Do Nothing or Do Everything!!!
The resort is located at about 10 mins drive from Munnar Bus Stand. Going across a dam and through tiny little lanes, finally you'd spot a board that says its name and beyond it, its entrance that looks almost like someone's farm house, than a resort! Well, actually that's how it began about 10 years back by its owner Dr.Simon John. He began this as his own farm house with 5 cottages to host his own friends & relatives! Later on the thought of sharing this beauty with the world, and expanded it a bit more, not much, with 18 rooms altogther now, so that the place is still almost the same.
The entire place is about 60 acres in the midst of which about 5 acres forms the resort. There are 3 types of rooms - Planter's Villa, Estate and Garden! There are 8 Garden rooms with an area of 350 sq ft each, 8 Estate rooms with an area of 600 sq ft each and 2 Planter's Villa with an area of 1000 sq ft each.
The Estate rooms have sitouts and the Garden rooms have the view of the tea plantations from their windows! Read on to know about the Planter's Villa.
Its a rather interesting place. All the rooms here are individual houses, not like an apartment of several rooms. Atmost 2 rooms are put together! Even rooms of the same category don't look exactly the same. The rooms aren't in a row but in various places however clustered together close by, so that the original landscape of the place need not be bothered much. The architecture, decor etc are so true to the locality with wooden flooring and ceiling, exposed cobble stones, customized umbrella etc.
There's a restaurant within the resort called The Barn. In the first floor of The Barn is the Library complete with several books about flora & fauna, National Geographic Magazines, about culture of Kerala etc. But, guess what? Since we were there on our anniversary, this we were so pleasantly surprised with a Candle Light Dinner and this library became our own private dinner space as soon as we reached!!!!!
Well, I reached there by almost night and I headed straight to the bed! Next morning, was.... magic!!! I woke up to the daylight entering my room through the window and looking out, I saw the majestic Western Ghats towering up, up and above, covered with lush greenery, surrounded by the chirps of a dozen different species of birds!!! To wake up to that was...... just....... no, I'm in loss of words here! Its a moment to cherish, an experience, rather an exuberance to be felt and cannot be described in words!!!
That's my room (Planter's Villa) in night & bright day light. These rooms have the exquisite valley view. Like usual, equipped with toiletries, fridge (alcohol isn't served here, but you may get your own) etc.
The Villa is in 2 sections - a drawing room like place and the main bed room. The bathroom has hot & cold shower and even the plumbing looks retro! The room is also equipped with fan as well as heater. The bathroom is really huge and has a huge cabinet and luggage rack.
After a breakfast at The Barn that provides both South Indian & Continental options, we headed for a trek at Kanan Devan Platation Hills and then Tata's initiative Shristi about which I'll share later on another post. Our lunch was back in the resort with the authentic Kerala meals! Yeah, they do serve sandwich etc as well, but when you're in Kerala, you've gotta try Kerala meals with the authentic Kerala boiled rice!!! Close to the Barn is a pristine swimming pool.
The evening was the guided tour of the cardamom estate where if luck permits, you'd spot a Nilgiri Langur, Lion tailed Macaque, Grey Langur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Grizzled Giant Squirrel, and ofcourse a variety of birds & butterflies and if you're very lucky probably the Anaimudi Bush Frog and Anaimalai Gliding Frog. Infact the resort itself had served as the site for the research about the Frogs of Western Ghats! I spotted Grey Langur, Nilgiri Langur, Malabar Giant Squirrel and a bunch of birds! Didn't I say already, you're in the lap of Biodiversity Hotspot??!!! More about that coming up in another post.
Close to the restaurant, is The Hut which is a typical Keralite Chaaya kada or Tea Shop where 4 types are tea is available incl Ginger, Cardamon, Lemon & Masala. When you're in the midst of Tea and Cardamom plantation, Cardamom Tea was the first I tried. Its served with local snacks like bajji or pakoda. Its such an aromatic, yummy tea - a definite winner.
After the romantic Candle Night Dinner, this night was an awesome Bonfire for all the guests! A perfect way to socialize... The bonfire happens here twice a week with barbecue! There was a decent selection for vegetarians as well with Paneer, Pinapple, Potatoes, Capsicum etc. The dinner here on any day is a variety of 3 course meals with soup, North Indian, Keralite & Continental choices, and desserts!
Getting down from there, I just spent the rest of the day in the hammocks, sleeping below the trees, with the music of birds and leaves filling my ears, before getting back to the city life with the music of tv, internet and traffic!!!
To get there:
On Google Maps: Windermere Munnar
From Coimbatore Jn: 160km (Its quicker if you get down at Tiruppur Railway station if you're crossing it)
From Coimbatore Airport: 170km
From Cochin Airport: 110km
From Madurai Railway Stn: 150km
Transport is arranged by the resort from nearest airport / railway station on prior request.
To Book: Hotel.com, Booking.com
Room tariff begins at Rs.6200/-
Resort website: Windermere Munnar
Resort Ph no: +91 486 5230512 / 978
Dedicated to Venkat
P.S: I was invited by Windermere Estate & Resort, Munnar to stay and experience the hotel for review purpose, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.