Why we love it

Ashburnham is one of our favourite little properties in Sri Lanka. It has a very homely feel to it and you can’t help but relax into a slower pace of life once you get there. The first thing we fell in love with were the incredible views, looking out across the 100 acres of tea estate and beyond. The staff are gently, genuine and grateful and this can be seen in their warm smiles. People find it hard to leave Ashburnham, it’s captivating and enchanting. It’s simple, refreshing, charming and offers very good value for money.

The property:

Ashburnham is a beautiful boutique hotel set in its own 100-acre tea estate, around an hour north-east of Kandy, in the heart of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. The estate boasts stunning waterfalls and far reaching views up to and across the Knuckles Mountains and its own lush tea fields, plucked each day.

Ashburnham has a very homely feel with dinner and lounge areas, along with a log fire which is used in the cooler months. The veranda overlooking the valley is the main gathering point for sundowners and meals. When it gets hot there is a swimming pool just a few steps down from the main house or guests can also explore the estate and the two waterfalls located just a 5 minutes’ walk away. The garden offers some quiet corners to sit and read a book or just enjoy the vista.

We must point out at that this is a 1930’s bungalow, so don’t expect 5* luxury or gold taps. It’s quite quirky in parts but we love their individuality and style and think it adds character and depth to any stay.

Highlights and activities

  • Head out with Mr Das (Estate Manager) for a tour of the tea plantation.
  • Do Reggie’s Cookery Class and cook up a Sri Lankan feast for friends when you get home.
  • Take a guided walk with your naturalist up into the foothills of the Knuckles Mountains.
  • Take a refreshing dip in the main waterfall or enjoying a G&T at the cascade pool at sundowner time.
  • A romantic picnic lunch with sparkling wine at the cascade pool.
  • Head off for a day trip to Kandy or Dambulla.

Eco feature

Ashburnham feels like one big family, with the staff having worked together for years, most of whom come from the surrounding villages. The tea estate produces work for lots of local women, of all ages, who have become very much part of life at Ashburnham. A contribution from the tea plantation tour goes towards supporting the tea pickers and their families

Double Rooms

Room rates: $165 (Jan-Apr, Jul-Sep, Dec) & $145 (May-Jun, Oct-Nov) – on a B&B basis

The Bay Room, Balcony Room, Hideaway and Sunset Room make four very comfortable double bedrooms. Each have ensuite bathrooms with showers and four poster bed with mosquito netting. The Sunset and Hideaway Rooms can be joined through a private area to make an ideal combination for families. The Balcony Room has, predictably, its own private balcony looking up to Mount Hunasgiriya – a perfect spot for morning tea. The Bay Room opens onto its own private verandah with similarly grand views. The Sunset Room is at the front of the house and catches the best of the evening light. The Sunset room can also take an extra single bed for those looking to create a twin room setup.

  • Private bathroom

The Family Room

Room rate:$187 (Jan-Apr, Jul-Sep, Dec) & $131 (May-Jun, Oct-Nov) – on a B&B basis

The family room is ideally suited for families with young children, wanting to all be in one room together. There is a large double bed and two lovely antique singles. A third single or cot bed can be added if needed. There is an ensuite bathroom with shower and all the beds have mosquito netting. (The rate above is for two adults and two children, under 16 years)

  • Private bathroom

Ashburnham Suite

Room rate: $165 (Jan-Apr, Jul-Sep, Dec) & $145 (May-Jun, Oct-Nov) – on a B&B basis

The Ash suite boasts a spacious sitting room with sofa, armchairs and writing desk. The bedroom, with large four-poster bed, opens onto a private terrace area overlooking one of the side lawns with views up into the tea fields. It has walk-in storage space and bathroom marginally larger than that with other rooms.

  • Private bathroom



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Bob Sellix - February 12 2019:

We stayed here in September 2018 and had a wonderful time exploring the tea plantations and waterfalls. They had a wonderful team of staff, who would always present meals or drinks with a warm smile. Another highlight was sitting on the veranda at meal times, looking out over the valley.

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