Nuwara Eliya District is considered as one of the best locations for both Sri Lankan and foreign travellers. Apart from the traditional attractions like Horton Plains, World’ End, Ambewela, Hakkgala and Gregory’s Lake, Norton and Dickoya area have become the latest attraction of the District.
If anyone asks me what the best tourist location in low land of Nuwara Eliya District, I never hesitate to name Castlereigh Reservoir as one of the most beautiful locations in Dickoya. Apart from its security blanket, it easily hits the top of the list as one of the best tourist attractions in the area.
Few resorts have come up around the Castlereigh Reservoir, but ‘Castlereigh Family Cottages’ is the oldest and the most known place. ‘Castlereigh Family Cottages’ is a perfect place for vacation to explore the region or simply relax in the garden and to have pleasure in one of the most beautiful places in the Bogawanthalawa Valley of above 3500 feet from the sea level, which is known as the Golden Valley of Tea.
‘Castlereigh Family Cottages’ started in 1998 with one family cottage in a seventeen acre lush tea plantation by Raju Ashok, who is is the current Managing Partner of the resort.
The Cottages are surrounded by the magnificent view of theCastlereigh Reservoir. There are two visitor Cottages and another small cottage for cooking purposes. Each and every visitor cottage has its own wide verandahs for relaxing on cushioned cane chairs, which are facing the Castlereigh Reservoir, a few steps down the valley.
Cottage one is a smaller in size and can accommodate six packs. Double room, room with four bunk beds with attached bathroom, one common bathroom, dining area, fire place, sitting room and mini garden are other features of the bungalow.
Sixteen guests can be accommodated in Cottage 2, which has three floors- upper floor, ground floor and basement. Upper floor is suitable for group accommodation, which has one double bed and six single beds. Ground floor has two double bedrooms, two single beds and a common bathroom. The basement comprises of one double bed, two single beds and a common bathroom. Bathrooms are made up with rock stones with glass blocks and the entire floor area is made of wood. TV lounge, dining area, ample sitting area and a magnificent view of the reservoir are some of the extra features of the ‘Cottage Two’.
‘The area is accessible from major cities on mostly good roads. The road from Colombo is good and travels via Avissawella and Hatton taking approximately four hours. Travel time from Kandy is 2 hours and Nuwara Eliya is 1.45 hours’ said Ashok.
The Resort is centrally located for excursions and adventure tours. Hundred and eighty years old Warleigh Church, Bopaththalawa Farm, Bogawanthalawa Tea Plantation, Devon, St. Clair’s , Gartmore water falls and Norton Bridge are some of the nearby attractions.
‘Nuwara Eliya, Hakkgala Botanical Gardens, Horton Plains and Word’s End are suitable for day excursions’ he added.
Cycling, white water rafting, bird watching, trekking, hiking and mountain biking are some of the other popular activities.
‘If you are a lover of hill climb, a journey around 2.00 am to Dalhousie, which is 40 minutes drive from the resort, you will be sure to catch the sunrise at the summit of Adams Peak. The hardy trekking aficionado, lovers of a good hike and the adventure travellers are all greeted at the summit by the unceasing clanging of a bell’ explained Ashok.
||M. C. Gabriel
‘Castlereigh Family Cottages’ are always ready to satisfy the guests. We cater according to their choice. There is no strict food serving rule. If the guests want western, Indian, Chinese or Sri Lankan delight, we are ready to prepare according to the requirement. BBQ and other arrangements too are possible’ said M. C. Gabriel, the Assistant to Ashok and the head of kitchen.
The dining prices range from Rs. 375/- (breakfast), Rs. 750/- 850/- (lunch and dinner).
The prices of the Cottages range from Rs. 3500/- to 5000/- (Cottage 1) and Rs. 10,000/- to 12, 000/- for Cottage 2.
For more details log on to castlereighcottages.com (051 2223607)