A room with a view

A Room with a View

A room with a view can be an important feature of your holiday and where you choose to stay.

Is it important that I have a room with a view when on holiday?

Well, I think that it depends on what you plan to do on holiday. If you are planning to stay at the hotel and not take day trips then a view becomes more important. If there is a premium to be paid for a view that may impact what you can spend on excursions then it’s a sensible thing to consider when budgeting.

We have built the house at GlenMyu Estate to make the best of the beautiful views of the valley below and Southern Hills leading to the South Coast of Sri Lanka.

There is no premium to be paid as all the rooms have a fabulous view.

We have found that many of our guests plan to do excursions from GlenMyu Estate however some end up spending all their stay with us on the 5 acre estate.

There are plenty of things to do and it is great place to relax and unwind on a trip around the island.

The temperature in the Hill Country also doesn’t reach the highs of those around the country so we find that it is a great relief for our European visitors to come here.

Maybe it’s part of our holiday culture?

Books and films may have influenced why we want a room with a view.

I am reminded of the episode of Fawlty Towers where Mrs Richards is not happy with her hotel room. “I asked for a room with a view”

After Basil Fawlty show her the view from the window she retorts that “When I pay for a room with a view I expect something more interesting than that!”.

A Room with a View – The Book.

E.M. Forster wrote ‘A Room with a View” in 1908.

The story is a romance and humorous critique of Edwardian English Society.

It is set in both England and Italy.

The novel opens with Miss Lucy Honeychurch and her chaperone, Miss Charlotte Bartlett complaining that their room at Pensione Bertolini in Florence does not have the view of the River Arno that they were promised.

There have been films made as adaptations from the book and one was an Oscar Winner.

Sri Lanka delivers view after view

Sri Lanka is a small Island, (similar in size to Ireland), however it delivers a kaleidoscope of opportunities to enjoy different sights and views throughout the country. Beaches, mountains,  tropical forests, paddy fields and towering holy shrines are just some of the sights you may be able to see from your hotel room.

What do we provide you with at GlenMyu Estate?

The house has been designed so that all the rooms have a fantastic view. 

Windows looking toward the valley making the best of the view.
Windows making rooms with views

Not just a room with a view - a view from your bed

We tend to recommend to guests that they should leave the blinds up at night so that when the light comes up they can enjoy the view from their bed.

We also ensure that there are two chairs or beanbags in the room so that you can enjoy the view comfortably during the da

Entering the lounge during the day provides you with a wonderful view of the valley below the house which leads towards the southern coast of the Island.

Being in the hill country the weather does change so therefore we cannot guarantee a spectacular view every day. However there will always be something to feast your eyes upon.

In the evening we have been fortunate enough to have experienced some beautiful colourful skies as the sun goes down. The better sunsets are on a cloudy day where the sun is able to reflect its rays. 

A loo with a view.

The bathrooms also face the same view and therefore you don’t have to miss a thing.

The windows have been covered with a mirror sticker so you have the privacy whether in the shower, bath or loo!

Come and enjoy the view

At Glenmyu Estate we have three guest bedrooms.

If you want to find out more about a stay in the Sri Lankan Hill Country and enjoy a room with a view please visit our website.

A room with a view Read More »

What gets you up in the morning?

What gets you up in the morning?

Well, sometimes you need a little bit of inspiration.

Fortunately in the Sri Lankan Hill Country you just never know what you might get.

Is this worth waking up early for? You bet!

The morning light washes the hills below - it's good for the soul

When in Sri Lanka, get up early and see the Country at its best.

I know that it’s a tough ask to get up early when you are on holiday, however, I assure you that it is  just worth it.

Any photographer, worth his salt, would tell you that the light is the kindest to the camera either in the early morning or as the sun goes down.

It’s just boring when the sun comes up and goes down around the same time everyday

When I was living in the UK I remember having various conversations with friends and them saying that they really like the seasons and wouldn’t want to live in a place where the seasons didn’t change during the year.

I must admit that I would probably have agreed with them for most of my life.

I remember being young and really looking forward to the rugby season from September to May after a long and uneventful Summer. 

I wasn’t a cricketer, athlete or sailor so my summers were very long and I looked forward to the grounds getting softer to make hitting the floor a bit more palatable.

A beer or two and an exaggerated story or three in a pub when it is chilly inside and you are being warmed by a pint or four of Guiness is a thing of beauty to a rugby player.

The optimism of Spring, where the weather becomes more pleasant and the evenings get longer, are a thing that was eagerly awaited.

So, seasons were really important for me.

However, as age crept up on me, I longed for a stretched summer and a concentrated winter where Jack Frost would throw his javelins of icicles at me.

