We visited Dandeli as 3 friends (age group around 40) from Pune with an aim of spending some quiet time in the jungle as a part of our Coastal and North Karnataka trip in first week of November 2012. The foremost point that I observed is that the staff is EXTREMELY courteous and strives very hard to ensure that the visitor gets refreshed. I spoke to a few staff members to check out what made them so passionate and courteous towards the customers and I got the reply "Sir, people come here away from the city to forget their city headaches and want some good time here. If we don't behave properly with them, they will find this holiday no different than their city life with irritation throughout the day. We try to make their stay worth the money and time they spend".
We had heard about this resort from friends and the Trip Advisor reviews also rated it highly so based on the reviews, we booked the river view tent accordingly. The resort is next to the town yet once inside, it is quiet, peaceful and tranquil. It had rained for 2-3 days (probably the "Neelam" cyclone effect) so there were not many wildlife sightings near the usual waterholes and a thick fog in early morning limited the visibility for bird spotting but these are factors outside our control. We still got good walks and outings in the jungle. We spotted a couple of crocodiles in the river below, got multiple sightings of the Malabar HornBill, spotted a few bisons, deers etc in the jungle and got acquianted with some unknown jungle trees. There is carrom and Table tennis to spend some indoor time.
The fits and finishes inside the tent are not very great, but there is a sitout and more than enough open space to stroll around or loaf around so minimal time gets spent inside the tent. (Families with high expectations of interior finishes may find this tent accommodation unsuitable). Food was homely / good, nothing extravagant but there was this sweet dish to settle the meal in a nice mode. Few reviewers on TripAdvisor had mentioned the noises from town disturbing the tranquility. To this effect, we observed that 2-3 times in a hour, one gets to hear the sound of a passing heavcy vehicle. There is a mosque that gives out the prayer on the loudspeaker at its designated timings ibn the day but it is not a disturbing sound, it goes with the atmosphere undisturbed. There are mosquitoes (what else can we expect in a jungle lodge) but a layer of Odomos keeps them away and the tents have nets which guard off the insects from entering the living space.
If one is looking for activity heavy jungle trip with lots of safari thrills or adventures, then this may not be the best place but if one is looking for a tranquil holiday in the laps of the forest with acctivities enough to keep us engaged for a couple of days, then this is a highly recommended place.As regards value for money or the value for the travel time, each traveller should take his/her own call, the price is indeed Rs 3250 per person per night (all inclusive package)
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