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Hot List 2006

Ceylon Tea Trails, Bogawantalawa Valley 

46/38a Nawam Mawatha

Bogawantalawa Valley
Sri Lanka

Tel: 94 11 230 3888

Tel: 94 11 476 7222

Sri Lanka's leading tea producer, Dilmah, has transformed four sprawling bungalows into an innovative resort set among the lush tea estates at an elevation of 4,000 feet. Built between 1888 and 1940 as residences for planters, each villa is unique and linked by two- to six-mile walking trails—alas, not all of them clearly marked—that wind through the waist-high bushes where the tea leaf pickers work. Naturally, the country's "green gold" is a large component of the experience here, and the complimentary excursion through the fields ends with a tasting of the day's production of Broken Orange Pekoe, an important Sri Lankan export. Dilmah's select Watte teas accompany the well-prepared classic British dishes and Sri Lankan curries. Activities include mountain biking, kayaking, and white-water rafting, and bungalow butlers are on call. A spa is in the works.
When to go: December through April, for dry days and cold, starry nights.
Which room to book: The prime lakeside perches of Castlereagh and Summerville bungalows (doubles, $330–$495, all-inclusive).
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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