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Another of Sri Lanka’s most memorable destinations is the Rosyth Estate House, perched amid lush forest in the low tea country near Kandy.
Visitors step on to its wide veranda, gaze across the distant hills and fall into the warm embrace of relaxed but effervescent hosts Farzana and Neil Dobbs.
'Especially when we decided to move out of town and into the jungle.
Their first guests were friends, drawn to Anamaduwa, in Sri Lanka’s north-western jungle, by invitation.'Nothing has changed since those early days,' says Kumar, explaining how guests are both drawn into the community and left alone to relax beneath the palms. We have never been driven by profit.'None of their now five mudhouses – a three-hour drive north from the international airport at Colombo – has mains electricity or wi-fi; only a few are wired to solar batteries.
Others either start or end their holiday at Palagama Beach, a resort on the Kalpitiya peninsula created around the converted holiday home of British architect Cecil Balmond.
In its luxury thatched villas and cabanas, beneath the palm fronds or beside the beachside infinity pool, guests plan their next dolphin-watching expedition or holistic massage.
Farzana lived on the family estate as a child, returning seven years ago with husband Neil after he quit his high-flying City career in the UK.
Together they restored Rosyth's abandoned 1926 plantation bungalow, transforming it into a boutique residence and creating an authentic estate experience at the heart of a revitalised tea and rubber plantation.'It can be a very busy stay at Rosyth, if you want it to be,' said Farzana.
The Tamil Tigers used it as a jungle base for hit-and-run attacks.