“Relaxed 5-bedroom Hill Country hotel near Bandarawela with a pretty garden and superb valley views”
The setting is incredibly serene and, at an elevation of 1,200-metres, the climate is kind - hot during the day, cooler at night, and free of the humidity of the coastal plains. The busy market town of Bandarawela is 8km down the road, and Ella, Nuwara Eliya and Haputale are all within easy reach, making this a relaxing off-the-beaten-track base for touring the Sri Lanka’s mountainous sights.
- The peaceful setting - glorious valley views and a tea estate for strolls and cycle rides, plus a colourful garden with lizards, monkeys and squirrels passing by
- Just 5 spacious four-poster bedrooms, most with mountain views
- Within day-tripping distance of Ella, Nuwara Eliya and Haputale, plus plenty of hikes, waterfalls and temples nearby
- Good value
- Kind and professional staff
- No on-site swimming pool
- You'll need to taxi it to local restaurants for a change of scene
- No in-room WiFi and our hot-water supply ran low in the evening
- The hotel only serves beer and wine (no spirits)
- Some might find it a little too peaceful...
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
The 5 bedrooms are spread between 2 bungalows, which share a long furnished veranda overlooking a valley and mountain peak. Inside, decor is tastefully bright, with floral wallpaper and comfy four-poster beds.
Rooms are named after villages in the Lake District; the most spacious is the romantic Windermere Suite, which has a sitting area, a huge TV and sliding doors onto the veranda for private dining. The Eskdale Suite is similarly large, and a good option for families (each suite sleeps up to 4), although it looks onto the rear gardens rather than the hills. The 3 Deluxe Rooms sit side by side; all overlook the garden and mountain to the front of the property.
We were pleased to find ceiling fans, electronic safes, satellite TVs, tea/coffee making facilities and mini fridges. Bathrooms offer hot-water showers, bathrobes and local toiletries.
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- DVD player
- Mosquito net
- Safe box
Food here is wholesome, hearty upcountry fare. There’s a small dining terrace, or you can request a table in the garden. For romantic occasions, staff can arrange a private starlit BBQ amongst the estate’s tea bushes.
Breakfast is English or Sri Lankan - eggs, bacon and sausages, or milk rice, string hoppers or hoppers (bowl-shaped rice flour pancakes) served with curry and a sambol.
The à la carte lunch menu offers international dishes and at dinner the chef creates a 3-course daily changing meal. Rice and curry is always an option, though we had devilled chicken and fried rice with curries on one night and on the second, a Western menu of soup and grilled chicken. Desserts are simple - think jelly, banana fritters and ice cream. The hotel serves beer and a few wines, along with juices and soft drinks. The closest local restaurants are in Bandarawela; staff can arrange a tuk-tuk.
- Coffee / tea making
- Coffee maker
- Dinner by arrangement
- Lunch by arrangement
- Go for a wander through the 20-acre tea estate - in the mornings you can usually glimpse the female tea pluckers at work
- Play a game of badminton on the simple court behind the hotel, borrow a bike to explore, or just relax in the garden with a good book; you might see lizards, monkeys, squirrels and mongoose going about their day, too
- Trek up to Lipton’s Seat, a panoramic viewpoint (revered by Sir Thomas Lipton) near Bandarawela, or hike to the steep drop-off of World’s End at Horton Plains
- Visit the town of Bandarawela, where there’s a lively Sunday market; just outside the town you’ll find Ravana Falls and Dhowa rock temple
- Day trip to the charming Hill Country villages of Nuwara Eliya, Ella and Haputale. Alternatively, take the train to see rolling tea plantations and densely forested mountains en route
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Mountain biking
- Plantlife / flora
- Private guided tours
- Shopping / markets
Children are welcome but there isn’t a lot for kids to do here. There’s no kids' menu at mealtimes but the chef can customise meals for children (and meals are free for younger kids). Best for babies, toddlers and older children who enjoy nature.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
The 3 Deluxe rooms can each fit 1 baby cot or extra bed, and are set side-by-side on a shared veranda (not interconnecting). The Suites can each fit 2 baby cots or rollaway beds.
Baby cots and high chairs
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
- Distance to airport: approx. 5 hours' drive (Colombo Bandaranaike)
- Distance to hospital: 30 mins' drive
- Distance to shop: 15-20 mins' drive
Ceylon Tea Bungalows is located 8km from Bandarawela, just off the Welimada/Nuwara Eliya road. It sits amidst the Hilpankandura Tea Estate, in the Hill Country of south-central Sri Lanka.
Colombo Bandaranaike (187km) is the closest international airport. Click on the links below for a list of airlines.
From the Airport/Train Station
The hotel can arrange a car and driver to pick you up from Colombo airport (approx. 5 hours' drive), another hotel on the island or from Bandarawela Railway Station (for those arriving on the Hill Country Express services from Colombo, Nuwara Eliya or Kandy). They can then organise tuk-tuks for visiting local attractions, and cars with drivers for day trips and onward transfers.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Sri Lanka and getting around
- Colombo Bandaranaike International 187.0 km CMB
- Beach 150.0 km
- Shops 12.0 km
- Restaurant 12.0 km