A restored plantation bungalow perched on the hills of a working tea plantation with stunning views of the mountains, Nine Skies is newly opened luxury tea plantation stay in Sri Lanka.
Nine Skies is nestled in a quiet corner in Demodara, nearby village to busy mountain town Ella, and an ideal place for travellers in Sri Lanka who do not want to stay in the busy township of Ella. At Nine Skies, you can experience life on Sri Lanka’s iconic plantations. This property is unique not only in terms of its locality but its vibrant staff and their attentive service. The property has 5 bedrooms including a suite and interconnecting rooms making it suitable for families and couples alike. There’s an inviting garden pool with infinite views of the mountains. For our clients, this all-inclusive stay provides the opportunity to indulge a little, with meals, drinks and even a butler all included during your visit. You can just sit back and enjoy the experience at this luxury plantation stay!
The rooms are spacious, simple and contemporary with no TVs to distract, though Wi-Fi is available through out. There’s one butler per two rooms, who will gladly bring you tea, coffee, make you sundowners and assist with your other needs during your stay. Inside the room, the décor is subdued and compliments the external environment. Our room had a large king-sized, four-poster bed and a small private veranda which was great to enjoy an early morning cup of tea as the sun rose across the mountains. Tea making facilities are provided inside the room with a range of local teas available. However, you are free to ask your butler to bring a cup of tea or coffee to you at any stage. The en suite bathroom is spacious and has the luxury of a bathtub with jar filled with bath salt and candles if you are in the mood for a relaxing soak. (We certainly recommend this!) At night, we loved to discover the hot water bottle in our bed after the evening turn-down service. With the cooler climates of the tea country in the evening, a hot water bottle to warm the sheets is just one of the signs of the well thought out service at Nine Skies.
Nine Skies offers exquisite, simple, gourmet cuisine. Our meals were served to us with so much passion and care. If we are to pick a favourite meal from our recent stay, it would be the hoppers (Sri Lankan crispy pancakes) at breakfast adorned with poached eggs, bacon, hollandaise sauce and garnished with a tea leaf. This was the best-looking hopper we have come across during our travel in Sri Lanka. We also loved the homemade breads with the signature papaya and lemon marmalade jams in the morning. Although there is a formal communal dining area to entertain all the guests at the property, the staff make it more personal by creating individual spaces for guests by setting dinning indoors and outdoors on the portico or garden. We found this to be a beautiful experience as you can enjoy your food with the breathtaking mountainous views and the beautifully manicured garden. Drinks are served inside the lounge with a gentle fire kindling inside the old-fashioned fireplace. There’s a bar is set in a corner of the lounge, open from 11.00 a.m. and guests are welcome to pour a glass of G&T throughout the day and into the night. Nine Skies will also arrange special dining experiences upon request - we loved our dinner lit by fairy lights near the pool with the amazing view of the mountains.
While it may be tempting to simply relax at Nine Skies and enjoy the gentle pace of plantation life, there are several activities you can enjoy during your stay. There’s the trail to the famous Nine Arch Bridge to walk - a gentle walk through the tea gardens, bushes and the rail track itself which takes about 45 minutes one way. The staff are happy to pack a few snacks if you are in the mood to stop and enjoy a lite bite during the walk. You can also visit a nearby tea factory or make the more energetic walk to Little Adams Peak. Demodara railway station is a few minutes away and good place to visit if you are a train enthusiast. It has some of the oldest equipment installed during the British colonial era still in working condition. You can also try your hand at Sri Lankan cooking, with lessons available with the onsite chef. This is generally done before lunch so that you can enjoy your very own cooking.
From Nine Skies, you can travel to the south coast of Sri Lanka or Udawalawe and Yala national parks within 2-to-3 hours’ drive.