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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 513 reviews


  • Thank you, Lisa! Our trip was wonderful even with the weather disruption. We loved seeing so many different parts of the country, meeting people and experiencing the culture. The desert was surely a highlight for our boys and the creativity and artisanship of everything from food to crafts were a highlight for me. A special shout out to our guide and driver, they became a special part of our trip and we will forever be grateful for meeting them and learning from them. I cannot believe we had to wait three years for this adventure but it was certainly worth the wait! Thanks for all your help building the itinerary, modifying it and troubleshooting during our stay. Leslie B

    MissingLeslie B reviewing Luxury Desert Holiday on 01 March 2023

  • Hi Lisa and everyone at Tourdust,
    We've had a wonderful time on our holiday and wanted to pass our appreciation to you. Everything has been expertly planned and executed, allowing us to enjoy the holiday to its fullest. Special appreciation to Muhammed, Ibrahim, and Omar, our Atlas guide, cook, and muleteer, who couldn't have done more for us and were just generally wonderful and hardworking. Riad Hanane is a perfect base in Marrakech to complement the trekking as it's ina less touristy area of the medina, which we appreciated. The staff and accomodation was superb.Thank you again for a trip to remember!
    Bob, May, Grace, and Lucas

    MissingRobert B reviewing Marrakech & Mountains Family Trek on 20 February 2023

  • Hello Lisa. We came back from our trip two weeks ago now so I am sending this email much later than I wanted to. Nevertheless, what I wanted to say was thank you very much for helping us organise an amazing trip. Our days in Mafia Island to celebrate my 50th birthday were exactly what I wanted them to be: a fantastic time with the family doing activities that we all love and enjoy in a relaxing, unusual, beautiful place full of sun, surrounded by water, wildlife and friendly people. We swam with whale sharks, did a lot of snorkeling, had two picnics on a beautiful sand bank, watched the sunset over the sea, did a bird watching excursion and tried scuba diving.
    All merit to you because Pole Pole in Mafia Island was your recommendation. I never heard of Mafia Island before and didn't consider Tanzania to start with. It was an amazing place to stay: friendly, relaxed, beautiful, comfortable, with great food and fantastic service. Thanks not only for finding the place but also for your patience as we prepared the trip and I explored options and decided what I wanted. All went incredibly well (places, transfers, flights) and we had a very memorable time together that we will all remember forever - as we still do the safari trip to South Africa you organised for us 5 years ago.
    I cannot wait to plan another trip! I am already thinking about where and when. Hopefully no pandemic will get in the way this time. And I will come to you as my favourite travel agent.
    I copy in this message the Tourdust office because I want them to know how good you are and how much I appreciated the different trips you organised for us (including the trip to India for my parents that was cancelled due to Covid). I cannot thank you enough :o)
    Kind regards, Carol

    MissingCarolina O reviewing Relaxed Bush & Beach Family Holiday in Tanzania on 25 November 2022

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