As I sit in Sri Lanka and can forgive the sunset at six p.m.

A romantic sunset silhouette.

Compromise is what a lot of life is about.

I have given up those long, comforting summer evenings which were full of excitement and optimism for a twelve hour life in shorts and t-shirt all year round.

I feel that I am the victor in this choice.

Every time I get a little melancholy for what I had in the past I bring back the memory of the challenge of getting from Bank Station to my office on a bleak November morning with blast of cold and driving rain accompanying me on my way. I felt abused and uncomfortable at the end of that tumultuous journey and that awakens my senses to appreciate what I have in this Paradise Island.

My wife wakes me up from time to time

My wife is great at sleeping.

I say this and I am just jealous of her.

I had difficulty sleeping when living in the heart of London.

As soon as it got dark in the darker months I would want to go to bed and sleep – it’s just natural for me but at 6 p.m. in the winter it’s a bit of a problem. A disturbed night as sirens from police cars, ambulances and the drunken shouts of a late night reveller would ensure a broken night.

In the warm nights of Summer when it was dark at midnight and light at four a.m. I would have sleep deprivation as when there is light “I am awake!”

Every so often when I do get a good nights sleep I am awaken before my body is ready by my wife saying “look”.

From my slumber my bleary eyes slowly focus on a thing of beauty that nature has delivered to us and I survey the view of the hills below which are bathed in a beautiful light whilst I am reclining in our bed.

I feel guilty if the I am too drowsy to really appreciate what mother nature has put before my eyes and I then make an incredible effort to rouse myself so that I don’t miss this snapshot of our life.

I, however, am comforted that I will be able to enjoy another magical view on another morning when I am more engaged in life.

Wake up early, you won’t regret it.

I urge our guests to leave the blinds in their rooms open and be woken up by the light in the early morning and take their chance to see the potential heartwarming view in the morning. I can’t guarantee a splendid view as mother nature is in charge of the daily event and it is up to her to deliver, our guests have the option of turning over and going back to sleep and getting up when their body tells them it is ready. It appears to me to be a win-win situation.

Experience spectacular mornings from the comfort of your bed (sometimes) at GlenMyu Estate, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

We have three kingsize bedrooms at GlenMyu Estate which have floor to ceiling windows which look out onto the valley below towards the South Coast of the Island.

Waking up to a spectacular view is a great start to a day.

If you want to find out more about a stay in the Sri Lankan Hill country please visit our website via the link below.

What gets you up in the morning? Read More »

One of the rescue dogs at GlenMyu Estate and Hotel, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

A dog called Clove and a Clove Tree Orchard.

A story of the rescue dogs we have at GlenMyu Resort and Hotel, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

One of the rescue dogs at GlenMyu Estate and Hotel, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

A dog called Clove and a Clove Tree Orchard.

Cloves remind me of both Christmas and skiing in Europe.

Oranges peppered with cloves sunk in gallons of red wine and brandy on the stove creating an intoxicating beverage on a chilly December day just gives me a glowing warming comfortable feeling.

This perfect combination is something to look forward to as the temperatures dive towards the end of the year.

It’s not a drink for Sri Lanka, apart from maybe Nuwara-Eliya, as it just doesn’t get cold enough here to do justice to this delicious beverage.

What are Cloves?

Cloves are the flower buds of the clove tree which is a tropical evergreen tree known as Myrtaceae Syzygium aromatic. 

The trees are native to the Moluccus Islands, or Spice Islands in Indonesia.

Cloves have a strong aroma and a hot, pungent taste. They are used to flavour many foods and in particular meat and bakery products. It is used in Europe to flavour Christmas foods such as …… hence my picture of Christmas when I smell the aroma of cloves.

Indonesia is still the worlds largest producer of cloves followed by Madagascar, Tanzania and Sri Lanka.

An accident or fate? - How we met Clove and she found a place in our hearts

Early on during the build of the main house on GlenMyu Estate we were made aware that some of the construction workers were feeding some abandoned puppies near our gate entrance. Once of the three foundlings had already dies and there were two black waifs struggling to survive. My wife Ruwanthi went up to investigate and brought the starving creatures down to the garage.

My parents had always had dogs when I was growing up and Ruwanthi was the same however, we had not considered having any animals ourselves. We both had worked long hours in the UK and it would not have worked for us and we would not have been able to provide the care for the animals so the thought had not entered our minds.

Our small Clove Orchard

The agricultural department supplied us with around thirty trees which we planted in an area where they would get sufficient shade for them to survive during the warmer months from mid June to mid September. 

Our worker dug some rather large holes before planting however as the land is very rocky it was important to provide the trees with the ability to establish their roots without too many obstacles.

