Thursday, June 22, 2017

Posted On 6/22/2017 by Team iCynosure.

As a woman working in a professional, business environment, you should know this; before you really speak anything, it’s your appearance and the way you carry yourself that makes a mark on the other person. No matter if it’s your own co-workers, your bosses or your client; how you present yourself reflects on your work ethic, professionalism, and capability. No one wants to work with a person who can’t take 15 minutes to dress properly. 
However, you don’t want to look overwhelming and overdressed. Dressing up for work can be really tricky; there’s a very fine line between dressing smartly and taking it to an unrequited level. You want to keep it minimalist and simple yet elegant and powerful. And if you’re a person who has to deal with clients and people one-on-one, you need to look your best as you are the one representing your firm.
Also, keeping in mind that you are going to be working some 10-odd hours, you need to dress up in clothes that you can be comfortable in all throughout the day. Clothes that should in no way hinder your working capability or affect your caliber. 

Pant-suits, pencil skirts and blouses, trousers and shirts and formal dresses are a popular bet among women when it comes to dressing for a business meeting. However, nothing speaks power and authority than a pair of well-fitted trousers, a crisply starched shirt, and a complimenting jacket. 

A Power-Packed Trio
Yes, a pair of well-fitted trousers, a crisply starched shirt, and a jacket is the best possible attire than speaks power and lets people know who’s in charge. It is super comfortable and available in materials that let your skin breathe the most. This is one look that does not even take 5 minutes to throw around and will bask in the most compliments for you. Slip on a pair of nice pumps, put on a string of pearls, get minimal makeup, put your hair in a bun or a ponytail and that’s it! Get an oversized bag, a statement watch and giant pair of sunglasses to complete the look. 

Pants and trousers can be tailored to suit your preference. They are already available in so many different styles that you are spoilt for choice. You have the boot-legged pants, wide-legged trousers, well-fitted pants and even flared pants. Best colours to stock up on are dark grey, steel grey, black, and ash colour. Plus, trousers have pockets! Women know the joy of wearing clothes that have pockets. 

When it comes to shirts, sticking to monochromes, hues of black and grey does wonders. However, you can always play around with a little light pink, powder blue or the lightest of yellows. Not only will it bring in some colour, but will also look more feminine. Besides, you can always ditch the cotton starched shirt and choose to wear silk blouses or silk buttoned-down shirts to pronounce that elegance.


The jacket or the blazer is the most powerful ensemble. Choose a well-tailored jacket that enhances your curves and brings out your feminine side. You can always choose from denser materials to softer ones.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Posted On 6/02/2017 by Team iCynosure.

In the final scene of the fourth season of 'House of Cards', Frank Underwood looks straight into the camera and declares, "We don’t submit to terror. We make the terror". More than the words, the treatment of the scene leaves viewers intrigued as, though Frank does the talking, Claire Underwood's gaze conveys the message of the first couple as a team, a ruthless unit that would stop at nothing for power and position.

Fans have been looking forward to seeing the power couple stand by each other in the new season, but as the trailer for the fifth season was aired, it highlighted a dark reference of the fourth season with featuring an upside-down flag of the United States, fluttering against a bleak, cloudy sky with children reading the Pledge of Allegiance. It did not give away anything except a glimpse into a menacing beginning.

As the new season commences, Frank Underwood is expected to come to India with the television premiere of House Of Cards Season 5 on Saturday, 3rd June, 5 pm onwards, on Zee Café. But I don't have to wait to catch my favourite series as I;'m lucky to get a sneak peak into the first episode by Zee Café. The first episode is all I expected and much more, here are a few scenes that will set the tone of the season. *No real spoilers, but please read at your discretion!*

The opening episode is marked with a cynically scathing speech made by Frank Underwood about the sensibilities of American citizens and given the current political scenario, the speech is so much 'art imitating life' scenario. The president declares war in the congressional session against terrorism, prodding a divided house to come together at the same time taking away the focus from impending investigation against himself. Another scene that will connect with audiences is the funeral, where the family of the victim dishes out against the president for using their situation to forward his political agenda. Though the entire episode is an ode to the Underwood’s thirst for power, the scene that stands out is the quiet peering by the first couple outside the White House. The manner in which the scene is shot, gives it a realistic approach by which the outside world is scrutinised in the eyes of the White House while the inhabitants within get away with murder. 

