- Estate Life
The Estate House is a boutique hotel which is operated as a house rather than a hotel. We hope you will relax and find that it feels like your home in the tropics. With that in mind, we will not be presenting you with something to sign every time you order food or drink. You will be given a bill and a “tip envelope” at the end of your stay and it will be your opportunity, if you wish, to show your appreciation with a tip for the team. The tips are shared equally (including the spa). We are often asked how much the appropriate amount should be. Our suggestion would be Rs1,000-3,000 per room per night. It is, of course entirely at your discretion and you should not feel obliged.
Alcohol We have a full alcohol license accompanying a wide range of beverages including local & international spirits, wines and local beer. The only prohibited times of consuming alcohol is during the monthly Buddhist Poya holidays which take place on every full moon. At this time, you may consume alcohol only in the confines of your bedroom.
Air-conditioning The climate in Kegalle is such that it cools down in the evenings, however we have AC units installed in every room, we advise that you set a timer at night for your air-conditioning units as it can get a bit chilly during the night.
Any time tea or coffee We offer complimentary tea and coffee.
Bed Tea We are happy to serve coffee & tea in your bedroom at your convenience, throughout the day. Coffee and tea making facilities are available in the suites and should you wish to have a kettle and facilities to make your own tea and coffee please ask a butler.
Bedding The linen for the beds is high quality 200-300 thread count cotton, imported from Europe. The pillows are mostly feather but please advise if you require foam pillows and we will try to accommodate you. The linen is normally changed every three days. Towels can be changed more frequently if you wish. They are dried in the sun which does not result in fluffy towels.
Bicycles There are four mountain bikes complete with helmets. They are of different sizes which will hopefully accommodate your needs. You are welcome to borrow the bikes and to explore the estate and close-by villages. Please be aware the hills are quite steep, and it is generally uphill all the way home. We can suggest a circular route which is nearly 11km long and takes approximately 1 hour.
Books The library has a large personal selection of novels and reference books which we would ask you to return when you depart. A book on local birds and one on plants is available adjacent to the living room.
Breakfast is served from 07:00 until 10:30am. Please let our staff know the night before if you are planning on leaving early and require an especially early breakfast. As all our food is freshly prepared the staff may ask you the night before for your preferred breakfast, as preparation of some Sri Lankan dishes in particular is time consuming.
Caring for the environment We do our best to reduce the impact of running a hotel on the local surroundings. Our hot water is solar and boosted by electricity for cloudy days. We try to grow and use the produce that we can rescue from the monkeys. Where possible we use recyclable or refillable bottles and containers. The food is locally sourced where possible.
Climate The temperature during the day varies between 25 and 35 degrees and cools down in the evening. The humidity is less than the coastal areas which results in a very comfortable overall climate. In the evening at certain times of year, the temperature occasionally drops to point where you may consider needing a light sweater or wrap.
Cots & High chairs We have 2 cots and 2 high chairs for our younger guests. We request that these are booked in advance & we will confirm availability prior to arrival.
Dining locations Meals are normally served in the indoor or outdoor dining pavilions. We are happy to organise special location dining. Please speak to our team and they will do their best to accommodate your request.
Doctor There is a local doctor who speaks good English & holds evening surgeries. Should you need to seek medical advice, please speak to the butler who will be happy to help you.
Drinking water The drinking water that we provide throughout the hotel has been filtered and purified. In order to minimize the environmental impact with plastic which cannot be recycled, we try to reduce the numbers of plastic bottles which are used. Please feel free to refill your own water bottles from the dispenser outside of the dining room. If you would prefer bottled water, please advise us in order that we can accommodate your request which will incur a small extra charge. We do not recommend drinking water directly from the taps but is safe to clean teeth.
Electricity The estate house is connected to the grid, has three phase electricity & in addition we have a large backup generator. The electricity supply is generally reliable, but we have placed a torch in each of the rooms. There may be a small delay before the generator starts up. The voltage is 220V. Most of the plug points are UK compatible plugs. In each bedroom there is an international multi-type plug socket.
Estate Dogs We have three dogs on the estate Buddy (beige and white), Oscar (black) and Jasper (tan). We do not permit them to come into the dining area, but they do occasionally sneak in. They have all been vaccinated and are quite harmless. Please let our team know if at any time they are bothering you.
First aid box A first aid box with a limited supply of items is available from the butler. Please note we don’t have trained first aiders on property and in an emergency will contact the local doctor or private hospital.
Facilities for those less mobile There are a few steps that lead into the house but within the main house, all facilities are at one level, the front and back terrace, living areas and four of the bedrooms. The bathrooms are not particularly suitable for wheelchairs, but the showers are suitable for those who are less mobile. The most suitable room is the Cinnamon Room which also has grab handle for the WC and shower & offers wide access to the facilities.
Food We are pleased to share our passion for Sri Lankan food. Each evening we offer a sharing tasting menu which will be shown on a black board outside the kitchen. If you have any dislike or allergies, our chefs will take that into account. Please discuss with the chefs how you would like to vary your choice, increase or decrease the amount of chili. We realise that you may well be “curried out” if you are at the end of the tour and we have a small selection of A la carte items to tempt you with.
Insects Most are harmless. Mosquitoes are the only concern. We recommend the use of 50% DEET repellent during the day and at night to protect against mosquitoes. Dawn and dusk are the times when they seem to be prevalent. Being a tropical country, there are many insects around and at night they are particularly attracted to lights – we therefore suggest you keep windows in the bedrooms closed from dusk. Each room has a plug-in insect repellent.
