Before you chose a vacation destination you ve got to ask yourself what type of a traveller are you going to be for this trip? A luxury traveller, a mid budget traveller or a shoe string traveller? Your choice of hotel/resort or accommodation should be accordingly,lest you face an expectation mismatch.
So this review is from a mid budget traveller standpoint. To give you a reference range, upper limit would be the likes of Orange County Resorts and lower range could be any regular home stay with food only options.This would be somewhere in the lower mid range. Above mid would be windflower for example.
With that let me walk you through my vacation :
Overview : A good budget weekend getaway.
Highlights : Warm and friendly hosts and staff.
Lowlights: Not much of a view from the property.
Bangalore to Tuskermark distance : 242kms ( includes 21kms of horrible road from Srirangapatna ) My suggestion : go through Mysore if you have delicate low ground clearance vehicle.
Time taken : 6 am start 11:20AM inside property, with one break.
Cottage / one room with attached bath. Hot water available (need to leave hot water tap open for a few mins) . Good for couples, one large queen size bed.Cable TV, intercom,storage sufficient.
Cottages have a small sit out which can be good for sunset tea breaks.
The property: :
There is a pool and pond which are covered, and as last seen, were unsused.A small play area for children and a nice bridge over a trickle waterfall ( am guessing monsoons would see more gush!) There is ample scope to have a bonfire or light a barbecue.
As is the case with most forest properties,the fresh aroma of eucalyptus trees and a pollution free enviroment add to the feel good factor.The Indial Oil gasoline station is adjacent to the property so re fuelling is easy ( they do not accept cards though).
There s a lot more that is under progress in this property,so in time this will have really cool things spa and conference center.
Must say food is quite good, made to taste ( we like less spicy food) the Coorgi Pork quality was quite enjoyable.The breakfast spread is heavy like Choley Bhatturey (Chickpeas curry),Upmas,and the usual south Indian items. Did not check about Muesli /Cornflakes so cannot comment.Tea coffee are good and the service is prompt.Lunch and dinner usually have two or three vegetarian dishes and two non vegetarian dishes.
Alcohol is a bit of a challenge : you need to get your own alcohol and that too before 6PM as the forest check posts will not allow you to carry alcohol after that. Additionally,buying from the border shops in Kutta , you will be charged about 20% above MRP ! I mean holy cow how illegal is that?!
A bottle of Bacardi Rum which costs INR 837,the shop was selling for INR 950! I mean for what joy! And not just alcohol even a 1ltr bottle of Pepsi they charged extra INR 30. So beware.
The hosts :
The young couple,Mr. & Mrs. Kariyappa are the ones Natgeo would love to hire – so totally blended with nature and animals.we liked their sensitivity towards the environment,animals in general and particularly the tuskers.Mr.Kariyappa perhaps knows their language.
They were polite,courteous and child friendly.Their personal touch was quite appreciated whether accompanying us for the safaris or giving us anecdotal information about the geography.
Being a moderate level traveller,I come across lot of people who forget once you pay the money, so it was refreshing to see that it mattered for them to see their guests have a good time in their property.
Safaris: The Safaris were well organised and it helped that the hosts knew where to look for wildlife in the dense forest.It is advisable though, that you time your safari towards 5PM so that you get the best chance of catching a rare glimpse of a tiger gently walking by…
So overall,I would rate this experience 4/5 – there are areas of improvement as mentioned above,but if you set your expectations right, then chances are you will have a nice getaway for a few days in this property.