Even after the episode ends, the words spoken by Frank Underwood continously rings in the ears, "The American people don’t know what’s best for them. I do. I know exactly what they need. They’re like little children, Claire. We have to hold their sticky fingers and wipe their filthy mouths. Teach them right from wrong. Tell them what to think and how to feel and what to want. They even need help writing their wildest dreams and crafting their worst fears".

Sounds so real isn’t it? 

Yes, and thats the reason you have 'Nothing to be afraid of' or in reality does it actually mean 'Be Afraid'?

Well thats for audiences to find out, in this rollercoaster ride of power, revenge, emotions, and more. To understand the human dynamics in the series, first catch up on the pervious seasons if you haven’t watched House of Cards season 1 to 4, else sit tight and enjoy the ride. 

Until next time,
- Heena

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Posted On 6/01/2017 by Team iCynosure.

Summer is a great time for families and friends to get together and enjoy the holiday season. However, summer weather can also bring numerous ailments, including a variety of infections and seasonal allergies, making it a season to dread.

As mothers, we tend to find superficial solutions to beat the summer heat. What we really need to understand are the different ailments that may infect our little ones, along with their root causes and the precautions we must take to prevent them. Over the last few years, I've identified ailments that could hamper our summer fun and found simple steps that would help us stay ahead and give them a miss.

Image via Flickr by donnierayjones

Respiratory Disorder
One of the main issues that we face in the summer in mold, a fungus that thrives in warm temperatures, grows in moist areas, and travels through the air. The fungus spores may enter our respiratory systems as we breathe and cause problems like asthma attacks, nasal congestion, and summer colds. To keep our surroundings free of mold, it is important to minimise dampness that may be caused due to water leakage, air humidity, or wet carpets. Switch on the air conditioning, clean up the air, and breathe easily.

Skin Irritations
Hot and humid weather brings out creepy-crawly creatures and stinging insects, and the sun's rays also affect the surface of the skin. Whether it's a sting from bees, wasps, hornets, mosquitoes, ticks, or ants or it's a reaction to clingy clothing, skin irritations can occur any time. Simple things that will help eliminate skin irritations include wearing clothing made from natural, breathable fabrics and using an insect repellant when stepping out of the house.

Food Reactions
Adverse reactions to food can happen at any time, however they often peak during the summer. Eating undercooked or raw food can sometimes lead to food poisoning, stomach infections, loose motions, and even constipation, which if not treated may be life-threatening. To avoid these issues, stay clear of any such food items and eat healthy, nutritious food along with a regular intake of water.

Dehydration, Exhaustion, and Heatstroke
The summer heat can rapidly reduce the body's water content, leaving it undernourished and prone to dehydration. Unless you replenish the water content, exhaustion and heatstroke can occur. Drinking water regularly not only promotes good physical, mental, and emotional health, but it also speeds up metabolism. In addition to drinking water, keep the body temperature in check through cool showers and cool packs.

Though there are many more summer ailments with varied symptoms, the most common include sneezing, itchy eyes, headache, coughing, and wheezing. The rare include dizziness, loss of consciousness, and heatstroke. If you suspect any one is affected by these, try to find out as much as you can about how they are feeling and reduce the exposure to the probable cause. Try home remedies or health and wellness products, and seek help if the condition worsens or there isn't any improvement. However, since precaution is better than a cure, try your best to keep these ailments at bay.

Until next time,
 - Heena

Posted On 6/01/2017 by Team iCynosure.

India's economic growth has enabled an increase in purchasing power parity, empowering families to afford a comfortable and healthy lifestyle. Air conditioners that were once considered luxuries have now become essential home appliances. This is true not only in the metros, but also in smaller cities and towns. With the introduction of newer technologies, healthcare benefits, and energy efficiency, air conditioners have found a permanent place in homes. But do you know everything you should about air conditioning?

The most common feature that people associate with air conditioning is cooling. However, many fail to understand that the basic science behind making the home cooler is actually reducing the ambient air temperature of the space, transferring the heat to another space to make the air cooler.

