February 20, 2018
Nestled among Sri Lanka’s picturesque tea plantations with views of Castlereagh Reservoir, sits the world-renowned Tea Trails, offering true luxury in the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country.
Sri Lanka’s first Relais & Chateaux hotel, Tea Trails is a luxury tea plantation resort. Consisting of five elegantly restored colonial tea planters’ bungalows, each with its own unique characteristics, a stay at these properties encapsulates the best of luxury travel in Sri Lanka.
With picturesque views, sweeping manicured lawns and photogenic gardens, once you reach Tea Trails you may never want to leave.
Each of the Tea Trails bungalows boasts unique décor and ambience, and just a few rooms – guaranteeing an intimate stay not experienced at bigger hotels. Consistently throughout the Tea Trails bungalows you will experience what could arguably be the best service and hospitality in Sri Lanka. The bungalows 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 Sri Lankan prawn curry we were served one morning remains an all time food highlight for us from our travel in Sri Lanka.)
A three-night stay at Tea Trails forms the centerpiece of our upcoming small group tour of Sri Lanka – Splendour in Sri Lanka – departing in June 2018.
Here are five of the things we love about Tea Trails (in no particular order – and there are many more) from our own stays and those that we have shared with some of our past group tours of Sri Lanka.
#1 Great walking
While it is oh so very tempting to just stroll amongst the gardens of your bungalow and find a comfortable spot to relax (though that in itself is a very tough choice as there’s the verandah, the bungalow’s lush lounges, the poolside chairs and your own private rooms to choose from) – what’s lesser-known about a stay at Tea Trails is the inviting and enjoyable walking.
The picturesque green tea plantations at your doorstep, literally, will tempt you away from the high teas, the swimming pool and in general the fabulous environment at Tea Trails. If you like walking holidays and love luxury travel, then a visit to Tea Trails in Sri Lanka is a must do for you. Put on your boots or walking shoes and set off for a small (just a few kilometres) or long stroll (10-12km) through the surrounding tea country. A guide from Tea Trails will accompany you. The walking is gentle and incredibly beautiful – meander among the tea plantations and the sloping hills of Sri Lanka, passing local ladies plucking tea leaves and talking to children in small villages you meet along the way. There are spectacular views over the valleys, tea bushes and reservoir. The walking is not too onerous – it’s at your pace and the distance can be shortened or lengthened to suit. The chef at Tea Trails can also prepare a picnic lunch for you, which allows you to take your time walking and gives you the opportunity to stop and enjoy the views and savour a day out in the tea country. (After your walk you can be rewarded with high tea back at your bungalow or at one of the other Tea Trails bungalows.)
#2 Bed tea
Wake each morning with a pot of freshly brewed tea delivered to your bedside by your personal butler. If you love tea, and like a leisurely start to the day, what could be better? Another cup of tea perhaps?
#3 High tea
Scones, finger sandwiches, cakes and freshly brewed tea…….tempted yet? Another part of the Tea Trails ritual is the daily high tea served in the afternoon. Taken on the verandah of your bungalow, (or by the pool if you are relaxing – as we have done previously) be sure to save room between lunch and dinner for this afternoon treat. As well as the delicious offerings presented on your cake stand, high tea at Tea Trails is also a chance to work your way through their impressive tea menu. There are many varieties of tea to sample and the the knowledge of the staff and the attentiveness to which they serve the teas will leave tea lovers grinning. And the staff is more than happy for you to try as many pots as you can each day! There’s just not enough time in the day for tea! We quite like to have a pot of tea at the start of the high tea and a sparkling wine at the end.
#4 Outstanding Dining
The meals are integral to your experience and stay at Tea Trails. (And a highlight!) Each meal will feature a discussion with the chef – don’t be surprised to find yourself talking about lunch as you’ve just completed a delicious breakfast and thinking ahead to dinner. The head chef will personally speak to you during the stay, tailoring the daily dishes to suit you. Expect to savour mouthwatering western fare to some of the best Sri Lankan we’ve sampled.
#5 Incredible Service
The incredible service at Tea Trails is more than just the personal butler you’ll have during your stay. At each bungalow there’s an army of inconspicuous, quiet and professional workers making your stay enjoyable and memorable. But beyond the hard work and effort they go to for guests, it’s the genuine warmth in their attitude and willingness to make you welcome that stands out.
These are just a few of the remarkable memories from our visits to Tea Trails in Sri Lanka. Experience it first hand on our upcoming Splendour in Sri Lanka tour.
Read the full itinerary for our Splendour in Sri Lanka small group tour here. Join us in Sri Lanka 7-20 June, 2018. Splendour in Sri Lanka is a genuinely small group tour – limited to 12 passengers. Limited places remain on tour.
Remarkable East – only the remarkable.