One of the things that not many people know about staying at Tea Trails, the luxury tea plantation bungalows in Sri Lanka, is how fabulous the walking is in the region.
If you like walking holidays and love luxury travel, then a visit to Tea Trails is a must do for you. Located near Hatton in the heart of the Sri Lanka’s top tea producing region, Tea Trails comprises 4 gorgeously refurbished plantation managers’ bungalows. What’s not well known though, is that you can stay a few nights at each of the bungalows, or pick just a couple, and walk between them – either to move to a new bungalow after a few days stay – or to have lunch and then get a lift back by vehicle.
On a recent tour of Sri Lanka, we did just that. We began our trip at Castlereagh Bungalow, walked to Norwood Bungalow, where we stayed two nights, and then walked to Tientsin Bungalow for a final relaxing stay. The bungalows are ever so stylish – colonial undertones but far from the stuffy atmosphere you sometimes get at heritage properties – and each of them has a distinct look and feel, so you really owe it to yourself to stay at at least two of them. (We were quite sure each of the bungalow staff were trying to out-do the others – our straw poll had Norwood carrying the day.)
The walking is gentle, it’s beautiful – strolling among the tea plantations and hills in Sri Lanka, passing local ladies plucking leaves and talking to children you meet along the way in small villages. There are spectacular views over the valleys, tea bushes and lake. The walking is not too onerous – it’s at your pace and the distance can be shortened or lengthened to suit. We walked about 10-12 kilometers a day on the two walks we did between the bungalows and were accompanied by a guide on both occasions. Each day we took with us a lovely picnic lunch prepared by the chef (smoked salmon sandwiches and the like) and sat amongst the tea bushes on our walks to eat.
After a morning walking between the properties you are rewarded in so many ways when you reach the bungalows. Set among sweeping, immaculate manicured lawns, with swimming pools, and even a tennis court, the bungalows encapsulate the best of Sri Lankan luxury travel. The properties are intimate – with just a few rooms at each – and all have a unique décor and ambience. What is consistent though at all the Tea Trails bungalows in Sri Lanka’s tea country is the service. It’s incredible. The properties run on an all-inclusive basis – so each day there’s bed tea to greet the day, high tea, champagne or cocktails and some of the finest Sri Lankan cuisine we’ve had. The breakfast prawn curry we were served one morning remains an all time food highlight for us. The tea menu, the knowledge of the staff and the attentiveness to which they serve the teas will leave tea lovers grinning and the staff are more than happy for you to try as many pots as you can each day!
A stay at Tea Trails can be incorporated into any of our Sri Lanka itineraries or added to a customized luxury holiday we can design just for you. Walking between the bungalows can be arranged as part of your stay, or you can choose to just relax and enjoy the majestic beauty of the properties and tea country.