Summerville 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.
High above the lake at the edge of a tea plantation, Summerville stands sentinel with magnificent views of the water and beyond to tea planted mountains in the distance. 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.
The five bedrooms are all different in size, view, and décor and are named after the tea planters who lived there. The views range from the reservoir, lake, or gardens so whichever room you choose you are sure to have a lovely backdrop to enjoy. All rooms come with bath and walk-in rain shower, and just one of the rooms is a twin room, the Middleton Luxury Room. Three of the rooms have private gardens, including the Shuttleworth Master Suite which also has a separate living room. In-room décor 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.
The bungalow has a large outdoor swimming pool and lounge chairs overlooking the lake, an idyllic place to relax after a day of exploring the valley, and for more active guests lawn games are 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 Summerville 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 Dunkeld Bungalow, Norwood Bungalow, Castlereagh 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.
Summerville offers individual accommodation or the entire bungalow can be booked for a group to enjoy the very personal atmosphere of this house.
Features in the following itineraries
My favourite thing is to go where I've never been.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Anonymous, India