The Hotel The Exchange sits on Damrak, one of the…
Nestled in a picturesque tea plantation, high above in the mountains you can find a real hideaway: Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge, a boutique hotel that is like no other and pretty sure Sri Lanka’s most romantic boutique hotel.
Imagine waking up here from the sound of birds, you open your safari tent and step out on the balcony. In front of you lies the valley and the impressive Knuckles Mountain Range. The sun is just rising. You make yourself a real Sri Lankan tea, take a seat on the balcony and take in this beautiful scenery just a little bit longer.
Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge is a real gem and the perfect place for people looking for a break from everyday life and for a cozy place to relax. It is no wonder that therefore this romantic, secluded lodge is very popular among honeymooners and couples. It is situated high in the mountain surrounded by lush and green tea plantations.
The boutique hotel is 30 km away from Kandy which makes a 50 minute drive. Visitors therefore can easily explore the hill capital Kandy, but also the beautiful natural sights that surround Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge. We took the train from Colombo to Kandy and really enjoyed the scenic train ride. From the train station we got picked up by the driver from the hotel and taken to the lodge.
The lodge offers 18 deluxe rooms, all are spacious safari tents designed individually. Each room is equipped with a comfy bed, walk-in shower, separate shower and antique furniture. Guests will find a selection of the famous Sri Lankan tea and water, both is refilled daily. There is no television or internet in the rooms. The reason is to keep it minimalistic. Instead guests can enjoy the surrounding views from the terrace.
As an eco-friendly hotel, you won’t find any plastic here. Instead they use paper and glass bottles, all in order to contribute to protecting our environment.
If you want to treat yourself to something more lavish, you can book the honeymoon suite which is bigger and has a large terrace with private dining facilities, bath tubs and all the little extras that guarantee a remarkable stay.
The main house of the lodge, the former ‘”planter’s estate house” is the common area. All the meals are served here and I really enjoyed sitting there on the terrace with a book from their library during the day and with a drink at night by the fire place. A lot of thought went into the design and its beautifully designed with british colonial elements and Sri Lankan art pieces. Here you will find a lounge, library with books and games and a billiard table. Here you can also connect to the wifi if you need to.
The property features a swimming pool from where you have a view of the scenic mountains and the green valley. If you want to pamper yourself you can book various treatments or massage in their spa. I unfortunately didn’t, but had a look at the spa and really loved how it was set up with a beautiful sea rose bath and of course fantastic views.
Another small highlight is their herbal and vegetable garden that they put a lot of effort into. All products that they grow their, they use in the restaurant.
Madukelle Tea and Eco Lodge really is true hideaway and a lovely place to take a break from everyday life and recharge once batteries.
All meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, are served in the main building in their restaurant or on the terrace depending on the weather. For breakfast we got fresh fruit, juices, coffee and tea and omelet every morning as well as pastries and cake. For lunch they had a choice of small snacks, sandwiches and salads.
In the evenings they had a changing menu with a set dinner menu with different choices for the main course. Everything we tried was very delicious and fresh. One point that I would criticize is that the served mainly western dishes. I was hopping to get to try some delicious Sri Lankan dishes.
What I want to highlight is the friendly and attentive staff: During my stay I was having some stomach problems and the staff really took good care of me and prepared tea and light dishes extra for me that I could eat. Throughout the entire stay the service was very good and personal.
When booking a stay at the lodge, I would recommend to book full board with your stay as there is not that much around the lodge.
Things to do
If you don’t only want to relax, there is plenty of things to do and see. The hotel offers a variety of excursions like hikes, tours to the waterfall, visit of the tea plantations, cooking classes, yoga etc. They make sure to offer a truly authentic experience for travelers who want to get to know this part of Sri Lanka.
I joined them on a hike that took us past tea plantations, through a local village and to a fabulous view point where we had a small picnic.
To sum it up
Madukelle Tea and Eco Lodge offers the perfect mix of luxury and serenity in a beautiful natural surrounding. The concept and design of the lodge is truly unique and I can honestly say that this is the most beautiful boutique hotel you can find. I think it is the perfect hideaway for couples, but also for travelers who want to take a little break and enjoy a few relaxed days in Sri Lanka. We had an unforgettable stay and enjoyed the warmth and hospitality of the staff. As I have only spent one week in Sri Lanka, I would love to come back to see more of the country and I definitely would want to include another stay at the lodge.
Find out more on their website: http://www.madulkelle.com
Disclaimer: Madukelle Tea and Eco Lodge offered me a complimentary stay, however all the opinions and pictures are my own.