Thotalagala Tea Bungalow in Haputale

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Along the winding roads of Sri Lanka’s hill country through the rustic town of Haputale stands Thotalagala, a stylish refurbished Colonial bungalow owned by the Thomas Lipton Dambatenne tea estate.

Now a luxury boutique hotel, I was delighted to be invited for a 2 night stay to experience Thotalagala and visit nearby cultural sights Lipton’s Seat & Dambatenne Tea Factory. The highlight? A decadent bucketlist worthy champagne breakfast.

After an invigorating cup of spiced cinnamon tea in the Morning Room, I was whisked to the Major Rogers suite; a prominent figure in the tea industry of old-world Ceylon as I soon discovered via an interesting mini biography on the desk. The room felt so British it was somewhat surreal stepping out in the picturesque hill country of Sri Lanka.

Thotalagala offers guests pre dinner drinks in their charming Cigar room; a cosy masculine space with dark wooden walls and historic memorabilia. I enjoyed a Singapore Sling and an aptly named Planter’s Punch in front of the crackling fire.

The pop of a champagne cork echoed promptly at 8:30am for Thotalagala’s decadent champagne breakfast, overlooking the mountains as the sun drifted up into the sky. A seemingly endless spread of fresh fruit, pastries with homemade jam and traditional Sri Lankan breakfast emerged. For those not so keen on spice first thing in the morning, western options such as eggs benedict are available too.

Price: $$$

Address: Thotalagala Plantation House, Dambatenne Road, Thotalagala, Haputale

Number: +94 77 204 0981

Nearby sights: Haputale, Nuwara Eliya, Horton Plains

Front exterior
‘Planters Punch’ cocktail and cashew nuts in the Cigar Room
Sunrise over the hills from the garden
Thomas Lipton’s Bungalow
Dambatenne Tea Factory
Walking around the surrounding estate of Thotalagala

NB. All photography is copyright of ©Alice Luker. To purchase prints or commission a shoot please email




  1. What an interesting read, thank you for sharing your experiences with us! I can’t wait to visit Sri Lanka and see all the beautiful things it has to offer. Looking forward to more travel dairies x

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