Ceylon Tea Trails
Ceylon Tea Trails is located 3 hours from Colombo and 2 hours from Kandy by road. By seaplane it is 30 minutes from Colombo and 15 minutes from Kandy.
Nestled among the tea draped hills of the Bogawantalawa region in central Sri Lanka, at over 4000 feet above sea level, is Ceylon Tea Trails – four classic colonial era bungalows that boast twenty luxurious rooms and suites. These bungalows were originally built for British tea estate managers in the days of the Raj.
Ceylon Tea Trails consists of twenty exquisite rooms and suites in four luxurious bungalows, boasting spectacular locations, butler service and fine cuisine. We offer you the choice of either staying at a single bungalow or moving from one bungalow to the next on the Tea Trail.
Castlereagh and Summerville are beside the Castlereagh lake, Norwood about 15 minutes away by road and Tientsin 30 minutes. Each of the bungalows is unique – featuring architecture that ranges from classical to modern colonial.
Castlereagh Bungalow, built 1925, altitude 4025 feet, 1227 metres
Travelers 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, evoke recollections of the life and times of the tea planters who once lived here. Privacy is the watchword at Castlereagh; your gourmet meals can be taken in the dining room, on the terrace overlooking the pool or in your suite where discreet butlers await your orders. 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 sun-downers on the terrace.
Summerville Bungalow, built 1923, altitude 4000 feet, 1219 metres
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. The neo-traditional furniture of the rooms and suites provides a sensitive balance of the classical and the contemporary.
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.
Tientsin Bungalow, built 1939, altitude 4600 feet, 1402 metres
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, high ceilings, some with four-poster beds.
The graceful dining room and lounge recall for the traveler how the planter and his lady shared lazy evenings around a blazing log fire. Tientsin has a history that traverses almost a hundred years and with our careful help it has withstood the test of time; its legacy a testimony to the past for our guests to share today.
Norwood Bungalow, built 1890 rebuilt 1950, altitude 4300 feet, 1310 metres 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. Enjoy a traditional English tea on the lawns served by authentically dressed ‘Appus’ many of them from the same families as the servants of long ago. Should you wish to explore the area this bungalow is in the centre of the Norwood estate and has easy access to the nearby tea factory and its fields.