Two hours north of Columbo’s airport, Rosyth Estate House is perfectly placed for guests arriving on the teardrop island. As a 10-bedroom boutique hotel, Rosyth has accommodation ranging from comfortable rooms in the restored 1926 planter’s bungalow through to the spectacular Rock Villa looking out over tea country.
Our driver phoned ahead to announce our imminent arrival and we subsequently found a small team of Rosyth staff awaiting as if we were royalty. Umbrellas were provided, as it is the rainy season, and our cases whisked away. After a reviving glass of cinnamon and ginger tea our weary feet were washed and massaged and orders were taken for a late lunch. Rosyth provides the warmest of Sri Lankan welcomes.
Built into a tropical forest that sometimes seems as lush and impenetrable as jungle, the bungalow with library, lounge, dining pavilion and some guest rooms is at the heart of the estate. Farzana Dobbs inherited the 62 acres rubber and tea estate from her father. She and husband Neil have restored the colonial charm of the original 1926 bungalow whilst adding on some spectacular contemporary additions that make the most of the forest setting.
Stone steps lead up from the bungalow to the Tea and Pepper suites, appropriately passing tea bushes and pepper vines climbing clove trees. For these two elevated suites it is all about the view. Mahogany, palms, cloves and thousands of waist-high tea bushes cloak a plunging valley.
Taking photos from either the rattan chairs or sun loungers on the terrace, as white wisps of cloud wreath the craggy peaks on the horizon, becomes compulsive. As the light of each day unfolds, the view changes.