On 21st March 2012, I wrote to Summer Sand Hill Resort for reservation of an 'Italian Barricade' ( for Rs.2600 on continental plan, that is the lowest priced room in their tariff) for two days from 31st March to 2nd April 2012. To my surprise, I got a phone call the next day morning from a cheerful and smart receptionist. She told me that it's Rs.2700 for Italian Barricade rooms (instead of Rs.2600, as displayed in their website) are not available on those days and instead they shall provide me a 'British Castle' ( ! ). The tariff rate for 'British Castle' being Rs.3400, I refused and told her that I am not interested and shall try some other place. Again she surprised me by saying that she shall check and confirm availability of 'Italian Barricade' and shall call me back very soon. Though she did not call me back; immediately after the conversation I saw a reply mail, confirming availability, and with the account details for payment to confirm the reservation. I made an online transaction of Rs.5400 and confirmed the booking.
Though the drive to Vagamon was disappointing with nothing remarkable or worth mention on the way, I kept my hopes alive ruminating the images of the resort I saw in the website. The occasional sights of sign boards of Summer Sand on the way, was reason for concern, because the prominent words in the largest bold font was 'BAR'. The cause of concern was the notoriety of bars in Kerala for their hullabaloo.
Before I could search for it I had to slow my drive due to heavy crowds and traffic which I though was for some wedding or fair and was shocked to know that the whole crowd was proceeding towards the resort gate. No, I was wrong... they headed to the 'Pine forests' right beside the entrance of the resort. To my relief, it was a well fenced property with a security guard at the gate and the bar mentioned in the sign boards was outside the compound wall.
I was welcomed by the smiling smart receptionist and was told that they are providing me 'British Castle' as 'Italian Barricades' were all occupied. Before I could protest she was smart enough to apprise me that it is for no extra cost. I was taken to the 'castle' which was very well maintained, very tidy and very comfortable with good beds , a spacious bathroom and a large roofed balcony. The balcony provided a view of the mountains , though it is not that beautiful a view that one would expect in a hill resort.
The breakfast was complimentary , but they compensated that with the heavy bill they charge for lunch and dinner. The food was just ok.
Now comes the worst part of my days at Summer Sand. The noise from the crowds visiting the so-called pine forest was unbearable. Hooting, whistling, clapping, screaming and what not ! Worse than the hullabaloo from the bar that I feared. The only moments of solitude were the late evenings and early mornings. The place known as Kolahalamedu which means 'Commotion hillock' is really significant ! The vociferation scared me out of my wits that I eagerly waited for the nights and of course for the day of check out.
It's a pity that even though the resort is good, it is not in a good location.
British Barricade would be a good choice, but if you are there for solitude, better visit there duri...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.