Interacting with the local community
We work with the local schools and preschools to provide items and build facilities that the government doesn’t provide. If you are visiting during the school term, you are very welcome to visit the school in the morning. We ask you to organise this in advance of arrival, so we can liaise with the headmaster. Purchase of the cookbook, Rs 1,000 is donated to the fund for improvement of facilities. They are also happy to have unwanted clothes, books and toys.
Internet We are happy to offer complimentary high-speed wireless internet access whilst you are staying with us, which is generally reliable. It has limited bandwidth for streaming. The password will also be on your welcome letter. There are several points to connect and they all start with Rosyth when you search.
Laundry The staff will be happy to pop into the washing machine clothing that you would like to be washed. There is a nominal charge for this service and normally the items not ironed. Please let the team know if you want to segregate your washing an if some items should not be put into the drier.
Organic Garden We attempt to grow as many of the vegetables as possible subject to the season. Please ask a butler if you would like to visit the garden.
Poya Day (Full Moon) are a sacred day for the Buddhist community. Most of the local shops will be closed and it is impossible to buy alcohol in hotels, restaurants and shops. It is considered acceptable to consume alcohol in the confines of your own room.
Pharmacy There are several pharmacies in Kegalle. The closest is situated within the Cargills Food City or Keels Supermarket which are on the right-hand side as you travel into Kegalle. Several others are situated within the town.
Pool Our pool is available for all guests. There is a shallow area for children to play which is 2 feet depth and then steps down to the main pool which is a constant 4’6” depth. Please note there is no life guard on duty and children should always be supervised. We would ask that you don’t use the pool after the staff have gone to bed. Please refrain from diving into the pool or running around the pool area. The pool will be out of service until approximately 8.30 am while we conduct pool maintenance.
Plastics & rubbish recycling There is currently no facility for rubbish collection nor recycling at the Estate. We therefore take great care to minimize the waste that we collect. We burn paper and cardboard and where ever possible all other waste is composted. Disposing of plastic bottles is a major issue for us and we would ask, if you are able, to take all plastic bottles away with you.
Safe & Valuables All rooms are equipped with a safe or a locking wardrobe. We would ask you to be careful with your valuable and keep your bedroom doors locked when you are away from the house. We have, to date, not had an issue with security, however, it is always worth remembering that the many items which we take for granted such as smart phones and i-pads are a high cost for locals.
Spa We have small spa pavilion nestled in the trees below the Lime and Coconut room offering a small range of treatments, including massages and scrubs. The spa has only male therapists. Please ask one of the Butlers for a Spa menu and to book a treatment. They will ask you to sign the bill at the end of your treatment. We currently have two male spa therapists (one may be on leave during your stay) and one spa room. We suggest that you book in advance. Please respect the time that you are allocated as a delay with one treatment effects other treatments.
Staff Our team is here to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. The team is led by our Head Butler and our Head Chef. Please do not hesitate to ask for anything which you require and the team will try to accommodate you. Our Estate Manager Haniffa, who also speaks good English, does not get involved in the day to day operation of the hotel & lives off site, but will always try to help if required. Neil and Farzana are usually available on site or by phone to oversee any concerns you may have.
Shops Just over 15 minutes from the house, in the centre of Kegalle there is a wide selection of shops. There are several supermarkets, which sell a full range of items that you may require. In addition Kegalle has a reasonable selection of clothing shops including No Limit, where summer clothes are available.
Sounds Rosyth is a working estate and although we try to reduce the impact of the noise from the local area, we are not always successful. While we have a lot of fruit on the trees, monkeys are frequent visitors on our rooves. Chipmunks and our resident hornbills may also disturb your sleep at night.
Telephones The telephones in your room can be used to contact the butler and can also be used for dialing room to room. You are also welcome to make complimentary local calls within Sri Lanka from the phone.
TV/DVD The library has a TV, DVD player and a small selection of DVDs. There is a satellite TV connection a full channel listing is available in the library. The sports channels do carry some live premiership football and other sporting occasions.
Turn down service The staff will normally undertake a turndown service, usually whilst you are at dinner unless you request them not to do so. They will close all blinds and refill your water.
Tea Factory visits The local tea factory offers a unique opportunity to understand tea production. Green leaves collected from our estate and the surrounding area are processed into black tea for sale at auction. One of the butlers will be happy to organize a visit to the factory. Please note we do not own the factory and closures of the factory are outside of our control. On Poya days, public holidays, occasionally on a Sundays and during periods of low tea picking the factory is closed. There is a small charge for the visit, which is passed across to the factory.
Walks around the Estate We encourage you to explore whilst staying with us. Our Estate Superintendent normally takes guests on an estate walk, he has worked with us for the past 40 years. It is an opportunity to learn more about the estate and to experience local life. Please speak to the butler in advance in order that he can arrange the Superintendent or one of the team to accompany you. We normally recommend an estate walk late afternoon from 16:00 when it is cooler. Please ask him to walk at your pace. The walks are not private and you may be joined by other guests.
Water Despite being in a sub-tropical climate, water is a precious resource and during the dry season we have to manage water carefully. We have a connection to the city water supply which is then stored in tanks and is supplemented from our own well. Please be considerate in your use of water. All our water is heated by solar power and in addition is boosted electrically. If there is insufficient hot water, please immediately let the butler know and our maintenance team will investigate.
Yoga We offer complimentary yoga on a daily basis which is led by our spa therapists at around 7:00am for just less than one hour. This is a good introduction offering relatively basic breathing, stretching, & relaxation techniques a gentle introduction to yoga. Please let one of the butlers know if you would like to participate and they will reconfirm the time. The yoga is suitable for beginners. If you are an experienced yogi, we suggest that you ask for a yoga mat for self-practice. Please choose a suitable location if you wish to practice outside.