The Tea Factory, a unique hotel in misty mountains
Text & Pix by Beverley Jansz / Sunday Obesrver
A unique hotel of character set in an emerald teascape 6,800 feet above sea level in the misty mountain range which grows the world famous pure Sri Lanka tea, is The Tea Factory Hotel at Kandapola in Nuwara Eliya.
This unique hotel, in Nuwara Eliya with 4-star classification, began as a tea factory built in the days of the British Raj. It has been converted by Aitken Spence group to a 4-star hotel, in such a manner that much of the original style and machinery remain a reminder of the past in perfect blend with modern innovations.
For tourists an holiday at the Tea Factory, is an experience 'out of this world'. The view from the rooms at the front of the hotel is a wonderful panorama of tea. At the rear, a peaceful pastoral scene of hamlets, hills and forest, as well as more tea. The hotel blends with the traditional Hethersett Plantation, at Kandapola which continuously produced some of the best 'Ceylon Tea' for over 50 years. The hotel is situated in a lush green 25-acre tea plantation, and has on its premises a micro tea factory. All hotel guests and visitors are invited to see the entire manufacturing process of quality tea. For nature lovers, undiscovered spots of beauty is there to be explored where generations of British planters have roamed. For tourists, walking through horse tracks along the plantation which is located at 6800 feet above sea level, is an unforgettable journey through the past.
A stay at the Tea Factory is certainly 4-star comfort and 'seven-star' surroundings where nature is at its best, untouched, unmoved the traditional plantation where development has not overtaken the normal life style where natural beauty is preserved.
For adventure seekers, a trek to Mahakudugala mountain peak which is located in the High Forest estate and a visit to the Kurundu Oya falls, which drop 189 meters (630 feet) above the Mulhalkele bridge, are a must. The Kurundu Oya falls is categorised as the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. These beautiful sites are only 45 minutes drive from the hotel through Mahacoodugala range which pierces the clouds at 7000 feet above sea level.
'Honeymoon in Paradise' Special Offer
For honeymoon couples, experience the mystery and romance of the Tea Factory Hotel.The climate is pleasantly cool, the ambience of the hotel is cosy and starclass. A walk with your lover hand in hand or driving around the panoramic region. As sun sets, a feeling of sheer romance envelopes the entire area - intimate and candle light dinners - memorable nights will merge into holiday fantasy.
At The Tea Factory, passion becomes our inspiration, said the energetic and 'all smiling' General Manager Roshan Fernando explaining the special "Honeymoon in Paradise" free offer for honeymoon couples. Just for the couple it will be candle light dinner and sparkling wine free, Fernando explained. The "free package" also includes flowers on arrival, decorated room, tea, coffee and cakes in the evening, a nature walk with a guide, unlimited soft drinks, a relaxing stint in the Sauna, ironing facilities, and a surprise gift at departure.
'The Tea Hotel' Tea a'lacarte menu
A specially compiled 'Tea a'la carte menu' served at the restaurant, is something special for guests. A range of starters including tea wood smoked fish, tea vinaigrette salads. Lagoon prawns with sweet tea soya sauce, followed by tea flavoured chicken consomme or a cauliflower and tea saup, are offered.
Main dishes consist of char grilled farm chicken with tea cream or tea and coconut crusted baked mullet fish. For the calorie conscious, upcountry vegetable cumin rice is served with a tea ginger sauce. For a happy ending, Nuwara Eliya Rhubarb Crumble tart with tea sabayon or tea mousse in Tulip with seasonal berries are served, said General Manager, Roshan Fernando explaining the special "Tea a'la carte menu". "We always eager to pamper those who are looking for an exceptional holiday at an exceptional hotel, Roshan Fernando said. Most importantly, making your holiday exciting and memorable, is our endeavour. We take it very seriously.
We want you to have a great holiday with us, be it a foreigner or Sri Lankan, the colour does not matter, Fernando said with a smile full of hospitality. "We want you to have a great holiday in the cool climes of Kandapola, Nuwara Eliya at The Tea Factory Hotel and then of course come back for more.' Our corporate themes 2001 campaign and slogan "We take your holiday very personally" will be very much in force with each employee of the hotel. All this at an affordable price which is unbelievable, to make our honoured guests have a nice time and enjoy 'finer things in life' Roshan said.
The Tea Factory Hotel has won three International awards for architecture. They are South-Asian Architecture Award - 1996, most Innovative Product Award at the Travel and Tourism Fair,Ahmedabad, India - 1996, and the Building Conservation Award - 2000, from the Royal Institute of Surveyors, United Kingdom.
The Tea Factory is an Aitken Spence Hotel.