The Bogawantalawa Valley lies within the lush emerald-green Central Highlands of Sri Lanka and is known as ‘the Golden Valley of Tea’. Considered to be one of the most beautiful tea growing areas in the country, this scenic valley sits at an elevation of 1,500 metres overlooking mist-shrouded rolling hills and the mirror-still, picturesque Castlereagh Lake.
This valley is home to the five classic colonial bungalows belonging to Ceylon Tea Trails. These historic houses were built a century ago for British tea estate managers during the Raj and have been impeccably restored by Dilmah Tea Company to accommodate visitors. Each property has its own distinctive style: Summerville has an air of a country cottage, Lakeside Castlereagh has an eclectic style of its own, Tientsin has a ‘high colonial’ air as it was one of the first planter's residences to be built here, the more modern Norwood abounds with 50’s character; and the newest addition, Dunkeld, boasts an infinity pool and panoramic views to the Great Western mountain range beyond. Whichever you choose, you are bound to experience a memorable stay for this Relais & Chateaux property provides particularly attentive service.
Whilst here, choose between unwinding in the beautiful gardens, by the pool or spending an action-packed day biking, trekking and white-water rafting – or both. Particularly British activities are also offered here, such as croquet. For those after something more adventurous, we suggest rising early to climb Adam's Peak, Sri Lanka's most sacred mountain, to be rewarded by spectacular vistas over the sprawling surroundings. Of course, a stay in Bogawantalawa Valley would not be complete without a visit to a local tea factory to witness how 'a bud and two leaves' are turned into one of the world's most popular drinks.
We highly recommend staying in this serene idyll and immersing yourself within Sri Lanka’s Hill Country if you are seeking relaxation as well as insights into remote rural life.
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.
- Leslie Siben, India
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Mr David Wallace, North India