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Reviewed 26 January 2018

We visited Castlereagh Bungalow in January to celebrate a special birthday and were truly spoilt in this magnificent setting. We arrived by car from Colombo and greeted at the Sommerville Bungalow before being transferred by boat to Castlereagh across the reservoir. We were warmly welcomed by the staff and after refreshments and a chat with the chef we had our first lunch on the terrace. Our every need and want was met by the team, the garden room with a water view was beautiful. And what can I say about 'bed tea' every morning! The tea tour was worth doing and we really enjoyed two long walks from the bungalow through nearby villages and the tea plantation. Peaceful, tranquil, romantic and truly blissful.

Room Tip: Jameson room in the Castlereagh Bungalow very beautiful and lovely views from bedroom and bath
  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank KaznPete2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2018 via mobile

We have just spent two nights at the Castlereagh bungalow and it was probably one of the most beautiful places I have ever stayed in. So relaxing and tranquil. The views are stunning. I just didn’t want to leave!
The chefs produce top quality food and all freshly cooked. Some of the meals are western but quite honestly, after spending a few weeks in Sri-Lanka, it was a welcome change especially since it was so delicious!
The staff are simply fantastic. They cannot do enough to ensure that you have a perfect stay and all have that beautiful Sri-Lankan smile and affable persona! I cannot speak highly enough of this haven and would love to return one day!

Stayed: January 2018
Thank Mygrating
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2018

We enjoyed our stay and depending on the bungalow where you are staying: the scenery is spectacular, BUT it is a crazy amount of money (for Sri Lankan standards).

On the positive side:
- Great location, nice views and very friendly and helpful staff.
- Great concept to be able to have a meal at the other bungalows
- Nice to be able to cycle and kayak between the bungalows (at this price point, the kayaking should be included)
- Very tasty food, especially the local curries, nicely presented. I liked the desserts too.
- Nice walking routes, although short distances
- It is nice to see how the tea factory is set up and the mission to help provide better circumstances of living for the working people

A few critical remarks:
- Surprisingly there's no white tea served for the afternoon tea. When asked, it was said it is not an option to serve this.
- How the concept works is not well (at all) explained, but this could as well be due to our arrival time after 11pm.
- Although the meal options are discussed every day with the cook, they try to steer into the same direction/courses for all the guests. They seemed surprised at our request to mainly eat local dishes instead of the Western dishes they often recommended, like risotto, pasta, etc. The vegetarian pasta is not so interesting
- We met the general manager only in one of the bungalows where we stayed.
- The staff seems to be trained minimally and is not used to offering the services you'd expect at this price point/luxury standard this hotel tries to be. You have to ask for a lot of things, which are happily provided, but the staff seems a bit shy. Surprisingly, they did offer to clean and dry our shoes are a muddy/rainy walk.

If you decide to go: carefully check which bungalow to book yourself into. The locations and scenery vary quite a bit. You can find enough information about this online.

We were picked up by car at the Colombo airport, but travelled back by train, departing in Hatton and staying overnight (for two nights) in Kandy before continuing to Colombo. This works very well and was quite an experience. We ran into a staff member at the train station who was asked to assist us there on his day off. Very kind!

We are both vegetarians and don't drink alcohol, so not sure whether I would stay here again at this all inclusive rate for meals and all drinks.

All in all, if you're a luxury traveller you may be disappointed.

Room Tip: Bungalows (and rooms) are very different. Plenty info online to choose carefully.
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank fjorden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2018

We recently visited Ceylon Tea Trails, staying for three nights in the Summerville Bungalow. While it is quite a drive to get to the property (driving almost anywhere in Sri Lanka is a slow process), it was worth the effort. Tea Trails is simply wonderful. This is a true luxury experience. The rooms, common areas and grounds are beautiful and very well maintained, but it is the service that makes this something special. The staff are welcoming, helpful, and clearly very well trained...nothing is too much trouble!
Tea Trails is essentially all inclusive (spa treatments and a few other things cost extra), and while it is expensive, we loved every minute of it. The food is delicious and the chefs very accommodating to personal tastes. You can do as much or as little as you choose. We visited the tea factory across the lake, and two of the other bungalows (Castlereagh and Dunkeld) which seemed equally lovely.
We would go back in a flash. Tea Trails was an unforgettable experience...

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
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Thank sdc69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2018

We have just returned (January ‘18) from spending 3 nights at Castlereagh bungalow at the Ceylon Tea Trails. It is without question a luxurious and complete experience. Prepare to be spoiled by attentive and very professional house staff, and an amazing chef, all of whom smile all day! The bungalow itself is perfect, and so comfortable. It’s an interesting concept that the guests in the 4 rooms meet up for drinks pre dinner, then sit at their own table on the terrace for dinner. We were very lucky that all the guests there at the same time as us, a mixture of Canadian, Australian, American and English, were charming and very sociable. Most people only stay 2 or 3 nights (it’s not cheap!), so you are guaranteed a change of company. I highly recommend one of the walks - all clearly signposted- through the tea plantation, to see the pickers. They all want to say hello and try out there English. One of the walks took us up to Dunkeld bungalow, where we enjoyed drinks by their infinity pool. This is included in the all-inclusive package. We also visited the tea factory on the Estate, and are now hooked on Dilmah tea! The only down side is the journey to get there. It’s about 5 hours by taxi. Wish we’d known more about the sea plane that flies from Colombo to both the lake in front of the bungalow, and nearby Nuwara Eliya. Something to think about if we return, which we hope to do.

  • Stayed: January 2018, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ChrisA-S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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