Once planted they looked a bit lost as they were so small however, as we have learnt over the last few years, they require sufficient space when they are established to thrive.

Early on I planted lots of coleus around the saplings which gave them a bit of shade when needed and a bit of colour in the developing orchard.

A you clove tree

It has taken a lot of work initially watering, clearing around the trees and occasionally feeding with organic compost made on the estate. I patiently inspected them over the months hoping that they would change from waif like twigs into something that resembles a proper tree.

In the last few months however they really appear to have got going and hopefully it will not be too long until we are ready for our first harvest.

Clove and Cinnamon were destined to become part of our family

Our outlook on not having dogs soon changed as both Clove and her sister Cinnamon became embedded into our daily life. 

After the initial continual feeding, trips to the vet, injections, skin treatments and so on they became lots of fun and something both Ruwanthi looked forward to waking up to.

Unfortunately Cinnamon did not survive, which broke our hearts, and we were left with Clove who became an important member of our family.

Clove is such a lovely dog, who is so friendly with everyone it is difficult for her not to melt your heart.

Cooking with Cloves

What are Cloves used for in Sri Lankan cooking?

Clove recipes

Come to GlenMyu Estate and see what other trees, fruits and vegetables we are growing

We were lucky enough to have some established trees on the five acre Estate and we have continued to plant more trees and other plants as we have developed the land. 

We have an organic garden which provides the staples to lots of the items we serve on our menu. We are also developing Plant Based, Vegetarian and Vegan Menus as an offering for guests who stay at the Estate.

There are three king size on suite bedrooms for guests which all have superb views of the hills below. 

A natural spring fed swimming pool is available for the use for guests and is a great place to have a refreshing swim or just hang out listening to the nature that passes by.

The Luxurious Mango bedroom at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel, Bed and Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka. Wonderful for Valentine's Day in Sri Lanka
The Natural Spring Fed Infinity Swimming Pool at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Please visit our website for further details or contact Ruwanthi by WhatsApp.

We hope that you come an enjoy our little part of paradise and watch it grow.

Where we are located.

Can I bring my own dog to GlenMyu Estate?

We love dogs, however, as GlenMyu Estate is home to seven dogs we do not permit guests to bring their pets. 

We believe that the risk, however small., would be too much and both the guests and ourselves would not be able to enjoy your stay as we would be concerned about your pet and ours.

A dog called Clove and a Clove Tree Orchard. Read More »

Ducklings at GlenMyu Estate.

Ducks, ducks and more ducks and a birthday.

Ducks, ducks and more ducks and a birthday.

Ducklings at GlenMyu Estate.

We didn’t plan to have ducks.

I thought that having chickens ay GlenMyu would be good to provide us with organic eggs. They would also provide a good home and life for the birds we were to rear.

We have friends back in the UK that have a henhouse in their smallholding. They get a steady stream of eggs throughout the year. My only objection was that I found the cockerel to be quite aggressive and scary. I  wasn’t looking forward to dealing with this challenge on a daily basis whilst collecting the eggs.

Our friends also have turkeys from time to time.  Then the scare factor doubles for me!

Some research - but not enough.

Ruwanthi did a bit of research as we were also trying to grow organic rice at the estate. She came across some articles about Japanese farmers using ducks to keep their paddy fields weed free. The ducks also provided good natural fertiliser for the rice while they were going about their work. 

Another birthday!

As one gets older birthdays are more of a challenge when it comes down to marking another year around the sun. The conundrum is exacerbated when you live remotely. This results in limited purchasing opportunities. And being tied to the property whilst the development of the building and land is in progress doesn’t help.

This years birthday present - so easy?

I was delighted in 2019 whilst driving down the hill from Haputale to Beragala  that my pondering over a suitable present this year. It was solved when Ruwanthi asked my to stop the car. 

After about 20 minutes Ruwanthi returned looking for my wallet to complete the purchase of four duckling. And a packet of duck feed to keep them going.

I was a little bemused as it was another commitment we were taking on without much planning.

A mixed welcome from the dogs.

We arrived back at GlenMyu and the dogs were ejected from their cage. This would become a residence for the ducks until we arranged a more suitable home for them. I really don’t know what the dogs thought of the situation!

The ducks lineage is just like the dogs on the estate being a bit of this and a bit of that. However, we did work out that we had a Muscovy due to her markings.

Ducks at GlenMyu Estate

A name for the duck.

The Muscovy duck is now called Mama Kahlu as she has been prolific providing a stream of new ducklings. Once she decided to sit on her eggs there was no moving her. Our duck numbers grew and grew so quickly that I was concerned that we would be overrun by them at the property!

Still learning - at our age!

