Styled after the residence of a grand old tea plantation, the Ceylon Tea Trails is something of a luxurious homage to both the tea planters and the highlands of Sri Lanka. These are a space of light, height, lakes, forest and endless swathes of tea, lending a fragrance to the air and a verdant aspect to the long views.
Rooms – just 26 of them – are split between four large bungalows. The styling is colonial impeccable. Vast four-posters, shiny wooden floors, jewel hued rugs, glowing fireplaces and huge baths are standard. Sizeable verandas provide views and a place for private breakfasts, or dinners if desired. Each bungalow has a pool and butler service, and the walk between them and the main building is one of remarkable vistas, all forest and tea-clad slopes between glimmering lakes.
There is no on-site spa, but treatments are available in rooms, and with the windows open and the pervasive scent of young tea and tropical flowers, are as indulgent as the surroundings. A butler will bring you ‘bed tea’ and draw a bath before a day of gentle walks through plantations or boat trips or a round or two of golf. Dining is an all day pleasure – full English or Sri Lankan breakfasts, curry lunches, round the clock canapés, afternoon tea made with the local best, aperitifs beside a wood fire, four course dinners starring garden-grown and local ingredients. Canoe trips, croquet and tennis are always available, with or without a Pimms, Gin and Tonic or bracing cup of tea in hand.