On recommendation and reference we booked a block of rooms at this resort for several days after our marriage: a honeymoon suite for ourselves and several rooms for several of our guests who had travelled long distances, including from USA. We have everything positive to say about the low-level staff, and nothing positive to say about the management. The women who tend the gardens, the hostesses who looked after us in the dining room (especially Sreeja, whose work is first-class), the maintenance man who showed us how to fill the jacuzzi, the cooks who gave us good meals, and especially Mr Jino Joseph who every day went out of his way to see that our needs were met and who is an exemplary hotelier, all were first-rate. The management, however, are a different story.
The Windflower management have capitalised on Wayanad's glut of well trained staff, many of whom have degrees or qualifications from abroad, and have worked them hard for little pay: the hostesses, for instance, earn Rs 6500 pcm, even though they hold professional qualifications for the hospitality industry. The gardeners work for a pittance. Unfortunately, management have not recognised that a crucial element in keeping customers happy would be to maintain staff morale by sharing profits, or at least living wages. It is remarkable how much of the Windflower's substantial tariff seems to be going straight into the pockets of the management, rather than shared equitably with the workers.
The management's attitude towards us paying guests seemed no better than the way they were treating their workers. In contrast to the excellent service that we enjoyed from the rank-and-file staff, the management's behaviour was at turns insolent and obtuse. On the last day of our stay, for instance, when we went for a day out and left my mother and sister at the Windflower to enjoy what we thought would be a relaxing spa treatment, we returned in the evening to find my 83-year-old mother in tears and my didi in a rage, as the resort had been overrun by some sort of businessmens' party in which grown men were rampaging about the property, disrupting the advertised peace and quiet by screaming and carrying on like schoolboys, and the management had permitted this bad behaviour to continue for hours whilst doing nothing to stop it.
Being a large group, we had come with our own hired bus, and we repeatedly asked the management to provide food for our drivers. It was bad enough that the drivers - along with the hotel staff themselves - were expected not to show themselves in the main dining room. We felt terrible about this restriction, because our two drivers had worked so hard for us and deserved to be able to relax over a good meal. After all, we had hired a large block of rooms at the resort, and we might expect that such a large bill might carry some perquisites. We pleaded repeatedly for food to be sent down the hill to our drivers so that they might at least eat inside the bus, where they were spending the night. It was only after several requests - the final two very irate - that management begrudgingly sent them a meal.
The rooms were okay, not bad, not beyond expectations. We found the jacuzzi on the deck outside our honeymoon villa rather grotty; when we filled it we saw some scum floating atop the surface of the water. It needs to be cleaned more regularly. The bed was comfortable, the walk-in shower very nice. Prices for the mini-bar seemed exorbitant, but such profiteering is the norm for properties that market themselves as five-star.
The food was well prepared and well presented, although the menu did seem to become somewhat repetitive after a few days.
The wireless Internet never worked reliably; email contact was hit or miss, and the management seemed manifestly not to care about addressing the problem. (Don't come here for a business meeting!)
On the plus side, the location is a good one - though, as with any of the resorts around Wayanad, you will need motorised transport to reach the local attractions. We highly recommend climbing Chembra Peak; it was the hight point (no pun intended!) of our stay. The resort itself has some trails through woods and gardens, bordering tea estates, but one runs out of territory to cover within its confines. (Like most resorts in this area, this one seems preoccupied with human-made amenities rather than natural beauty.)
Wayanad during monsoon is enrapturingly beautiful; my wife and I certainly will return - but when we do, we'll get a homestay with real people, rather than this classistly abusive and unresponsive resort which plays at conveying the image but not the substance of hospitality. Management could learn something about real hospitality from their foreign-trained staff, if they care to listen. I would rate the property itself as four stars, the management as two stars.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.