Thotalagala Hill Country

High above the plains of southeast Sri Lanka, Thotalagala balances on the edge of an escarpment on the Dambatenne tea estate bought and planted by Sir Thomas Lipton, one of the towering figures in the history of Ceylon’s tea industry. Thotalagala is a beacon of beauty and a feat of restoration, a colonial tea planter’s bungalow returned to glory in one of the finest tea growing regions in the world.

The house has seven suites, each dedicated to the memory of those who played an integral role in the development of the province - from James Taylor who is credited with introducing tea plantation to British Ceylon, to John Duncan, who played an important role in the extension of the railway. No matter which suite, guests will enjoy the epitome of colonial luxury in spaces that serve as opulent tributes to the designs, hues, shapes, and concepts that typified colonial Sri Lanka.

There is no menu, but the butler proposes dishes to suit guests’ tastes and you dine at a communal table.

Outside the elegant estate there are sweeping vistas across the Haputale hills and a wealth of adventures to discover. Drive through lush mountains to the jungles of Yala and Udawalawe. Visit the ancient capital of Kandy or wildlife parks and beaches nearby. Find peace in a Benedictine monastery or gain exclusive access to the Dambatenne factory, the site where Lipton’s Tea was founded and sold its first pound of tea. Enjoy high tea at Lipton’s bungalow served by your butler for the duration of your stay. Step back in time to the tea days of the colonial era, immersed in elegance, comfort, and luxury.

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Why we recommend Thotalagala

Located near Dambatenne in Sri Lanka, one of the only estates in the world that Sir Thomas Lipton planted himself, the term 'Ceylon Tea' was coined here. This bungalow boasts an infinity pool that gives you - no exaggeration - one of the best views in the world, however if it’s views you’re after, wake up around 5am and head towards Lipton’s seat for sunrise. On a clear day, you may lucky to see Uda Walave National Park at a distance.”

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