Sri Lanka is a great honeymoon destination and can be twinned with any of the islands in the Indian Ocean. It’s a place we have both travelled to separately and really enjoyed it, in particular the tea factories which we explore further in this post. Nikki’s was a more special time than mine but I will let her tell you about it…
Mr T and I spent the middle part of our Sri Lankan journey at the Heritance Tea Factory in Nuwara Eliya. We arrived in torrential rain and the windy road to the hotel made it more of an adventure than we had planned for!
The impressive colonial building stands high up in the Sri Lankan hillsides with the most stunning views of the tea plantation and the rolling hills. As soon as you arrive the old school charm hits you with the staff dressed traditionally from the colonial era. The hotel still has many original features of when it was a working tea factory creating a unique atmosphere which makes your stay even more special. The rooms are comfortable and traditional with floor length windows giving you incredible views. The food is some of the best we had whilst in Sri Lanka so a trip to the restaurant is recommended.
There are a few different activities you can do during your stay. You can relax in the spa, go on a tea picking tour and take some tea home with you – making it a completely immersive experience. Plus you can also dine in a restored train carriage! We really enjoyed our short but sweet stay and we would highly recommend the hotel for its old school charm and colonial era features.
Prepare yourself – if you visit the Ceylon Tea Trails you may never want to leave! This stunning collection of five restored colonial era tea planters’ bungalows is pure decadence, but understated – nothing feels pretentious, its just sooo relaxing! From the moment you arrive you will be treated to the time of your life. The feeling of the bungalows is very personal and refined, yet laid back. Plus each bungalow only has a limited number of rooms, and bungalows are between 2 – 15km apart, so guests are kept at a minimum, meaning there is no dash for the pool! This makes for a very quiet and serene experience in the most lush and beautiful surrounding of the tea hills of the Bogawantalawa region in south central Sri Lanka.
These glorious bungalows have a very special place in my heart – it’s where we got engaged! Nothing can prepare you for the magic of the tea hills with its stunning scenery and incredible people.
One of the lovely things about Tea Trails is that everything is included so there are no messy bills to fret over or sort out last minute. Everything from breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, evening dinner, taxes, laundry and service charges is included – and that means complimentary wines and spirits as well. Why not help yourself to a cool G&T after a long day cycling or hiking, or better yet, ask your butler to prepare you a nice refreshing cocktail. Then sit back and relax next to the roaring fire as the evening mist rolls in. Note – it does get chilly in the evenings at this altitude so don’t forget your cardie and cosy socks!
Something we need to mention is the butler service. Yes you heard right, for the duration of your stay you will have access to the guests butler service to ensure no request is too much trouble. Fancy a petal sprinkled bath? No problem. Cocktails on your private terrace? It’s covered.
As far as things to do, you could just lounge around the gorgeous bungalows and pools all day, but that’s not even the best bit! For the active honeymooners there are a range of activities that might take your fancy, including biking and hiking the tea hills, croquet, tennis and even white water rafting. We spent the most idyllic day out on our bikes, huffing and puffing up the lusciously green hills then whizzing down past all the local school children on their way to lessons. We even got rowed across the lake to visit the other bungalows for high tea!
I cannot describe how beautiful the landscape is – you have to see it to believe it. You really are in your own romantic bubble – you will hardly meet another tourist (apart from your fellow bungalow dwellers) and you will get the chance to meet the locals and see how the tea factories work.
Even if you spend your honeymoon days relaxing with an in room massage or lazing by the pool or lake, one thing you must drag yourselves away for is the Tea Experience. Led by the very knowledgeable Resident Tea Planter, you get to really become versed in all things tea. We had a wonderful morning learning how to pick the cream of the crop and what happens next in the process from field to shop. The old tea factory is fascinating – and the building and process have hardly changed for 100 years!
I briefly mentioned the food being included earlier on, but I didn’t mention THE food. Now where to start…thank goodness this holiday will be after your wedding because you will eat so much here you won’t be able to eat for what feels like days afterwards! First up is morning tea, brought fresh to your room. When you feel ready, slowly wander down for breakfast in the bungalows dining room. If you are planning an excursion, a picnic lunch can be made for you, or if you staying closer to home then try not to fill up too much at lunch. High tea is served in the afternoon, and what a treat it is! So much so that we were too busy munching to even get a snap…
And of course the evening meal cannot be forgotten – four courses of heavenly food, freshly prepared by the resident chefs using fresh, home grown vegetables, herbs and teas from the surrounding estates, married with choice wines. Choose from something more contemporary or a traditional Sri Lankan rice and curry.
Where are you planning on going on honeymoon? Have we persuaded you to visit Sri Lanka for some tranquili-TEA?!
Note: Photos in this post are our own or from the hotel websites. This post is not sponsored. The opinions are all our own – we just love these hotels and want to share the honeymoon love.