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“Great place for adventurists - Terrible for families”
Review of Grassroots Wayanad

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Grassroots Wayanad
Ranked #11 of 92 Kalpetta B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 8, 2013

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.

Location :
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.

Infrastructure :
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.

Service :
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.

Food :
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.

Summary :
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.

Room Tip: Don't expect the view you see on the website. It's a farce. Please check the view I posted i...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank bharath744
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
grassrootswayanad, Owner at Grassroots Wayanad, responded to this reviewResponded May 13, 2013

Dear Mr. Bharath,

Thank you for sharing your experience at Grassroots – we really appreciate it. We are equally disappointed that your expectations were not met. From our end, we will share our perspective on the areas highlighted.

Thank you for your compliments on the location - The website photograph referred to is indeed an original photograph, though taken post- monsoon, when the lushness of the tea plantations and the mist was at its best. You cannot expect the same in summer, though Wayanad is still green when compared to most places. We will however look into labelling that image as taken post-monsoon rather than in summer.

Cable is normally available - a raging storm over the previous days had resulted in no network available across Kalpetta town.

Power sockets on the floor are intentional as these are tents with no concrete walls. The electrical fittings as with other fixtures are of high quality.

Working electronic mosquito repellents are provided in each tent and these were plugged in and checked during your stay.

We have a no intercom policy - however, we have an in-house booklet which lists contact phone numbers to call in case of need.

We use the latest Toshiba air-conditioners with inbuilt inverters that switch on automatically with power shifts. And they are extremely silent too. However, the settings are important and changing them can make them less effective.

As an eco-sensitive place, we have adopted and communicated fixed timings for hot water, keeping in mind conservation of energy.

Thank you for your compliments on the food in general. We acknowledge though, the service lapses during your stay at meal times and assure you that we will put in place processes to avoid them in the future. Also we hope that you will acknowledge our phone conversation wherein we had apologised and offered additional food options, if we were given some extra time.

We do have a set menu at Grassroots. However we do our best to ensure that guests get their preferences where possible. And we have always had an interesting mix of Indian travellers and foreigners – with or without family that have enjoyed this experience and food.

We usually have options similar to below available for breakfast - and apologise if this was not clearly communicated or made available to you. Fresh juice, Cut fruit, Toast, Choice of eggs, Spreads, Sausages, grilled tomatoes, baked beans ( on request), Kerala puttu, Kerala idiyapam with kadala curry, Coffee & Tea.

The reference to dogs was only made in the interest of guest safety especially as there were children. We do apologise if this was not communicated correctly and/or misunderstood.

As to visiting the Bamboo Village – it is run by Uravu, a highly respected NGO that works with the local population in planting different species of bamboo, some of which are close to extinction. Their focus is on women empowerment and their work has received several accolades. Lunch there is by pre-arrangement.

We promote ourselves as a purely 'Experiential Holiday'. We are a small resort run by a passionate young man Aditya and much as we understand your disappointment, we are serious about providing a top class hospitality experience for our customers. And we will continue to do so and take on board your feedback for further improvement.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your experiences.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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179 - 185 of 215 reviews

Reviewed May 5, 2013

Having decided to take a day off on our anniversary, I thought of all the romantic places to go to.But none appealed. I remembered that Rachel (Owner) had invited me to come and take a look at the place. We went through the usual pictures and stuff and decided to book. Rachel gave us an awesome deal. All inclusive and as we had decided to bike from Mysore to Waynad, had asked her to deduct the breakfast from our cost.

We arrived at Grassroots, not missing even a single turn. Accurate directions given to us. We were welcomed by Aditya, Rachel's son, who is the 'chief adventurist'. It turned out that he was also bike crazy like my husband. Over a nice cup of tea we sat around and just absorbed the atmosphere of the dining area. Set amidst coffee estates, overseeing acres of tea estates and river flowing slothfully the place just hit me! My mind just shut down, just sat there gazing till Aditya said we would be shown to our tents! Yes! Luxury Tents!! The ace that separates them from the regular resorts/home stays!!

Walking into the air conditioned tents we realized that we were in a different world. Clean, luxurious and well decorated tents take your breath away. Actually you just don't want to go out at all. There is a nice porch where you can just sit in the easy chair and look at the beautiful panorama in front of you.

Lunch was simple vegetarian fare (being vegetarians), but very tasty food. Wholesome, vegetables grown right there in the plantation, appetizing and filling.

Aditya then took us on an adventurous drive down to the Banasura damn for a bamboo rafting experience. The place simply put is indescribable. Mountains enclose this part of the water and a small opening where you can go into the river! The sun was setting and the silence and gentle movement of the raft was just what the doctor prescribed. Sudi swam along with the raft.

Dinner is an experience here at Grassroots. The dining room is wonderful, softly lit, jazz and wonderful music played. He played some really nice old music. And our food arrived. First came the fresh carrot soup! Mildly flavoured. Along with that was the garlic bread! Then came the Kerala special. Idiyappam with stew. Then came Fried bananas lightly flavoured with cinnamon and honey with ice cream! I think it was a wonderful way to end our anniversary. Thoroughly enjoyed and wondered how we would actually leave the next day!

