Experience world-class eco-luxury among Sri Lanka’s tea plantations – read on for my Madulkelle review.
Green. Everywhere you look. Green. This is what was waiting for us after waking up at 4:30 am and traveling for nearly seven hours (read more about traveling through tea country by train here).
We traveled from Nuwara Eliya, and it took us two tuk tuks, two trains and one car to get to this haven high up in the hills of Kandy, and boy was it worth it.
Madulkelle Tea and Eco Lodge is an hour’s drive away from the heart of Kandy, and offers 18 safari-like lodges with the most incredible views over Kandy’s mountain ranges. Each room has its own private balcony overlooking the tea plantations below and the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises. The climate, unlike coastal Sri Lanka, is dry and much milder, so expect warm days and cool nights.
Visiting Sri Lanka for the first time? Click here for 12 things you should know before traveling to Sri Lanka or head on over here for 10 reasons why you need to visit Sri Lanka now!
I found out about this heavenly resort through none other than Instagram, and the visual wanderluster in me knew right there and then that I had to visit this place the next time I was in Sri Lanka.
Have you ever been to a place where everything is perfect and you’re ready to pack your bags and move in? This is one of those places. We stayed for two nights and I could have easily stayed for ten – nay, twenty!
The Rooms at Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge
The rooms at Madulkelle are spacious and are what I would describe as eco-luxe, dahhhling. Comfortable and classy, but not pretentious or pompous – make sense? You can’t see the bathroom, but it’s behind the separating wall and has a standalone shower and toilet, with a sink area in the middle.
The water is heated through solar powered heaters so while hot water is limited, you’ll be fine as long as you don’t shower in the dead of night. Make sure you keep the “front doors” of the tent shut at dusk, because the mosquitoes in tea country are on steroids.
We also had a sneak peek into the honeymoon suite, which has its own jacuzzi-style bathtub on the balcony, TV (what for when you have nature at your doorstep?), lounge area and in-room wifi (there is free, high-speed wifi in the restaurant, but not in the deluxe rooms). In my opinion it’s one of the best honeymoon hotels in Sri Lanka.
How do you put a price tag on these kinds of views? Simply put, you can’t, but if you had to, we paid US$250 a night (including taxes) for our stay in March at Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge. Every afternoon, we sipped tea (naturally) on the balcony and watched the sun slowly slink down below the misty mountains, and in the morning, we were offered out-of-this-world views of the sun rising and illuminating the hills, little by little.
The Facilities at Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge
The spa is the epitome of serenity and relaxation. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by the lovely staff and beautiful nature mandalas created out of flowers floating on water. We opted for a full body aromatherapy massage and while the pressure was a little too gentle for my liking, my boyfriend was in heaven. That being said, I am a masochist when it comes to massages.
There’s one thing we both loved and that was the amazing scalp massage: for the last 10 minutes of the massage, we were asked to move to a chair where the ladies proceeded to give the most divine scalp and head massage while we gazed out into the mountains. Dreamy.
The infinity pool at Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge is what other infinity pools aspire to be when they grow up one day. The lounge chairs are the perfect setting for a lazy afternoon lie-down, and the pool is perfect for cooling off after a hot day and looking out to the Knuckles mountain range (the mountain formation resembles knuckles – get it?).
Knuckles Mountain Range is a UNESCO Site and a must-visit place in Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. Click here for 7 places you have to visit in this region!
The main reception building houses a bar, snooker table, lounge area and indoor/outdoor restaurant. There really aren’t any dining options outside of the hotel, and while many other hotels would take advantage of this by charging their guests extortionate prices for meals, Madulkelle has kept their drink and food prices extremely reasonable, without compromising on quality – I’m talking $15 USD for a delicious three-course dinner. $15!!!
Breakfast was massive and delectable, with eggs cooked to order, sausages, crispy bacon, freshly baked croissants and the most finger-lickin’ good banana and butter cakes, baked onsite.
The best part about the food at Madulkelle? Most of the ingredients are grown in their own organic vegetable and herb garden!
Ready to book your eco-luxury stay in Sri Lanka? Click here to check rates and availability at Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge!
Things to Do at Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge
Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge offers a number of activities for its guests – waterfall excursions, treks, tea factory tours – but we did none of that. Oops. The kind of head space I was in was more conducive to recharging by sitting back and soaking in all the hotel had to offer (with a glass of wine in hand), rather than putting on my walking shoes and getting all hot and sweaty. So sue me!
You can, however, explore and take a leisurely stroll around the hotel’s premises and tea plantation to your heart’s content. The hotel is surrounded by tea plants and the plants are picked regularly by women dressed in delicate saris. If you ask nicely, they’ll be happy for you to take photos (always ask!).
It’s also possible to do a day trip to Kandy where you can visit the golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth, home to Buddha’s Tooth that was brought to Sri Lanka in the 16th century. Click here for 7 places you need to visit in the city of Kandy.
Getting to Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge
There are a number of ways to get to Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge – we took a car from Kandy town (hour-long drive, $30 USD) followed by a 15 minute ride in a tuk tuk (200 rupees – under $1 USD at the current exchange rate!) once the roads were a little too rough for the car. If you’re feeling ~fancy~, the hotel can be reached by sea plane or a helicopter!
All-in-all, I am counting the days until my next visit to Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge. I’ve always been a glass-half-empty kind of person (I know, I know, I’m working on it!) and if there’s something to nitpick about, chances are I’ll be the first to pick that nit – but truly, this place was wonderful and the staff (Hello Kithsiri! You’re the best!) were so friendly, helpful and accommodating.
What’s even better is that they donate $1 from each booking to their children’s development program and a portion of the hotel’s proceeds back into community projects. What’s not to love? Click here to book your stay at Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge!
Are you thinking about visiting Sri Lanka or have you stayed at Madulkelle before? I’d love to hear from you below!
Headed to Sri Lanka? You might also find these helpful:
- Not sure what to start? Check out this easy 2 week Sri Lanka itinerary
- Sri Lanka has plenty of accommodation options to suit a range of budgets. Here are a few dozen of the best hotels in Sri Lanka that I’ve personally tried and tested around the island
- Yoga lovers should also look into staying at Rukgala Retreat, also located near Kandy
- Make sure you go on a day trip to Knuckles Mountain Range for stunning views, waterfalls and a visit to a local village for lunch
- For more Sri Lanka travel tips and recommendations head on over here
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I stayed at Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge as a paying customer, the opinions on Yogawinetravel.com are, and always will be, my own!
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