Posted: March 28, 2023 | Last Update: 06. Sep 2023
MELHEIM RESORT, Haputale, Sri Lanka
“Ayubowan” (‘May you be blessed with a long life’) from Sri Lanka’s central highlands. Of all the eight (!) hotels we stayed at during our trip through Sri Lanka, the Melheim Resort was by far our favourite. To put it into perspective: after we left, we missed it so much that we changed our itinerary just to come back for two more nights. Read on to find out why YOU should stay here, too!
Getting there and Check-in
The Melheim Resort & Spa is located just outside of Haputale in Sri Lanka’s central highlands. You can easily get there by car as well as by bus or train.
The hotel is your ideal base for local explorations of the central highlands, be that a trip to Ella's famous landmarks such as Nine Arches Bridge, Ravana Falls and Little Adams Peak or a venture further north to 'tea country' and cultural hubs with places such as Hatton, Nuwara Eliya or Kandy. See the 'things to do' section below for more info.
Check-in is a quick and easy experience.
The moment you step over the doorstep of the Melheim Resort, you are greeted with a truly breathtaking view over the lush green hills. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Indian Ocean (even though that’s about 40 miles as the bird flies!).
While you enjoy the view and the delicious fresh fruit juice welcome drink, the receptionist quickly checks your passport and before you know it, you will be taken to your room.
The Melheim Resort in Haputale has a total of 31 rooms and suites (for up to 65 guests), all of which are very spacious. The furniture and decorations are kept plain and simple yet appropriate.
The Deluxe Rooms offer a double bed as well as either a sofa or a third single bed, a bathroom with shower and a desk, while the Junior Suites are comprised of a bedroom, a lounge as well as a bathroom with jacuzzi.
However, any and all rooms have their own private balcony offering a million dollar panoramic view over the verdant valleys and one of the most stunning sunrises you will ever witness. (see video above!)
Award winning Melheim Resort
The Melheim Resort has won several awards, including 'World Luxury Hotel Award, Country Winner', 'Best Mountain Resort' and 'Certificate of Excellence – Trip Advisor'.
But is it truly a luxury hotel?
To be fully transparent: the Melheim is not what we would call a 'luxury' hotel in the sense of opulence and decadence. The facilities, rooms and amenities are more on the simple and practical side. However, the surrounding nature, the serene tranquility of the resort and the friendliness of the staff are an indulgence that made our stay feel luxurious regardless. (watch my video below and you will understand what I mean:)
Culinary - Dining at the Melheim Resort
Our stay at the Melheim in March 2023 was on half board basis, which means breakfast and dinner were included. Both were served at the table and not as a buffet. I don’t know if this was to do with it not being peak season or a rather low guest count, because I have read in some other reviews that the guests mentioned a buffet.
Either way, the food was really good and we thoroughly enjoyed it. During the day, you can also order food off the à la carte menu, which we tried twice and can recommend - the prices are affordable and the quality is good! Yummy.
Breakfast was served in three courses: first a fruit platter (pineapple, watermelon, papaya and banana) with fruit juice, then Danish pastries, thereafter waffles with treacle as well as your choice of eggs (fried, boiled, scrambled, omelette) with a side of bacon, chicken sausages, mushrooms and tomato. There’s a free refill of coffee, tea and milk.
Our breakfast highlight was the chef’s home made coconut cake - that he kindly shared the recipe with me ('Obata sthuthi' (thank you)). I will be baking it myself at home soon and then post the recipe on the blog, too. Keep your eyes peeled for it!
In the evening (i.e. after 19:30h) we had a set four course dinner consisting of an appetiser, a soup, a main and a dessert.
The first two are an opt-in or out choice only, whereas there was plenty of choice (Western and Eastern cuisine) for the main dish and three different deserts.
For the main, we always opted for the very tasty Sri Lankan curry, which is rice, a protein of your choice (depending on the choice of the day, that would have been chicken, fish, pork or beef) as well as five sides consisting of of Dhal (delicious!!!) and several vegetables such as green beans, pumpkin curry, aubergines, ladyfinger (okra), beets etc.
The portion size is plenty and makes up for the rather small appetiser :)
This is definitely where the Melheim hotel shines!
Everybody was SO friendly and we received such a warm welcome, especially on our ‘return’ day. Literally everybody, from the security guard at the gate to the receptionist, our awesome waiter Aruna and the room service were very friendly and always up for a little chat. Even the manager himself walked around table to table during breakfast and dinner to check everyone was okay and have a little natter, too.
Why we loved it
The Melheim Resort feels like a serene haven. It does not have the vibes of a tourist hotel or a big resort, more like a sophisticated retreat for those who appreciate nature, peace and quiet.
Being early risers, we have particularly loved making ourselves a cup of tea (in-room facilities include kettle and tea) and enjoying the magical sunrises on our balcony, with the only interruption of the blissful quiet being the sounds of nature and the jungle below.
Things To Do
On the Melheim estate:
- Bird Feeding at 7am throughout breakfast: a member of the hotel staff will be feeding the birds and it doesn’t take long for the place to be overrun by dozens of very cute Southern Palm Squirrels. I was lucky to have one take a morsel out of my hand.
More daring birds and squirrels might also join you for breakfast, so if you can spare some food, you might make a lot of new friends and feel like Cinderella.
- Explore the estate, their spice garden and the waterfall
The majority of the Melheim estate is jungle and garden where you can stroll, enjoy the surrounding beauty and breathe fresh air. Careful though: if you want to venture through the woods and to the waterfall, wear hiking shoes, socks and long trousers/sleeves. I had to ‘abort mission waterfall’ when a handful of leeches attacked my bare legs (or maybe you’re just not as squeamish as I am).
- Relax by the pool or on the benches under the trees
We all love an infinity pool, don’t we? But instead of beach views, which can get a bit boring, the pool at the Melheim overlooks the lush valleys of Sri Lanka - a green ocean of verdant waves. Or you can find a spot in the shade under the canopy of a big tree and enjoy the views from there.
In the surrounding areas:
- Lipton’s Seat - a once in a lifetime view over Sri Lanka’s central highlands. Lipton’s Seat is located in Haputale and you can get there by TukTuk from the Melheim Resort (approx LKR 5000 for the round trip which will take about 1.5h one way).
- Hop on a train in Haputale for a breathtaking train ride through Sri Lanka’s central highlands. The short route would take you to to Ella (Nine Arches Bridge, Raven Ella Falls, Little Adam’s Peak etc) or to Nanu Oya / Nuwara Eliya / Hatton and Kandy.
- Visit a tea plantation / factory and learn all about the world famous and delicious Ceylon tea.
Without a doubt, our stay at the Melheim Resort was very enjoyable and should we ever come back to Sri Lanka, we would definitely stay here again!
Disclaimer: this review is not sponsored. The Melheim Resort are, at the time of this article being published, not aware of it. All opinions are my own.
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