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“Picturesque and absolutely blissful” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Devashola homestay

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Devashola homestay
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Pallaniapp tea estate | Kollakambay post, Coonoor 643101, India   |  
Hotel amenities
India
1 review
“Picturesque and absolutely blissful”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2010

My husband and I visited the Devashola Estate over a recent weekend and stayed at the Bison Valley row room which was reasonably priced at just Rs.1500 per night inclusive of 3 delicious South Indian meals and tea/coffee. This place rests peacefully away from the clutches of commercialization and the sprawling tea plantation provides great relief to the urban eyes. We were made to feel at home the instant we reached. Our room was cosy and basic, yet tastefully designed and faced the beautiful bison valley, not to forget the swing right outside our room. We also got a chance to see the Mango tree bungalow and the Pallaniappa bungalow which seemed perfect for a group stay, with hammocks and arrangement for a bonfire on the lawn outside the Mango Tree bungalow itself. We were taken on a complimentary jeep safari where we came across some intimidating bisons. With my hubby's brand new D-SLR, he got busy clicking bisons, tea pickers, flowers, wild lizards and the simple village folk. The managers were very cordial and ensured our comfort. Although we stayed here only for a night, we woke up the next morning feeling as refreshed as dew drops and after breakfast, started on our way back home after exchanging pleasantries with the manager and the helper.


http://www.devashola.com/

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pallaniappa, Manager at Devashola homestay, responded to this review, March 15, 2011
Dear Madam,
It has been our pleasure hosting you and your family at Devashola Estate. Thank you for taking time to add this review, in spite of stayed with us briefly. We are glad the estate as well as the facilities were to your liking. In an effort to enhance your holiday experience, we are enabling a additional activities at the estate. Look forward to serve you in future – Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Ghent, Belgium
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2009

We stayed here for 3 days and 2 nights, and were most reluctant to leave. The cottage we stayed in, Palaniappa Manager's cottage, cost us Rs. 2000/nite, inclusive of 3 meals, a tea plantation tour, and a jeep safari in the 650-acre estate. It was absolutely VFM!!! The view from the cottage was stunning, no pictures can do justice. Sitting on the swing outside in the night under millions of stars was terrifically romantic. In the day, bison ambled all over the estate, we spotted some every day; on an evening walk, we saw a family barely 50m from us! We even spotted a wild bear on the jeep tour (its a pickup truck, make sure you stand in the back for an awesome ride); the next day's evening was livened up by a giant malabar squirrel who screamed its head off at us. There are supposed to be elephants too, but they rarely make an appearance before midnight apparently and then only in the lower parts of the estate (maybe staying in the Sultana cottage, which is located in the lower parts, would help!)
The food is pure vegetarian - not something I was looking forward to as a hardcore nonvegetarian. But Mr. Murugan, our cook, made the best veggie food I've ever eaten in my life. It may have something to do with the fact that all their veggies are fresh from their organic vegetable garden! The only thing I couldn't eat was the bitter gourd sabji - make sure you tell him beforehand if you don't like some vegetable in particular. The portions are huge, more than enough for 2 ravenously hungry people. And he'll give you recipes too, if you can manage to a little Tamil or Malayalam! He was very unobtrusive, there if you need anything but completely out of sight and hearing otherwise.
We went on weekdays, so we had the whole place to ourselves. The room was large and comfortable and quite pretty. Plenty of plugpoints for all the electronic stuff we were lugging around...but there's absolutely no internet network. Vodafone phones work, but just barely, and nothing else does. It had a fireplace, but it wasn't cold enough for us to need it. There's no fan; I thought the room got a little stuffy in the night since we were advised to keep windows shut thanks to being in the wild, and lighting a fire might have made it worse. Windows have wire netting, and I always carry the All-out mosquito repellant, so had no problems with biting bugs. The bathroom was clean, had a shower and a geyser, pretty modern. All the cottages are similarly furnished, just the locations differed.
We spotted about 30 bird species quite easily, among them the Nilgiri flycatcher, velvet-fronted nuthatch, vernal hanging parrot (India's only parrot), Malabar parakeet, Oriental white-eye etc. We're avid bird-watchers and the devashola site promised good birdwatching, which was one of the reasons we chose this place - total VFM again. Saw some endemic butterflies too (the Nilgiri four ring and Nilgiri tiger).
The place was so beautiful that we had no inclination to go to Ooty or Coonoor or any of the typical tourist spots. Plus we didn't have our own transport, and getting to and fro Devashola-Coonoor can cost anywhere between Rs. 300 and 500 (we booked a cab on our own, which was cheaper than asking Devashola to do it, Rs. 700). There are a couple of govt. buses, but not at convenient times and tend to be very crowded.
Make sure you buy their organic pepper - quite reasonably priced and excellent quality. They didn't have any tea though because their factory is in Coonoor, pity!
Overall, I recommend this for nature lovers and people looking for a quiet place to relax in absolute comfort.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pallaniappa, Manager at Devashola homestay, responded to this review, March 15, 2011
Dear Sir,
It has been our pleasure hosting you and your family at Devashola Estate. Thank you for taking time to add this detailed and informative review. We are glad the estate, the flora and the fauna came to your liking and have ensured that this eco system is preserved. With guests regularly holidaying at our estate, our service levels (including transport facilities) have been enhanced to meet the needs and expectations of guests. Look forward to serve you in future – Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore, India
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2009

