Nestled deep in the heart of Haputale, the home of Ceylon Tea, perched high on a vantage point that lets you just bask in a glorious view of looming mountains undulating into hills, valleys, lakes and streams, is a tastefully restored plantation bungalow. Following the cobbled stoned walk way that meanders past a lovely pond, deeply fringed with ferns and flora, you suddenly find ahead a view of a meticulously maintained lawn, bordered by an infinity pool that melds seamlessly into the cloud fringed view beyond. And to your right, through an old bush of tea rose you find the welcoming visage of a white washed Victorian styled bungalow typical of plantation hey days, beyond which looms the forest that shrouds it from the town and bustle that lies far beyond
The bungalow houses 7 luxuriously appointed rooms with en suite bathrooms,each named and inspired by key characters that impacted and influenced the history of Haputale. Each has a distinctive character and personality, from the plush, spacious suite with its own sitting area that is inspired by the larger than life persona of SirThomas Lipton, to the quiet, meditative room perfect for reflective writers, an ode to the poetic spirit of Rev Walter Snr. At Thotagala what makes the stay extra special is the little details – from the little tray of welcome goodies, the 24 hour room service, to the complementary woody fragranced toiletries, to the little surprises left every night when the beds are turned down. With no detail missed you are at once made to feel very much at home and yet decadently spoilt.
Food is a celebration at Thotalagala. Fromthe daily breakfast offering continental, à la carte or Full English/Irish options, to the lunch menu that offers options of a sumptuous Sri Lankan Rice and Curry spread to the ala carte menu that offers a choice from pastas, pizzas to sandwiches, to the dinner that gives one the option of opting for either a 3 course set menu or ordering ala carte, one is never short of choices. A special treat not to be missed is the spiced hot chocolate that is just perfect on a cold misty afternoon.
The locality gives guests plenty to explore. Guided walks in the property itself through a tea plantation, to guided tours local attractions in the vicinity will be expertly organized by the Thotalagala staff. The bungalow that was Sir Thomas Lipton’s home, Ella Rock, Little Adam’s Peak, Demodara Nine Arch Bridge are just some of the attractions to be explored. The little township in the local neighbourhood is also a lovely walk through that gives guests a sense of the colour and culture of the local people. And yet, though there is so much to do, when you do get to Thotalagala, you might rather get comfortable on one of the easy sofas laid out in the garden and just soak up the sun as the view changes from minute to minute to minute, filling you with a calm serenity with just the beauty of it all.