Organic Tea Plantation - Stays

Amba Estate is a community-run organic farm and guest-house in the Uva Highlands of Sri Lanka. The farm is approximately 30 minutes drive from Bandarawela, Ella or Wellawaya, perched in a small valley above the Ravana-Ella Waterfalls, with views of Ella Rock and Lipton’s Seat. We produce a range of artisanal teas, coffees, spices and preserves, and we work with the local community to support a variety of educational, economic and environmental initiatives.

The old estate farmhouse, the original estate line-rooms (tea-workers’ quarters) and 2 neighbouring bungalows are now operated as a full-service guest-house, offering guests the opportunity to learn more about organic farming and artisanal tea-making, and enjoy our little corner of paradise.

Accommodation

Built 100 years ago by one of the first local families to develop their own tea estate, Amba’s farmhouse is not as grand as most English tea-estate bungalows, but it exudes rustic charm and cosy character. The farmhouse has 4 double or twin rooms, 1 single room, and two shared bathrooms. The line-rooms have 3 double or twin rooms, each with ensuite bathrooms.

Clove Tree House

Clove Tree House, a 1930s planter’s bungalow about 200 metres from the Amba farmhouse, has 1 family suite, 1 double room and 1 twin room, all with ensuite bathrooms. Clove Tree Cottage, a newer annex next to Clove Tree House, has 1 family suite and 1 triple room, both with ensuite bathrooms. All the houses have their own kitchens, living and dining areas, and spectacular views across the valley. Full-time staff prepare meals in each house, provide daily house-keeping and attend to guest needs.

The Bungalow

Since our rates for a whole house or cottage are less than you pay for a room at many other tea bungalows, we recommend that guests rent a whole bungalow or cottage so that you can have the place to yourselves. However, if you prefer, you can book 1 or 2 rooms, with the proviso that you might be sharing bathrooms and meal-times with other guests. We also recommend staying at least 2 nights so that you have time to enjoy the excellent hikes, waterfall swims and sunsets in the valley.

For larger groups looking for the ideal place for a group retreat, we can also make arrangements with a couple of nearby guesthouses – offering up to 20 rooms in total.

Food & Beverage

Meals are eaten together in each house, and food is mainly vegetarian, using as much of our own organic produce as possible (including of course our famous Amba tea, coffee and preserves!). We serve breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, and can also prepare picnics for excursions. Guests can also enjoy snacks and refreshments throughout the day at the newly-opened Amba café. We are not licenced, but guests are welcome to bring their own beer, wine and spirits.

Activities & Attractions

There are a variety of hiking trails in and around the valley, including gentle walks around the estate and more strenuous climbs – up Ella Rock or Lipton Seat, or down to the secret pools atop the waterfall or through our own mini forest reserve. The valley is home to a wide variety of birdlife and wildlife, including deer, wild boar, mongoose, porcupine, peacocks, kingfishers and much more. We also have mountain-bikes, binoculars and a big selection of books and board-games that guests are free to use.

Exploring The Area

If you want to explore, there are number of lovely spots just a short drive away: spectacular views at Lipton’s Seat and Pilkington Point, the monolithic Buddha statues hidden in the forest at Buduruwagala, and the wild elephant pools at the top of Diyaluma Falls. And Arugam Bay, Yala and Udawalawe National Parks, Nuwara Eliya and Horton Plains are all within 2-3 hours drive.

Driver Accommodation

Note: We do not have our own driver accommodation at Amba, but we can organise a room and meals with a family in the village for around 1500Rs per night. All of our guests’ drivers stay there and rate it very highly!

Low Budget Homestay Option

For guests on a tight budget, we are also encouraging local families to open their own homestays. One family has recently opened Amba Lodge, a new annex with 3 nice-ensuite rooms, each with balconies. Guests can stay at Amba Lodge, take their meals at Amba’ s new café and enjoy all the other activities around the farm.

Staying on an Organic Farm

Guests should also note that Amba is a working organic farm, adjacent to a small village. As such, we do not recommend visits by those who might object to the gentle aroma of cows wafting through the windows, the hustle and bustle of village life, or regular visits from the farm cat and village dogs – and occasional encounters with polecats and other sundry wildlife!