We arrived in the dark and the rain, up a long rutted single track road. Met by two young men in uniform, to be told we would be the only guests. What had we done? At first we were dubious. The place seemed so cut off from the rest of the world, but this four night stay ended up one of the best of our many holiday memories.
The owner rang us from London to say please treat the place as your home. And that is exactly what was on offer. Everything we could wish for was provided, from G&T and cashew nuts to a tennis court rolled every day to having the snooker table laid out for us. We had tea on the lawn, lunch on the veranda, dinner in the dining room, as we chose. The food was very good and my husband was overjoyed at being offered a good wine and a glass of port after the meal - in Sri Lanka this is little short of amazing!
We took some lovely walks through the tea plantations, meeting the local tea pickers and being able to observe their daily round of work. The area is still totally unspoilt by tourism - we appeared to be the only tourists around.
So for us it was a magical experience. The only downsides are the access road (which we understand is to be improved shortly) and the distance to get anywhere (the roads around are poor and it takes several hours to reach Nuwara Eliya where we played golf). But if you want to truly get away from it all, live the country house experience with service to match then this is definitely the place to go.
Oh, and I forgot, we slept in the same room and the same bed that the Queen used on her visits.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fully Restored English Style Mansion Set Above 4700 Feet Above Sea Leavel In The Tea Valley Of Dickoya. Offers The Guests A Trip Back In Time Where British Planters Made It An Exclusive Home. Frequented By Royalty In The Past. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Governor`s Mansion Hotel Hatton