…RETURN TO YESTERYEAR ON A LUXURY HOLIDAY TO TREASURE…

It surrounds you: the sights, the sounds, and the aroma. The undulating expanses of green dominate the vista, and stretch far into the distant misty mountains. This is the heart of the tea country, and there’s no better place to experience its story than here at Mandira Bungalows in Hatton, Sri Lanka. In the early 19th century, the persevering planters experimented with tea when their efforts with coffee ground to a halt. The combination of elevation and climate proved perfect and the rest is history. Choosing the most scenic spots they made their homes – cosy sanctuaries to escape to and indulge in little luxuries. Like the world famous Ceylon Tea, their legacy remains in the plantation bungalows of old. With Mandira you too can revisit those glory days of colonial charm and experience life as it used to be…

 

LOCATION

Mountains In The Mist

Lush green mountains fade to even greater heights in the misty blue distance; waterfalls cascade and spiral down. The air is brisk and clean. The heat of the tropics seems far behind. Deep in the very heart of the ‘tea country’ the bustling town of Hatton is around 130 km from the Capital, Colombo.High on the south central hills at an elevation of about 4500 ft., it is a 3-4 hour drive from the airport following a scenic route over and around the mountains.
For an incredible experience take the train. The journey is longer, but the winding track clinging to cliff tops offers truly breath-taking views and it is a one of a kind thrill not to be missed. The area records an average annual rainfall of 5023.6mm and the cool temperate climate of around 16°C can sometimes drop to about 20C at night. Our bungalows are located on the outskirts of Hatton and Watawala, and all are within easy reach of each other as well.
ACTIVITIES

Diverse Distractions

Though an air of peace and calm may reign over the mountains, there are plenty of activities even nearby to keep you busy, for the ‘up country’ is as rich and varied as the tea it is famed for. The unique sights and sounds of colourful festivals, ancient places of historical interest, and a wealth of traditions from diverse cultures are all yours to experience first-hand.

Mountain Biking:  Try out some awesome rides off the beaten track with amazing scenery to inspire you to peddle on. Two routes are marked from each bungalow: Trail 1 – 5km to 10km (Easy) Trail 2 – 10km to 30km (Challenging).  Take them on your own or with our Naturalist guide.

Trekking: Whether you are an experienced hiker or just want a quiet walk exploring the scenery, we have some perfect trails for you. Two standard routes are planned and marked out from each bungalow:  Trail 1 – 2km to 5km (Easy) Trail 2 – 5km to 12km (Challenging) Our Naturalist guide can accompany you if you wish, or you can set off on your own too.

White-water Rafting: Thrills and spills await you! Ride the rapids of Kitulgala River and watch the forest and villages go by as you paddle the calm stretches. We provide transport, guide, entrance tickets and refreshments to get your energy back after all that action.

Many colonial landmarks also abound - the historic Darawala club, and the beautiful Warleigh church for instance. The nearby towns and villages, temples and shrines offer a novel cultural experience too. If you get tired of exploring you can opt for a time of quiet meditation with a Yoga session or indulge in some in-room spa therapy treatment to sooth the aches away.

Bike & Train Trail: Two adventures, one unforgettable ride. Ride over the mountains, and ride back by train. Our Naturalist guide will be with you throughout the trail.  Option 1: Hatton – Watawala by train back to bungalow by bike. Train starts 07.00am, train journey approx. 30 minutes. Option 2: Hatton – Thalawakele by train back to bungalow by bike. Train starts 07.00am, train journey approx. 40 minutes. We provide transport, train tickets and snack.

Plantation Life – bungalow to bungalow: Discover your surroundings and our plantation bungalows. Walk with our Naturalist guide from one bungalow to another for lunch and on to the other for high tea. Our vehicle will bring you safely back in time for a well-earned dinner.

All about Tea: There is no better way to learn the true art of tea than a tea experience tour.  Our expert guide will take you around the plantation, the factory and you can even pluck your own two leaves and bud if you wish to.

EXPERIENCE

Myriad Attractions

Venture out near or far on a journey of discovery and you will find a wealth of attractions and activities to thrill you. Nature, history, culture or adventure – whatever your interests maybe, you can choose from the special experiences we have designed for you. You could also discuss with us and plan your own tailor-made excursions that cover one or all of your interests too. The surroundings are equally rich in differing landscapes, shifting climates and unique wilderness with a host of cultural and historical interests - and you can discover them all. If it is tea that really piques your interest there is no better place to learn the story of Sri Lanka’s living legacy than a Tea Experience tour. A total package where you stay in plantation bungalows, hike the tea trails, visit the estates and the factories, even pick and process your own tea to take home.
For nature lovers and especially birdwatchers the locality is paradise. Explore the mist swathed beauty of Horton Plains Wilderness Park or visit the holy mountain of Adam’s Peak and join the devout on a night climb to watch its famous shadow at sunrise, or explore the peak wilderness reserve. Take a drive to the hill capital ‘Nuwara Eliya’ with its renowned Golf Course and stop by at the Castlereigh and Maskeliya reservoirs. The beautiful cascades of Devon and St. Claire’s waterfalls are also along the way. Prefer a little more adventure? You can settle for some white water rafting, rock climbing or mountain biking. The terrain is also ideal for trekking and hiking and you can pick your route according to your fitness levels too. Our resident Naturalist is on call anytime for you to plan your activities and excursions. For more details on the full range of experiences we offer click to view our Mandira Experiences brochure

A BEAUTIFUL OLD COLONIAL RESIDENCE THAT WAS HOME TO PLANTERS IN THE DAYS OF BRITISH RULE, IT IS NOW A LUXURIOUS RETREAT WHO WISH TO RELIVE THE PAST ON AN AUTHENTIC JOURNEY TO DAYS GONE BY

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