To get the most out of your air conditioner, be sure to close all doors and windows, replace the filter regularly, and set the thermostat. When you follow these basic aspects, the unit will work efficiently, helping you build a healthy home. If your air conditioner doesn't work smoothly, you may face numerous issues, including the following.

Strange Sounds
Image via Flickr by Paintzen

The only sound that you should expect when you turn on the air conditioner is the hum of the blower and the whir of the condenser. Any other sound means the system is faulty. This could be due to a number of issues, such as a loose connection, poor motor condition, or faulty hardware.

Improper Cooling
If your home doesn't seem to be getting cooler, there could be a number of reasons, including a faulty compressor, insufficient coolant, dirty coils, a filthy air filter, or a defective thermostat. An incorrectly sized air conditioner can also contribute to improper cooling.

Water Leakage 
Water leakage is one of the most common problems from improper installation, clogged pipes, or low natural temperature. If not corrected, water leakage may result in air leakage, which can damage electric circuits or lead to a malfunction.

Compressor Failure
Frequent cycling of the air conditioner may result in damaging the compressor or the fan. Sometimes fluctuating electric voltage, water leakage, and extensive use without breaks may also lead to compressor failure. 

Other common issues that can cause an air conditioner to malfunction include blocked drains, dirty filters, and skipped maintenance sessions. If you see any of these issues, call your local HVAC professional to get the air conditioner ready for the summer. Some of the things that you can do to ensure that the unit works properly without wasting energy include: 

§  Use the correct unit size as per the size of the space and direction of sunlight. 
§  Ensure regular maintenance, including timely cleaning and replacing filters.
§  Maintain humidity levels with sun blocks and adequate ventilation. 

If you still are not satisfied with the way the air conditioner works, call in a professional. Do not let your air conditioner work too hard this summer. Instead, call in an expert and fix the issue before it's too late.

Until next time, - Heena

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Posted On 5/28/2017 by Team iCynosure.

The holiday season is on and every time my phone rings displaying 'Home', I get panic attacks. Most of the calls begin with my little one announcing 'Mom, I'm so bored!', and if for every time she said this, if someone gave me a nickel, I sure would be a rich momma. Nevertheless, what can I really do to ensure #PrincessHeer is engaged during her summer vacations without having to step out too much in the heat? So this weekend I sat down and created a list of activities that she can enjoy without the need to be glued to the idiot box for the entire day.

Image Credit: ASD via Flickr

Indoor Games
A competitive and time-consuming activity during the summer holiday is to spread out board games and challenge friends to play for hours. And that's the first thing I'm you should be doing with your little ones. Give them a boost of creative fun with some interesting jigsaw puzzles, Lego sets, or word Scrabble to set her mind racing or even a few hours at the play zone.

Drawing and Colouring
A fun activity at any age, drawing or colouring is the most inexpensive form of game to engage hyperactive children. Order a few books, paints, colours, stencils and free the little minds to envisage and create a visual delight. Sketching, drawing, and colouring are stress-busting activities that no child will tire of.  

One quality that Heer has inherited from me is my love for craft projects. There are a number of ways crafts can be included in day-to-day activities for not only probing a mind but also enhancing imagination. So go ahead order some crafts supplies and sit with your little ones to get started on some basic DIYs and recycling projects.  

The best gift you can ever give a child is read to them. This simple act not only gives you both time to bond but also pips her curiosity, sowing the reading seed in their mind. Reading usually becomes a stepping stone to other activities that interest children. So bring out your childhood books and relive the stories with your little ones.  

Water Games
Water is the best escape in the summers and children love to indulge in water games.The easiest way would be to enrol kids in swimming classes that would club fun with some form of exercise to rejuvenate them. Alternatively, bubble baths are another sure shot way to engage kids and keep them busy for a long time. 

Hobby Class
It is very easy to gauge what your little one is really interested in and help her take it up as a hobby. Enrol them in classes specific to their interest which could range from singing and dancing to playing an instrument to even cooking or gardening classes. It will be a great experience to see them learn and do what they like.  

So to beat the Summer Heat try some of these interesting activities, and share your feedback with me on whether or not the idea worked to keep your little one busy all afternoon.  

