BHR is in a beautiful area surrounded by distant hills and is accessible by a road which is quite rickety as it gets to the top. None of the rooms have hill view, but I am not sure this matters given that most time would, I hope, be spent outside.
Having stayed in Waynard previously, we decided to try BHR as it looked so inviting. We were the only guests during our three day stay although we were told that the place had been completely full the previous week.
We arrived one early evening in mid-March and stayed in the log cabin. We were met by two guys who helped with luggage and were very pleasant but we do not speak Malayalam and they did not speak much English. The sweetened ginger coffee which we were given as we stood in Reception was a nice touch (and delicious) but, unfortunately, the Receptionist on the first day was not very communicative. Although he spoke good English he barely exchanged a few words with us about our booking, but there was no real welcome or even a smile. I am not sure if he was painfully shy or just bad at his job. As the two guys disappeared with our luggage, we were left standing in reception alone not knowing what to do as the receptionist had also disappeared with our passports. Although he was not gone for long, a bit of communication would have been appreciated instead of just leaving us standing confused about whether we should follow the guys to our room or wait. We asked the Receptionist about ordering tea/coffee and were told we would have to call the kitchen from our room to arrange this. A bit absurd because there was no directory of internal numbers in the room and I had to call Reception anyway. All in all initial impressions were not favourable and have possibly coloured my judgement.
The log cabin is a short walk away from the main building and is beautifully constructed out of palm wood which is a dark in colour. We chose to stay here as we wanted an area to sit outside our room and the main building does not have balconies/terraces. There is a large pond outside the log cabin with a couple of ducks. The balcony area is large, quite secluded and shady with a big bamboo plant next to it which provides a partial screen. Cabin is spacious with a seating area, but is very dark inside even during bright days. Bathroom was good enough. The lighting in the cabin is very poor. Although the idea of dim lighting is (as we were told) in keeping with the idea of this resort, having lighting so dim that it is difficult to see, let alone read, is not great. We were provided with a lamp but there were very few sockets which meant that this had to be kept near the bed. Therefore separate seating area could not be used as it was too dark.
No sooner had our bags been placed in our room, we were asked to order dinner. As there was no menu, it was a bit of a struggle to establish what was available and whether we were being given a choice of what to pick or being told all the dishes which were going to be served. That said, the food was Keralen and was excellent. Kitchen staff were friendly and accommodating.
Spa treatments were below average. Having to spend about 20 minutes of a 45 minute foot treatment waiting for the water in the foot bath to heat up is poor and unnecessary given there was hot water available. However, worse than this, in middle of what was supposed to be a relaxing massage, there commenced a very loud and lengthy animated conversation between staff immediately below/outside the treatment room. Quite unbelievable that this resort is generally so peaceful with only wildlife to be heard yet the 'spa' is situated in the same building as the kitchen, services and games room. The result being that there was virtual silence everywhere except where you would expect it, i.e. at the spa.
The main building is absolutely stunning in design and colour. When sitting in the large open Reception area, it feels like there is a permanent sunset. The structure is impressive to say the least. We did look at the Earth bedrooms which were huge and had a wonderful warm feeling. If balconies are not important to you then these bedrooms are cheaper and larger than the log cabin. That said, I do not recall seeing any benches in the grounds, but I may have missed these.
Regretfully, we were unable to walk to the nearby waterfall and tribal hut as our stay was short and we were exploring the surrounding area. I understand that a free guide is provided by BHR for this walk and, certainly, if we had had more time, we would have liked to have done this.
BHR is an architectural wonder and it could be an amazing place to stay, especially for someone looking for a retreat. However, whilst understated services is good for a place like this, when paying so much for a room, I do not expect to point out that the hot water pressure was too low to operate the shower. Given that it was fixed almost immediately leads me to believe this could have been checked before we arrived. Further, althoughnot far from the main building, walking to our cabin in the dark would have been made easier if all the lights along the path were working and also if, when we had been out all day returning at 9.30pm, someone could have switched on the light outside our cabin before we returned so we did not have to scrabble around in the dark to unlock the door. There were also some other niggles and although these were promptly dealt with, given that we were the only guests, I find this lack of attention to simple detail inexcusable.
In view of the above, I am left with very mixed feelings about our stay. On the one hand, the setting and architecture is truly stunning, but there seems to be a lack of understanding of guest comfort and needs which leaves me unable to give BHR a higher rating. Were I rating just the architecture and setting, I would have given it an 'Excellent' rating, but guests do not pay just for beautiful surroundings, but also for the way they are treated and feel.
Earth rooms are large, part of the main building and stunning with ochre earth walls. These do not...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for staying at Banasura Hill Resort for three nights, and for your very frank comments on TripAdvisor. We've been receiving so many rave reviews of late, perhaps we've become a little slack and complacent. A knock on the knuckles was probably in order. Thank you for delivering that.
Since the week in question was rather lean, some staff members including the regular receptionist were on leave. But that's no excuse for sloppy service. We apologize profusely for the 'let down'.
We invite you to visit us again. We'll make sure you have a 'niggles-free' vacation - one so good, it will erase whatever not-so-happy memories you may have. Please visit us again. Till you do, take care.
With warm regards
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.