Dunkeld Bungalow is one of the five restored historic tea planter residences in Sri Lanka's Ceylon Tea Region. This collection of bungalows make up the Ceylon Tea Trails, Sri Lanka's first Relais & Chateaux resort group, and has unveiled the results of the hotly anticipated refurbishment of its 120-year old tea planter’s bungalow, Dunkeld, the swankiest of all the collection.
Sitting high on the banks of Castlereagh reservoir, this boutique bungalow hotel overlooks the tea factory and the verdant and rolling hills of Dunkeld tea estate, possibly one of the most picturesque tea plantations in Sri Lanka. The outdoor infinity pool opens up to the glorious panoramic views of the Great Western mountain range, whilst the bubbling hot tub seemingly floats above the lake surface. The bungalow captures the style of the colonial era in the region, with exquisite parquet floors and open fireplaces it evokes recollections of the life and times of the tea planters who once lived here. It has five guest rooms, drawing room and dining room, summerhouses within its extensive grounds and a terrace where high tea and a good book can be enjoyed or pre-dinner drinks taken as the sun goes down over the water.
The ambience of the property is serene, and the style is of understated opulence, homey comforts and although it harks back to a bygone era, feels timeless in its old world elegance.
There are four bedrooms in the main house, all different in size, view, and décor and are named after the tea planters who lived there. The views range from the lake, garden and mountains, so whichever room you choose you are sure to have a lovely backdrop to enjoy. All rooms come with bath and walk-in shower, and just one of the rooms is a twin room, the Allen Luxury Room. The fifth room is the luxurious private Taylor Owners Cottage, a secluded standalone residence hidden privately in the tea fields. With a heated Jacuzzi and unsurpassed lake views, this romantic cottage is perfect for couples and honeymooners. In-room décor throughout all rooms is divine with four poster beds, opulent drapes, cosy armchairs and woven rugs on polished wood floors, with antique features such as lamps and artwork for decoration. There is also lots of natural light from the large wood-panelled windows that you can open wide on to the views outside.
Dunkeld bungalow's large outdoor infinity swimming pool and jacuzzi is an idyllic place to relax after a day of exploring the valley, and for more active guests lawn games are also provided. For days out there are guided walks into the tea plantations and factory, nature walks to spot birdlife, and hiking trails. Cooking classes are also available at the property, and cream teas served in the late afternoon, a perfect excuse to sample the local tea leaves. Dinner is a sumptuous affair with a four course menu of Sri Lankan dishes, ingredients sourced from the gardens and all menus paired with wine.
Following a stay at Dunkeld Bungalow, one might wish to experience the other Tea Trails Residences to fully explore the different parts of the Ceylon Tea region. The other properties in this collection are Summerville Bungalow, Castlereagh Bungalow, Norwood Bungalow, and Tientsin Bungalow. Summerville, Castlereagh and Dunkeld Bungalows all overlook the Castlereagh lake, while Norwood Bungalow is to the south of the valley, and Tientsin Bungalow is in the next valley along. Each house comes with its own chef, butler, and house staff, with 5 - 6 rooms in each, however every bungalow is unique in it's location, layout and design. The service is first-class as one would expect of a Relais & Chateaux property, and we recommend staying a night or two in each Bungalow.
- Leslie Siben, India
- Anonymous, India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India