Sri Lanka in Style - Part 1: Nuwara Eliya
The green island of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is not only a dream destination for tea connoisseurs, but also the still-empty beaches of this pearl in the Indian Ocean are worth a trip...if you do it in style, that is.
Since my trip reports can get long, I am changing my format a little bit by dividing them into several parts. This one will have two parts:
1. Arrival, Colombo, Nuwara Eliya (this post)
2. Kandy, Galle (will follow soon)
- Arrival at Bandaranaike Airport
- Colombo - Hilton Residences
- Langdale by Amaya Boutique Resort (SLH)
- Green View Home Stay
- Owl and the Pussycat Hotel & Restaurant (SLH)
Stops 1 to 3 is covered within this blog post and 4 to 5 in the next.
Colombo and Hilton Residences
The Hilton in Colombo was just a transit stay, since we arrived late at CMB airport and wanted to continue directly onward to tea country the next morning. I couldn't find anything worthwhile in the travel guides that would justify a longer stay in Colombo.
I booked a standard double room but somehow got upgraded to an executive suite (without having any status with Hilton). This was pretty great, but we couldn't appreciate it as much, since we just stayed one night and left in the morning.
|Hotel||Hilton Colombo Residences|
Nuwara Eliya - Langdale by Amaya Boutique Resort
After we left Colombo with our driver, we drove into the country's central highlands.
Reaching about 6000 feet (1800 m a.s.l.) in Nuwara Eliya everything was still green, living and breathing - just wonderful.
Arriving at the estate
The neatly kept gardens had a British vibe about them. Since the indigenous staff was so friendly and seemed happy with their jobs, I never felt like a colonial slave owner - which is always good ;)
There was a feeling of exclusivity all around. We only saw one other couple and there was always staff available for our requests.
Let's take a quick look at the room, which was large and clean.
Dinner on the first night
Dinner on the second night, western syle, but very good.
This was greeting us every night in our room:
Tea time snacks and tea or coffee in the salon were included in the room price. The pieces were plenty, but taste was just so-so.
Depending on the weather conditions, the whole atmosphere of the place could change completely and it was always magical. Usually sunny in the mornings and rainy in the afternoon.
The breakfast was as British as the gardens.
|Hotel||Langdale by Amaya Boutique Resort|
I definitely recommend the Langdale for a few relaxing days in tea country. I liked the Britishness of the place and I was always expecting Miss Marple to show up and make everyone assemble in the salon to reveal the murderer. The area around Nuwara Eliya is really beautiful and offers mainly nature and relaxation. You could go golfing, visit Horton Plains National Park and visit tea factories (see below). We didn't do much of that and were just happy to stay on the estate, get a massage and relaxed our tired eyes on the soothing green that is everywhere. We also had chats with the owner on arrival and before leaving and she seemed genuinely nice.
Visiting a Tea Factory
We did visit a tea factory near Nuwara Eliya. Btw, it is really recommended to get a driver in Sri Lanka. I know, the trains are a special thing on their own, but I wouldn't do all my travel on those slow trains.
The factory we visited was the Pedro estate who produce tea for Mabroc.
We took a group tour through the factory and is was quite interesting to learn about tea producing.
At the end we had a taste of the tea on the porch. We also bought several packs of different teas and it is really so much better than any mass-produced tea bags.
To be continued...
After a few days on the Langdale Estate our journey continued to Kandy, to see a tooth of a Buddha, and onwards to ride Elephants and then finally to old colonial Galle (and of course the wonderful beach). Tune in for part two of this trip report soon!