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Thotalagala
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Reviews (96)
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All reviewscigar roominfinity poolhigh teathe general managerour honeymoontea factorytea countryplanter's bungalowstaff went out of their wayexclusive accessjames taylorchef paulbeautiful propertysri lankathe perfect hosttaken abacksmall boutique
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Reviewed 4 May 2018

Wish we had stayed longer (2 nights is not enough!). The staff are AMAZING and Deepika gave us the warmest welcome. The property will stun you and despite its remote location, you’ll find yourself not wanting to leave the property or surrounding areas. Very glad we chose to stay here and not in the hustle and bustle of Ella. This place is elegant, colonial, classically designed and a real home from home. The food was incredible and there are varieties of Sri Lankan or western meals. The views will take your breath away. Even on a rainy afternoon, you’ll find games or books to read. The fantastic driver took us to the tea factory and also to the train station - there was nothing that was too much trouble. My one down point was having to share a dinner table with the other guests - as an introvert, I didn’t appreciate the forced social situation but it didn’t spoil the meals or experience. Thank you Claire, Deepika and team!

Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank SimSP1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claire H, Manager at Thotalagala, responded to this reviewResponded 6 May 2018

Good morning SimSP1,

Thank you so much for your warm words of enthusiasm for the location and the stay. It was such a pleasure to host you, and if you ever plan to come this way again, please let us know?

Next time you come, we will of course arrange for a private table away from the main area, which we are always happy to do, for anyone, at any time. We fully understand not wanting to share with strangers, but at the same time, glad that it didn't ruin your stay!

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Reviewed 28 April 2018

Amazing!
There are only positive things that you can say about Totalagala. The location is perfect and so beautiful. Claire Holman the manager and her side pup Leila are amazing and the staff are all so polite and accommodating. We were here for 2 nights and I felt so at home that I almost cried when we left.
Thotalagala is a wonderful colonial bungalow on a working tea plantation with the most incredible views.It is so well managed by Claire and she is at hand at all times to ensure that you are having a good time and are being looked after, you literally want for nothing.
The food is excellent and there is a varied choice of drinks available to cater for every palate. We were staying on a full board basis and it was good value for money when you take everything into account. We can see why Thotalagala is getting such good reviews in international publications.If you are ever given an option to stay here then take it- you won't be disappointed. Mr L and I loved it. We are frequent travellers and have stayed in many locations in varying types of accommodation and this is the best. 10/10 and more.
Thank you to Claire and her team for a memorable time - almost in heaven.

Room Tip: Any room would be good as it's not just about the room but the whole experience.
  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank HappySue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claire H, Manager at Thotalagala, responded to this reviewResponded 1 May 2018

Good morning Happy Sue,

What wonderful, warm words of recommendation - thank you!!

We so loved having you, and showing off this great little part of the world. So high up indeed, and a bit of a mission to get to, but we always firmly believe that it's worth it once you are here! Hopefully, the rest of your adventure was just as fabulous.

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Reviewed 18 April 2018 via mobile

Thotagala is a beautiful property - tastefully restored bungalow with incredible views. Clare runs an extremely good establishment and provides a level of hospitality I have never experienced before. From spiced hot chocolate on arrival to expertly crafted gin and tonics served in front of a roaring fire in what is named the cigar room furnished with Persian rugs, dark wood walls and leather couches. The next day we visited Liptons Seat which is conveniently close to the property and enjoyed walking through the nearby tea plantation. We returned to home baked scones served with cream, home made jams and a huge pot of delicious tea. We swam in the immaculately clean pool whilst admiring the endless view of the valley and soaked up the sun on the lawn furniture feeling very satisfied with life. This is by far the best place we have ever stayed and want to express extreme gratitude to Clare and her team for their efforts.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled as a couple
Thank Lauren M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claire H, Manager at Thotalagala, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2018

Dear Lauren M,

We are so thrilled that you enjoyed your recent stay with us to the extent that the details are lodged in your mind - how wonderful for you, and for us! It was a delighted to host you, and Leila in particular looks forward to your return visit in a few years' time. We hope that the rest of your time in Sri Lanka was just as magical.

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Reviewed 17 April 2018 via mobile

We were amazed when we saw the hotel premises. It have a good view points. and also hotel staff are kindly serving us.and food are delicious. Rooms are also comfortable. So we impressed after visited to this hotel.and also welcome from the staff are excellent.

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
Thank uldrako
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claire H, Manager at Thotalagala, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2018

Good morning Uldrako,

Thank you so much for your warm words. It was a pleasure hosting you, and we hope that the rest of your travels around the island were just as magical.

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Reviewed 15 April 2018

The location is superb: on the Haputale-Dambatenne Road, amid high grown tea estates, with amazing south and east-facing vistas. This planter's bungalow has been thoughtfully and painstakingly restored with attention to historic details and attention to what visitors want/need. In contrast to some luxury historic boutique inns where visitors are reluctant to sit down or touch anything, Thotalagala has achieved warm, welcoming luxury in a bungalow with loads of history!

The food was hands down the best food I have had in Sri Lanka. The menus were creative and the food was delicious. I sampled several different desserts - including three that were being tested out -- and they were all delicious. I am still thinking about the pepper pork, too! The homemade marmalade and berry jam; the fresh croissants and muffins. The team in the kitchen and Claire's vision made for a fantastic culinary experience. The welcome spiced hot cocoa and of course the tea. We had pot after pot of bright, beautiful Dambatenne Tea with gorgeous EarlGrey shortbreads.

The staff were delightful and so accommodating. My father has a mobility disability and we have two Type I/juvenile diabetics in our party. We also had a family member with a life-threatening nut allergy. Staff were all so helpful and attentive.

For decades, we have stayed at Kelburne Cottages as Haputale is our favorite place in Tea Country. For my family's Sri Lanka adventure, I wanted them to experience a tea plantation and have the feeling of a planter's bungalow AND I wanted something special. Thotalagala was perfect! It's now my favorite 'hotel' in Sri Lanka.

Room Tip: All the rooms are fantastic. Each is unique. All are spacious and beautifully appointed. We all enjoyed great sleep in our rooms.
  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank NomadJMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Claire H, Manager at Thotalagala, responded to this reviewResponded 17 April 2018

Dear NomadJMD,

What wonderfully warm words of recommendation to read so early in the week - it certainly cheers our souls!

We were delighted to have hosted your family, and the fact that you advised us ahead of time about the different personal requirements simply meant that we were better positioned to cater for you accordingly, so thank you. It is so much fun having such a great variety of people around to what is effectively our home - visitors who go on to be firm friends - and we look forward to a return visit, any time you feel the need for a little hill country hospitality.

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