ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, Octomber 15, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 20
TV Times

Wanna live like a Planter?

By Sanath Weerasuriya

For almost one and half Centuries, Planters were considered as a top end of society and respected accordingly. After introduction of the English Tea Culture to this country, new generation of local planters has emerged.

'Live like a Planter', the phrases came into life with this transaction.

Even in the present day society, this has a big impact and living like a planter indicates one of the highest levels of the society.

'Live like a Planter', is the motto of latest attraction in the country. Aigburth Manor is indeed a place for aristocrats, for the people who want to live like a planter.

The Aigburth Manor, a colonial type bungalow in Suriyakanda is the biggest attraction in the district. Located on the scenic Deniyaya road, just 144 kilometres from Colombo via Palmadulla and Rakwana, lies Aigburth Manor a rustic stone building of a planter.

Situated at the 3,000 ft above sea level in the midst of 362 hectare tea plantation, the Aigburth Manor was built during the British era in 1925 by an English Planter by the name James T. Allan.

Even though the name is synonymous with various terror activities in the recent past, Suriyakanda, Rakwana, mysterious Bulutota Pass and the surrounding area is an oasis for nature and adventure lovers.

Since lately, Suriyakanda has emerged as the latest attraction for travellers both local and overseas.

Aigburth Manor has now been fully refurbished retaining its old world charm. The bungalow has six spacious bedrooms with attached bathrooms with hot and cold water, two of which have fire places. A total of 14 guests can be accommodated at a given time.

I think the significant of Aigburth Manor is the large size bed rooms and the large lounge overlooking the famous Buluthota Pass, which is ideal for relaxing and enjoying the quiet and tranquility of the area.

The biggest attraction of the Bungalow is the climate, which is almost like mild Nuwara Eliya weather.

The swimming pool has the natural spring water, generated by the World Heritage 'Sinharaja Rain Forest'.

‘Our motto is 'Live like a Planter' and most of the guests look forward to this draem come true. We get most of the guests from European countries and majority of them are nature and adventure travellers. Sri Lankans holiday makers do visit this place, mainly to have a relaxed holiday but not to do the excursions’ said Lanil Tennekoon, the Manager of the estate, who overlooks the bungalow.

Lanil Tennekoon

Excursion to Sinharaja is the most popular, but I think to spend the night at 'Morning Side' and to experience the best sun rise in the world is more adventurous.

The Aigburth Manor has well trained dedicated staff who are there to pamper to all the needs of the guests.

I think, if I do not mention about the Manager/ caretaker of the bungalow, Shyamali Priyanka, I ignore a half of the story. The best service we have experienced in any holiday destinations was provided by Shyamali. She is the Steward, room boy, housekeeper, accountant, guide and the manager with public relations at its best.

No holiday would complete with out a culinary experience and the cuisine at Aigburth Manor is of very good standard.

M. Selladurai

The resident chef M. Selladurai cooks Sri Lankan and Western cuisine to suit the palates of guests from around the world.

‘We also have well stocked wine cellar. Guests can select their own food and we are very much happy to meet their choice of dishes. We could also arrange your take out food and beverages for picnics and for day excursions’ she said.

'Entertain yourself with our piano and other instruments or have a quiet evening with cold environment'' she added.

So if you want to live like a planter, visit Aigburth Manor for vacation and enjoy the luxury living of kings of the estates.

For more details go to the website - or for contacts

Aigburth Manor is owned by Everton Bungalows (pvt) Limited, a subsidiary of Bernard Boteju Industries'.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.