“A secluded colonial-era mansion in Kandy's tea-planting highlands, with gardens, a pool and just 5 rooms”
Built over a century ago, Taylors Hill is a grand example of colonial-era elegance, with granite exteriors, huge windows and clipped lawns. The high-ceiling interiors have been given a contemporary makeover, with finely-restored colonial touches. On the ground floor you'll find the charming living and dining areas, a glorious billiards room, A TV snug and a kids playroom. The 5 colourful bedrooms await on the first floor, and are visual stunners. Bathed in sunlight and vibrantly designed, each individual room is named after a mogul or estate that helped make Sri Lanka the world's 4th largest tea producer. Given its remote location, the hotel attracts romantics, but it's also popular with young families seeking the quiet life. Kids will enjoy exploring the great outdoors, while mums and dads can laze on the lawn with a good book and a large G'n'T. Does it get more heavenly?
- The house is a colonial gem. It has a warm atmosphere, with lovely sun-dappled rooms and huge beds
- The large gardens include tennis and badminton courts, plus a charming croquet lawn
- The superb swimming pool provides stunning panoramas of Kandy's rugged highlands
- The hotel's resident naturalist leads daily walking and cycling trails (with bikes to borrow)
- The food is delicious. Stays include a Half Board basis
- It’s a bit of drive to Kandy, so book an entire day if you plan on visiting the city
- We adored the secluded vibe, but some might think it too remote – there are no restaurants or shops on your doorstep
- Staff are very discreet, so if you need something you may have to seek them out
- Presently, it's not suitable for guests with disabilities
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant & bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Tennis Court
- Snooker Table
- Bicycles Available
Vibrant wallpaper in exotic prints and theatrically-styled furnishings ensure that each of the 5 bedrooms is visually unique. Blue-hued Le Cocq, named after the estate’s first manager, was our favourite; a French-themed dazzler with a 4-poster double bed. Corner room Taylor, another favourite for its double-aspect garden views, has twin double beds. Pattiyagama is the largest – the 4 posts of its ornate bed are carved with trees! – and it has an additional ante-room with twin beds (ideal for children) plus a vast bathroom with bathtub. Loolecondera also has space for 1 extra bed. Solo or budget travellers will find Lipton comfortably snug.
Pattiyagama, Taylor and Loolecondera all face east and get gorgeously bathed in morning sunlight. We loved the fact that many rooms still had their original Bakelite light switches. Ensuite shower bathrooms are fairly compact, but come with high-quality locally produced toiletries.
- Mosquito net
- Safe box
The cuisine is Asian fresh fusion, though traditional up-country cuisine features alongside Tamil-inspired recipes such as Mulligatawny soup. Fish and chicken feature more so than red meats, and a modern European menu also champions seafood and delicate infusions of Asian flavours.
For breakfast, the multi-course set menu proffers fresh fruit platters, curd and honey, homemade granola, and either a Western choice of eggs, sausages and bacon or a Sri Lankan option of coconut roti with tomato and dhal curries. The lunch menu is light – think soup of the day, mango and chicken salad, club sandwiches or a warming Thai curry with fragrant rice.
For dinner, we tucked into a pumpkin soup, grilled prawns and a white chocolate fondant pudding. The chef loves his sweets – he gave us a divine ginger pudding to try, plus cake and cookies with afternoon tea.
- Children's meals
- Room service
- Float in the pool, play a game of tennis, badminton, or croquet on the lawn!
- Explore the surrounding countryside and Hindu kovils on foot or by bicycle, with the hotel’s excellent naturalist guide
- Take a half-day trip to Loolecondera estate, the birthplace of Ceylon Tea and former haunt of James Taylor. You can even picnic in Field No. 7, where Sri Lanka's first tea bushes still thrive
- Take a day trip to Kandy and visit the Temple of the Tooth, the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, the British Garrison Cemetery and the Ceylon Tea Museum at Hantane, which has a dedicated room to James Taylor
- Back at the hotel, watch a classic movie in the TV room, play a game of snooker or curl up with one of the books or magazines
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Cultural insight
- Historic houses
- Historical sites
- Plantlife / flora
- Private guided tours
- Traditional cultures
- Well being
The hotel welcomes children and is very well set-up to host families. Facilities include a playroom with boxes of Lego, books and plenty of games; a TV room with movies; tennis, badminton and croquet in the garden; and a billiard & snooker room. Bicycles are available for exploring the countryside surrounding Taylors Hill.
Family friendly accommodation:
Pattiyagama has an ante-room with twin beds, so it’s ideal for a family of 4. Loolecondera has space for 1 extra bed in its sitting area. Under 7s are fine to share their parents' bed in the Taylor room (additional costs applies). Since all bedrooms are on the first floor and located off the same corridor, families with older children can sleep in separate rooms, next door, or across from one another.
Babysitting is free (24-hour notice required)
- Baby cots
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The chef can customise meals for children, and serve them at special mealtimes if needed
Kids Activities on site:
- Playroom (Lego, kids DVDs, books & toys)
- Swimming pool
- Tennis, badminton, croquet and billiards
- TV room with movies
- Children's bicycles to borrow (with helmets)
Kids Activities nearby:
Guided bicycle rides and walks are available for families. The surrounding area is ideal for cycling, bird watching, trekking and mini-adventures. There's also guided family tours to the first-ever Ceylon Tea factory nearby.
Families Should Know:
The pool is unfenced
- Airport: 120km (4.5-hour drive; Colombo International Airport)
- Shops: 1.5km
- Hospital: 2km