Heritance Tea Factory
Grade - First Class
Set amidst lush tea covered hills the best description of Heritance Tea Factory is part hotel / part museum, as as the name implies this was once where tea was produced. It’s now been painstakingly converted into a first class hotel that’s become a firm favourite with visitors. The reception was once the drier room, the sifting and packing rooms now house a restaurant / bar and the fine-dining restaurant is a restored railway carriage. Surrounded by tea plantations, if you’re so inclined you can pluck your own tea and tour the mini tea factory.
The main Kenmara restaurant serves Sri Lankan and international cuisine, whilst Fusion fine dining can be enjoyed in the Railway Carriage restaurant. Other hotel facilities includes two bars, games room with pool tables and snooker, mini-putting golf area (9 holes), mountain bikes, sauna, gym and library. The small Diviyan Spa offers a range of treatments overlooking the tea plantations.
The rooms are located on floors that were once used to dry the tea leaves and the large windows that helped control the temperature now offer beautiful views out over the hills of the Hethersett tea plantation. All rooms have an old-world style with dark wood furnishings, heating, satellite TV, WiFi, tea / coffee making facilities, mini-bar, safe and ensuite bathroom.
Grade - Boutique First Class
Not strictly in Nuwara Eliya, but easily included in any hill country itinerary, Thotalagala is a former 19th century plantation holiday bungalow (part of Lipton Estate) that has been lovingly converted into a luxurious boutique hotel. The perfect choice if you want to step back in time, explore the tea country (including Mr Lipton’s estate) and then relax in the beautifully landscaped garden or pool enjoying one of the most wonderful views in Sri Lanka.
Colonial heritage flows through the property with deeply polished wooden floors, fire places, wood panelling and antique furniture, with original pictures and photographs taking you back to its golden age. Meals are taken around a large communal table or in the garden. Meals can be taken with other guests or separately, but there is no menu, the chef will discuss options and then create a dining experience to suit your tastes. The only modern construct is the infinity pool, a welcome addition after a day touring tea estates, including Lipton’s Seat which is close by.
Each of the 7 suites is named after a British planter who played a key role in creating Sri Lanka’s tea industry. All have a large en-suite bathroom with walk-in shower, king size bed, sofa, ceiling fan and Wi-Fi.