Governor’s Mansion Sri Lanka: luxury in a tea plantation

The Governor’s Mansion in Sri Lanka is one of the most unique places to stay on the island because it is a historic property set on a hill in the middle of a tea plantation, far away from the noise, the crowds and the heat. The Governor’s Mansion was built shortly before the 1800s by the father of the late William Scott (who was connected to British royalty) in Hatton, an area in the Ceylon highlands that had once been popular with British residents and aristocrats visiting the island, for its physical location and mild climate. Below the mansion you can see the 150-year old Ottery tea factory, still in operation.

governor's mansion sri lanka

The grand house is everything a colonial mansion should be: high-beamed ceilings, dark polished wooden floors, a library, sitting rooms with fire places, spacious elegant suites and a lush sprawling garden filled with flowers (plumeria, fuchsias, Christmas star), landscaped to take advantage of the hillside location. The hallways are filled with fading photos of people who visited the mansion during British colonial rule, giving the place a feeling of lost grandeur.

During the two days that I stayed at the Governor’s Mansion, I met only one other couple at the house. The tranquility of the estate, filled with the songs of birds at dawn and dusk, relieved the tension of the long drive from Dambulla to Hatton through Kandy (a busy, traffic-clogged town).

There isn’t much to do in Hatton except relax and take long walks through the tea plantation. You can sit outdoors on the patio and have afternoon tea or indoors with a good book. You can play tennis or if you are an avid gardener, spend hours marvelling at the plants and flowers that fill the grounds.

The food at the Governor’s Mansion is excellent. I absolutely love Sri Lankan food! Here’s a small sample of what I enjoyed at the Governor’s Mansion:

– milk rice: short grain rice cooked in coconut milk (eaten for breakfast);
– tempered onions: chopped red onions cooked till very soft and sweet, and eaten with milk rice;
– yellow dhal: savoury, spicy yellow lentil soup;
– sambal: very spicy sauce which you eat with rice and dhal;
– wattalapan: a popular Sri Lankan dessert, this is a steamed pudding made with eggs, coconut milk and jaggery (palm sugar);
– sau kenda: a dessert made with tiny sago balls, cardamom, coconut milk and jaggery.

The service at the Governor’s Mansion is outstanding. They do everything they can to make sure you feel at home, relaxed and pampered. If you want to take a walk through the plantation, they can arrange a guide for you.

Room rates at the Governor’s Mansion includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, morning/afternoon tea or coffee, soft drinks and fresh fruit juices.

garden at governor's mansion

governor's mansion tea plantation

governor's mansion room

Governor’s Mansion Sri Lanka
Ottery tea estate
Hatton, Sri Lanka

About Esme Vos

Esme Vos is the founder of Mapplr, a travel site featuring boutique hotels, luxury resorts, travel guides and restaurant reviews. You can find her on and Twitter.