The lush green tea plantations have always captivated us. Kandy is a historic city with her own charms. Travelling towards the area of Elkaduwa, one can reach the resplendent Simpson’s Forest boutique hotel.
From the main gate the road leading to the property is lined with clove trees. The hotel is established on a rock formation at a height of almost 1,200 metres, giving one a panoramic view and a splendid vantage point overlooking the mist laden hills extending all the way to the Hantane range. A unique feature of this property is that the large trees were thoughtfully retained during the construction process.
Accommodation takes the form of 23 cozy villas and rooms - 14 tea rooms, 4 forest garden rooms, 2 forest villas and 3 forest bungalows. The colonial bungalow located at the topmost point, adjacent to the swimming pool is an ideal getaway for large groups of people. The high roof of each room and the private verandas which open out to the lawn enhances the aura of this nature oriented hotel.
Dining is a refreshing experience as Chef Senaka Bodawatte and his team turn out individual menu items, using fresh local ingredients. The restaurant with its large glass panels offers a serene view of tea bushes.
Among the many activities one can indulge in, the best is the 2km nature trail, accompanied by resident naturalist Panduka de Silva. The trek is best done between 7am and 9am.
The climb accentuated by a rising gradient will take around 1 hour and 30 minutes, where we can witness an assortment of endemic birds including the crested serpent eagle, orange breasted pigeon, rose ring parakeet, grey wagtail, paradise flycatcher, black hooded oriole and animals such as, the barking deer, wild boar, civet cat, pangolin, monkeys and the large forest squirrel (dandu lena).
The trail navigates through a small brook and offers some of the best views of the Hunnasgiriya forest. The hotel also boasts of a helipad. High tea is served adjacent to the helipad on request.
In addition to this the 80-acre property has an active tea plucking schedule, where visitors can mingle with the amiable tea pluckers. For those with a greater sense of adventure the naturalist can guide you up the high hills to the original 100 year old bungalow of the British planter E.H. Simpson, after whom the hotel is named.
There is a gym and spa on the site. Tea from the plantation is available for sale.
This unique property is the creative idea of Lakshman Premachandra (Managing Director). The resident manager is Akram Ashraff. Thus, Simpson’s Forest hotel sustains the fabled Kandyan hospitality with an eco friendly experience