We have have learnt a lot over the eighteen months or so that we have had the ducks. We have lost a few; one flew away, two were meals for the mongoose. One duckling went missing mysteriously in the middle of the night. Two ducklings have drowned? ( I didn’t think that this was possible).

A farm animal or a pet?

Ruwanthi has a great relationship with Mama duck.  She follows Ru when clearing demanding the worms that are dug up. Muscovys are renowned for being quite friendly and acting like a pet.

At this current time (July 2021) we have Mama Duck and one of her offspring sitting on eggs. You can see from the videos below that Mama is quite comfortable in her endeavour being an old timer now.  The younger duck is very protective and hisses as me as I get near.

Maybe my reservation about chickens and turkeys being scary will also be the case with some of the ducks we raise!

Come and experience the ducks for your self at GlenMyu Estate.

Ducks, ducks and more ducks and a birthday. Read More »

The House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Ayurveda in the Sri Lankan Hills.

Ayurveda in the Sri Lankan Hill Country - developing an Ayurvedic Garden.

When my wife purchased the 5 acres estate in Viharagalla, which she later named GlenMyu, it had been uncultivated for many years. 

Historically it had been part of the larger Viharagalla tea estate and then used to grow sugar cane.

The land had become overrun by Guinea Grass which was brought in to the country as a fast growing foodstock for cattle. Unfortunately Guinea Grass is invasive and dominates local endemic species of plants and the land was in a poor state. 

The House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Lots and lots and lots of work.

There were however, several trees and shrubs that had managed to compete with the invasive grass and there were Jackfruit, Avocado, Coffee, Pepper and Cinnamon growing wild on the land.

Our priority was to build a property for ourselves so we could then develop the estate growing fruits and vegetables for our own consumption.

The Kitchen Garden

We did build a kitchen garden close to the original shack that was on the property and started growing some vegetables early on. Little did we realise that we would be fighting a battle with a host of creatures that wanted to eat our crops. 

Monkeys, Wild Boar, Parrots, Bulbuls, Porcupine and an array of insects were challenges to our wish to eat wholesome locally grown organic food.

No drugs, no chemicals, just relying on Mother Nature (and a bit of hard work).

It took some time to protect the vegetable garden and work out what chemical free pest control would keep the insects away. Our steadily increasing collection of orphan dogs were an unexpected part of the solution guarding the land from would be diners.

The estate at GlenMyu is around 100 metres in elevation from top to bottom and the farming practices in the past had made the land vulnerable to erosion. It was essential that we secured the land so whatever we built did not end up at the bottom of the hill. 

Neighbours who had restored and maintained their properties were really helpful in giving advice on how to manage and secure the land which we remain truly thankful.

We started planting a variety of trees around the land, ensuring that we had diversity and included a mixture if wood and fruit trees which would lead to a greater level of biodiversity and encourage wildlife to feed and live in security at the estate.

We also contacted to local agricultural department and sourced a variety of trees and plants through them including clove trees, cinnamon and ginger.

Fast Forward Three Years.

Fast forward almost three years since we started developing GlenMyu we visited the Ayurvedic Plant Nursery in Bathgoda which is located around six kilometres away.

We went to purchase a few plants to add some local diversity around the estate with a view to learning about this ancient art and eventually developing an Ayurvedic Garden which would be interesting for visitors to the estate. 

We were still getting a bit of unseasonal rain in July which us normally the start of the dry season here in the hills and therefore we though we would make the best of the opportunity and establish some plants in some of the areas we had recently cleared of Guinea Grass. 

A larger than expected purchase.

We ended up purchasing over 180 plants and therefore we were committed to the cause. Fortunately we had a night of rain and therefore we could start planting straight away.

My wife knew some of the plants we purchased and some would need research before being sunk into the ground. These plants will be planted around the land and add diversity to the plant stock we have and it will be interesting to see how they develop in their new environment.

The site for our Ayurvedic Garden for visitors is in the process of being cleared and made ready for planting and therefore is a project which will be developed later in 2021. We plan to have a variety of Ayurvedic plants that will be interesting but relevant to our guests and therefore we will be doing a lot of research and preparation during the latter half of the year to ensure we have another place of interest and place to relax with nature on the estate. 

The 180 Ayurvedic plants that we purchased are already in the ground which will give visitors a wide variety of species to look at and also provide diversity around the Estate.

Oh No - we need more plants.

It looks like we will be visiting the Ayurvedic Nursery a little later this year again to plant in our Ayurvedic Garden – I wonder how many plants we will purchase on that trip and whether we will break 180 again!

Where is GlenMyu Estate, Hotel, B & B located?

Ayurveda in the Sri Lankan Hills. Read More »

GlenMyu Estate
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