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“Grand Oak Manor - 'Reliving the by-gone Era - the Himalayan Way'”
Review of Grand Oak Manor

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Grand Oak Manor
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Binsar
Certificate of Excellence
Gurugram (Gurgaon), India
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Grand Oak Manor - 'Reliving the by-gone Era - the Himalayan Way'”
Reviewed January 6, 2014

We continued our drive from a drizzling Chakouri to a pouring Binsar on 15th June.

It was a difficult drive owing the varying intensity of the rain, which started as we checked out from Ojaswi resort. It is here that Deepak’s knowledge came in handy. He bought us to the Binsar Sanctuary gate – we shaved off at least a good 30~40 kilometers in the treacherous rain. I was glad to see the rain, with the hope of witnessing the Himalayan panorama in full bloom post the rain – which at this point in time I was thinking to be a temporary phenomena, as I was not checking the weather bulletin on the TV set at Ojaswi, as we were so involved in peak viewing, Birthi trip etc. For a moment my belief was correct as the owners of Grand Oak Manor Sindhu and Skikha greeted us saying ‘we were lucky as the rain stopped and the sun peeped’ – however their joy was short lived and then started the horrendous downpour which bought in misery of mammoth proportions for the hapless people of the State.

We got our entry tickets at the sanctuary gate and headed for our resort. The path leading upto Grand Oak was very slippery owing to the downpour which in turn created a very muddy track. The short drive upto the resort was very adventurous – more like a dirt safari.

The resort sent their 4x4 Bolero for our pickup. We settled in our room and admired the colonial setting of the by-gone era. The bed was very comfortable and the wash room clean and was equipped with all important amenities – though not modern, however very aesthetic.
Grand Oak Manor is a heritage property of the erstwhile Ramsays, now managed by the young couple. Kudos to both of them for their commitment to provide quality stay coupled with home food in such demanding terrain. The staff is very polite, hard working and always sporting a smile despite very trying situations, i.e. working back and forth in rain for pickup, starting the genset, ferrying provisions etc. The food is always served hot and there is always a different menu on a daily basis.

It is important to note that this resort is not a typical hotel laden with amenities such as TV, 24 hrs hot water etc – Binsar is more of an outgoing place and not the one for a couch potato. The resort operates on the principles of environmentally friendly operations. There’s no power from morning 8AM till evening 6.00PM – this is applicable for all resort in the Sanctuary. Power is available till 10.00PM and thereafter solar lantern is provided for night use. Thus one needs to ensure that all phone, battery charging etc is completed during the stipulated hours. Hot water is also available for fixed hours in the morning. Think about it that there is nothing available in this remote setting and yet we have the privilege to enjoying whatever we desire homemade food, peace of mind to catch-up on any of our reading habits – there is a library in the resort – it house some classic from the old era. Also there a small souvenir store which Shikha runs to support the local artisans. In case one plans for a trekking trip Sindhu is your ideal partner owing his knowledge and his network in the region.

The Binsar sanctuary is home to several birds, flaura and fauna – oak & rhododendron forest. At the Jhandidhar top we get a full view of the Garwahal and Kumaon Himalayas, as the sanctuary is strategically located in the middle of Uttranchal. Unfortunately the inclement weather did not allow us to venture out even for 5 minutes and therefore we could not enjoy any of this – perhaps the next time. We have made a promise to Sindhu and Shikha to return. I owe it to them, since they took very good care of me during one of the nights when I was not feeling well. It was a great to feel assured in a place so remote that there were people around and I need not fear for the worst.

To read more about my travel trail on this trip I recommend reading my review of the Naini Retreat in Nainitaal.

Room Tip: Ask for Himalayan view room closer to the main verandah, i.e. get a view which is near to the main h...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank MotiThakur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TeamGrandOak, Owner at Grand Oak Manor, responded to this review, March 10, 2016
Apologies for the long delay, but we still remember you as one of our best guests! Thank you for such a detailed review and your kind words of appreciation. We are happy to inform you that a lot has changed and we are now powered by solar energy 24 hours, and present greater variety of cuisines. We look forward to your second visit to see the famous Binsar Himalayan view!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
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English first
Mumbai
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2013

Breathtaking views ,
mouthwatering food, neat rooms, great hospitality and clean surrounding is what is all about grand oak.Grand Oak was home of sir Ramsay who was governer general of Uttaranchal at his time.Now it is owned and taken care of by Mr. Sindhu and his wife Shikha.Its a well maintained old British property that gives us the feel of old British period with old photoes on the wall.V saw snow clad nandadevi mountains from Grand Oak.
As v reached the resort the couple greeted us and were with us throughout our stay.really very nice people.They took good care of our driver also. Mr. Sindhu inspite of being the owner was very humble and modest.
This is one of my best holidays where I explored nature, mountains, jungle and an old British property.I will recommend everyone to be at this place once in lifetime.
Many thanks to Mr. Sindhu and his wife Shikha. Last but not the least their wonderful team who took very good care of us.

So before planning to go out of India for a holiday be at this place and you will find India is no less than any foreign destination.

