It’s not every day you stay in a colonial tea planter’s bungalow dating back to 1926; everything about Rosyth Estate House evokes a sense of time and place. This is a place to slow it down, drink tea (or G&Ts) on the veranda, watch the mist rise above the hills and enjoy delicious Sri Lankan dishes.
Located 10 minutes from Kegalle town, but a world away, this peaceful private-house-turned-boutique-hotel stands at a 1000-foot elevation on a working tea and rubber plantation. It’s hard to peel your eyes away from the views across the surrounding hills and jungle. Most guests arrive with a car and driver, but owners can arrange transfers.
Style & character
It’s boutique but colonial; cosy but modern. Owners Farzana and Neil Dobbs have paid great attention to this property, pairing antique and reproduction furniture with local art and colourful furnishings. It’s elegant but unfussy, and eco-friendly; solar-powered water, complimentary filtered water and an organic garden. With views at every turn, it’s a place you’re loathed to leave.
Service & facilities
The friendly staff, many from the local community, are very much part of Rosyth’s charm. Ask and they’ll do whatever they can, be it organise tea factory tours or recommend walking and biking trails to the waterfall, through rubber fields and rice paddies. For junior guests, they organise nature walks and tree/spice treasure hunts. Relax with a complimentary daily yoga class, book a massage in the spa pavilion, hop in the pool, watch a film in the library or sign up for a cookery class. Or curl into a planter’s chair on the front porch and ogle that view.
- Room service
With 300-count linen, gorgeous rainshower bathrooms, ceiling fans and comfortable beds, it’s hard to fault the three Classic Rooms inside the main house around the living room. All individually designed, the largest is Cardamom, which connects to a smaller fourth room. The three Deluxe Rooms offer extra, such as a garden or four-poster bed, and there are two Plantation Suites with outdoor baths.
Food & drink
It’s exceptional, as is the wooden pavilion it’s served in, designed to give the illusion of a floating dining room with views over the jungle-clad hillside. Using local ingredients, some from their garden, chefs prepare Sri Lankan street food feasts to dahls, spicy fish curries and coconut rice. Breakfast is impressive; think egg hoppers, homemade yogurt, spicy scrambled eggs and fresh bread.
Access for guests with disabilities?
There is an accessible room for guests travelling with a companion. Ramps provide access to the grounds.
Yes. There are children’s books and toys in the library, a children’s menu and freshly prepared baby food. Three sets of interconnecting rooms and most rooms can fit extra beds; pre-book for cots and high chairs.
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