Amba's old estate farmhouse, the original estate line-rooms (tea-workers’ quarters) and 2 neighbouring bungalows
are operated as a full-service guest-house, offering guests the opportunity to learn more about
organic farming and artisanal tea-making, and enjoy our little corner of paradise.
The accommodation is simple, but guests regularly rate the farmstay as one of the best guest-houses in Sri Lanka,
thanks to the stunning scenery, delicious food and unspoiled surroundings - and the genuine warmth of the staff,
who all come from our local community.
The farm is located in the Uva Highlands of Sri Lanka, approximately 30 minutes drive from Bandarawela, Ella or Wellawaya,
perched in a small valley above the Ravana-Ella Waterfalls, with views of Ella Rock and Lipton’s Seat.
Built 100 years ago by one of the first local families to develop their own tea estate,
Amba’s original Farmhouse exudes rustic charm and cosy character. The farmhouse has
4 double or twin rooms, 1 single room, and two shared bathrooms.
The Amba Linerooms, next door to the Farmhouse, have 3 double or twin rooms, each with ensuite bathrooms.
Clove Tree House, a 1930s planter’s bungalow about 200 metres from the Amba farmhouse,
has 1 family suite, 1 double room and 1 twin room, all with ensuite bathrooms.
Clove Tree Cottage, a newer annex next to Clove Tree House,
has 1 family suite and 1 triple room, both with ensuite bathrooms.
All the houses have their own kitchens, living and dining areas, and spectacular views across the valley.
Full-time staff prepare meals in each house, provide daily house-keeping and attend to guest needs.
Since our rates for a whole house or cottage are less than you pay for a room at many other tea bungalows,
we recommend that guests rent a whole bungalow or cottage so that you can have the place to yourselves.
However, if you prefer, you can book 1 or 2 rooms, with the proviso that you might be
sharing meal-times with other guests (and sharing bathrooms in the original Farmhouse).
We also recommend staying at least 2 nights so that you have time to enjoy the excellent hikes,
waterfall swims and sunsets in the valley.
For larger groups looking for the ideal place for a group retreat,
we can also make arrangements with a couple of nearby guesthouses – offering up to 25 rooms in total
FOOD & DRINK
Guests rave about the food at Amba, frequently commenting that it is the best food that they tasted in Sri Lanka.
As far as possible, we use produce from our own organic farm, or we source fresh fruit and vegetables from
our neighbours in the valley. We hand-roll our own tea, pan-roast our own coffee, and we make a range of
jams and chutneys, tisanes and kombuchas, using ingredients growing around the valley. We also grow
our own herbs and spices, and we make our own curds and cheeses with milk from our herd of rescue cows.
The ladies who cook for guests are all former fieldworkers from the village, so we focus on traditional village-style cuisine. Breakfast usually includes Sri Lankan specialities like hoppers or dosai. For lunch, we typically serve a lighter
farmhouse meal, like quiche and salad or soup and roti, and our default main course at dinner is rice with
delicious village-style curries. Guests can always chat with the chefs and customise their meal choices and timings.
We serve meals separately in each of the houses, usually on one of the outdoor terraces. Many guests choose to
eat their meals together, so they get to interact and share travelling tips; but we can also set up private tables
on one of the many private verandas or lawns. We can also prepare picnics for hikes and excursions, and
guests can enjoy snacks and refreshments throughout the day at the newly-opened Amba café. We are not licenced,
but guests are welcome to bring their own beer, wine and spirits.
There is no need to book ahead for your meals during your stay at Amba - frankly we assume that 90% of guests
will take 90% of their meals with us, partly because the food is very good, and partly because we are a long way
from other options! However please let us know if have any dietary restrictions or preferences; and let us know
if you will not be joining us for dinner on the the first night.
Amba is the ideal place to relax and unwind. For those who want to escape the pressures of modern life, we offer
a wide range of books and games, comfy sofas, shady verandas and stunning vistas for a quiet stroll or meditation.
But for those in the mood for adventure, there is a wide range of activities and attractions in and around the Estate.
Here is a small selection of some highlights.
Guests are welcome to stroll the farm, meet our herd of rescue cows, and learn more about organic methods
for cultivating tea, coffee, cinnamon and a whole range of herbs and spices, fruits and vegetables.
We offer a tour of our artisanal tea and coffee production every day at 11am. The tour itself is free,
and you can also do an optional tea tasting after the tour for $5 per person
($10 per person on Sundays and national holidays). Depending on the production schedule,
you may also be able to see how we hand-process our tea and other products
– and even try your hand at plucking and rolling your own batch of tea!
