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Set in rolling green hills high above sea level, this is the first tea factory to have been converted into a hotel in Sri Lanka, earning a UNESCO Merit Award for its restoration. Many of the building’s original features have remained, with no alterations made to its exterior. Inside it almost feels like a museum, with features such as brass-capped wooden fans in the bedrooms, scales once used to weigh tea and the original engine room, which is still turned on each day for guests to admire.

You’ll be greeted with a cup of hot spice tea on arrival, and tea from the plantation will be present in your room, where you can enjoy sweeping views across the plantation and surrounding valley.

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Alison, an Audley Travel specialist

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our Sri Lanka specialists on 01993 838 335

Rooms

Rooms are located where tea leaves were once laid out to dry. They feature the original large windows that helped to control the temperature of the leaves, allowing for plenty of natural light and stunning views across the surrounding tea plantations. 

Facilities include king size or twin beds, electronic safes, satellite TVs, hairdryers, tea/coffee and en suite bathrooms. The entry-level Superior rooms have views over the Heathersett plantation, while Premium rooms are larger and overlook the surrounding hills and valleys.

Executive Floor Deluxe rooms, on the top floor, provide excellent views of the surrounding countryside. A butler service is included, as well as canapes and fresh strawberries. Junior Suites are more spacious, offering a sitting area, master bedroom and single bedroom. Finally, the Flowerdew Suite is the largest option, with windows on three sides providing optimum views of Ragala and Randeingala reservoir. It also has a sofa bed for an extra guest and a Jacuzzi.

Location

The hotel is located a 20-30 minute drive from Nuwara Eliya and is set amid rolling hills filled with tea plantations. 

Food and Drink

The hotel’s main restaurant, Kenmare, offers buffet-style Sri Lankan and international dishes, as well as à la carte and tea-themed menus. Live music is often played in the evenings. A more unusual dining option is the TCK 6685 Restaurant, where guests can dine in a converted 1930s train carriage, which has original features made of teak and brass for an authentic experience. 

Lighter snacks and a variety of beverages are served in the Hethersett Bar, while the Goatfell Bar provides you with cups of the all-important tea grown on the plantation, including high tea in the afternoon.

Families

The hotel has a few interconnecting rooms and can provide an extra bed in your room for an additional charge. Free cots and highchairs are available, as well as a babysitting service. The restaurant has a children’s menu, and there’s an outdoor playground for children under 12.

Please be aware that some rooms have opening windows with very low sills, which could present a hazard to young children. There are also some rooms with balcony balustrades which are below an acceptable height. If you're travelling with children, please ask your specialist to discuss room options with you.

Facilities and Activities

There's a small spa with treatment rooms overlooking the tea plantations, as well as a gym, library, putting green, pool table and board games. There are also two computers in the lobby with internet access and printers, which can be used for a small charge. 

The hotel can help to arrange activities such as pony rides, nature trekking, birdwatching and tea factory tours, offering the chance for you to pick your own tea to take home. There’s also an 18-hole golf course in nearby Nuwara Eliya. Free Wi-Fi can be accessed throughout the property. 

Our opinion

This is a quirky, charming place to stay, surrounded by wonderful scenery, although it's sometimes shrouded in mist. The hotel is particularly popular with group tours.

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    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.