Experience Sri Lanka’s history, culture and nature with Dilmah Tea’s hotel collection
The Fernando Family
Inspired by Tea, Kindness and Hospitality
We are a family business, founded by Merrill J. Fernando, with the philosophy that business must also be a matter of human service. Kindness to people and nature forms the heart of all that we do. In 1985, we set out to make the world a better tea. That’s why we grow our own, unlike other tea companies, then pick the best leaves by hand, not machine, and pack it super-fresh right here in Sri Lanka. But it’s not just the taste that makes our tea better, 15% of our profit goes to humanity through the work of the MJF Charitable Foundation and Dilmah Conservation. In 2005, we started our first hotel, almost by accident. Read more below.
One Magical Island. Three Extraordinary Resorts
Resplendent’s collection of boutique resorts offer the discerning traveller a remarkable circuit across Sri Lanka, with a range of authentic experiences, while supporting our positive impact programs through the MJF Foundation & Dilmah Conservation. This “best of Sri Lanka” journey features three distinctive resorts - Ceylon Tea Trails in the tea highlands, Wild Coast Tented Lodge beach-side by Yala National Park and Cape Weligama on the south coast near Galle. The resorts are connected by a thread of peerless service and are the sole Sri Lankan members of Relais & Chateaux, the global fellowship of individually owned & operated luxury hotels and restaurants. Click below to read more about how we started with the world’s first tea bungalow resort.
8 UNESCO world heritage sites, mountainous tea country, spectacular wildlife, epic food, and breathtaking coastlines combine to form a tapestry, filled with intriguing characters that bring the story of today’s Sri Lanka to life. Known as Ceylon until 1972, Sri Lanka means Resplendent Island. Just off the southern tip of India, the island is about the size of Ireland and home to 20 million people.
Cliches aside, our island can be viewed as ideal to visit throughout the year. Regardless of what the weather is like in one part of the country, another part would offer a great experience in likeness or kind. We’ve summed up some of...
Five Reasons Sri Lanka is Perfect for Family Vacations
Ours is a land that offers experiences that connect you with nature and wildlife, culture and heritage, traditional cuisine and communities of diverse ethnicities. Here’s five reasons why Sri Lanka is perfect for your next family...
Five reasons why you should choose Sri Lanka for your honeymoon
With miles of powdery golden beaches, incredible wildlife and plenty of secluded guest houses and beautiful boutique hotels, a honeymoon in Sri Lanka is sure to be packed full of memories to last a lifetime. We might be just one tiny...
Merrill J. Fernando dedicated his life to tea when in the 1950s, he saw the concentration of ownership in the tea industry in the hands of a few large corporations. It took him nearly four decades and in 1988 he launched his own brand – Dilmah. The name was coined from his two sons’ names. Dilmah was the first producer-owned tea brand, and offered tea ‘picked, perfected and packed’ at origin. “I wanted my passion for tea to benefit my customers, workers, marginalised people in the community and the environment; I made Dilmah a business that is also a matter of human service” Merrill J Fernando.
06 May 2021
A life devoted to tea and kindness : Merrill J. Fernando
The unmistakable face of the Dilmah brand is Merrill J. Fernando, with his signature catchphrase, “do try it!”. He is the first tea grower to offer his tea to the world, picked, perfected, packed at source, and kindness was his cup of..
Emirates pays warm tribute to Merrill J. Fernando on his 90th birthday
The shared passion that attracts like-minded organisations to each other was clearly articulated when Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, greeted Dilmah founder Merrill J. Fernando recently, on the occasion of the 90th...
Dilmah Tea Founder Merrill J. Fernando has been capped as a Doctor of Science by Massey
In recognition of his strong leadership in ethical business within the food and beverage industry, our chairman and founder of globally renowned Dilmah Tea was capped as Doctor of Science by Massey University in New Zealand. “This...
