The rooms What's to do Gallery Location Food and Drink

Ashburnham Estate

an hour north east of Kandy

Ashburnham (or Ash) breaks the mould a little from other tea estate hotels. It’s more of a boutique guesthouse and quietly proud of it.

It’s set in its own gorgeous 100-acre tea estate, around an hour north-east of Kandy, in the heart of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. The estate boasts stunning waterfalls and beautiful views up to and across the Knuckles Mountains, not to mention around 60 acres of lush tea fields, plucked each day.

The house has a funkier edge than most estate bungalows. It very much retains, though, its 1930’s planter heritage. You’ll soak that up with sundowners on the terrace or by the ‘Aga Bar’.

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The Rooms

The house has just six bedrooms, all a little different.

Four double rooms make up one ‘wing’ – the so-called Sunset Room being the largest of the four. The Balcony Room offers, as its name would imply, a little balcony with views up over Mount Hunasgiriya. The Bay Room opens onto a private terrace area. The Hideaway is tucked quietly and comfortably to one side.

A family room offers a double and two (antique) single beds. The Ashburnham Suite has a large sitting room and private outside sitting area.

What’s to do

Although just an hour from Kandy, Ashburnham is very much in tea-country and, being a working estate, the ideal place to explore production of the island’s most famous crop.

Guided tours of the tea fields can be arranged with the estate’s own manager. A short tuk tuk ride drops you down to the local tea factory to see the leaves being processed.

The estate and its surrounds boast great walking and trekking routes; guided walks are offered, ranging from easy jaunts to whole day treks. Mount Hunasgiriya offers the most arduous challenge.

Bikes are also available for hire – we recommend the ‘morning downhiller’ (tuk tuk escort back up).

If the weather folds then cooking classes (gin & tonic supported) are great fun.

Kandy is easily within day trip range. Attractions there include the Temple of the (Buddha’s) Tooth and the Botanical Gardens.

Other day trips – with a little more driving – can be made to the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya and the Cave Temples at Dambulla.


Ashburnham is an hour north east of Kandy in the middle of the island.

From Colombo International Airport it’s not much more than 120km but transfer by car will take between 4-4.5 hours, depending on time of day.

Domestic flights do run between Colombo and Kandy – a 40 minute flight with an hour’s drive may well be preferable to the Kandy-Colombo road.

The 9.45 out of Colombo Fort station to Perideniya is a good option if heading from the capital and you’re ok with a bumpy, though very beautiful, journey.

Out for the evening

Best stay put! Ash revels in its isolation. You might make take an evening stroll through the estate as the bells ring from the local temple but you shan’t be stumbling across Michelin-starred restaurants just yet.

If you’re in Kandy and fancy a cocktail before heading back up the hill, try Helga’s Folly – a gothic, self-styled anti-hotel, the creation of Helga Blow. The Margharitas are as formidable as the names in the guestbook.

Food & Drink

Ashburnham operates a very flexible kitchen with meals served whenever and wherever suits. Most choose to dine on the terrace with stunning views over the valley but private dining can be arranged.

The food is not overtly fancy but of good quality. A small menu is daily chalked up offering western dishes and the more ubiquitous ‘rice and curry’ staple. Lunches are simple but more than adequate – a good amount of the produce sourced from the hotel’s organic kitchen garden.

Ash’s signature ‘Full Hopper’ (a fusion of Sri Lankan and English breakfast tastes) offers a unique start to the day.


A really stunning spot on sunny days, even if the pool is a little worn in. Not all will find the slide aesthetically ideal but kids (and a few adults) will no doubt approve.

To and From

Properties to head to before or after your stay
at Ashburnham Estate…

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