Stay on a working tea plantation
in Sri Lanka's hill country
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.
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, 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.
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.
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 da. Guests can also enjoy snacks and refreshments throughout the day at the newly-opened Amba café.
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.
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!