I vowed myself to keep this as objective as possible and talk just facts and not express my opinions.
Setting the Context :
We went as a group of three couples between May 3 and 5 and all of us have kids between the ages of 2 and 7. We chose the place based on the excellent reviews on Tripadvisor.
Grassroots is at an excellent location overlooking a tea plantation within driving distance from all the good spots in Wayanad. Once you book the place, you will receive a detailed instruction manual on how to reach the place and it is very accurate. Google maps or Nokia drive will help you reach the landmarks mentioned in the manual. The place is ideally located for you to enjoy long walks through tea plantations.
Grassroots has five luxury tents - that's tent fabric for walls and ceiling with tiled floor. The room is about 14ft x 14ft with a spacious bathroom. The room had a mini fridge, TV but no cable, no internet, no intercom (you just have to come out and scream and hope someone answers). The power sockets were on the floor which meant the usual mosquito repellants couldn't be used. The sockets were old and loose. The room had AC that would switch off from time to time, with low-voltage to blame apparently. Hot water is periodic and on demand. The room will be cleaned only in presence of the guests and this includes changing towels. We had a rat and a baby scorpion for company in the night.
Apart from the tents the facility had an L-shaped building for kitchen and dining. The dining is a little cramped but fits the guests easily even on full occupation. The kitchen resembles a typical home kitchen with a fridge, stove and other basic amenities that you will expect. The dining area is fitted with BOSE audio system and the songs played were damn good.
Pathetic. The owner/manager of the place Mr.Aditya seemed a little lost from the beginning. He had excellent reviews on this site on being enthusiastic, friendly and polite. We found a very different Aditya. Or maybe we met someone altogether different who claimed to be him. His first words were I got two big dogs back there and they aren't friendly. Being a photo enthusiast, I asked him if he can suggest any good sunrise point. He directed me to cross a couple of hills and I should have a good view of the valley and claimed he runs every morning at 530 with his dogs. And he again suggested, they will bite you!
Our package included a trip to the Bamboo village. The booklet in the room refers to the village as a beautiful place where you can spend four hours with lunch at one of the huts. To reach there we were provided a jeep, a supposed 8 seater. It had a seat beside the driver and cross benches at the back. To me that's a max 6 seater. When we said we will take our cars along, the response was that only a Jeep can reach the place (4 wheel drive funda). So 6 adults and 4 kids cramped into the jeep that puffed half burnt carbon into our lungs all the way. Now is the fun part. When we reached the place (it was right in middle of the town), the Bamboo village turned out to be a two storied bamboo handloom factory with a store for us to buy bamboo stuff on the first floor. No adivasis, no huts, no lunch at all. Cheated!!! No other way to describe this. In the evening we were to be taken for rafting, the jeep arrived but Mr.Aditya wasn't around. We skipped the jeep and went on our own (an excellent decision looking back). Overall, I don't know if Mr.Aditya, the supposed chief adventurist, was good to everyone else on this site but for us, but our experience was terrible.
There were excellent reviews on food too. The first day we had thali with chicken curry. No other choice available. The food was tasty. I requested if we could have any other non-veg dish and the answer was no. So I requested if chicken fry was possible. The answer was 'I'll try'. One of the couples prefer roti to rice and there was no option during lunch. For dinner, we could get parathas but its chicken curry again. The taste was very good definitely but again no other choice. The next day it was thali again in the afternoon and that night... this is fun! The couple who preferred roti also happen to be vegetarians and all they got was roti and dal. No curry at all. Imagine the frustration after having paid so much!!!! Just dal with roti. There are just three guys employed and none of them could speak English or Hindi. Or understand even. Like, the answer to our question on what's for starters was 'Aditya'. I would like to mention the awesome soup we had for dinner on both nites. First it was mango and second it was pumpkin. They were truly awesome. Everything tasted great, problem was there was absolutely no choice. Breakfast was usually bread and jam, omlette on request and a local dish. Overall, its NO value for money and absolutely no choice in menu. For what they charge you will easily get a full spread buffet anywhere else.
Wayanad is a beautiful place. Maybe Grassroots is too and perhaps we were just the unlucky group and Mr.Aditya was having a bad time. Looking forward to reviews from folks who go after us and understand what the problem really was!!!! If our experience is anything to go by, this place is a NO-NO for families.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire, Priceline and Agoda so you can book your Grassroots Wayanad reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Grassroots Wayanad Kalpetta, Kerala, India