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“Simple & tranquil. .a lesson in quiet!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Grassroots Wayanad

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Grassroots Wayanad
Ranked #10 of 82 Kalpetta B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Simple & tranquil. .a lesson in quiet!”
Reviewed June 26, 2013

Okay, firstly, this place isn't necessarily for luxury seekers, its for a combination of good living and a bit of activity. They have a 'Chief Adventurist' who's responsible for planning & organizing hikes, walks, rides etc. So if you're going during the monsoons like i did, don't expect a lot of that to happen because hiking/trekking in a tropical rain-forest during the monsoons is not. .well, sane! Expect to spend a lot of time during this season inside the resort. Now though the website says 'luxury tents' (they are. .in the sense of proportion, cleanliness and amenities) please understand the context, which is well, 'tents'! You should expect a fair share of insects and the occasional rodent (it's a plantation after all!).
If you're willing to rough it out in that sense, you're in for a treat comprising of:-
Beautiful views from your veranda of the rains over the hills with tea estates, the Banasura mountains shrouded in mist in the distance and quiet walks down the road to the backwaters that flow past!
A collection of Asterix comics to read through while listening to the rain
Watching noisy, happy and colorful birds that visit the property. .
Hearty Indian food, with the occasional experimental non-Indian dish (cooked well, mind you) thrown in for good measure. Good music in the restaurant too!
A basket of papadams with every meal. .not the flat Tamil variety (which are called appalams by the way), but the puffed up, oil guzzling Kerala versions!!
Warm & quiet staff (perfect combination in my view)

I had a great weekend getaway and came back rejuvenated & fatter although (read because) I did nothing! Carry a Calvin & Hobbes collection if you go, I wouldn't recommend heavy reading. . .
I'm definitely going back!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Pseudosage
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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205 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
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English first
Mumbai (Bombay), India
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2013

We booked this property from 16th May - 19th May 2013 for a Leisure holiday . While Looking for Holiday's Online we came across several options , and what we were looking for was a place where we can take a break from the hectic schedule of Mumbai . We wanted a leisure holiday and really wanted to experience the TENT house as shown in the Images .

Our Stay was properly arranged and Cleanliness was something we really liked . Even though they do not have a tent operated telephone (that was understood because of the limited availabilty of services on hills ) but that was taken care by the telephone numbers printed on their brochures . Aditya was the Person who really made our Stay Pleasant and took care of the the requirements whenever needed . I travelled with my Wife (who is also a working lady ) and my 18 months old son so there were certain things which we needed for him frequenly and they provided all those in minutes . We are very pleased with the Service and will definitely pay a second visit soon .

The Staff cannot speak Hindi or English but I guess the Hand Signals came into picture and we managed whatever we looked for or called Aditya to overcome this challenge . Overall the Staff was very co-operative and Kudos to the entire team for making our Holiday a Memorable one .

Suggestion : I had a very tough time dealing with Jyotsna when I made the booking through their bangalore Office and I would recommend everybody to deal directly with Aditya for best deals else she will ripp you off ;)

Thanks
Yash

Room Tip: I guess any Tent will give the same expereince but for view we will suggest Tent no 4 at the Top of...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Yash_Singh_Mumbai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013

As a bunch of friends living in a city, we were looking for a change of pace. “Grassroots” proved to be the epitome of a responsible traveller’s getaway – and what I mean by this is that it isn't what I would call a mainstream “resort”, it evidently thrives on it's natural surroundings, not in spite of it. Given that the ethos here is that of an 'individualized experience', we kept in mind what our own idea of 'holiday' meant for us as a group --- Aditya tailored an itinerary of activities exactly to those preferences. My advice would be to do exactly the same.

We were looking for something more relaxing than adventurous, so short hikes to nearby coffee estates, bamboo rafting, photography, conversation, reading, eating and sleeping were our favourite activities. Naturally, our experience at Grassroots translated to a sophisticated, quasi-homestay that was hyper-personalized, while at the same time adhering to the highest standards of tourism industry service.