Until next time,
- Heena

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Posted On 5/24/2017 by Team iCynosure.

Girls know how tough it is to dress every day; and she takes care of not only her clothing but also her overall look, picking the right accessories, handbag and footwear. Trust me dressing-up is equally challenging for men and even if they pretend it’s their least priority, they are keen to make a really good impression every time they step out. And it is normal to feel as such. 

However, instead of trying to catch someone’s attention; Men, you must dress to impress yourself first, and that it should be in your comfort zone and should bring out your personality. Dressing has its own considerations to follow including occasion, time and reason; but you must take care of a few things that remain unanimous especially when wearing formal shirts; for making you feel good while making heads turn. 


Facial Hair will either make it or break it for you. You may want to sport a beard or go clean shaven, it is your choice but ensure it’s done right. Clean shaven doesn’t take much to achieve however one must maintain a beard with specific beard products. Beards are in trend however are a great responsibility and you must style it well with beard balms or beard oils that will leave many swooning.


Keep the accessories to the minimum, too much flash is never good. Add a pair of unique cufflinks that are conversation starters or pick a vintage wristwatch. A pocket watch or a pocket square are sure raise a few eyebrows. Stay away from jewelry especially ear studs, large rings or those cycle chains around your neck. 


Alternate between formal shoes and loafers as the occasion demands. But ensure the footwear is clean and polished. Most women are able to spot filthy shoes from a distance and that’s where they will remain, at a distance. Slip-ons are great too but only when at the beach or a super casual gathering. Another important aspect would be to color coordinate the socks and wear a fresh pair every single time. 

So are you ready to stun the stylist?

Until next time,
- Heena

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Posted On 5/23/2017 by Team iCynosure.

The scorching summer heat is at its peak, and the effect it has on our bodies and our moods requires remedial measures. The temperature keeps rising, and our skin is sucking the heat deeper into our bodies rather than helping us cool down. The worst is the occasional downpour that only brings temporary relief and then layers the atmosphere with even more humidity. All of this coupled with the pollution from the metro area, and going outside becomes nothing short of a living hell.

The brutal month of May, followed by scorching June and burning July, will consume us with the heat's ill effects. Don't let the temperature get you down, though. Use these super simple tips to cool down like a pro.

Image Credit: Jason Patel via Flickr 

Stay Hydrated
Summers tend to reduce your body fluids quickly. Drink water or juices at regular intervals, even if you do not feel thirsty, as thirst is a sign of dehydration. Plain water should be your best friend during these months, as it will help you replenish your bodily fluids instantly. Clock out alerts for drinking water in case you are the forgetful type, and ensure that you drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water every day.

Eat Small Meals
Not only should you eat light, small, and frequent meals, but also you should add summer colours to your meals. Every meal you consume should have a rainbow of colours that are essentials for the needs of the human body. Include fruits at breakfast to help your skin cool naturally. Leafy vegetables and staple salad items are great, as they contain a significant amount of water, which also cools the body internally.

Protect the Skin 
The best and easiest way to protect your skin from the heat is to wear loose clothing made from natural fabrics that facilitate sweating. If you are going out and about, ensure that you use a sunscreen to protect the skin against the harmful rays of the sun. Also, make use of sunglasses, hats, and light gloves to keep the sun away.

Shower Away
A simple way to cool the body is to shower as soon as you return home. The main idea here is to cool the body, so it is advisable to keep the water either cold or mildly warm, taking care to avoid showers with really warm or hot water. Take up a water-based activity like swimming or surfing to include a bit of exercise while beating the summer heat.

Stay Indoors
Restrict going outdoors, and only do so during the cooler times of day. Step out only for your essential chores, either in the early morning or late evening, while spending the afternoon indoors. When indoors, try simple ways to keep the air naturally cool and use energy-efficient cooling gadgets that are well maintained and serviced regularly.

So how do you manage to keep cool and composed every summer? Share your favorite trick with me in the comments below.

Until next time,
- Heena

Monday, May 22, 2017

Posted On 5/22/2017 by Team iCynosure.

