Munnar – Experience that spoiled me

Everyone has different phases and priorities in their lives. Food and Fashion were mine when I started my blogging career back in 2016. For the fact, I’m still not interested in sharing the details on food and its masala. It basically spoils the fun and essence of food for me.

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, be a part of them. I want them to know how proud and fortunate I feel to have experienced their traditions, stories, and their company. Maybe the maturity has come with age or it’s just the aftermath of great experiences I’ve had after traveling a lot.

Such was my recent trip to Kerala, which I’ve been meaning to check off my travel list for quite a while. I’ve been interested in visiting the place since I’ve known of Kerala, so I knew there was no way I was settling down for less than a week. The flight from Delhi takes 2 hours 45 minutes to reach Cochin Airport. The plan was to cover the mountains first and then head to the beaches. Going by the plan, Munnar was the first stop, and is 3 to 4 hours away from Cochin International Airport by cab. Buses are available at a much cheaper rate but honestly, with the amount of luggage I was carrying, it was impossible 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 is crucial to me. 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 helps you to be closer to nature, away from people that don’t matter and the rush that isn’t needed. This time I chose the serene option, and I couldn’t be any happier.

The resort that I was going to stay in was half an hour away from 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 you gotta 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 services are top-notch. The only thing that they can improve on is to provide 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 two days of my stay to the best of their abilities so I could cover most of the places.

Philip, one of their staff members was there throughout. He took us to places and made sure everything worked seamlessly.
On the first day, it started raining and we couldn’t move our asses out of the resort. And thus, we ended up spending time in their play zone, playing pool and foosball.

The other day was for doing all the touristy things. One of the 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 elaichis which are then used as a mouth freshener and in various other things. As soon as we returned, a 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 over 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 a huge barren land and gives a panoramic 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 generous enough to have 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 as they’ve been allotted to work on what they feel they’re best at, and what they love doing eventually shows in their dedication and hospitality.

We 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 because of the rough terrain it’s driving on. But the moment you reach the sunrise point, it’ll be all gone. The clouds were forming right in front of my eyes with an exceptional view of tea gardens on one side and 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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