PRICE: Punchy but doesn’t blow the budget
Nine Skies, a stone’s throw from the upcountry hippy hangout of Ella, has burst on the already established Sri Lankan boutique hotel scene with vigour. It’s the latest sensational creation from Teardrop Hotels (think of Fort Bazaar and The Wallawwa for a sense of its pedigree). From the outside, it’s a meticulously restored plantation manager’s bungalow on a lofty tea estate. From the inside, it’s an envelope of contemporary perfection.
Perched high on a hillside above the Finlay tea estate, Nine Skies, named after the famous colonial era railway bridge, has commanding views over the Demodara valley. The house is surrounded by lovingly tended gardens, mature trees and a heavenly swimming pool ideal for gently working off the tiredness from one of the many specular hikes on your doorstep.
As you’d expect, the interiors are befitting a luxury hotel group that empathises with its market. Neutral hues of grey and white run as a theme throughout. Coir flooring, bespoke furniture and dream inducing beds are perfectly positioned below high ceilings. Tasteful upholstery and elegant bathrooms combine to make Nine Skies an achingly hip five-bedroom hilltop retreat.
The dining experience is no less impressive. You’ll be treated to masterfully created dishes, both Western and Sri Lankan, with an emphasis on local organic ingredients. The polished service, effortlessly cool in its approach, is superb. This is one boutique bolthole you’ll never want to leave.
The Ella Rock suite is the best room in the house and has exceptional views out over the surrounding landscapes.
On your doorstep
Mini Adam's Peak is almost on the doorstep. Its takes about 2 hours to hike up to the summit where you'll be rewarded stunning views and an enormous sense of achievement.