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“Overpriced for what it is”

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Duke`s Forest Lodge
Austin, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Overpriced for what it is”
Reviewed December 11, 2012

We spent three nights at this secluded lodge. Despite booking weeks in advance and the place being half empty, when we arrived we were shown one of the cottages overlooking the other cottages, not the river. We requested one overlooking the river, which they gave us, though the plunge pool (cold not a jacuzzi!) wasn't clean. The room itself was spacious and clean, but the lack of attention to basic infrastructure and detail was really disappointing. The towels were grey and tired; there was no mosquito net in the room (this is hot and humid India where bugs are rampant); the water heater, which you had to turn on and off, was good for 1/2 of a hot shower; and there was no generator - so half of the three days we were without power. We asked ahead of time if we should stop at a store to bring a couple of beers with us, but they wrote back saying "no we serve beer." This meant that if you told them in advance how many beers you would like in the evening they would drive to a store and bring them back and then charge you double the normal price! Finally, while the location is charming, there is a local church nearby that begins its loud services with drums and music at around 5 am each morning. On the whole, while the staff were lovely and accommodating, on the whole this is just not worth the money. For 120 Eur in India you can stay in 5 star hotels and this was far from 5 star!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank dmmtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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33 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
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English first
UK
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2012

As previously reported Dukes Forest Lodge sits on the edge of a 130 acre rubber plantation, an interesting 1 hour drive from Trivandrum. The independent cottages are well appointed affording the right amount of privacy and come with a lovely balcony with beds for relaxing and a plunge pool on the lower level. We did feel that the bathroom although large was quite basic with a lack of toiletries provided. There are plenty of forest walks through the spice plantations providing interesting photography opportunities within the property, including a visit to a small rubber factory. We found the staff very helpful, especially Wahid, the manager who couldn't do enough for us. Unfortunately, when we visited the pool had been drained and was under repair therefore they had limited the number of guests staying at the property (there were 4 of us in total for 2 days and only myself and my husband for 2 days). This in itself wasn't too much of an issue as we had our own plunge pool, however, we were more disappointed that despite being shown an extensive menu and having to order in advance, apart from a couple of chicken dishes they could not accommodate our evening meal requests and on the last day at breakfast couldn't provide our juice order. Had we been aware of this issue we probably wouldn't have chosen Dukes at this time and despite another member of staff stating potential guests had been informed of the maintenance, we did not receive such information. However, that being said, the Lodge is very charming and when the pool is up and running and menu back to full potential, then I could definitely see the attraction and recommend this lovely property.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank rayncarol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2012

Ponmudi is a perfect example of a Rain Forest in kerala , So cohossing the stay in Ponmudi also should be such that you get to enjoy the nature . The KTDC hotel and the Duke's forest lodge is the best accomodation in Ponmudi.Personally i would prefer Duke's Forest Lodge as it is an ancient house converted into an accomodation and the calmness , the friendly nature of the staff all go hand in hand to make your accomodation in Ponmudi a memorable one .

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rajeev M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), India
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 1, 2012

Dukes Forest Lodge is an excellent Private Estate Lodging that is just an hour from Trivandrum and very near to the top of Ponmudi hillstation. The property is located in the middle of a spread out private estate that have Rubber, Coconut, Spices, livestock all in a natural reserve like forest surrounding with a natural water stream flowing alongside the resort. The cottages and rooms are well assigned spacious with traditional furnitures and guess what, you have the option to have your private Jacuzzi as well ! The resort has a decent sized pool and the best option is to take a dip in the natural flowing stream few steps down your room. The F & B is with fair choice and well served, I would say it is more kind of an home made food experience with a class. During season you have the option to go for Nature therapy treatment packages at this property. The overall services and facilities is very good and is an excellent choice for a nature getaway.

Room Tip: Cottage with a Jacuzzi. Best time to travel is between September to February
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank joeqatar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bombay
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2012

Its a wonderful destination for relaxation.All the independent pool villas are facing to the River and its beautiful riverside view and swimming in the ice cold water gives a heavenly atmosphere to all.The property and its surroundings are eco-friendly and one could see Coffee, Pepper, Coco, Cardamom plantation every were.
Duke’s forest lodge situated in the banks of River kallar opposite to the Resort there is a ever green Forest with a lot of medicinal plants, wood and other plants. One hour walk through the forest is a pleasant experience.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank bombaymaran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amesbury, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2010

After living for several months in India, our stay at Duke’s provided our first real escape to a place of natural beauty, peacefulness, and total relaxation. Built within a plantation of rubber trees and numerous other crops and overlooking a fast moving, crystal clear river, our elegant Keralan style cottage was clean, nicely furnished, and offered a massive bed that could have slept all four members of our family if we had wanted. We spent a lot of time sitting on our sheltered back porch reading for pleasure while the sound of the river and the birds, but not much else, created a very soothing atmosphere. Our daughters enjoyed the large swimming pool and we found the food at the restaurant to be quite good as well.

