Munnar – is undoubtedly the most sought after tourist destination in South India. The hills, the mist, the valleys, the waterfalls and the emerald-green carpeted tea plantations is a heaven of peace and tranquility in the God’s own country. Located at an altitude of 6000ft in Idukki district, Munnar was apparently the favored summer resort of the erstwhile British.
Nestled in the land of greenery is Munnar Tea Country Resort – a unique and a first of its kind, all-suite family resort that is located around 10 kms from the Munnar Bus Stand. Thanks to Mystikal Holidays and the management of MTCR (read Munnar Tea Country Resort), was happy to have been invited for a 2D/1N stay to experience and review the property.
Munnar Tea Country Resort is a privately owned resort and the flagship of Green Earth Hotels. The resort offers a 360-degree view of the magnificent hill station, where one is sure to be overwhelmed in a sea of countless shades of greenery.
As part of Responsible Tourism the resort works with local self-help groups which lead to indirect employment and earnings for the local community and also preference is given to local produce.
There are four categories of rooms. Horizon View Villa & Valley View Villas are duplex styled villas of 605 sq.ft each and spread in two levels. The names of these categories suggests the guaranteed view. Premium Valley View is a non-duplex cottage laid out in 625 sq ft and supposedly the only category designed for pets. Romantic luxury Villas are duplex styled cottages laid out in 680 sq ft and it has the best view in the resort overlooking the beautiful landscape that is ideal for honeymooners
After an exhausting 4 hour uphill drive from Cochin, reached MTCR just before sunset and was welcomed by Angel & Anil – front office assistants with a garland, tikka and a fresh fruit welcome drink. The check-in formalities were hassle free after which Mr Manu – the guest relation officer escorted me to the room.
Valley View Villa was the category of room on offer. As the name suggests, this villa face the valley and has a beautiful rose garden in front. The room was duplex styled with a living room on the ground floor with an attached bathroom while the bedroom with a balcony was on top floor. There was an attached pantry area too with Mini Bar, Fruits basket and local snacks.
Since it was already pitch dark, decided to have a quick dinner and sleep early in order to wake up early for the sunrise view. The multi cuisine restaurant has Indian, Continental, Arabic and Kerala cuisines on offer. The chilly weather was such that I wanted to have something which was steaming hot and therefore Chef Augustine – Executive Chef offered a French onion soup and a platter of Indian Kebabs. Absolutely loved each of these dishes. During the course of dinner, Shaji – one of the restaurant staff, was raving about the splendid view of the valley from the restaurant. I couldn’t wait but to come back and experience it.
Day 2 began with Mr Phillip – the security guard giving me a wakeup call at 6AM for the Nature Walk. Extremely early, cold, foggy morning at the resort with the sun just coming up..Sigh! I’ve never seen anything as splendid as this! The walk began 500 meters uphill north of the resort where one could hear the chirping sounds of the birds. A 10-minute walk and you are immediately surrounded by the lush tea plantations on both sides. Apparently, they all belong to Tata Tea Estate.
6:30 was way too early to experience the view however thoroughly enjoyed the walk. Mr Philip comes across as a well-respected man and quite popular with the locals. Almost every person whom we came across during the walk was greeting him.
After a quick fresh up, visited the local church for the Sunday Morning Mass which was a 15-minute walk from the resort.
Back at the resort, breakfast spread comprising of North Indian, Conti and South Indian was on offer. Each of these dishes was fresh and steaming hot. The crispy fried wada & dosa’s were my favorite of the lot. By now the entire fog was cleared and I could experience the view of the valley from the restaurant. True to the expectations, the view was absolutely magical!
The tea was arranged on the terrace which is quite a favorite spot for campfire and barbecuing and I could see some traces from the previous evening’s party. Sipping steaming hot tea on a chilly morning overlooking the never ending tea estates of Munnar was a memorable experience!
Following breakfast, it was time for some serious pampering. I had a steam and Abhyanga massage with special therapy appointment at Oceana Spa. A three-hour treatment with warm medicated oil and thai acupressure technique was not only detoxifying but also totally rejuvenating.
By the time I was done with the pamper session, it was already time for lunch!
Since I haven’t had the opportunity to relish the authentic Kerala breakfast yet, Chef Augustine presented me with Puttu, Ididappam, King fish, Prawns wrapped in banana leaf & kerala spices, Pineapple fried rice and Ada Pradhaman. Each of these dishes were absolutely delicious and infact some they were some of the best dishes I’ve had during my trip. Chef Augustine comes with an experience of 30 years and has knowledge on not just generic Indian cuisine but also on regional, Conti and Arabic fare. He is always willing to customize the experience and treat the guests as per the palate.
Being the Onam week – the resort too was getting decked up for the celebrations and the gist of it could be seen at the reception with a beautiful flower art work.
After lunch, it was time for check out.
Although the stay at the resort was quite short, I cannot wait but to come back once again and experience the property at leisure. The staff here definitely deserve a special mention. Each of them is not just multi-linguistic but also multi-skilled as well. They are always smiling and ready to pamper you to create that quality experience while you are here.
A beautiful property set in the beautiful landscape of Munnar which you definitely shouldn’t miss!
Thumbs up for this one !