When we think of Kerala, it’s most often than not either the backwaters or the hill station of Munnar isn’t it? I had the same thinking right from my childhood until now. This was my first time to Kerala. And though Kerala wasn’t my first choice, after ruling out Sikkim and Rishikesh, I set out on this one with moderate excitement. How did it go for me you ask? I surely didn’t regret the decision. On the contrary I felt speechless, and one of the main reasons is here below.
My trip to Kerala ranged from watching and walking in the fog covered tea estates to the history packed town of Fort Kochi. In between these two extremities was NEELAKURUNJI LUXURY PLANTATION RESORT.
The resort lies nestled deep down in the forest, 24 kms from Munnar town, beyond Devikulam in the village of Chinnakkanal. Though in close proximity to the tea estates, once you enter here it’s like a different world of its own, with Cardamom plantations and all sorts of wild trees. There are buses, autos and cabs available to the main stop which is around 10 mins distance from Neelakurunji resort. Getting there is an off roading experience in itself. The jeeps (which are just like how autos are available-very common in Munnar and nearby) are a perfect mode for the roads here.
-WHAT TO EXPECT
As I entered the resort it did give me an offbeat experience, I had the same expressions like the kids had while entering Jurassic park. That of awe and the feeling of entering another kind of a world.
The property is built so beautifully complementing the nature around, it’s difficult not to fall in love with it at first sight. Trees which might have been hundreds of years old still stands tall within the property. It has huge natural boulders or rocks strewn all over and stands out. All around I could hear birds singing especially the ‘Malabari Whistling Thrush’ whose whistles were so glorious, and woodpecker’s chirps and cackles and my dear friends-The ‘Crickets’ having their go persistently.
Neelakurunji Luxury Plantation Resort belongs to Mr. Arun Prasad and Mrs. Suja who are third generation planters and hence has a close tie up with nature. Neelakurunji is also the name of the blue flowers which bloom in the Kerala after every 12 years .The property which is spread across 10 acres is beautifully and carefully built, with 10 individual rooms and suits strewn around the property, kept quiet simple on the outside while the interior speaks luxury and peace. The stone and light combo lights up the rooms so adequately that it soothes your mind. With my stay here I could find myself cut off from the outside world completely and living with the wild, the birds and the trees.
My room had a large full size window which gave a view right out of an Amazonian dream. The wood and stone made room gave a perfect ambience and the lighting made me switch onto the relaxed mode instantly.
Walking around the property in the evening was another thing I thoroughly enjoyed, sitting out on the rocks overlooking the trees and hearing the sweet echoes made my day and refreshed my mood.
Later a walk with the hotel staff- Akhil who accompanied us into the property and around, giving details about the entire place, the Cardamom plantations and the pepper plants, the chocolate pods and the wild flowers was very informative. I also noticed that were streams around the property which were currently dry but come rain and I can’t stop imagining what things around here would turn out to be.
-THINGS TO SEE AROUND
Akhil took us around to the nearby peak and there was this stunning view, this place being called the ‘Muniyara viewpoint.’ From here I could see the paddy fields and the villages down, a walk around and we came across the ‘Muniyara caves’ which were a site of meditation for the Rishis (Sages)-these caves are the lesser known tourist attraction of the town but a must see thing around. The Kolukkumalai Tea Estate, the highest organic tea plantation in the world is also within a few kms from the property. Also there is a waterfall called the Power house waterfall a few kms away.
A lots to see around but once here you definitely wouldn’t want to move out as Neelakurunji is enough to satisfy your craving of closeness to nature.
The staffs are always around to welcome you, to escort you around and attend to your every need. The hospitality of the staff was amazing; the manager of the property Jiyash and the other staff members as well interacted with the guests around and were always present to provide every help needed.The food was another great part. Simple yet delicious and authentic yet suiting to my taste buds. They definitely have an upper hand in this too. The resort also has spa facilities, to help you rejuvenate in the lap of nature.
Surprisingly, the network connectivity around was extremely good , so your business or important interactions won’t be hindered. Honeymooners will definitely find this resort serene and romantic. If you want to see the Amazonian wild side of Kerala or just relax, this place is perfect for you.
Overall the experience at Neelakurunji Luxury Plantation Resort was splendid with the sweet melodies of the birds still echoing in my ears and leaving a sweet sweet memory, a feeling deep down within.
As per me, if you want to experience the beauty of Gods own country-Kerala in a different way, pure and wild, you have to get to NEELAKURUNJI LUXURY PLANTATION RESORT. For more details you could check their website-www.neelakurunji.net
*My stay at Neelakurunji was sponsored but my thoughts weren’t. This post stands true to its every bit and is my experience at the luxury resort. You know I wouldn’t lie to you ever!