The exterior of this gem from the late British raj remains virtually unaltered since it was built by tea pluckers in the 1930's. Its modular architecture and heavy window frontage stands proudly in the centre of Division 1 of a working tea estate. The central atrium and reception gives way to the original and operational lift shaft.
Tea from the Hethersett factory was the first to fetch the highest price in the world for Silver tip tea from Ceylon. In 1891, Hethersett tea was auctioned in Mincing Lane, London, for £1.10s.6d, over 30 times the current average price of 1s lb pound of tea. This was an exciting achievement for a new tea factory.
The 57 bedrooms fill the corridors around the perimeter, the best views across the hill country being enjoyed from the corner deluxe rooms. The interior has been converted into a comfortable yet unusual hotel with large lounge and dining areas. However the light seeps in, shining on the metal foundations.
The tea Factory is about 30 minutes out of Nuwara Eliya sitting on one of the highest points of the tea country. The misty mountains clear between 10 am and 4pm, unveiling stunning views of the hill country and a haven for bird watchers.
During the day you might wish to enjoy the pleasant walks or 18 hole golf course of Nuwara Eliya town. At Buddhist New Year and Christmas time the town and especially the Race Course are popular venues for local holiday makers and the atmosphere is buzzing.
A large lawn to the front is an ideal spot for 'early' afternoon tea or socialising at the many weddings which choose a venue in the highlands. The nearby Heatherset Estate invites you to pluck your own tea leaves and have them processed in the hotel's tea factory.
A very different experience from the usual tea plantation bungalow and a quiet location for some R&R before indulging in more of Sri lanka's sights.