First of all, I request the Tripadvisor Team to change the location of the hotel from Kalpetta to Sultan Battery, a good 20-plus kilometers away from Kalpetta.
Now, coming to the review. I stayed at this property for two nights during the fourth weekend of September 2012. Initially planned as a 3-night-4-day trip, I had to cut the trip short by one day due to some urgent need to return to my hometown, Chennai. The booking process through the Internet was hassle-free and smooth and was offered flat 10% discount while booking online, though this facility is not available when you book it, rather extend your stay personally, STRANGE! No good reasons were provided for the above. Maybe KTDC is encouraging paper-free world, but actually all net transactions are backed by physical records.
THE PLUS POINTS OF THE PROPERTY:
Very neatly maintained. Of course, not many were staying. I could see only two or three other families during those two nights that I stayed.
The frontage is excellent and has nice open parking area, allows you to have a good early morning or late evening stroll.
The staff are very polite and helpful (of course, I could see only two people taking care of the entire property, Mr. Aneesh and Mr. Shrinjith. Aneesh takes care of everything except reception and Shrinjith reception at odd hours. There is a lady receptionist during the daytime. Except these people and a few who are loitering around, there is nobody in the property). An example of their helpful nature would be that I could reach Pepper Grove only by 2030 hours against the scheduled time of 1230 hours. En route Pepper Grove from Calicut, I got a call from Pepper Grove as to whether I would be needing dinner. This was not required of them, but they were kind enough to take the meal order and when I could check in finally, they had the dinner ready, served hot.
The property is a bit away from the center of the town, approx 3 kms from KSRTC Bus Station (Garage in local parlance). As we all know, 3 km in a small town is almost precincts. There is absolutely no activity on the road where the property stands and nice calm atmosphere prevails throughout the day.
For site-seeing, they arrange jeeps and cars, but it ends there. The rest has to be managed by you.
Breakfast provided as the bookings are CP.
24-hour hot water supply is available.
NOW, THE NEGATIVE POINTS:
Not many seem to prefer. I could see only a few other families (countable) at the property. Do not know the reason, maybe the property being away from the main road, tucked in a quiet neighborhood. It is almost invisible until you reach a lake nearby.
The staff strength seems to be too low. The staff were available to us 18 of 24 hours (they switched off the lights before we could) as the hotel seemed to be near empty when we were there, but it is hard for me to imagine if all rooms get booked at the same time.
I think the menu at their restaurant is limited and order based. I was offered puttu and kadalai (Kerala-style breakfast) the first day and poori bhaaji the next day. The only other option would be bread, butter, jam, which I do not call an option at all. For dinner as well, since I am a veggie (did not check non-veg items), veg fried rice/gobi manchurian and jeera rice/dal fry along with chappatis were the options. It is not a full-fledged restaurant though, just three or four tables, only for the staying guests. I do not think outsiders come in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The property is a bit away and no store or anything is available at the hotel or anywhere nearby. The nearest convenience store is a good 1.5 km away and there are no autos or other transport facilities available at the property.
There are no pickup or drop facilities to and from the property.
There was not much rain during the time I visited Wayanad (actually the SW monsoon season) and the place was NOT brimming with tourists. Almost all places were either dry or closed. Whatever destinations were available were also far away and required a lot of travel and not that impressive, except the Banasura Sagar Dam, where speedboat facilities are available at 450/- per boat (capacity 5 people). Of note, all boating tariffs are not based on per person, rather per boat. On the whole, I feel that Wayanad is a much hyped place and requires a lot of attention by the Tourist Department of Kerala to make it an attractive destination. Roads from Kalpetta leading to Sultan Bathery are the worst in the world and what is 20-plus kilometers takes you more than an hour.
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- Also Known As:
- KTDC Pepper Grove Hotel Kalpetta, Kerala, India