One of the most anticipated highlights of a recent tour of Sri Lanka was to not only see the tea plantations of the central highlands of Sri Lanka, but also to stay within one at Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge.
Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge will leave you short of words with its stunning views of the Knuckles Mountain Range. Located on a picturesque 25-acre tea plantation near Kandy, the hotel has just 18 secluded, individual luxury tents with spectacular views. We recommend a two-night stay here and it’s ideal for couples, honeymooners or groups of friends. We are including it in our Secret Sri Lanka tour departing in August or we can include it in your custom made tour of Sri Lanka.
Here are six reasons why we’ll be returning to Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge, in no particular order.
#1 The warmest of welcomes
We knew we were in for an experience upon reaching the property with its expansive views but it was the welcome we received by a local village elder that will stay with us. Dressed beautifully in a traditional sari of shades of purple and pink and adorned with gold jewellery, we were welcomed and blessed by her. She didn’t speak English and she didn’t have to, her face showing years of life and experience said a lot and we felt privileged to be welcomed by such a woman.
#2 Oh what a view
Wherever you are on the property, you will witness the spectacular Knuckles Mountain Range especially on the porch of the eco tent. This is not glamping, it is beyond that. The 18-eco tents are purposely built to take advantage of the views and offer guests privacy to take in the natural beauty that surrounds the property. Each luxury tent includes a double bed, separate shower and bathroom and tea and coffee making facilities. There is no TV, no radio and no wifi access (there’s wifi at the main reception area only) but don’t let that deter you from staying here because it was a gratifying techno detox and with views as stunning as they are, we spent hours just relaxing and enjoying the serenity.
#3 Sri Lankan Sunrise
We do enjoy a sleep-in when we’re on holidays but when the hotel manager advised us to wake up at 5.30 a.m. for a 5.45 a.m. spectacular sunrise we did just that and we were not disappointed. With a cup of tea in hand of course, we saw the ranges appear and heard the sounds of the local village life come alive. It was breathtaking and away we clicked but the photos do not do it justice.
#4 We do love an infinity pool
The infinity pools we have dipped into have had ocean or sea views but this one was of the beautiful lush greenery of the ranges. Wow!
#5 Local village walk
We took a late afternoon plantation and village walk with the resident guide and we had the opportunity to walk through a village and meet the locals. A group of children came out to greet us and the first thing we noticed were their beaming faces. Our guides told us that for special events like weddings at Madulkelle, the kids prepare flower garlands for the reception and all proceeds are given back to the community.
#6 Tea pickers
The property is located on a working tea plantation and at 8 a.m. everyday, the women with their woven baskets make their way from their village to pick tea leaves. A highlight was to join in to pick the leaves with the women. They were happy to pose for photos but at a fee. We later learnt the tea pickers earn $8 a day for their hours upon hours in the sun so our small exchange for photos would go far for them.