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Sri Lanka in Style - Part 1: Nuwara Eliya

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)

The Map

  1. Arrival at Bandaranaike Airport
  2. Colombo - Hilton Residences
  3. Langdale by Amaya Boutique Resort (SLH)
  4. Green View Home Stay
  5. 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.

View from the balcony - a new landmark for Colombo under construction

Large executive suite with separate toilette and a second bedroom on the right

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
Brand Hilton
  • Our Executive Suite was very spacious, with a kitchen (could com in handy for longer stays) and clean
  • Service at the reception was friendly and swift
  • Good breakfast in the suite, delivered with an English newspaper
  • Overall quality of apartment and furniture, though decent colors, was rather poor and could've been from Ikea
CT Points 90

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.

Sri Lanka's highlands - what a beauty

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 ;)

Is it Hobbiton?

Nice pool, though small

There was a feeling of exclusivity all around. We only saw one other couple and there was always staff available for our requests.

The little vegetable garden for the very good kitchen

Prince Charles would love the gardens

If you are a Microsoft official: ask me for the price of this photo for use as a default background picture for the next Windows release

The colonial Brit can't miss his tennis

Let's take a quick look at the room, which was large and clean.

No, that fire is not real, but it's a real electric heater - in winter it could get cold at this height, even on Sri Lanka

Dinner on the first night

Sri Lanka Curry, quite spicy

Dinner on the second night, western syle, but very good.

Not as dry as it looks

This was greeting us every night in our room:

Nice, but too much sugar before getting to bed

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
Brand SLH
  • Exclusive feeling due to only a few rooms and guests
  • Very nice estate in the middle of tea country, very quiet
  • High service level
  • Good kitchen
  • More choice of Sri Lankan food would have been nice
  • Outdoor pool was not heated (enough)
CT Points 95

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.

Seeing this monkey temple (that's my name for it) was due to our driver taking us there. We had a great experience of being part of some kind of religious ceremony.

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!



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