The Merrill J. Fernando Foundation was formed to fulfil our Founder’s desire to make his business a matter of human service. One of the region’s largest private charitable Foundations, it focuses on directly, efficiently and effectively delivering transformational impact to less fortunate communities, differently abled children and youth, while empowering women, youth and men with dignity through free education, vocational training, entrepreneurship, nutrition, provision of medical infrastructure. It also cares for the elderly and fosters advocacy. Together with Dilmah Conservation the MJF Foundation connects with our belief that success is a blessing that must be shared. Merrill J. Fernando disrupted a tea industry that was captive to a colonial economic system. He devoted his life to tea, and overcame the obstacles to realising his dream of a genuinely ethical tea, with faith in God and His Grace. A minimum 15% of the pre-tax profits of Dilmah Tea, Resplendent Ceylon and our other businesses funds the work of the Foundation.
08 May 2019
MJF Centre for Dignified Empowerment and Sustainable Development inaugurated in Kalkudah
Sept 2018 Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando was joined by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his sons Dilhan and Malik in inaugurating the MJF Centre for empowerment, inspiration, community development and climate change in...
Mankada, the Dilmah MJF Centre for Empowerment through Arts and Crafts in Uda Walawe, is an artisanal pottery centre that seeks to provide employment to women living in the area. Mankada was set up to support the local community with a...
Bundala School Partnership Project – led by Wild Coast Lodge. Supported by MJF Kids.
Resplendent Ceylon has pledged to foster a rural school located close to Wild Coast Lodge as part of our community outreach projects by providing continued support on a long-term basis in terms of infrastructure, specialist training and...
Dilmah Conservation began its work in 2007 as an important element in the Fernando family’s commitment to making our business a matter of human service. It was by then so clearly evident that human welfare and the environment were inextricably and critically intertwined. We operate the first private sector climate research station. Read more here.
02 October 2019
Baby Dilmah’s Birthday!
Dilmah Wildlife Conservation has supported the Elephant Transit Home (ETH) in Udawalawe National Park since 2007 through many initiatives. Most recently, they sponsor ‘Baby Dilmah’, a calf found orphaned in Mattala by the Department of.
Dilmah Conservation and Wild Coast Tented Lodge have finalised plans for a Leopard Research Centre of a global standard, with eminent trustees including Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya and Eric Wickremanayake, working with the likes of Wilderness...
Resplendent Ceylon, the Wilderness and Wildlife Conservation Trust (WWCT), Dilmah Tea and several other tea estates have embarked on a ground-breaking private sector collaboration to protect Leopards in the Sri Lankan tea highlands. The...
Relais & Châteaux, established in France in 1954, is an association of 580 unique hotels and restaurants throughout the world, owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs – most often families – who are passionate about their craft and deeply committed to forging warm, lasting relationships with their guests. Relais & Châteaux members protect and promote the wealth and diversity of the world’s culinary and hospitality traditions, to ensure they continue to thrive. They are equally dedicated to preserving local heritage and the environment, as articulated in the association’s Vision presented to UNESCO in November 2014. Discover all 20 commitments presented to UNESCO here. Tea Trails, Wild Coast Tented Lodge and Cape Weligama are proud to be the sole Sri Lankan members of this prestigious association.
20 October 2021
Relais & Châteaux and Slow Food, the global movement working to ensure that everyone has access to good, clean and fair food, came together once again to celebrate “Food for Change” in October. Nearly 200 Relais & Châteaux...
Celebrating the 68th Anniversary of Relais & Châteaux
Their story began 68 years ago. Today, Relais & Châteaux is a name synonymous with impeccable standards of luxury, service and commitment towards creating authentic, enriching and novel experiences.Present across five continents and 64...
The ocean and our livelihoods are inextricably linked; more so in our beautiful island home of Sri Lanka.While the impacts of climate change and unsustainable seafood harvesting threaten the livelihoods of local fisherman,Dilmah...