Munnar – An experience that spoiled me

Everyone has different phases and priorities in their lives. Food and Fashion were mines when I started my blogging career back in 2016. For the fact, I’m still not interested in sharing the details on food as I only enjoy it while eating and not taking pictures or sharing every masala taste or minute details on it.

So, I knew it had to be fashion. I loved talking about it and working on my knowledge and skills regarding the subject. On the other hand, travel was always on my mind but it was more like going to an exotic location to dress up nicely and enjoy. Everything has remained the same but the intention to travel has completely flipped over the years. Today when I go to a certain place, I want to go a little deeper. I want to be a part of them, I want them to feel how proud and fortunate I feel to have experienced their traditions, stories, their company. Maybe the maturity has come with the age or its just the aftermath of the great experiences that I’ve had while traveling.

One such was my recent trip to Kerala, which has been one of the most awaited destinations to check off my travel list. I’ve been interested to visit the place almost all my life so I knew there was no way I was settling down for lesser than a week. The flight from Delhi takes about 2 hours 45 minutes to reach Cochin Airport. The plan was to cover the mountains first and then head to the beaches. To go by the plan, Munnar was the first stop which is about 3 to 4 hours away from Cochin International Airport by a cab. Buses are available at a much cheaper rate but honestly, with the amount of luggage that I had, it was nearly impossible for me to even think about it. The local cab generally takes 3000 INR but I got a better deal for 1900 INR through MakeMyTrip while booking the hotels.

Choosing the right hotel/resort for me is so crucial. When you stay at a pleasant and polished place where people are nice to you, happy while doing their job, your mood automatically lightens up. The location of the resort is another thing that I majorly look for. While there are times I want to be right there at the center of the chaos, there’s also a part of me who chooses otherwise. Staying in the outskirts, being the closest to nature and away from people that don’t matter, the rush that isn’t needed. This time the latter part of me took the advantage and I couldn’t be any happier or so to say, I might have regretted otherwise.

The resort that I chose for myself was half an hour away from the main Munnar in the middle of scenic landscapes and lush green valleys. The roads were under construction and it took me around an hour to reach but trust the govt and people of Kerala, they’ll get it done by the time you book your tickets and plan your trip to the place. I’m not even kidding, that’s how aware and responsible they seemed!

As soon as I entered Golden Ridge Mountain & Resort, two of their staff members were already there to welcome me with their traditional cardamom garland and a fruit drink. It was so comforting after all the traveling and it got even better when I entered my suite.
The room was as clean as it could possibly be with all the necessities and much more. The most distinctive feature has to be the jacuzzi and the magnificent view from the room. I only wish I could have stayed there for longer.

At Reception
Presidential Suite
Jacuzzi inside the Presidential Suite
Sitting Area

The food and the services are top notch. The only thing that they can improve on is to provide with better ventilation in their rooms rest forget about the disappointment, they’ll make sure you have the best experience ever. The staff graciously helped me plan my two days of stay to the best of their abilities so I could cover most of the places.

One of their staff members Philip, who was there throughout took us to places and made sure everything worked smoothly.
On the first day, it started raining and we couldn’t move our asses out and ended our day playing some pool and foosball which they have set up in their playing zone.

The other day was for doing all the touristy things. One of the other staff members accompanied us to a small trek in the morning to their plantation site where they grow cardamom and coffee beans. It’s a delight for those who are curious and like to understand what locals do for a living or how we get those ilaichis which are then used as a mouth freshener and in various other things. As soon as we returned, freshly prepared breakfast was served to us.

We visited Anayirankal Dam, which is an ideal picnic spot right in the middle of tea plantations and also provides boating facilities. Later in the day, we headed to Surianalle Tea Estate which is the oldest from the British times. It is closed for maintenance work on Tuesdays so make sure you plan your visit accordingly. The phones/cameras are not allowed inside the factory premises but you can capture the lush green scenic view and tea plantation that’s widely spread of thousands of acres of land.

Breakfast With A View
Anayirankal Dam
Surianalle Tea Estate

Fortunately, we got back in time to our resort for lunch. The kitchen staff and especially the chef took care of the minute details on our f&b. Honestly, I get a bit cranky and upset if I don’t get good food to eat and it was such a relief there.

We took a short nap and woke up to trek to a nearby sightseeing area which was like a huge barren land and had a crazy view of the nearby villages. You know how mountains are, one km seems like thousands and after the most productive and tiring day, it was time for a relaxing spa. The didi who does the massage generally leaves at 6 in the evening but she was so generous that she stayed back that day till 8 (which I felt a little guilty about). The thing that I’ve realized about the staff at the resort is they don’t take their work as a burden. It genuinely feels they’ve been allotted what they’re best at and majorly what they love doing which eventually shows in their dedication and hospitality.

We had planned to wake up at 4 in the morning the next day to visit Kolukkumalai, the world’s highest tea plantation site which also makes it the most stunning point to witness the sunrise. Being the lazy ass that I am, I did procrastinate for a while before waking up as it was really cold in the morning and I’m clearly not a morning person. But I knew they were ready waiting downstairs for me so I could clearly not have wasted someone’s time.
Disclaimer: You might want to cry your heart out of crankiness or just jump off the gypsy for its rough terrain to the sunrise point but the moment you reach there, it’ll be all gone. The clouds were forming right in front of my eyes with an exceptional view of tea gardens at one side and the sunrise on the other.

Kolukkumalai Peak

We got back to the resort, took a nap and were ready to leave for the next destination.
You might also want to check out my Youtube video for a visual trip to Munnar. Hope you like it! Until next time,

Love,
Priyanka

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