Review: Rosyth Estate House, Kegalle, Sri Lanka


Colonial allure meets Vogue tropical-photo-shoot-style at Rosyth Estate House. Two hours north of Colombo airport, Rosyth Estate House is the proper soft-landing spot for a Sri Lanka arrival.

Owners Farzana and Neil Dobbs creatively mix the retro type of the unique 1926 tea planter’s bungalow with modern design aptitude.

Set throughout the 62 acres of a tea and rubber plantation, Rosyth offers a spread of onsite Sri Lankan experiences: early morning yoga, cookery courses, a plantation stroll, spa remedies, tea-tasting at their new tea-factory and very good regionally impressed delicacies.

The welcome

Rosyth Estate organized for a driver to fulfill us on the airport and ship us to this luxurious boutique resort a few miles from Kegalle.

Whilst porters take baggage to our suite, we’re welcomed with a relaxing ginger and cinnamon tea. Plus a therapeutic massage for drained ft.

Many a weary traveller, soothed by the masseur’s arms, instantly ebook their first spa remedy.

The suite

Clove crops, wrapped with pepper creeper, and tea bushes appropriately line the trail to the Tea suite. Jack tree wooden, simply mistaken for the wealthy deep tones of mahogany, frames the massive home windows and doorways.

Every line of sight throughout the gentle room focuses on a dramatic plunging valley of mahogany, palm and but extra clove and tea bushes. White wisps of cloud partially obscure a distant craggy peak.

Textured oriental rattan runs from the bedhead, via the suite and out onto the chairs and sun-loungers on the terrace. A gentleman’s valet stand, with a drawer for cufflinks, is a Somerset Maugham days-of-empire contact. Burnt orange blinds carry dashes of color to the straightforward color scheme.

A wall behind the mattress offers storage and successfully a dressing room. A discreet alcove neatly homes the fridge in addition to the tea and occasional amenities. Nothing is allowed to detract from the principle attraction: the panoramic view.

The rest room

The inside rest room has two wash foundation and a bathe.

Outside, on the terrace, an indulgent deep tub once more seems to be out over the valley.

The amenities

Fresh fruit platters alongside Sri Lankan egg hoppers are the celebrities of breakfasts served within the eating pavilion. Burgers, salads, soups and wraps can be found all through the day.

In the evenings, a staff of skilled cooks run via a repertoire of conventional Sri Lankan favourites. Dinner for Sri Lankans isn’t just rice and one curry of beef, rooster, fish or greens however an array of maybe bean, aubergine, pink lentil and spinach curries in addition to a sambal speckled with chilli flakes. And, then in fact, a dahl too.

Stay three or 4 evenings and also you’ll benefit from the flaming food-theatre of Sri Lankan avenue meals, as cooks’ chopping knifes conflict like cymbals.

Sun-loungers encompass a sapphire of a swimming pool. Select a ebook from the library and calm down for an hour or two.

Take a plantation stroll with naturalist Hetti previous the natural vegetable gardens. Then he’ll exhibit how the property’s rubber bushes are tapped. Some of that rubber will discover its means into latex surgical gloves.


A 20 minute drive results in Pinnawala the place you’ll be able to stroll with elephants and feed them an outsize fruit salad. A mere aperitif for the 150kg of meals they eat day by day. Help with elephant tub time too.

Kandy, residence of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth with its artifical lake, is barely an hour away. Cover your legs and shoulders, rent a information and take off your sneakers for an introduction to the legacy of the twenty eighth Buddha. Our information emphasises that followers don’t pray. They worship.

A free tour spherical Kandy’s Herb and Spice gardens is an in depth introduction to the side-effect-free wonders of Ayurvedic drugs however it’s possible you’ll want to withstand the gross sales pitch on pink oil for arthritic knees, child pineapple for weight reduction and cures that work to clean pores and skin.

“No Nivea, no Ponds,” exhorts our information eyeing up our wrinkles. On a grander scale there are the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kandy.

Other good touches

This is light and honest Sri Lankan hospitality at its perfect. Half the workers emerge to wave goodbye, as if we had been royalty.

The Dobbs supplied work on the property to the 70 households who had misplaced jobs when the close by tea manufacturing facility burnt down, despite the fact that they weren’t the house owners. They proceed to provide breakfast for native faculty youngsters 3 times per week.

Hetti, the naturalist, is aware of the whereabouts of each frog and gecko across the property home, realizing too when the pond lilies will open their flowers.

The finest bit

The Dobbs are working to revamp one small a part of Sri Lanka’s troubled tea business. Increasingly, recruiting pluckers, keen to obtain a mere £3 a day for lengthy hours in robust tropical circumstances, is turning into tough.

Rosyth’s pluckers choose one leaf and a bud, quite than the normal two leafs and a bud, to provide a hand-rolled artisan tea. Profits from this high-end product are shared between the staff.

Guests on the tea-tasting expertise, studying the right way to roll and slurp, transfer via inexperienced tea to medium high quality teas and eventually to a pink-rimmed clear amber liquid freed from any bitter hints. Far faraway from on a regular basis builder’s day that is the Dom Perignon of teas.

The value

A 3 night time keep in off-season begins from £390 per particular person, based mostly on two sharing a Classic Room, excluding flights and transfers.

The ultimate verdict

Rosyth’s 10 rooms vary throughout budgets from the unique easy rooms within the bungalow to the uber-luxurious Rock Villa.

Featuring very good Sri Lankan meals, Rosyth Estate House is an opulent base camp for a tour of the island or for a ultimate few days of leisure earlier than heading for the airport.

Disclosure: Our keep was sponsored by Rosyth Estate House.


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