James Taylor, one of Sri Lanka’s earliest tea planters, had his Loolecondera factory near here, so Taylors Hill Boutique Hotel is synonymous with the drink. The luxury hotel is famous for its beautiful, sweeping views of tea plants, but offers much more besides, including plush, comfortable rooms and an infinity pool that will be the envy of your Instagram followers. Believe us.
There’s something quirky about many of the old tea-plantation mansions in the hills of Sri Lanka, and Taylors Hill Boutique Hotel plays perfectly into that stereotype. First, this 19th-century building is fashioned in old English style, like something you’ll find on the British Isles rather than the Teardrop Isle. The reason being, the colonists who built it sought homes in the temperate climes of the hills to resolve their homesickness.
There are just five, rather colourful suites at Taylors Hill Boutique Hotel, each uniquely named to a tea-theme. The overarching design is somewhat arts and crafts, with whimsical wallpaper for added splashes of colour. Ours, the Loolecondera Suite, was named after the primal tea estate first harvested by James Taylor and is the 2nd largest room in the house. Furnishing and soft decor is a classic colonial style and a separate living area overlooks the main lawn (where the house game is croquet) and onwards to the central highlands.
The resort offered plenty of local flavour and we were encouraged to treat it like our own home, which was lovely. An infinity pool melted seamlessly (if a pool could) into the hills and was by far our favourite facility.
Right on time
While you’re Out There
Learn about tea planting (as well as an important lesson on colonialism) where it all started. Right here on the hotel’s doorstep Loolecondera. In 1867, James Taylor started a ‘small’ tea farm here. It took six years for him to brew the perfect cup and with that, he sent Ceylon tea back to London. The rest is history.