Wildlife and Birdlife
The valley is full of wildlife and birdlife. We commonly see kingfishers, hornbills, humming birds, peacocks,
parakeets, woodpeckers, as well as birds of prey and the Jungle Fowl, Sri Lanka’s national bird.
On hikes up the mountain or into the forest below, you are more than likely to see monkeys, deer,
rabbits and mongooses, as well as occasional sightings of wild boars, porcupines, civet cats
and other nocturnal creatures (including one unconfirmed leopard!)
There are a variety of walks in and around the estate. These range from gentle strolls through
the tea, coffee, cinnamon and lemongrass fields, to more strenuous hikes.
A 30-minute walk leads down to the abandoned hydro-powered tea factory and the secluded
swimming pools and spectacular rock shelves at the top of the Ravana-Ella Waterfalls.
A 1 hour hike through Amba’s 50-acre forest reserve leads to our own secret cave and waterfall,
with frequent sightings of monkeys pillaging the mango, avocado and banana trees along the way!
A 2-hour hike climbs more than 400 meters to the top of Ella Rock. From there you can return to the farm or hike down
to Ella town on the other side, enjoy a drink or meal in one of the cafes, and then take a tuk-tuk back to the farm.
Swimming and Sports
A swim in our natural swimming pool in the river above the Ravana falls is a highlight for most of our guests.
Guests are also welcome to use 4 or 5 mountain-bikes to explore the winding lanes of Ambadandegama valley
– just beware of the occasional big red bus and frequent steep hills! We also have a large lawn where guests
can play badminton, boules or cricket.
Rock climbing and spelunking
The Estate is surrounded by spectacular granite cliffs, some intersected by deep caves and ravines. We do not have
our own equipment or know-how, but those with the guts and equipment are welcome to take on the challenge!
Spectacular winding roads lead from the Estate to Lipton’s Seat and to Pilkington Point, where you can enjoy some of the best views in all Sri Lanka – ideal for breakfast picnics, before the clouds roll in from the shimmering plains below.
On the way back, you can also stop at a spot on the Poonagala Road where you can walk through the meadows to the spectacular rock pools at the top of the Diyaluma Falls – just watch out for the wild elephants who frequent the area!
Several historical sites are located within 1-hour’s drive of the Estate. These include the colossal Buddhist statues at Buduruwagala, the Dowa Temple and Geoffrey Bawa’s iconic church at the Nazareth Convent in Bandarawela,
the Adisham Monastery in Haputale, the ancient covered bridge at Bogoda, and the Nine-Arch bridge at Demodara.
It is also possible to use Amba as a base for day-trips or overnight-trips to many of the most popular sights
in central and south-eastern Sri Lanka. The beaches at Arugam Bay and Kirinda, the wildlife parks at Yala and Udawalawe,
the unique ecosystems of World’s End and Horton Plains, and the colonial mansions, botanic gardens and golf courses of Nuwara Eliya are all within 3 hours drive.
All our farmstay rates include breakfast, all taxes and our 10% staff revenue share.
All rates also include free farm tours, plentiful books and board-games, mountain-bikes,
random boots and machetes for jungle-adventurers, electricity (storms permitting),
unlimited use of candles and torches, sun-lotion and umbrellas, fruit-foraging, waterfall-swims, cow-petting,
occasional intrusions by the farm cats/dogs, polecats, wild boar, peacocks and other fauna
- and the freedom to roam 120 acres of tea, forest, waterfalls and caves!
10% of all Amba Estate Revenues (from the guesthouse and product sales) go into a special bonus pool
to be shared among all staff, over and above their regular salaries, benefits and over-time.
All prices above are inclusive of this 10% revenue-share. The guesthouse revenue-share is divided between
all the staff who look after the bungalow and guests during their stay.
20%-off stays of
3 nights or more
Special offer for local residents.
Many visitors book for only 2 nights and then discover
that they do not have enough time to do all the farm tours,
tea tastings, cooking lessons, waterfall swims, mountain hikes & cave explorations that Amba is famous for!
During low-season, we offer 20% off the
B&B room-rate for all stays of 3 nights or more.
Valid May-June and October-November every year.
special rates for groups
With 15 rooms spread across 4 houses and cottages,
open-air pavilions for meetings and classes,
spectacular mountain-tops and river-side terraces
for contemplation, delicious farm-fresh food and
120 acres to roam, Amba makes the ideal location
for yoga retreats, creative workshops, kids' camps, weddings, corporate pow-wows and more.
We offer special all-inclusive rates for groups of 8 or more. Please contact us to find out more.