I’ve been a lipstick-addict for the longest time, and I can’t even remember when I first started wearing lip products. I’ve always been very careful about the type of product I pick for my lips and the must-dos for a lipstick in my vanity would definitely include moisturisation, pigmentation and lasting. I’ve experimented with lip tints, lip stains and long-wear lipsticks and lip glosses over the last few years. However now most of the lipsticks in my vanity are unintentionally matte finishes. 

Oriflame The One Lip Sensation Vinly Gel Lip Colour | Product Review

I have become so comfortable and selective that I just didn't want to experiment with the lipstick formulae, until Oriflame’s launched The One Lip Sensation Vinyl Gel lip colour in 7 perfect summer shades. The range is a perfect gloss lovers’ paradise, with a gorgeous range of purple to pink candy colours that excite the princess in you.

Oriflame The One Lip Sensation Vinly Gel Lip Colour | Product Review

As a regular Oriflame reviewer, the brand sent me the entire range to experiment with. The brand claims that the product is a super-light liquid lipstick that goes on like a gel, with an ultra-smooth plexigloss finish. The rich product formula is non-sticky with extreme colour coverage, glides on easily for super-slick lips with perfect colour clarity, while the conditioning formula keeps lips feeling soft and supple. 

Oriflame The One Lip Sensation Vinly Gel Lip Colour | Product Review
Oriflame The One Lip Sensation Vinly Gel Lip Colour | Product Review

I’ve used gel lipsticks only for the first time even though they have been around much longer and I think I’ve started late. The One Lip Sensation Vinyl Gel lipsticks are moisturising and have a impeccable glossy finish. Even though the lip colours aren't fully opaque at first swipe, I could easily build them up for a sleek-sheer finish. All of the seven shades have a fresh, I’m-not-wearing-any-lip-product look to them. However, they aren't sticky at all. I truly likes the light weight application and translucent accurate colour clarity.The glosses apply effortlessly and don’t feather into fine lines making the lips look fuller. With all these amazing things going on, my only concern was the staying power, but the One surprised me with its staying power of close to 3 hours without having to touch up.

Here’s how you make the most of The One Lip Sensation Vinyl Gel: 
§ Apply the lipgloss from the center of the upper lip moving outward towards the corners. 
§ Repeat on the lower lip.
§ Blot your lips with a tissue and reapply.

If you're looking to try them out, let me give you an opportunity to pick the shade you want. Yes we are giving away a few #PRSamples to some of our readers…
To win a shade of your choice, all you have to do is:
1. Follow iCynosure on Instagram.
2. Comment in the comments which shade you would like to win. (Check the shades here

Please note:
– Contest closes on June 2nd.
– We’ll pick winners by a random draw from pool of qualified entries.

And here are our winners!
Winners please send in your shipping details along with a contact number and a proof of identity to with Subject - 'Oriflame - iCynosure Giveaway Winner' to claim your lippies. The product that you mentioned in the giveaway entry will be sent out once we have the details from all the winners. No emails for a particular shade will be entertained. Request you to be patient.

Until next time,

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Posted On 5/11/2017 by Team iCynosure.

As a working mother, I am always stressed about the safety and security of the environment my little princess is in, whether we're at home, in school, or on the playground. More often than not, I am careful about the hazards that could pose problems outside the home and affect her health. I get vigilant and take active measures to minimize any dangers lurking around, and I feel very proud of my accomplishments.

However, what I do tend to overlook are the ill effects of household products that may affect her health at home. Just like every parent, I strive to maintain a healthy and safe home where she can grow, and the infographic below is an eye-opener for me.

The simple yet detailed infographic serves as a ready checklist of four main household products that most impact the natural indoor air, infusing it with a number of toxins and pollutants. The infographic outlines how simple products like BPA plastic, home cleaners, hand soap, and air fresheners adversely affect the overall health and development of children. What I absolutely love about this infographic is that it not only identifies the products that you should eliminate from your home, but it also offers alternative solutions that are easy to adapt.

I've promised myself to not be fooled by advertisers and marketers, to read and understand all the fine print on product labels, and to take the necessary steps to make healthier choices for my family. I'm going to welcome this simple infographic into my life to help me create an organic, chemical-free home to protect my little princess. Take a look at the infographic below to learn more tips for making your home healthier.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Posted On 5/08/2017 by Team iCynosure.

