“A charming estate bungalow, a little corner of England, set in tropical gardens and mountain tea plantations only half an hour south of Kandy”
There are 7 rooms: 3 in the Main House, 3 in the Valley House annexe (2 doubles and a twin in each), and 1 self-contained Garden Room.
The Main House rooms have more charm and a more authentic, plantation-house look (English-style flowered curtains, country cottage furniture, rugs on painted floors). The 2 doubles have dressing areas; 1 double and the twin have an extra little room with a single bed. Bathrooms have showers and tubs, and the doubles have twin vanity units.
In a custom-built annexe a short walk across the gardens, the Valley House rooms have a more contemporary feel, with polished cement interiors (floors, built-in bed bases, window seats), bold colours, high beamed ceilings and direct access to a wide verandah - a great place to sit and read, or enjoy a sundowner and the spectacular views. Again, there is an antique look to the furnishings (French polished chests-of-drawers, for example) but Valley House bathrooms are modern, with walk-in, wet-room showers (the two doubles have a tub, too).
More recently, the self-contained Garden Room has been added the collection. We haven't seen it yet, but décor appears to similar to those in the Valley House, and this room has a private balcony as well as a more spacious seating area.
All rooms have ceiling fans and mosquito nets, though you are unlikely to need either as it’s generally cool up here at night. You might hear squirrels and the odd monkey scampering across the rooftops at night.
The majority of meals are taken in the Dining Pavilion - an open-sided building, which offers good views of the surrounding gardens and the hills. During cool or wet weather, there is room for 12 diners around a French-polished table in the formal dining room in the Main House.
Dinner is an informal, 3-course set menu (the details of which are available in advance in case it features anything you can’t eat or don’t fancy). The food is often Anglo-Sinhalese, erring on the side of Raj cuisine, and imaginative. Perhaps quail's egg salad or chicken and avocado terrine to start, Oriental fish wrapped in a banana leaf or wild boar curry for main, and green tea panacotta or passion fruit souffle for dessert. Alternatively you can order a proper Sri Lankan curry (meat, fish or vegetarian and at least five other dishes of rice, vegetables and dhal; must be ordered in advance).
You can also have lunch at Ellerton - usually simple dishes like sandwiches, soups and salads, although you can request something more substantial. Breakfast is a buffet and offers cereals and fruits, plus eggs and toast to order. Many of the vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices used in Ellerton’s kitchen are grown on the estate.
All drinks are free - local beer, wine, spirits (vodka, gin, whisky) and mixers. Ellerton has its own supply of clean spring water, though bottled is provided as an alternative. There are tea- and coffee-making facilities for guests’ use in the Valley House, and tea and cake are served in the lounge in the afternoon.
Children are welcome and most of the rooms are able to accommodate families (2 of the bedrooms have a small single room attached; others can fit rollaway beds - although extra beds in Double/Twins are not encouraged). There is also a twin room in the house that would suit older children. Kids will love the pool (though parents please be aware that it is unfenced and there is no lifeguard), the gardens, the wildlife (lots of monkeys) and Ellerton’s 2 friendly dogs, Ben and Polly. Cots and rollaway beds can be provided.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Main House rooms.
Babysitting by arrangement.
The pool is unfenced, and there is no lifeguard.