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“Stunning stay at Tienstin”
Review of Ceylon Tea Trails

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Ceylon Tea Trails
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Certificate of Excellence
Singapore
Level Contributor
62 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Stunning stay at Tienstin”
Reviewed 1 March 2012

We stayed for two nights at the Tienstin bungalow. This is the farthest of all the bungalows and that is the only negative I'd give it. Along with the time it takes from Kandy to reach this place. Now with that out of the way, I can praise the bungalow and the service to my heart's desire. The room we stayed in (the most basic one, cannot remember the name now) was beautifully decorated and was huge. The bathroom was the highlight with a claw foot bathtub and the size of the bathroom was amazing as well. The staff and the chef were amazing and the food is very very good. We were stuffed all the time, yet could not let go of the desserts at the end of the day :) As others have mentioned before, you can go from one bungalow to another for your meals, though it is a long drive, especially from Tienstin. We did both the walks from the bungalow which took us through the plantations and the village. However as someone else has pointed out as well, the walks took a lot more time than advised by the staff, and we were reasonably fast paced.

On the last day we went for a meal at the bungalow Summerville which was after our check out. We were provided a free transport for the same. However the staff at Summerville didn't seem happy to see us. Even though they served the food professionally and had taken care of all our meal requests, there was no warmth in their service. It was almost like we were a burden for them. Also the bungalow didn't look as spectacular as Tienstin. But the gorgeous reservoir views made up for it. All in all an amazing stay!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
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1 review
Reviewed 27 February 2012

Made for the perfect start to our Honeymoon! The views from Summerville bungalo were incredible! Food was fantastic and nothing was too much trouble for the staff.

  • Stayed February 2012
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Thank Saganjenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2012

We spend 3 nights in the Tea Trails bungalows - 2 at Norwood and 1 at Tientsin. We also had a drink in Castlereagh and lunch at Summerville.

They are all lovely places but people seem to like the one in which they are staying! For us, Norwood had the best views (high up, looking out over the valley) but Tientsin was probably a nicer bungalow - older plus nicer room. We weren't blown away by Summerville but it has a nice view of the lake. That said, we preferred the look of Castlereagh (also with a lake view).

Something which isn't necessarily obvious is that you can eat and drink at any of the bungalows no matter which you are staying in. Make sure you plan ahead though so that there is room for you at your chosen time and place, since they are small bungalows with limited tables for dining.

The staff were lovely and extremely helpful. They constantly tried to get us to make full use of the all-inclusive food and drink, which is a nice touch, though we were constantly stuffed...

When we walked to Summerville for lunch, they sent the Tea Trails vehicle to bring us back to Norwood (free of charge). Nice touch as it's quite a long way by car.

The food is excellent - truly a very high international standard.

The tea experience is definitely worthwhile. Really interesting.

The walks are really well marked. Very impressive and a lovely touch so you can relax and take in the beautiful scenery.

We loved the 'bar' in the living room. Just help yourself or one of the staff will pour you a drink. Perfect pre or post dinner. Or just whenever you fancy...

Things to bear in mind - not necessarily bad, just be aware:
Being small bungalows, you can hear other guests and staff moving around in the morning/evening.
The pools are not heated.
It does take a long time to get here from the airport/Negombo - 4 hours in the night, 5.5 hours during the day for us.
They won't help you organise your transfers before you get there but will help with local transport when you're there.
You need to give a day's notice if you want a Sri Lankan breakfast (this is the one thing I found a little odd, being in Sri Lanka).
The food is generally western and whilst flexible in dealing with things you may dislike, the chefs don't seem 100% flexible. i.e. if you wanted curry for every meal (which you might if you love curry) I'm not sure you would get it. We were very happy with the food mind you.
The walks did not take us anywhere near as long as they suggested but we are in pretty good shape and do a lot of exercise.

As a final comment, Tea Trails are 100% better than the Governor's Mansion. We had to stay there one night as there was no room at TT. If you are trying to decide between the 2 please try not to be swayed by price - if you can cobble together the difference you won't be disappointed. It is really worth it and feels like much better value for money.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank Citygoat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 February 2012

We stayed for 2 nights at the Norwood bungalow and it was absolutely faultless, the house is amazing, the room was beautiful, the grounds were flawless, and the food was delicious. We did one of the walks (the short one) from the Bungalow and it was really nice to walk among the tea plants and see the surrounding countryside. Also the tea factory tour was a highlight, the guy that runs it is good fun and knows so much about tea. One of my favourite things was the afternoon tea, it just felt so extravagant to be eating scones in the tea hills of Sri Lanka. The food in general was very good quality, Michelin level, and the staff and chef were very flexible with any menu requests.
I know that its an expensive place to stay but it really was worth it.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jigglyduff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kent
Level Contributor
137 reviews
116 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2012

We stayed for 2 nights in the Garnet room in the Sumerville bungalow, which is in a stunning position overlooking Castereagh reservoir. The views are beautiful and we were able to take advantage of them sitting in our room's private garden and eating on the verandah.

The food is superb - a set menu, but the chef checks that it is fine with you and can offer an alternative if needed. Afternoon tea is a treat, although hard to do it justice between a 3 course lunch and a 4 course dinner.

The staff are excellent, very attentive and charming. We were even given a packed lunch for our onward journey when we checked out.

The tea factory tour led by Andrew Taylor is not to be missed - it far outshines the short tours offered by the many tea plantations as a prelude to trying to sell you tea.

2 very relaxing and enjoyable days but, for the sake of our waistlines, it's just as well we did not stay longer.

Room Tip: Garnet (at Summerville) has a large private garden overlooking the lake
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank KentManKent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ceylon Tea Trails

Property: Ceylon Tea Trails
Address: Dunkeld Estate, Hatton 22000, Sri Lanka
Region: Sri Lanka > Central Province > Hatton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Hatton
Price range (per night): ₹ 44,006 - ₹ 57,298
Hotel Class:5 star — Ceylon Tea Trails 5*
Number of rooms: 26
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ceylon Tea Trails, Sri Lanka's first Relais & Chateaux resort, is a collection of five colonial era tea planters' bungalows restored to impeccable style, offering a taste of gracious living in 26 suites and rooms, with butler service and original furnishings, accompanied by gourmet meals. Walking trails connect the bungalows which are from 2km to 15km apart. Follow the Tea Trail from one unique bungalow to the next, staying a night or two at each or just laze in one. Rates are fully inclusive of gourmet meals and drinks, including spirits and wines. Even service charges, taxes and laundry are included. We won't bother you with bills. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ceylon Tea Trails Hatton
Ceylon Tea Trails Sri Lanka/Hatton

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