Tientsin 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.
Tientsin Bungalow is named after the Chinese village from which the original tea seedlings came. It sits further away from the other properties in the next valley along, offering different panoramic views of Ceylon Tea region and looks out over the tea-carpeted mountains that lead towards the World Heritage Horton Plains National Park. This British residence is an historical landmark set in the Bogawantalawa Valley and 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 six guest rooms, drawing room and dining room, carefully manicured gardens with rose terrace, summerhouses and a terrace where high tea and a good book can be enjoyed or pre-dinner drinks taken as the sun goes down.
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 bungalow has six glorious rooms and suites, all a little different from the last and are named after the tea planters who lived there. The views range from the garden, tea fields, and valley, 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 Meares Luxury Room. Four of the rooms have private outdoor verandas, including the Irvine Stewart Master Suite, which has a separate living room and the best views in the bungalow. 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 tea plantations, an idyllic place to relax after a day of exploring the valley, and for more active guests there is a tennis court on the property. 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 Tientsin 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, Dunkeld Bungalow, Norwood Bungalow, and Castlereagh 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.
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Anonymous, India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India