The emergence of Sri Lanka as a hive of thoughtfully crafted independent hotels owes a great deal to a visionary few, among them Malik J Fernando, George Cooper – and Henry Fitch. Fitch’s Teardrop Hotels (teardrop-hotels.com), which include Colombo’s Wallawwa and Galle’s fantastic Fort Bazaar, layer contemporary style into old colonial buildings. Now he’s introducing to Teardrop a small circuit of intimate restored tea planters’ bungalows in the highlands. First up is Goatfell (from about £265), with just four suites and cinematic views over electric-green hills and the city of Nuwara Eliya, and shortly thereafter Nine Skies (from about £440), lush with private gardens and croquet lawn and boasting five discrete bungalow suites. If a sprawling private villa closer to the sea is what you’re after, Halala Kanda (halalakanda.com; $1,300 per night for exclusive use), near south-coast hotspot Weligama, is your ticket. Its interiors – six bedrooms (some with private gardens), living rooms, kitchen and wide terrace – blend Dutch colonial antiques, contemporary collectables and a Flemish-influenced palette.