During our month-long tour of Sri Lanka, we visited the highland tea growing area, staying at Langdale Boutique Hotel by Amaya for three nights. The hotel, the former home of the founder of the surrounding tea plantation, resembled an English country house with beautifully manicured lawns, flower beds, and vegetable patch complete with white picket fencing.
Our room (207), one of only 13, was up a short flight of stairs with comfortable armchairs on the landing. The elegant, spacious room with a dark wood floor and furniture was well equipped with TV, wardrobe with slippers, robes and safe, coffee and tea making facilities (with tea from their estate) and complimentary water. The comfortable bed was scattered with floral cushions and covers, and the bedside tables had good lights and English plug points. Two dining chairs and a small occasional table were arranged near the fire place. The small balcony wasn’t designed for sitting out, although a couple of chairs could have been squeezed on it.
The bathroom was a good size, and whilst the water for the shower was reasonably powerful, there were annoying temperature fluctuations and the basin taps had frequent air locks which meant the water gushed out with alarming speed and noise. And if I’m being picky, a shaving mirror would have been appreciated, as would more hanging space for towels and a longer lead on the wall mounted hairdryer so it could be used with the mirror.
There were several activities available at the hotel, including a grass tennis court and 10-hole mini-golf course. However, we’d just finished a series of early morning starts whilst on safari and the limit of our activities was the occasional dip in a small pool which was maintained at a wonderful temperature. There were only six sun beds with cushions and umbrellas (two of which had active birds’ nests in them), but as the hotel was never full, it wasn’t a problem.
There was a small dining room, but our meals were served in a long conservatory down the side, which at breakfast provided spectacular views of the surrounding hills and with the large windows open, provided a breath of fresh mountain air.
Although breakfast service finished at 10am, the staff were particularly accommodating by arranging a later breakfast following an early morning visit to Horton Plains National Park. Breakfast started with watermelon juice, a basket of toast and croissant with strawberry jam and butter rosettes, before a plate of fruit (banana, pineapple, mango, papaya, strawberry, grapes). Mains were chosen from an a la carte which included eggs all ways, including eggs benedict and a choice of bacon, sausage, hash browns, baked beans and grilled tomatoes. Alternatively, a Sri Lankan style was available.
Dinner was also a la carte and unfortunately, the two risottos (green and prawn), were unavailable due to a lack of rice, which seemed a little ironic. Main courses at around 3,000 Rupees/£11, were some of the more expensive on our tour. We shared prawn dim sum which came with a spicy sauce and salad garnish, before moving onto a rather thick crust margarita pizza and spaghetti bolognaise with chicken sauce. On our second night we chose rice and curry, or should I say curries due to the huge variety: radish, star bean, brinjal, chickpea, dahl and pumpkin along with poppadoms and a massive plate of rice which would have served eight. The bottle of Beach House (or Beach Hose according to the wine list) South African Sauvignon Blanc was £22.
The self-contained bar with piano and bean bags wasn’t open during our stay and we had our drinks sat in what was like the sitting room of a country house.
The laundry service was great value at 50p for a pair of shorts.
If you want a few days of rest and relaxation, this is a good place to stay, but bear in mind, that without transport, you are a captive audience as it is somewhat isolated.