The heat is on. Summer is scorching. There is no sign of Mango showers to bring the mercury down. Even in Bangalore which normally receives its first showers after Holi is yet to get good rain.
Why not spend few days in the hills and beat the heat?
These are our list of places to beat the heat in summer. Some places where we stayed and came back with happy memories. Some places which comes highly recommended, in our bucket list to stay some day. These places are either Home Stays or small resorts. Not the fancy five star stuff.
Let us start with those we have cherished our stay and came back with sweet memories.
Red Hills Nature Resort, Red Hills, Ooty
You can't call this a resort. This is more like a large home stay. The location is the king here. Perched on a elevated place with a hill as a backdrop, this place has fantastic view of the Emerald and Avalanche lakes below. If you can get up early, you will be treated to a lovely sunrise.
Rooms - Neat and comes with a fireplace.
Food - Good
Activities - Don't miss the lovely hike to the small hill behind the resort for jaw dropping views of lake district of Ooty.
Take a look this post on this blog - A Quick escape to Red Hills!
Destiny Farmstay, Avalanche, Ooty
You will be bowled over by the setting of this place. Especially after the rains when the backwaters of Avalanche dam reaches the resort. A new structure built overlooking the plateau, it gives you a feel of an European ranch.
Room - Spacious and well furnished. Comes with a fireplace.
Food - Good
Activities - You have host of activities in the resort. You can do rappelling, fishing, riding, milking of a cow, small hikes in the forest. Kids would love this place.
Sinnadorai's Bungalows @ Sakleshpur, Valparai and Mango Range
We clubbed all three into one.
Each one though is different and provides for a lovely experience. Kadamane estate in Sakleshpur is a huge British bungalow. Mango Range is a cute bungalow with only three rooms. The Bungalow in Valparai is on a small hillock overlooking the valley. All three bungalows have retained the charm of planter's life left behind by British. Go there. You will not be disappointed.
Rooms - Rooms in all the bungalows are very spacious and nicely done.
Food - It varies from excellent in Valparai to Good in Kadamane and Mango Range.
Activities - Go for small hikes in all the three places. Wildlife watching in Valparai. Tennis and Basketball in Kadamane. Trek to waterfalls in Kadamane. Jeep drive to five acres - an amazing view point - in Kadamane. Mango Range is ideally suited to explore both Ooty and Wayanad.
Please take a look at the following posts on this blog
a) Kaptivated in Kadamane!
b) Valparai - An unexplored wonder!
c) Monsoon experience @ Mango Range
Villa Retreat, Kodaikanal
A cute little Victorian villa with an outstanding view of the valley. Again the location is the king. Excellent gardens and lovely rooms with magnificent views of the Kodai valley makes this place special.
Rooms - Rooms are generally spacious and neat. You have a wide choice based on tariff.
Food - Excellent
Activities - Nothing much inside the retreat. Many places to visit within the city.
Official Website - Villa Retreat
Thotadhahalli Home Stay, Chikmagalur
This is a real home stay. Small and nice. At the foothills of Mullayanagiri. Prakash and Pallavi are lovely hosts.
Rooms - Spacious and well done rooms. Kids will love the room with mezzanine floor.
Food - Excellent. Check out local Malnad recipes.
Activities - Nothing much in the homestay except for small walk in the estate and a basketball net. Go for a night drive in Jeep with Prakash. If it is a new moon day, you will be surprised by the silence in the estate.
Villa Urvinkhan, Chikmagalur
Lot of love has gone into making this place by Sunil and Shwetha. Beautifully located with a lovely pool overlooking the valley, the place is a hidden gem in crowded Chikmagalur.
Rooms - Excellent rooms. Spacious and done aesthetically by Sunil and Shwetha. Each room has a private sit out, a fire place.
Food - Good.
Activities - You can go for a walk in the estate, fish in the pond, use paddle boat in the pond, swim in the pool.
Let us now list out the places in the hills which are on our bucket list. We havent been to these places but have heard from friends and read about them.
Cloud Mountain Bungalow, Meghamalai, Tamil Nadu
This is still an unexplored country. Meghamalai retains its charm of secludedness. Woodbriar is a great example of how British used to live in their tea plantations. We would love to go there after rains, for sure. Woodbriar group also has some lovely bungalows in Munnar and Valparai as well.
Camelot Resort, Munnar, Kerala
It is organic and sustainable living here folks. The lovely boutique resort with ten comfortable cottages amidst an organic garden.
Camp Noel, Munnar, Kerala
This is straight out of Europe! Location is the king here. Away from the hustle bustle of Munnar town.
Cinnabar, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu
This is what one call an ideal homestay. Only two lovely rooms inside a beautiful house of Bala & Vasu. You can learn about Organic farming, making cheese or if you are outdoor type, Bala will help you to go for a trek in the forests!
Bougainvillea, Ooty, Tamil Nadu
It is good to see more of these heritage bungalows in Ooty available for visitors to the Queen of hill station. Bougainvillea is one of them to explore for sure.
Fringeford, Wayanad, Kerala
We still wonder how we haven't been here. A secluded beauty in the forests of Wayanad, your only companions here are silence or cries of wild cat!
Old Kent Estate, Coorg, Karnataka
We did not know this till a friend was singing paeans to it. When we looked at their website, we were bowled over at this English bungalow so lovingly maintained. Will go there sometime!
Magnolia resorts, Coorg, Karnataka
A boutique resort if you can call it. It is a welcome addition to those who want to spend few days of tranquility in Coorg.
Halli Berri Cottages, Chikmagalur, Karnataka
The hills of Coorg and Chikmagalur springs surprises every now and then with new properties coming up. These places are aesthetically beautiful whether they are new construction or restored ones. Halli Berri joins the select list in Chikmagalur. A place to go. You can see why when you look at their website.
Thippanahalli Homestay, Chikmagalur
Grand old lady of all Homestays in Chikmagalur. You need to book well in advance to get here. We have had that experience of not getting a chance to stay whenever we decided to go there late. We will make it some day!
Vanilla County, Vagamon, Kerala
We always knew Vagamon is God's own country. Unexplored region and a biodiversity hotspot. In the midst of this is the heritage bungalow! Nothing else matters. Have to go some day!
Official Website - Vanilla County
These were some of the places we thought we would share with you. Places where you can chill out during this summer. Have you been to any other interesting place in the hills? Please share it here. We would love to hear from you.
If you are planning a hill holiday in South India, you may look at the following post on this blog
Driving Holidays from Bangalore 5 - Hill holiday in Coorg, Wayanad & Ooty
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