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The Secret Ella

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- Unpretentious, pristine property
- Located in a thriving tea plantation
- Hiking, birdwatching, plantation tours
- Archery, helicopter rides

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The Secret Ella is a simple, well-managed bungalow resort in a particularly enviable location. It’s set in an expansive 10-acre tea garden estate up in the mountains with fabulous views and looks down on the Nine Arches Bridge. This bridge, which is nearly a century old, is very well preserved and is regarded as one of the finest surviving examples of colonial-era railway construction in all of Sri Lanka. The hotel is one of two in the Secret Hotels chain – both are unpretentious, characterful properties which are well managed and offer convenient access to some of Sri Lanka’s most popular and highly rated attractions.

There are five room categories altogether, ranging from pristine, wooden Garden Chalets to expansive Family Suites and finely appointed Deluxe Rooms. All rooms are substantial in size, and come with 14-hour room service and a helpful personalised butler service, along with an LED TV with satellite channels, deluxe bathroom amenities and tea and coffee making facilities.

The hotel lies within the Sutherland tea plantation estate and is roughly half an hour’s drive from Bandarawela, a large town best known for its bustling market. While the property is a secluded hideaway of sorts, it’s still well within reach of the area’s top attractions. There’s a diverse range of activities to enjoy from hiking and bird watching walks, to tea plantation tours, archery sessions and even helicopter rides.

The restaurant serves an imaginative array of local delicacies with a twist, along with plenty of popular international dishes. All food is freshly prepared with locally sourced ingredients. Other on-site amenities include a smallish rim flow swimming pool, a games room with several board games available and a DVD library. Those looking for a massage can visit the nearby 98 Acres - a complimentary shuttle service runs between the two properties.

Children of all ages are welcome to stay here. Families travelling with young ones are advised to book the Family Suite and there is a playground for children to enjoy.

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 530 reviews


  • Dear Lisa. On behalf of the three generations of the Rowland family. Thank you, so much, for organising our wonderful holiday to Botswana and the Victoria Falls. The trip of a lifetime. The week mobile camping in the bush, with our guide Nandos and his crew was a fantastic adventure. How they manage to cook such wonderful food on an open fire is amazing. The sites were constantly visited by monkeys and once by elephants. We were even lucky enough to see two packs of wild dogs, once with a kill. Waterberry Lodge on the Zambezi River is a wonderfully tranquil place. Ideal to relax after the adventures of our safari and visiting Victoria Falls. Very many thanks once again

    MissingGodfrey R reviewing Private Mobile Family Safari in Botswana on 25 September 2023

  • We had a great time - even with the flight between Governors and the coast being two flights and a car! We also experienced a power cut At Nairobi airport on the way home so 2+ hours late taking off. Governors. Wonderful people and dealt with the flight delay very well - taking us back and letting us know that we could stay there if the flight was delayed overnight. The game drives were excellent and our guide (Erick) obviously very experienced and managed to find all the key animals - no rhino in that part of the Masai Mara but everything else in abundance - never seen so many herbivores (many many elephants as well as all the others) as well as two prides of lions. Could not have asked for more. The ‘tent’ was excellent and comfortable and well serviced. The only ‘complaint’ would be that the food - especially dinner - could be improved (I think we got a bit bored of soup as a starter for every meal bar one) and the main courses were not at the same level as Kinondo Kwetu and while all were explained there was no choice offered. The breakfasts were just what was needed after an early game drive. Kinondo Kwetu. What a great location and the welcome when we arrived at just gone 11.00pm was better than you could have ever thought possible - they we’re disappointed that we did not at that time want the full dinner experience! The rooms we’re comfortable. The food was excellent but again no choice was offered - other than for allergy reasons (which we do not have). May be some choice would be nice. Having said that the food we did have was excellent as were the wines (albeit a short list!) and other drinks. There were (as you know) lots of facilities/sports options - but we spent our time relaxing which was exactly what we needed and there were lots of places to do that. Overall. We would go back to both places - perhaps a few more nights at Kinondo Kwetu next time but 3 nights at Governors was perfect for us. Thank you for organising and recommending both places. That you and your colleague for trying to find out about the plane (flat tyre) but communication by the flight company left a lot to be desired (Governors were furious that they were not told and had taken us to the airstrip). Phil

    MissingPhilip R reviewing Masai Mara Safari & Kenya Beach on 01 September 2023

  • It was certainly a holiday of a lifetime for us and we loved every minute!! The standard and location of each accommodation was excellent, as was the variety of each different accommodation type. Our schedule was perfect and we managed to achieve everything on our to-do task list. Your documents were also really helpful, as were the driving directions. We all thank you for making this such a wonderful holiday. Happy to leave a review publicly if you point me the right way. Best Steve

    MissingStephen H reviewing Classic Garden Route & Eastern Cape Safari on 01 September 2023

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