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Ashburnham Tea Estate

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- Fabulous mountain setting
- Set in a 100-acre tea estate
- Waterfall swims, tea picking, cycling, hiking

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The Ashburnham Estate is an impressive 100-acre tea estate set in the hills near Kandy, in the very heart of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle with stunning views of the Knuckles Mountains. Nearly two-thirds of the estate is made up of well-tended tea fields and this pristine property sits at an altitude of 800 metres so while the weather is generally very pleasant, some periods of rain are to be expected. Dating back to the 1930s, much of the property’s colonial-style features have been beautifully preserved, making the hotel a very charming place to stay with plenty to do both on the expansive estate and further afield.

There are just six bedrooms, each with a unique design. The rooms are on-the-whole bright and airy, with large windows admitting plenty of natural light and opening out onto spectacular views of the surrounding mountain scenery. There are four double rooms, plus a designated family room and the Ashburnham Suite which is considerably larger than the others. All rooms come with a ceiling fan and complimentary tea, coffee and cake provided throughout the day. Note that there’s no air conditioning, though given the high altitude, this is of no huge concern.

One of the main draws to Ashburnham is the chance to spend time exploring the lush, unspoiled estate. Swimming at the secluded waterfall is a wonderful highlight, plus there’s a lovely pool to enjoy. It’s possible to learn all about the tea cultivation process and have a hands-on look at how it’s all done. Mountain biking on the estate is very popular, as are hiking and walking through the rugged, undisturbed landscapes. A little further afield there’s the culturally rich city of Kandy to explore and visits to Sigiriya, the ancient and astounding near-vertical rock fortress, and the Dambulla cave complex with its fascinating collection of statues, paintings and murals, are a must.

Families are welcome, and while there are no child designated activities as such, children will love the pool which has a shallow end just for younger ones and there’s plenty for them to do both on the estate and beyond.

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  • I would like to say a massive thank you for organising our Vietnam trip. The itinerary and execution were superb, as was the attention to detail. I would also like to thank the agent who was on the end of my whats app chat (I have no idea who they were!) – always available, always quick to respond, and kept me updated regarding times etc. Also, the guides Dan (north) and Tien (mid) were just excellent, and we really enjoyed their company. The lady (whose name I have forgotten) who was our additional guide for the DMZ day was exceedingly good and made that day very special.

    Missingfiona g reviewing Complete Vietnam For Families on 15 April 2024

  • Trip was great and all the arrangements were excellent so thank you for all the help!

    Drivers and transfers were all good - on time and very good service on each trip.

    Accommodation was lovely - Douar Samra was amazing (weather could have been better but lovely regardless). Riad in Marrakesh was also great!

    All in all a great trip and we loved the variety of the mountains, Marrakesh and the coast.

    Thanks you once again!

    MissingHardeep S reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 15 April 2024

  • I was also just about to email you to thank you and the team for arranging yet again, another wonderful experience.

    Mount Kenya was spectacular and wild - I think I prefer it to Kili in many ways. The entire support team was professional, friendly and all round fantastic in making sure that we were safe, well fed and well looked after. In particular, we would commend Peter the guide as well as Paul one of the porters who doubled-up as his deputy on summit day. Our route was often shrouded in mist and rain that rapidly gathered in the valleys and moorlands, and we were very impressed at how Peter managed to navigate us safely through all of that notwithstanding. In addition, we loved learning about the history of Mount Kenya from him in the evenings. And ofcourse, I was blown away by the lovely birthday surprise at the end complete with balloons and a delicious cake that had journeyed with us from day 1. One thing we might recommend because of the sudden change in weather (it would sometimes get extremely cold and wet) is for the equipment list to be a little bit more detailed in terms of its recommendations e.g. layers to be moisture-wicking, walking boots be waterproof, doubling up on socks to avoid blisters etc.

    El Karama is a beautiful conservancy and the lodge a true labour of love. Great hospitality in a relaxed environment. Delicious, fresh food. We enjoyed the drives, even if we didn't see much wildlife as the heavens opened on us for the last two outings. However, since it was very much geared towards families, I am not sure if I would stay again without kids. That said, I think it was perfect for a 3d/2n stay post mountain, and a much better choice than flying to the masai mara given the limited time we had.

    Our transits were smooth. Samuel the driver was always on time, drove safely and kept the vehicle clean.

    So it was a brilliant experience and one which I certainly will cherish for some time to come. It was great to work with you for a third time, and I certainly hope it won't be the last

    MissingJuhae C reviewing Mount Kenya Sirimon Naro Moru Trek on 01 March 2024

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