Heritance Tea Factory – Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

With breathtaking views, aesthetically inclined interiors, superbly preserved factory machinery and high standards of hospitality, the Heritance Tea Factory in Nuwara Eliya is an upscale luxury hotel that has been converted from the erstwhile Hethersett tea factory.

The access to the hotel is through a narrow uphill road that leads up to the beautiful estate gardens. The facade with the chimney of the hotel is a very basic structure and it looks more like an industrial shed than a hotel; albeit a very pretty shed surrounded by the prettiest Flaura, manicured lawns and stagnant tea plantations. The building along with the surroundings is reminiscent of the bygone Colonial era.

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The interiors of the hotel are really unique; some machinery from the establishment’s earlier days like the original generator has been preserved. There are huge fans towards the ceiling of main hall that are attached to the generator through rubber bets and they rotate in tandem with the generator every evening, when the generator has its scheduled run; it is really fascinating. There has been no tinkering with interior layout of the original tea factory. At the time of conversion to a hotel, the management ensured that apart from mandatory reinforcements, the original layout was retained and they strongly dissuaded any attempt by the authorities to the contrary. The woodwork, the iron pillars, the brass, machinery have all been salvaged from the erstwhile establishment and expertly preserved. A tasteful use of colours reinforces the colonial character.

A magnificent copper elevator with manual doors took us up to our rooms. As we entered our room, we felt like we opened a door into the clouds; three walls of the room were essentially ceiling to floor French windows.  The view was beyond words, the folks at the hotel called it paradise view; couldn’t agree more.

The following morning we were up at the first light. The clouds magically dissipated at the break of dawn and allowed us a stunning view of the entire valley.

The kids went to the play area and we got ourselves a cup of delicious home grown F.B.O.P. There is a train carriage parked adjacent to the play area, it amuses the children by the day and converts into a fine dining restaurant in the evening.

There are various excursions on offer. These include bird watching tours, hikes to nearby hills, tea plantation tours and other land tours. We opted for the plantation tour.

The tea planation tour makes you experience tea plucking first hand. To begin with you are draped in a tea pluckers’ attire, provided with a basket and taken to a nearby plantation. The guided tour concluded with some history of the tea factory being jogged about, a tea tasting session and a visit to the in-house mini tea museum where they explained the tea making process and way in which it had evolved over time with the advent of machines. The Hethersett plantation and factory was one of the most important contributors to the popularity of Ceylon tea and once sold the most expensive tea in the world. The kids intently listened to the guide while the tea segregator graded FBOP and PEKOE variety of teas. The tea produced is the same tea found in the room and all the restaurants of the hotel.

It was bright and sunny out – a perfect day for a hike. Ten minutes in to our hike and it was brisk and damp, no wonder this place was called Little England.

Got back to the hotel, sat by the fire and had hot chocolate, marshmallows and tea.

The following day was sunny and luckily it stayed that way. We went to the  garden maze and then went on a little birdwatching trek and walked down to the rabbits at the Flower Dew cottage. Mr.Flowerdew was the first resident planter and manager of the Herthersett Estate; his cottage has been preserved.

The kids were having a fabulous time here at the factory; not only were they completely off  the gadgets and screens, but without prompting, they were preferring the outdoors.

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Surrounded by acres of lush green tea estates and perched on a hill, the gorgeous Heritance Tea Factory offers a most astounding rendition of the colonial era. It leave no stone unturned to provide you with a unique and an unforgettable experience. The sweeping vistas will leave you spellbound.

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  1 comment for “Heritance Tea Factory – Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

  1. January 13, 2019 at 11:23 AM

    Nice images.

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