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.
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 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.
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.
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.