Sometimes my skin feels great while at other times it is full of break-outs, with a deadly combination of dry skin, discolouration, pigmentation and fine lines. But these skincare concerns are not uncommon in a city like Mumbai, where I'm constantly exposed to numerous environmental aggressors that not only pose everyday skin issues but also a long term skin damage. 

Apart from the regular culprits; UV rays, pollution and smoke, one of the most crucial aspect of routine life that harms the skin is the artificial cooling during the summers. The temperature fluctuations that forces me to switch on the air conditioner, which actually does more harm to my skin than what I'd perceive. Controlled cool air not only affects the natural humidity in the air but also leaves the skin flaky and dry and in turn causes skin irritation and decomposition of the skin cells. 

So the question is how do I fight nature to keep the natural balance of my skin?
 Oriflame Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Range Review

The trick lies in the simple understanding of my skin and give it natural ingredients to grow and flourish. My usual go-to mantra for a healthy skin is creating a good skincare routine. Just as all skincare experts suggest, I follow the Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise formulae. While the benefits of cleansing, toning and moisturising are obvious, what some of us do not realise is that these CTM product may include harsh ingredients such as alcohol and parabens, which induce allergic reactions. So as I always say the most important aspect of my skincare routine is picking the products that suits my skin type. However if you are not sure of what would work or not work for you, pick products with a natural base, infused with essential oil and free of alcohol and artificial scents. One such range of skincare products that I'm currently crushing on is the newly launched collection Essense&Co by Oriflame India. 

Essense&Co is a premium bath and body range that is packed with the finest quality essential oils, that offers sumptuous textures and premium natural flavours. The products are pure indulgence that ensure a luxurious experience with a touch of nature, which is true to the Swedish heritage of the Oriflame brand. 

Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Liquid Hand Soap
 Oriflame Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Liquid Hand Soap Review
The hands are the most neglected parts, where skincare is concerned and thus brands are primarily focusing their product ranges to counter this. Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Liquid Hand Soap is a liquid hand soap infused with natural essential oils that not only hydrate the skin but also delicately perfumes the skin with the uplifting Lemon and Verbena undertones. I loved the moisture-rich formulation, that would work well across all skin types and the gently lather, that would be perfect for daily use. 

Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Body Wash
 Oriflame Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Body Wash Review
Body washes are meant to remove impurities from the skin, leaving it dewy while concealing the skin pores without disturbing its natural equilibrium. Essense&Co’s Lemon & Verbena Body Wash is a hydrating body wash blended with natural essential oils of lemon and verbena. I absolutely love the delightful creamy lather that it produces, conditioning the skin making it satiny soft and beautifully scented with refreshing citrus notes.

Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Hand & Body Lotion
 Oriflame Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Hand & Body Lotion Review

Body Lotions are perfect for replenishing the skin with the much needed hydration and counter areas affected by mild dryness. Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Hand & Body Lotion is light and easily absorbed into the skin leaving it visibly radiant and supple. I love the fact that it has a luxurious, non-greasy effect on the skin’s surface whilst keeping it moisturised and healthy. Even though I have sensitive skin the body lotion helps seal moisture deep within and keeps it hydrated and supple. 

 Oriflame Essense&Co Lemon & Verbena Range Review

Since I’ve started using the Essense&Co range, I’m amazed at the gentleness and healing power of the products. The main ingredients Lemon, known to have a range of beauty benefits and Verbena, touted as an antispasmodic, antimicrobial and hypoallergenic work wonders for the skin making it highly elastic and healthy. Given the price point, life cycle and ingredient list of the range, I would highly recommend it to all, irrespective of your skin type. To know more about the range, you can check the complete range of products here, or follow Oriflame on Facebook to stay informed. 

Have you used the Essense&Co’s products? If so let me know your thoughts, and also let me know your skincare routine in the comments below. 

Until next time,
- Heena

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Posted On 5/02/2017 by Team iCynosure.