Tucked away in the recesses of Coonoor in a picturesque valley titled 'Bison Valley' is the Devashola Tea Estate. My wife and I stayed in their guest bungalow. The place is simply picturesque, punctuated by the chirping of the birds and the insects. In the distance one can see bisons ambling across the vast tea estate.

Bird watchers will love this place as there are very many different types of birds which frequent this place. So is the flora and fauna. The valley comes alive for most part of the year with beautiful flowers and plants. It is also perfect for trekking. We went for a long trek through the estate, all the time keeping an eye out for the bisons. But being shy beasts, they keep to themselves and don't come in the way of humans.

We were there for about four days, and time seemed to stop still when we were there. Here we were in the picturesque Nilgiris hills and the weather was pleasantly cool. Towards evenings there was a definite drop in the weather and we opted to stay in the comforts of the guest house. This place is perfect for a quiet holiday and if you want to get away from all that noise in the city. I was told by the caretaker that this was a preferred haunt for film stars who wanted to get away from the crowd and even script writers and authors who wanted to write without being disturbed.

The rooms are clean and well maintained. The food prepared by the resident caretaker is delicious and we eagerly looked forward to our meal times to see what he had conjured up for us. One of the things that works very well for us in our holidays is that we choose to take a break on weekdays, that way we get great deals - the best being that in a place like this we were alone with the entire place to ourselves.

The pricing for the stay is very reasonable and by the end of the experience both my wife and me were rejuvenated to say the least.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pallaniappa, Manager at Devashola homestay, responded to this review, March 15, 2011
Dear Sir,
It has been our pleasure hosting you and your family at Devashola Estate. Thank you for taking time to add this detailed and informative review. We also appreciate you for capturing comments that suitably highlight the ratings. We would like to take this opportunity to share with you that we have continued to maintain the ecosystem and have avoided commercializing the place, however ensuring the facilities in the estate and modern enough to provide the desired holiday experience for the entire family. While this unique proposition has helped in continuing to serve the guests, your valuable feedback will go a long way in identifying and focusing on enhancements that help continuously improve the quality of the holiday experience. We look forward to serve you in future – Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Devashola homestay

Address: Pallaniapp tea estate | Kollakambay post, Coonoor 643101, India
Location: India > Tamil Nadu > Coonoor
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Coonoor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Looking for a quieter place, must say you will be pleasantly surprised to wake up to the tune of softly chirping and singing birds. Wondering what kind of birds were outside, if you open the door to step out and stand in amazement you get a mind blowing view. You will be searching for your camera to take the pictures of the valley view. We do have adventure activities like rock climbing, rappelling, high rope courses where you will be thrilled doing such activities. We take you for good trek and Jeep safari nearly for 2 hours where you will be seeing bison and deer and lot of birds. ... more   less 

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