What we enjoyed about Duke’s the most was the laid-back, relaxed feel of the place. The staff was extremely helpful and friendly from beginning to end. Duke’s is a small resort where great attention to detail and property maintenance seem to be a priority - a lot of care is given to both the buildings and the grounds, something that has not always been the case in other places we’ve stayed in India. The location is close to the start of the long and winding road up to the Ponmudi hill station, a must-see side trip with spectacular views of the Western Ghats. We also enjoyed a free walking tour of the plantation given by Vahid, the charming resort superintendent, who showed us the rubber harvesting and on site rubber processing operation as well as coffee, cocoa, vanilla, and many other crops.

All in all, Duke’s provided the kind of wonderful relaxing retreat to a place of natural beauty that we were seeking. Aside from the pool, there are not a lot of recreational facilities offered, but active recreation doesn’t seem to be what Duke’s is about. The place is a great escape to kick back and relax – we enjoyed it immensely.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank SteveJenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Delhi
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 4, 2010

We had planned to spend four nights in Kovalam, but did not like the beach or hotel so we found Duke's in a guide book and went there. Great location in the middle of a rubber plantation. Rooms are old, big cottages each with a cold water jacuzzi. The bed was so big I had to send a text to my wife on the other side. Rooms are non-a/c but have fans and there is back-up power. There is a large common pool. Food is ok and has to be ordered a meal in advance.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank NewDelhiDunebuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mariajacob_13, Owner at Duke`s Forest Lodge, responded to this review, December 2, 2014
Greetings from Dukes Forest Lodge !

Thank you for your very valuable feed back. Every guest and their experience is of great importance to us , as we get a chance to improve ourselves and be more vigilant in running the business . We do not compare ourselves to Kottayam or Pathanamthitta , as each place has its own charm and beauty and can never be compared .

We go through immense hardship just to maintain this special property on the edge of the forest . Keeping it environmentally maintained , constant vigil regarding even the tiniest piece of toxic plastic , taking care to serve pesticide free fruits and vegetables , and avoiding serving red meat due to the health hazards involved ....all this goes to prove that Duke's Forest Lodge is not a money extracting resort , but a property that cares for the well being of each guest who visit us .

On enquiry regarding your negative remarks , we were enlightened by the staff on the various points raised by you. The kitchen always cooks fresh food and never keeps half done sauces and gravies . During a buffet spread , the bearers are vigilant regarding the dishes and try to refill as soon as possible, speeding up the kitchen. There may have been a 2 minute delay to replace the food, for which we apologize. Further Stuffing our guests with rice or starch , without the accompaniment of a balanced meal ,is not our style .

Regarding the dessert , gulab jamun was prepared as per the menu for your group . We do not on a normal basis stock up ice cream , due to our constant power cuts on the forest edge. It so happened we had a portion in stock, that was purchased for a group the previous day and we could cater to the wish of the little child in your group . Another member in your group also wanted ice cream , but we were unable to serve the needful , because we did not have stock , not because we did not want to.

As for your critical angle about our golf putting green, never in any of our brochures or website have we ever claimed to have a golf area . You make it sound like we claim about a 18 hole golf course. All along we have only spoken about our " golf putting green " which means a space only to practice "putting " . It's really sad how without proper verification you accuse us of untrue matter on trip advisor .

Lastly your advise to future guests is certainly your wish , but we are not going to be troubled by such advise , as we know what we are worth , the kind of quality we provide at the forest edge . So entertaining discount deals is not on our cards , as well as threats on food refilling . We do know how to care for our guests , as we have been in the sector for years now and we are also determined not to get discouraged or disillusioned by negative remarks , made especially by people who desire a discount in the rate .

However, we still thank you for choosing Duke's Forest Lodge as your holiday destination

Team at Duke's Forest Lodge.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Duke`s Forest Lodge

Property: Duke`s Forest Lodge
Address: Anapara, Vithura | Nedumangadu, Ponmudi, India
Location: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > Ponmudi
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Ponmudi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Duke`s Forest Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Also Known As:
Duke`s Forest Lodge Ponmudi, Kerala, India

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