  • Stayed November 2013
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Helpful?
2 Thank CHARMY07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2013

Words are not enough to describe this experience - seeing is believing is the only advice I can give for those who are planning to go to binsar

Mouth watering food , awesome views , excellent hospitality and I can go on and on but this is a must see location in case if anyone plans to come to this part of the world

  • Stayed November 2013
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Helpful?
2 Thank cjs17477
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kolkata (Calcutta), India
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2013

This is the colonial residence of Henry Ramsay which has now been converted into a wonderful resort preserving the elements of colonial past. It is perched on the top of a hill in Binsar wildlife sanctuary. On the northern side of the house, it has a long verandah which has a striking view of the entire himalayan range on a clear day. Since it was cloudy, when we went, we could only manage to see Haati peak, Trishul and Mactolli. The rooms are extremely comfortable with a spacious private balcony overlooking the forest range. The furniture in the room, though mostly new, reminds of colonial legacy. You have a cosy library on ground floor and a huge grand common lounge in 1st floor where you can spend leisure time with a cup of coffee, reading books or simply chatting with friends. You may also sit in nice cosy chair in verandah and look at the mightly himalayas for entire day. Bathrooms are quite nice and is designed to use maximum of natural light.
The best part however is the wildlife sanctuary. It has lots of birds and mammals like mountain goat, monkeys, barking dear and of course some leopards. The resort arranges Nature walk, treks and bird watching with knowledgable guides. If you do not want to venture in forest, you may take a walk in the lawn in front of the house or sit on any stone benches and watch birds come and go. There is an old private chapel of the governor and a grand oak tree from which the name of the resort has been derived.
Food is simply the best. Chef can cook any dish you may like - be it indian or continental. Service is excellent. All the staff are courteous and happy to be at your service any time. Everything is done to perfection. This is one place where we did not need bottled water as as the water served was tasty spring watered filtered through oak. The dining room was big with tall windows and a bell on table
Since this is in the sanctuary you would have no electricity except between 6 PM to 10:30 PM. But hot water is available on request. You would not need electricity in such a idyllic place on a moonlit evenning. After 10:30 PM solar powered lamps would be given which is good enough for the night. We actually enjoyed not having electricity
Last but not least, the owners Sindhu and his wife take personal care and keep track of every detail so that the visitors gets the most memorable experience. Overall a very satisfying experience and would like to come back again.

Room Tip: Go for rooms on 1st floor preferably 302 or 303
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank dipantalukdar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, India
1 review
Reviewed October 5, 2013

Binsar is a small wildlife sanctuary in Kumaon. on our way from Kausani to Nainital we stopped for one night in Binsar. We stayed in Grand Oak Manor since the property looked quite interesting. Thanks to the reviews on trip advisor. This is a heritage property run by a young couple- Sindhu and Shikha. Staying in such a huge property of the British era itself gives you a different high.The surroundings, ambience, view from the rooms were truly majestic. Only one thing which I felt was since the property is secluded in the midst of the sanctuary there was very little for small kids to do. If your child loves trekking then its ok. Otherwise wonderful place for the couples to spend some really good time together and also if you are in a big group.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank JayaYadav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi, Delhi, India
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Last Month, I have been to Grand Oak Manor, the great stay with all the facilities available. It's just awesome. While the road of the resort is not too good but when you are here then its mind blowing and too good. The stay with breakfast, dinner is too good. Food is too good you will feel like you are having it at home. The staff is very much friendly and co- operative. Yes, there is no electricity as it is an eco- friendly resort but you will n't miss the electricity you have many activities to do, you can just relax and rest from your stress buster life.Thanks to Shikha and Sindhu to maintain the resort so well. Traveled in the month of June with family. Hope to meet you soon grand oak manor.. :)

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Manpreet_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2013

Binsar is a small wildlife sanctuary in Kumaon. on our way from Kausani to Nainital we stopped for one night in Binsar. We stayed in Grand Oak Manor since the property looked quite interesting. Thanks to the reviews on trip advisor. This is a heritage property run by a young couple- Sindhu and Shikha. We went in the month of April and at that time we were the only family in that resort. But Sindhu , Shikha and the chef there ( sorry i am forgetting his name) made sure that we had a lovely stay and great service.Food was simple yet delicious.

The place is an eco resort - no electricity during the day and no TV, but believe we you will not miss it. People who love nature are going to love this propertry. Staying in such a huge property of the British era itself gives you a different high.The surroundings, ambience, view from the rooms were truly majestic.

Only one thing which I felt was since the property is secluded in the midst of the sanctuary
there was very little for small kids to do. If your child loves trekking then its ok. Otherwise
wonderful place for the couples to spend some really good time together and also if you are in a big group.

But all in all great property. must stay when you visit binsar.

Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank ashwika2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Oak Manor

Property: Grand Oak Manor
Address: Binsar Estate, PO Ayarpani | District Almora, Binsar 263601, India
Location: India > Uttarakhand > Almora District > Binsar
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Binsar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Grand Oak Manor 2.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Relive tranquility: unwind in the Uttarakhand himalayas, the green way. Cradled in the lap of Kumaon and nearly forty acres of thick oak, cedar and rhododendron forests of the Binsar Estate, the Grand Oak Manor exudes old world charm from the colonial era. ... more   less 
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