Ceylon Tea Trails celebrates its 15th anniversary this week. The first in Resplendent Ceylon’s collection of small, luxury boutique hotels, Ceylon Tea Trails was the first of its kind, pioneering the concept of luxury tourism in Sri Lanka
Conceived by the Fernando family, Sri Lankan tea producers and founders of Dilmah Ceylon Tea, Resplendent Ceylon’s collection of resorts offer the discerning traveller a remarkable circuit across Sri Lanka, with a range of authentic experiences, while contributing towards local communities and the environment through the MJF Foundation and Dilmah Conservation.
Resplendent Ceylon Managing Director Malik Fernando stated, “As Sri Lanka opens its doors to foreign travellers again, we celebrate Ceylon Tea Trails’ 15th anniversary. The journey began when we began thinking of ways to showcase our gorgeous Ceylon tea country to visitors from abroad. As our guests relayed to us how much they loved their Tea Trails experience, we decided to expand and Resplendent Ceylon was formed. Our goal is to offer the curious traveller a range of experiences linked to Sri Lanka’s history, culture, and nature.”
Ceylon Tea Trails comprises five restored historic tea planters bungalows, Summerville, Castlereagh, Dunkeld, Norwood, and Tientsin, perched at an altitude of 1,250 meters in Sri Lanka’s panoramic highland region. The 27 rooms and suites with period furnishings, gracious butler service, and gourmet cuisine create an ambiance that has made Tea Trails the gold standard for luxury in Sri Lanka. Tea Trails has received recognition worldwide, being listed in Conde Nast Traveller, Forbes, and Harper’s Bazaar to name a few.
Each bungalow is unique and offers guests the non-hotel, private house experience that is the hallmark of the award-winning Tea Trails experience. Guests can follow “the Tea Trail” from one bungalow to the next, or just laze in one. The signature experiences at Tea Trails are the complimentary guided tour of Dilmah Tea’s Dunkeld Tea Factory, which is the quintessential tea experience, where the resident Tea Planter passionately delves into all aspects of tea in just the right amount of detail.
The Tea Planter’s Picnic Lunch is another signature experience, where guests can enjoy a traditional planters lunch, complete with tiffin boxes out in the tea fields, made to Relais & Chateaux standards. The Private Tea Tasting with Bernard Holsinger, the resident Tea Planter, is another guest favourite, which is an interactive and guided experience where guests taste and learn to identify the unique flavour profiles that give different teas their distinction.
Ceylon Tea Trails is the ideal setting for outdoor activities, like trekking and biking against the breathtaking backdrop of mountains, lakes, winding roads, and waterfalls. It is also the perfect place to unwind, observe life on a working tea estate all while being pampered by your butler.
Chief Operations Officer Maheesha Ratnayake stated: “Ceylon Tea Trails was the first property by Resplendent Ceylon, and, as we celebrate its 15th year, we reflect on the incredible journey of what was the first luxury property of its kind in Sri Lanka. Resplendent Ceylon now has two more properties that truly showcase the best in Sri Lankan luxury hospitality.”
Resplendent Ceylon’s collection consists of three distinctly original resorts, Ceylon Tea Trails, Cape Weligama, and Wild Coast Tented Lodge Yala, all connected by a thread of peerless service. Guests experience the Resplendent Journey of Tea, Sea and Safari, a bespoke journey, designed to showcase the best of Sri Lanka through an assortment of curated experiences and luxurious accommodation with exclusivity in mind. Three more resorts are under development.
The 15-year journey, which started with Ceylon Tea Trails, has seen Cape Weligama and Wild Coast Tented Lodge Yala set a new standard for luxury beach resorts and luxury camps respectively. Cape Weligama has become one of the most celebrated beach resorts in the world, being named in Harper’s Bazaar list of 150 best hotels. Wild Coast Tented Lodge Yala is a pioneer in sustainable design and practice and has won accolades for its innovative architecture. Most recently, it was listed by Escape.com as one amongst six resorts that have the best sustainable practices in the world.
Resplendent Ceylon is the sole Sri Lankan member of Relais & Chateaux, the global fellowship of individually owned and operated luxury hotels and restaurants.