Norwood, one of five luxurious bungalows in the acclaimed Tea Trails collection, and one of the most popular, is a super-luxury bungalow that was originally built for British tea estate managers in Sri Lanka the days of the Raj and lies more than 4,000ft above sea level, commanding a fine view of the eastern end of the Bogawantalawa Valley. It is here where British tea planters of the past invited friends to enjoy the pristine air and glorious outlook. You too can wander the gardens unchanged since yesteryear, soaking up the atmosphere of a time gone by. Enjoy a traditional English cream tea on the lawns served by authentically dressed butlers, many from the same families that served the planters during the colonial period.
The Ceylon Tea Trails Experience:
In central Sri Lanka, lies the Golden Valley of Tea. This is home to old Ceylon. Here, five classic colonial bungalows, built for British tea estate managers in the days of the Raj, have been caringly restored by Dilmah Tea with the cooperation of Bogawantalawa Tea Estates. Each bungalow is different: Summerville has the air of a country cottage, Castlereagh has an eclectic style, Tientsin is unashamedly colonial, Norwood is more modern, abounding with 1960's character. Summerville and Castlereagh are situated opposite each other on the shores of the Castlereagh lake. Dunkeld is 30 minutes from Castlereagh, Norwood is at the other end of the valley about 15 minutes away by car and Tientsin is about 30 minutes away in the next valley. Each house comes with its own manager, chef, butler and houseboys and between four and six luxurious suites. And when Tea Trails say all-inclusive, they mean it. No properties in Red Dot's extensive portfolio are more consistently praised for their excellence.All five bungalows are listed as Relais & Châteaux properties.
Norwood bungalow has three types of suites: luxury rooms, garden suites and master suites, all named after former planters in the estate. The suites are generously spacious with imposing colonial style furniture, some with four-poster beds, and all with elegant bathrooms.
A large lounge and well-stocked library lead out to a croquet lawn, a large swimming pool, summerhouses and sun deck. Various indoor games are available for a rainy day. Rooms are sold on an all-inclusive basis, including breakfast, lunch, an afternoon cream tea, dinner, all soft drinks and non-premium alcoholic beverages (including wine).
Why We Like It
The comparatively modern feel, the large rooms and the old-style billard room.
Resplendent Ceylon, the hotel group who own all five Ceylon Tea Trails bungalows, are running a variety of sustainability initiatives. In Hatton, Resplendent Ceylon ensure that the infrastructure of their tea estates is set up so that all workers are supported throughout their working life, through initiatives such as retraining ageing workers who are too elderly for manual labour and providing scholarships to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Norwood nestles among the rich green hills of the Dickoya region in central Sri Lanka. The bungalow is 45 kms south of Nuwara Eliya, a drive of around five hours from Colombo, or consider air taxi options. You can also head to the south coast via a daily sea plane service between Hatton and Koggala.