In celebration of its 10th anniversary year, the ever popular Tea Trails resort in Sri Lanka will launch a fifth bungalow on 1 February 2016. Named Dunkeld, the new bungalow will afford spectacular views of Castlereagh Lake and the Great Western mountain range.
A decade after opening as Sri Lanka’s first Relais & Chateaux property, Tea Trails remains one of the most iconic hotels in the country: a collection of restored tea planters’ bungalows, originally built between 1890 and 1939 and restored to offer the height of luxury. Frequently booked to capacity, the addition of Dunkeld will allow Tea Trails to welcome a greater number of guests to explore these beautiful surroundings, the home of the Dilmah Tea brand. With a focus on thoughtful luxury, each visitor also helps to give back to the local community through the MJF Foundation.
Once opened, the century-old tea planter’s bungalow of Dunkeld, named after the historic Dilmah tea plantation itself, will offer a taste of colonial-era luxury with solid teak furnishings, antique touches and plush beds. Inspired by the atmosphere and style of a traditional Member’s Club, the bungalow boasts an original brick fireplace, leather and velvet sofas, antique silk rugs and antique light fittings. A dedicated butler service will be available to guests from dawn to dusk to ensure that no request is too much trouble.
Accommodation will comprise a master suite, two garden suites and a luxury room. Guests can choose to rent individual rooms, or alternatively hire Dunkeld in its entirety – perfect for a special occasion or family gathering. Also, the addition of a secluded ‘Owner’s Cottage’ offers a romantic one-bedroom residence hidden privately in the tea fields.
Poised high above Castlereagh Lake at 4750 ft altitude, the infinity-edge swimming pool will offer awe inspiring panoramic views, whilst the hot tub will seemingly float above the lake surface. Guests will have the opportunity to partake in activities including croquet on the lawn and hiking or mountain-biking the many trails winding through the hills of the working tea estate.
The menu of Sri Lankan dishes will impress even the most discerning diners. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding countryside, Tea Trails’ culinary team has created a menu which makes use of the variety of exotic fruits, vegetables and spices available in the locale. Guests will be treated to traditional morning ‘Bed Tea’, whilst the afternoon tea is both English and exotic at the same time. In the evening, guests can opt to eat in the dining room, library or even in the open air, with all meals arranged around guests’ wishes in a truly residential style. Those keen to explore the estate can spread their meals across the different bungalows, perhaps breakfasting at Dunkeld before walking to Castlereagh for lunch or enjoying afternoon tea at Summerville.
Dunkeld’s opening is the latest in a series of ongoing developments at Tea Trails. The Castlereagh and Norwood bungalows were refurbished earlier in 2015, whilst the Tientsin and Summerville bungalows are scheduled for refurbishment in 2016.
Set up by the Fernando family – Sri Lanka’s most prominent tea producers and founders of Dilmah Tea – Resplendent Ceylon was formed to create and manage a collection of small, luxury resorts offering a unique ‘trail’ across Sri Lanka. Their second property, Cape Weligama, opened on the south coast in October 2014, while their next venture, Wild Coast Camp, will open in the autumn of 2016 on a secluded beachfront site on the edge of Yala National Park with 28 custom-designed tents, offering the adventure of a jungle camp with the comfort of a deluxe hotel room.
Overnight stays at Dunkeld start from $650 per room per night, on an all-inclusive basis, based on two sharing. The signature Resplendent Ceylon ‘no bills to sign’ policy means that rates include breakfast, lunch and dinner, all beverages including spirits and wines, snacks, room service, laundry, taxes and service charges.