Mandira Bungalows, Hatton Sri Lanka, Hill Country
Mandira Bungalows has three refurbished colonial villas providing insight into the production of Sri Lanka's fabled tea, surrounded by beautiful tea terraces and misty hills. Built in the 19th century, each bungalow is full of character and tell the story of the stubborn entrepreneurs who, having failed to make their fortunes planting coffee, threw all their efforts in making tea production a success. Lucky for the old planters, the climate and elevation proved perfect for cultivation and gave Sri Lanka its now international reputation for a centre for tea production.
Mandira Bungalows are in the heart of the tea country, reachable through winding roads or for the more adventurous - by train. At an elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level, the temperature is cooler and provides a restpite from the heat of the lower tropical regions of the country.
An atmosphere of peace and calm cloud the mountains and set the scene for your stay. Nearby tea factories welcome visitors to learn about tea production and the various stages of cultivation. Expert guides can take you through the plantations themselves and should you wish to, you can have a go at picking the leaves. With nearby mountain biking, trekking and white water rafting, you can relax as hard as you like.
With few restaurants and bars within walking distance of Mandira Bungalows, this option suits those looking for a retreat away from the crowds.
Deluxe - This is our first really 'upmarket' category. It might be a beautiful tiny hotel with very limited facilities or a 5* resort hotel with all the trimmings; but any hotel in this category will be a well-run establishment with very comfortable rooms, a strong service ethos and excellent food.
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Sri Lanka was an experience and journey whilst the Maldives was luxury and heaven. Experience Travel Group were excellent - everything went to plan and was simple.