Windermere Estate Munnar - A Review (Idukki - Kerala)

Do Nothing or Do Everything!!!

A couple weeks back was my wedding anniversary and for the weekend, we wanted to escape somewhere. But it was just a weekend and to go far wasn't an option, so there we were at the Scotland of South India - Munnar! We stayed at this exquisite resort at the foothill of Western Ghats, 5000ft above sea level, with a 360° view of mountains & valleys, in the middst of tea plantation - at Windermere Estate Plantation & Retreat!

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!!!
I got out of the room and kept looking at the mountain. A Red Whiskered Bulbul gave me my morning music lessons, perched on a branch of a tree just beside the portico. That moment I knew I wasn't in a regular resort, I was in the lap of nature, in the lap of luxury, in the heart of the Western Ghats, a Biodiversity Hotspot as termed by UNESCO! Later on the day, I came to know another guest of the hotel, woke up to the call of Grizzled Giant Squirrel (Near Threatened species) which ate her choco chip cookies she kept on a table close to the window which she forgot to close for the night!!!! That should also tell you once again - this is not at all a regular resort, its for the one who wants to live in harmony with the nature, surrounded by nature in the heart of nature...

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! 
Next day I just visited Eravikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and spent the rest of the day in the resort. There's a View Point atop a huge boulder in the resort. This gives such a mesmerizing 360°view of the mountains & valleys all around with a view of the resort itself from high above!!! Definitely an exhilarating experience and I ached so badly to even think about returning back to the city life.
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!!! 

The resort is more than just a resort. Its an experience by itself! Either do nothing and just chill out just within the resort with the gorgeous view and sleep beneath the trees in the hammock OR do everything from trekking to bird watching to photography and much more. Btw, the resort has already served as a wedding venue once, so how about a Destination Wedding at Munnar!!!!

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 purposehowever the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

30 comments:

  1. That was the awesome place stay thanks for suggestion

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  2. What a beautiful looking place. Not the typical scenery for which we know India. Why was it compared to Scotland? Is it about the mountainous terrain only?

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  3. It feels like a trip back in time! Except for the modern pool. Haha! Everything is so lovely in that resort! :D

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  4. The place seems perfect for a relaxing staycation.

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  5. I love the view of the garden rooms. You also had a great nature tour here.

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  6. Whaaoo 60 acres. Thats really something. Looks like a relaxing vacation.

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  7. What an exquisite experience. I can see how beautiful and romantic the setting it is... Happy Anniversary!

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  8. First of all Congratulation for your wedding annuversary!!
    This place looks nice not what the world really knows about india.

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  9. That view you had in your last photo, I can really look it at it the whole day and not do anything. It's really serene and gorgeous. The hammock is also a place I will want to lay on whole day!

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  10. I love nature and so this is totally alluring in my eyes. I love to wake up in the morning with fog and dew drops. This is hardly seen in hotels in the urban which is a pity really.

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  11. How beautiful!!! I had gone to Munnar long long time ago...India is indeed incredible!

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  12. Its really a lovely place, havnt heard of Windermere Estate Munnar before, but i think its a nice place to visit

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  13. Wow... Such a wonderful place. Great photos. I would like to visit this place.

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  14. I love the view outside. It sure is a perfect place to unwind. I would definitely be visiting this if I get the chance to visit India.

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  15. Your lens makes the place look even more beautiful. Nice work

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  16. This place look so nice! It have such a countryside vibe to it.

    XOXO
    Shi Hui | IreviewUread
    http://ireviewuread.com/post/154763036408/beautykeeperpart2
    https://youtu.be/Ia2Bhy2m2NE

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  17. Loved the view from your room!! It's such a pretty place!!

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  18. I loved your post and the way you write. You connect various paras really well stitching together both your experience and tourist info. I have been to Munnar but didnt visit this resort. Probably next time i should.

    I am also curious the last point in your blog with P.S. You mentioned the resort people invited you for a review. I didnt know that happens. Could you guide me how you go about being in a state where resorts reach out to you for reviews.

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  19. I love Munnar in the south - beautiful scenery

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  20. Happy Anniversary! What a lovely place to celebrate. Looks like a get getaway, so romantic.

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  21. This looks like a lovely place to stay! I visited Munnar last May when I was in Kerala but didn't actually stay overnight, opting instead for a daytrip. I didn't really get to see a lot though so hope to go back some day and do it all over again, maybe staying overnight next time.

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  22. Oh those mountains! So beautiful. Thanks for such a great post on an area I'd never heard of

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  23. Happy Anniversary! I can't believe I haven't visited Munnar yet, and I live just next door (Karnataka)! The view from your room is stunning. I can only imagine how it feels waking out to mountains & all that lush greenery. A perfect anniversary treat!

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  24. 60 acres, the Western Ghats, this is another hidden wonder of India. The resort and view are amazing too!

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  25. This looks like a great place to stay! Such a thorough review. I'd definitely go for the candlelight dinner :)

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  26. How gracious of the owners to let you have a private honeymoon dinner in the library! I didn't make it to Munnar when I was in Southern India but the views from your room make me want to go!

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  27. Mountains, birds, candles, great food and even better company, what more could you ask for!! This place does look like pure magic and don't blame you for being speechless. So wonderful you could share it with your husband. I would love to lay in one of those photos on the hammock and enjoy that view. South India is so beautiful!! Hope to visit there one day soon.

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  28. What a beautiful and massive estate! I would love to stay here! It is so nice and romantic, great that you could share this with your hubby!

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  29. Munnar is a beautiful destination. It must have been a treat to stay at a resort in the middle of that verdant greenery. Does Windermere have any connect to the one with the same name in Darjeeling?

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