it comes with a gorgeous infinity pool that fuses right into Lake Castlereagh.
The service at Ceylon Tea Trails is exquisite, each bungalow comes with a private chef and butler, who worked up magic at mealtimes and were not short of suggestions of things to do during our stay. Although, like back then – apart from the tea-based experiences – there still isn’t that much to do here except to relax in the peace and serenity of the surroundings; and take glorious hikes down to the lake, where boat trips are on offer. But yet, our guys made it all sound rather exciting. However, for the most part, it was croquet, high-tea and gin and tonics on the lawn during the day, or billiards and whiskey in the games room in the evening. Bliss.
Right on time
While you’re Out There
Drink it all in. Literally. There’s just so much tea plantation land and fresh, tea-tree scented air out here. When you’re ‘gasping for a cuppa, we guarantee that one is never far from you.