Set in the cool climes of Nuwara Eliya, surrounded by mountains and hills, way above sea-levels, the Heritance Tea Factory Hotel is the first factory to have been converted into a hotel in Sri Lanka, earning a UNESCO Merit Award for its restoration. A modern architectural masterpiece, the old tea factory used under the British rule, boasts of a great ambiance highlighting the Colonial times while offering the best services to make our family getaway filled with luxury of history. 

We arrived at the hotel after a few hectic days in Kandy, and were greeted with the rustic quaint, cooler than the rest of the country; breeze. The staff welcomed us with warm towels followed by a traditional Sinhalese welcome. The elaborate welcome made us feel like modern day royals; as we firmly wrapped our overcoats to protect ourselves from the dropping temperature. We waited for our rooms to be assigned while being serenaded with a variety of tea flavours from the hotel’s own tea estate. N sipped on Vanilla tea while I warmed up to a cup of Broken Orange Pekoe tea infused with a handful of spices.

The hotel is indeed ‘on top of the world’ at 3600 meters above sea-level, almost dancing into the clouds. The backdrop changes colours every second of the day, from a sunshine yellow, to a burning orange, melting into a teal blue and finally seeping into a grey hollow. Needless to say we spent one of our three days just gazing into the skyline against the plush green stage offered by the plantation.

The owners have done an amazing job with preserving the heritage of the factory while remodeling it to meet the needs of the new age traveler. Instead of taking down the original machinery they have created installations out of them to overwhelm the visitor. One of the most bewitching visuals that as a hotel guest we witnessed was the minute long running of the original engine that powered the factory, placed in the basement. The hooting and the force we felt from the top floor of the hotel is still as real as when we took the pictures that day.

Another win for the hotel is responsible tourism. The overall facility leaves little to no carbon footprints with their own water management system to waste reduction initiatives; organic farming to utilising local produce and generating local employment. All around the premises we saw numerous placards explaining the importance of that particular feature or in-room material emphasising ways and means of preserving natural resources. The hotel is the perfect example of luxury combined with eco-friendliness, which otherwise is a rarity.

If we thought that we had seen and experienced everything that the hotel had to offer, we were so wrong. As soon as we entered our room, we were amazed with the spacious Flowerdew Suite, which included a master bedroom, a kid’s bedroom and a sitting area with the best views of the Ragala and Randeingala reservoirs. And to top it all, we had a twin bath tub in the master bedroom opening into a Jacuzzi; overlooking the hills. It was indeed heavenly, perfect to relax and unwind at the end of a super cold day.

As vegetarians, we were restricted in terms of cuisines in the island country with so much of sea-food in abundance. However at the Heritance Tea Factory Hotel’s main restaurant Kenmare, there was a full-buffet for vegetarians as well as a large a la carte menu. We tried the buffet and were pleasantly surprised at how tea-themed dishes can add flavour to the palate. One afternoon, we indulged in a unique dining experience at the TCK 6685 restaurant, a 1930’s train carriage that was initially used to transport tea from the factory to mainland, now converted into dining chambers. The experience is unique with the Head Chef understanding the culinary preferences of each ‘passenger-on-board’, and then serving dishes specifically made for the guest with ‘whistle-blowing’ antics by the attendants immaculately dressed in railway uniforms. It is definitely a must-do at the hotel.

The hotel has a lot of activities organised within the facility as well as in the surrounding areas. A spa along with a gym, games room, library and a putting green form recreational activities within the hotel, while they also arrange activities such as pony rides, nature trekking, bird-watching and tea factory tours. We signed up for a couple of an eco-tours including plucking-your-own tea leaves experience and #PrincessHeer took to the pony riding adventure with her dad. However with the volatile nature of climate we had to cut out on a few activities, though we did not want to miss out on the beauty of the hills so we ventured out for short walks even during the slightly drizzly day. It was by far the most beautiful and romantic part of our stay at the hotel ….. walking through a gorgeous place in the rain. The hotel’s guide, Anniken was a pro and knew practically everything about the hills, the history and the village. He also narrated stories about wild boars, leopards and mountain lions during our trek over the hills.

Doesn’t that make you want to plan your trip to Nuwara Eliya’s Heritance Tea Factory Hotel right now? If not, follow iCynosureinLanka for some inspiration or see the images below... 

Until next time, even #PrincessHeer says ciao!
- Heena