My wife and I spent a longish weekend at Grassroots. One of the days spent there marked our second wedding anniversary.
Firstly, landing in Calicut and the drive up to Grassroots was very pleasant. And then, at the back of the your mind, you are thinking "this IS a tent, this is what I signed up for. But God, let the rooms be as good as the picture". Aditya was there to receive us and we were showed to our tent. The first moment of truth is when you enter the tent - "Wow". The second moment of truth is when you walk into the bathroom - "Wow". And then Aditya left us to ourselves and there were many moments of truth to follow. It is almost like someone at Grassroots has got into the customer's mind and figured out every detail. For example, when I thought "the AC is great but a fan would be great too" and there was a fan. Many such Wow moments.
The room is plush with awesome beds, TV (for those interested), AC (for summer trips), a fridge with some free goodies, a lovely sit-out, a spacious bathroom with an awesome shower, water heater for tea/coffee, this and that, knick and knack.
The common area which contains a small dining room and an open area with some chairs, coffee tables and hammocks is really friendly. The dining table is a last supper type set up with chairs on either side of a long table. Initially it looks like you may lose your privacy but it was all good. People come and ate at their convenient time and so the dining hall is never crowded. If you walk-in with your spouse and there are others at the table, you can make eye contact, smile and move on or you can say Hi and start a conversation if you feel that they are willing, or you can just choose a place, act like the rest of the world did not exist and just concentrate on your own company. At different times we adopted different strategies based on our mood and it looked like the others kind of understood the options as well.
It is not a buffet, you do not have a menu but every meal is prepared by the Chief Adventurist, yeah Aditya, with his own little twists and every meal was great. After or during the meal, Aditya may come in to check on you and may stay a few minutes to chat and you get just a little more insight into the plantations.
Post meal, you can string yourself up on a hammock or sit on one of the chairs and contemplate life with accompaniments, if you so feel inclined.
The plantation itself is beautiful with numerous varieties of trees and flowers about which I am clueless but about which my wife, a botanical artist, was thrilled. I'll let her tell her own story.
We went to the bazaar, my wife shopped a little (again, I'll let her tell her own story) and then we went for an ayurvedic message. This was as traditional as it comes. They put me in a little langote, if that's the right spelling, and I've never had male hands that close to my family jewels. Once you get past that discomfort it is actually a great massage, the effects of which do stay with you for the entire stay. Do not expect luxury or sensitivity to your vulnerable condition but the staff are friendly and well, what the heck, you're on vacation!
There weather was great to walk around after about 5 pm, the sky did some awesome show of colours, the weather was great and we were not bothered by mosquitoes, insects and creatures.
Finally the best part! The day after we arrived was our anniversary and I wanted it to be special. In between various meals and conversations, I would pull Aditya aside and explain to him that I wanted special arrangements for the following night's dinner with no clue to what was available in that area. Aditya went all out and put together a nice surprise meal in our sit-out with candle light and some fire flies (the latter was luck) and my wife did not have a clue until the moment arrived. And no extra charge even though it involved a lot of work and an anniversary cake. For your effort, commitment and enthusiasm, I thank you Aditya!
I didn't intend for this post to be this long but I say, Go!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Grassroots is at the foothills of the Vythiri ranges with the majestic Chembra peak to the left and the Banasura/Kuruchermala to the right. The property straddles a tea estate and has a swift flowing river with a Pannia (a tribe found in Kerala & Tamil Nadu) colony at the edge of the river. Set on a three acre slope of coffee, areca nut and pepper, Grassroots overlooks the tea plantations planted during the colonial era. A quaint stream below forms a general area of activity for the scattered population of tribals and other residents. The Banasura range of mountains beyond completes the picture, making it truly magical. Accommodation is in Luxury Swiss tents, spacious and plush with every amenity that the discerning traveler would want. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grassroots Wayanad Kalpetta, Kerala, India