Simpson’s Forest is a boutique hotel in the attractive surroundings of a tea and spice plantation of more than 60 acres in the Hunnas Giriya range about 45 minutes north-east of Kandy. It gains its name from a former English planter who nurtured a forest patch bordering the plantation. The Meenawatte Estate offers a true natural experience in the hills and this boutique hotel backs that up with a solid range of standard hotel facilities. The main bungalow dates back to 1948 and is supported by a purpose-built accommodation block. The warmest and driest weather is January to April, but there is also good trekking weather in September and October.
There are 14 purpose-built Tea Rooms, four Forest Garden rooms, two Forest Villas and three Forest Bungalows. All are of a good size with spacious views and offer king-sized bed, a/c, private balcony, minibar, electronic safe, shower, hair dryer, IDD phone, digital alarm clock, tea/coffee facilities, iron and ironing board, large flat-screen TV, pillow menu. All but the Tea Rooms have a lounge area. The Forest Bungalow also has a bathtub.
Herbs & Spices is a well-regarded all-day dining restaurant with an a la carte menu offering Asian, Chinese and international dishes with an emphasis on fresh ingredients; room service is also available. Altitude 19 is the main bar. The Tea Lounge offers an array of snacks and cakes and High Tea is also served on the Helipad. Recreation options include an excellent infinity swimming pool with poolside bar and wonderful views of the green forests and mountain peaks of the Hunnas Giriya range, Spa, gym with glass sides and panoramic views, pool table, volleyball and indoor games. The Tea estate manager can lead a Tea Experience. A resident naturalist can introduce you to some of the 96 resident bird species as well as migratory birds. Other imaginative offerings include picnic breakfast or lunch in the 8491forest, or dinner in a converted railway carriage. Mountain bikes are also available and there are walking trails. There is laundry service, a children’s play area, conference facilities and a doctor on call.
Why we like it
Committed and friendly staff give this boutique hotel added appeal.
Simpson’s Forest lies an hour north of Kandy on the Wattegama – Elkaduwa Road in the Hunnas Giriya mountains and stands at an elevation of 1,300m above sea level.