A comment on the food - I have never before tasted authentic south indian cuisine, thus was easily, and most thoroughly impressed with Chef Ansar’s choice of meals for the 5 days we were there. Meals were the most looked forward to part of our days - Kerala thali, non. veg biryani, “kerala roti”, coconut chicken curries, topped off with a Papaya shot for dessert. Good food and the lulling Miles Davis in the background always served as a great conversation starter with some of the other interesting guests, felicitated by the community dining-style dinner table : again, a refreshing change in the way commercial resorts/hotels usually think out their dining room space.


I'd recommend Grassroots in a heartbeat to friends, families, backpackers, even couples (in fact my plan is to pack off my parents here for their upcoming anniversary) looking to plan a trip to Wayanad. I am assured you will have a great, well-cared for holiday irrespective of what demographic you're looking at, really. My friends and I have much respect for Aditya – who happens to be close to our age, but very evidently lightyears ahead in his managerial capacity, and the way he's thought out what "travel experience" truly means in India.


NB - We were lucky to catch a few downpours, but try travelling here in the monsoon if you get a chance. Everything about the property becomes vividly attuned to nature. If you like to read when travelling (like me), the mini-library is packed with Hemingway and Steinbeck.

Room Tip: We stayed in Tent 4 - Fantastic view of coffee plantations in the distance.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank LizannFdz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coimbatore, India
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2013

It is indeed too bad that you had to have an experience like you did, that too of all the places in a property like 'Grassroots'. I keep reading reviews on trip advisor regularly and after this wonderful trip, I couldn't resist writing my first review. We had visited Grassroots with our friends last july, and our experience was so good that we went back for more couple of days back. And as before the experience was great. My wife who is critical and not easily satisfied with the housekeeping in most places incl top names which I shall refrain from mentioning was extremely pleased with the fresh lemon grass scent that welcomed her as soon as the Tents were opened, the clean freshly laundered crisp white sheets, and the spacious n clean bathroom. The personal involvement of Aditya is seen right from the furniture in the tents to the dining room which just feels like you are in your own house. Aditya inspite of his age was so mature n seasoned in the way he took care of the guests, and was with us through n through giving total attention n yet not crossing the subtle line btw personal attention and the privacy that is so important for the guests. The food spread for breakfast, lunch, tea n dinner was very elaborate n the taste impeccable. Aditya organised lovely treks n walks for us. It was a perfect holiday n we came back completely rejuvenated n happy.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Vishnunr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vadodara, India
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2013

We had visited GR between 9-11 May'13 along with my family. I am surprised to find some negative reviews about GR being Non family friendly resort. Believe me, Its a great place with wonderful hosts. Tents are luxurious with all required ammenities. Its totaly different expereince for us living in such luxurious swiss tents. Location is excellent with all sight seeing places nearby within 10-20 kms. I do not have words to describe about owners Mr. Ravi & Aditya. I have been to many resorts and hotels all over India, but I must say i haven't had such personal touch and caring hosts. Buffet, lunch and dinners all were made as per our taste and requirements. We had pleasant discussions post breakfast|dinner breaks with Mr. Ravi and we found him wonderful caring person with wide range of expereince in different fields. It was my wife's B'day and I requested Aditya to arrange for surprise cake for her. Aditya took all pain and arranged wonderful cake in night and didn't charge a single penny !!! Mr. Ravi & Aditya were always there for us, took great care of us like his family members. If you are in Wayanad and not visiting Grassroots, I must say you are missing big opportunity. Thanks a lotttt Mr. Ravi & Aditya for making our stay memorable. Will definitely visit soon..Dr. Utkarsh Shukla.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank UShukla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mysore, Karnataka, India
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
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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Helpful?
4 Thank psudindar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grassroots Wayanad

Property: Grassroots Wayanad
Address: Koilery Kunnu via Pinangode | Pozhuthana Post, Kalpetta 673575, India
Location: India > Kerala > Wayanad District > Kalpetta
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 82 B&Bs / Inns in Kalpetta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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