They say “There is no Wi-fi in the forest but you will find better connection”. In search of this connection I landed up at Periyar – a wildlife sanctuary which has a rich bountiful treasures of tropical flora and fauna and a rich tribal culture.
Serving as a Gateway to Thekkady is Forest Canopy Resort – the most scenically placed Premium Resort which promises you a rainforest like theme. Located just close to Kottayam-Kumily road, this resort is the only Resort in Kerala to be featured in the top 15 hill station resorts in India by TripAdvisor.
Thanks to the lovely management at Mystikal Holidays & Forest Canopy Resort who offered a 2D/1N stay at this beautiful property. After an exhausting 3 hour drive from Munnar, reached Forest Canopy around 3:30 PM and was promptly welcomed by Sandhya & Nishant – the Front office Executives, with an aarti and a tikka.
The check-in formalities were hassle free. Soon after check-in, I was escorted to the Tulip Delux Cottage category of the room. At first instance itself I fell in love with my room, which has the best view of the forest across the hotel. The rooms were spacious and had all modern amenities. Each room has its own private Balcony that gives you a feel of being as close to nature.
Soon after check-in, Mr Sudhir Babu – Resort Manager helped me with the tour of the property. One of the unique features of the property is that the entire resort is located on 4 levels, thereby, the resort has arranged a vehicle for guests for easy access to all the facilities. One, also has an option to walk along the pathways.
The resort has five Categories of rooms which are spread across three levels while Blooming Cherry – the in-house restaurant, Gymnasium, Spa, Swimming pool and badminton court are located on the fourth floor.
After checking into my room and freshening up a bit, I had a steam, sauna and full body massage appointment at Ayurkshethra…Just what I needed after an exhausting journey !
Post-spa, I headed to Blooming Chery Restaurant for dinner where I was greeted by Chef Varun – the executive Chef of the resort. The restaurant offers a range of cuisines which appeals to all kinds of guests. The highlight of the restaurant is that Chef Varun and his team have done extensive research on the tribal cuisine of kerala and have inculcated some of them on the menu. Perhaps this is the first and only time I have come across a restaurant offering Tribal Kerala Cuisine.
Started off with Attu Kal Soup – a stew made of drumsticks and lamb. This was followed by a range of appetizers of which Mulenkutty Chicken was the first one. Made of Curry leaf and green pepper marinade which is then served in Bamboo shallots, this was absolutely brilliant. Vettila Pollichathu mean was quite unique in itself, a fish wrapped in beetle leaf had the most rustic flavor ever.
“Periyar Tiger reserve was home to many tribal communities. The idea behind this tribal food is to show the traditional food culture of these people based & their age-old agriculture practices that have provided food and its nutritional values down the ages” says Chef Varun.
Attapadi Kozhi Curry – Chicken Curry, Meen Molakarachatu – Fish curry and Chemeen Kizhi – Prawns curry were the next to follow and these were served with Tapioca and Kerala Rice. Each of the dishes were extremely rustic and yet flavorful in their own unique way and I would definitely recommend to stop by at this restaurant while you are in Periyar.
Day 2 began with a hot cup of Tea served in the balcony. Surrounded by lush greenery – the balcony view was such that it offers unfettered freedom and tranquility where one is sure to be rejuvenated.
This was followed by a dip in the pool. The view from the pool offers complete infinity view of the never-ending forests of Periyar & Thekkady.
The breakfast was spread out in a buffet format offering a wide range of Indian, Continental and Kerala delicacies. I was content with the appam & stew.
Post breakfast was Coffee sampling at a one of its kind coffee shop located on the reception floor. Featuring some of the finest single estate coffees, the coffee shop offers 50 varieties of Coffee which is the first of its kind in Periyar. Also on offer are some sinful desserts and wide range of gelatos & sorbets. Mr Raj – the Coffee Brewmaster knew the menu so perfectly that his recommendations were bang on.
Needless to say, I had a great stay experience at Forest Canopy Resort and special mention about Mr Sujith Babu – the resort manager who made sure that each and every minute of my stay at Forest Canopy was memorable. Cant wait to come back soon to Forest Canopy.