After a sound sleep we were ready to leave for Mysore. But with a heavy heart. Aditya had told us about the different things that we could do if extended our stay! If only we could!! We just could not tear ourselves away from the place. Aditya threw in the awesome dosa/idli/toast and fruits breakfast complimentary for us!!

On the whole I have to thank Rachel and Aditya for making this one of the most special anniversaries of our lives!! I think it was the best!!

Thanks Grassroots

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank psudindar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

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!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Ponnaiya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2013

Nestled amongst the hills and tea estates of Wayanad is Grassroots. Defining it within the confines of a 'resort' or 'hotel' would be limiting - rather it should be called an experience - and a beautifully memorable one at that!

We stayed at Grassroots Wayanad for 5 days during April end (2013). Everything about the property oozes elegance and rustic charm, be it the luxury tents (clean, excellently maintained, great interiors and sit-outs) or the common dining room which welcomes guests with jazz music and delectible aromas from the adjoining kitchen.

Every meal we had at Grassroots was delicious. Loved the concept of a fixed menu which just adds to the overall experience and the food never disappoints. However, specific meals can be requested if absolutely necessary. I especially loved the tea that was served which was infused with ginger and local spices.

There is no better place than Grassroots to just chill and relax. However, there are also a number of activities to keep you busy - from a walk around a nearby tea estate , trekking, bamboo rafting at a nearby dam to visiting caves and other sights around the area.

Kudos to Aditya, the managing director and chief adventurist, who makes sure that every single guest at Grassroots is given personal attention and that they have a wonderfully memorable experience during their stay.

All in all, Grassroots is a perfect getaway from the humdrum of daily life and is truly a jewel nestled in the hills. We made this place our home away from home for 5 days and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. A must visit!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank vishakhaacharya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

Visited during March 2013
Place is an estate. Around 10 mins from Kalpetta town.
Accommodation- 5 Luxury tents (comfortable for 2 persons). Big bathroom.
Fridge- useful to keep your drinks. You need to carry from outside.
Hot water is not regular.
AC in tents, but power cut could cause a problem.
Not many activities. You could just relax or take walks in the plantation.
Rafting is organized at additional cost in the backwaters of Banasura Dam, not much exciting. May as well skip this.
Food- Limited Menu but very tasty and good.
Aditya- owner and excellent chef. Very friendly.
Overall a little pricey for the facilities but a good place to relax and enjoy nature.
Best time to visit this place would be between October-Jan/Feb. Any other time is not worth the money spent.

Room Tip: Tent 5 is at a height. Good view. Tents 3 and 4 are near to each other. You can choose these if you...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank deeonwheels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

We spent a day at Grassroots with friends after our wedding in February. The resort was stunning and oozes charm. We could not have felt more welcome. The vibes of Nora Jones floating out across the patio when we arrived set the scene. We were treated to beers and local drinks, as well as tea & cakes by our wonderful host. The only pity was we couldn't stay longer. If you want relaxation and to get back to nature, this is the place for you.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
2  Thank ShwetaandAlex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2013

My wife had been to Wayanad & stayed at grassroots Resorts from 29-3-2013 to 31-3-2013.the stay in the luxuriously furnished tents was very comfortable.There are totally 5 tents & during our stay all the tents were occupied.The owner Mr. Aditya Raman who prefers to call himself Chief adventurist informed that eventhough there is adequate space & also the demand he does not want to increase the no. of tents since he wants to give personal attention to his guests.The resort is located in a Coffee/ Tea estate & provides a calm,serene atmosphere.It is near Pinnangode near Kalpetta on Mysore-Kozhikode road.
Though the menu is comparatively limited the food served was tasty & sumptuous.In fact being a good host he tends to overfeeds his guests.
He also arranges for trips to nearby places & also for rafting in the backwaters of Banasura Dam.
Interestingly the route from bangalore/Mysore passes through Bandipur Sanctuary.On the way to Resort we could see wild tusker on the roadside.While most of the passerbys were sitting in side their vehicles & taking photos,one idiot got down from his car & threw a water melon at the elephant which fortunately for us got frightned & ran away rather than charging at its attackers.
On our return also we could see a herd of elephants including a baby elephant was drinking water from a small pond.As a proof of peaceful co-existance a deer was also nearby the herd.
Overall we enjoyed our stay

Room Tip: All the tents were good but our tent No. 5 was on a higher plane giving a better view
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank HemanthPai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grassroots Wayanad

Address: Koilery Kunnu via Pinangode | Pozhuthana Post, Kalpetta 673575, India
Phone Number:
Location: India > Kerala > Wayanad District > Kalpetta
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 92 B&Bs / Inns in Kalpetta
Price Range: $46 - $67 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Grassroots Wayanad 3*
Number of rooms: 5
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

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