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When the warmer climates hit Colombo, there is but one place that everyone wants to escape to in the month of April. Nuwara Eliya or Little England as it is known has for decades been one of the favourite holiday spots for both local and international travelers. This small town surrounded by lush, green tea plantations and, mountains that touch the clouds and cascading waterfalls is the epitome of rest and relaxation.
Nuwara Eliya has accommodation solutions for anyone, be it the luxurious planter’s bungalows to the hostels and home-stays for the budget traveler. Despite the size of the property you choose to stay at though, one thing that never changes is the hospitality and literal “warmth” with which one is greeted.
Our hundredth (exaggerated!) trip to the hills this time around brought us to Hotel Glendower. Situated a short distance from the town center, this property is previously known to have been owned by pioneering Governor of Ceylon, Sir Edward Barnes. The Jayasuriya family who currently own the property have paid much attention to preserving or restoring the original English Country type manor architecture. The interiors of Glendower also pays tribute to the British aristocratic way of life with furniture, artefacts and antiques from the bygone era adorning almost every room.
Finding Glendower once we arrived in Nuwara Eliya was not difficult at all and once we arrived it was all about hospitality. We were welcomes with a steaming cup of pure Ceylon tea, perfect for the climate and most welcoming after a long journey. The room we were shown to immediately gave off a vibe of “coziness” with its darker shades of upholstery, the heaters turned on and a large bed that was just calling our names. But we had to explore the rest of the property, and sleep could certainly wait for when out tummies were filled.
The restaurant at Glendower is quite ironically named “King Prawn”. It is intriguing to say the least that they offer some of the best Chinese food in the hill country and that too packed with tons of seafood. Now seafood in the mountains can well be considered a luxury and it was pure indulgence for us to savour Singapore Chilli Crab, signature Hot Butter Cuttlefish and some of the best Sweet and Sour Prawns we have ever had. We were also quite impressed by the Pastry Chef at the hotel who dished out some delectable desserts during our stay.
Waking up to misty mornings and perfect English breakfast is an everyday occurrence at Glendower and after wolfing down plates of Sausages, Scrambled Eggs and the works, we headed to The Farmhouse and Little England Cottages which are also owned by the Jayasuriya family. Little England Cottages as its name suggests are a group of secluded cottages built to true English countryside architecture and landscaping, can be reserved for groups who prefer privacy on their holidays that bungalows offer as opposed to larger hotels. The cottages have spacious living areas and bedrooms, 24-hour gated-security, fully-equipped pantry, authentic wood fireplaces, CCTV, Cable TV, Wi-Fi and other modern amenities. The Farmhouse by Celeste is a whole different experience and a place like no other, with strawberry farms situated on the property and upcountry vegetables grown on every inch of the fertile land. This we would recommend as a great place for families with young children who are sure to enjoy the vast gardens and the many things to do.
We absolutely love the climate in Nuwara Eliya and it is one place we choose to go to whenever the busy lifestyle of Colombo and suburbs gets too much for us to bare. Whenever we do. We like to pick a place that will simply take care of all your needs and make you forget what the word “stress” even means. Glendower is one of those properties that sure does.
So here’s our rating…
Location **** (Short distance from the Nuwara Eliya town!)
Ambiance **** (Old English grandeur!)
Service ***** (Excellent hospitality!)
Food **** (Food was amazing!)
Overall **** ¼
Price Range: Approximately 15,000+ for BB Double
Address: Hotel Glendower, No 80, Mahagastota Estate, Moon Plane 22200 Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
Tel: 077 383 3533