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“Maple pine Firm- worth visiting”
Review of MaplePine Farm

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MaplePine Farm
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 12, 2013

Maple pine Farm is located near Village Mawphalng about 25 Km or so from the Shillong city ( you have to take right once you cross the Indian air force area on the road to cherrapunjie). We had read few reviews about this place on trip advisor and it was also recommended by Karikor one of the experts on Meghalaya trips on Trip advisor . But we were little bit anxious as well as the place looked very lonely and reviews were mostly by foreigners who are used to this kind of travel. But one thing one was common all the reviews were generally on the positive side including the ones from domestic travelers.
About the place , it is basically a partially barricaded campus having six or seven cottages. Basically it is a kind of home stay because the owners(James and his family) live in one of the cottages , the living room is common and the food is personally cooked by Vallerie and James. As you can see from the photograph, the place is very clean , surrounded by hills, and all are wooden cottages . Though the cottages look like boxes from outside, but they are very nicely done up inside. In our cottage we had lovely bunk bed with wooden stairs, a dressing table and chairs, and the views from the small windows were very nice specially in the morning. There is also a attached toilet with a basin , which is capacious and is very clean typically as in west. For bath you have to go a separate bathroom about 10 meters away where they have facilities for both cold and hot water running on solar energy. Amidst all the isolation those who get bored can watch dish TV, read books or even surf net and there is 24 hrs power supply due to solar panels. Normally the food is served in the common room in the picture and you can get the taste of local cuisine as well. They have got a big oven and we were lucky enough to taste home made muffins and pan cake for the breakfast. Vallerie even manages to cook something for the vegetarian as well. The whole place is very calm and serene and there is no dearth activities- one can trek up a small hill to the sacred forest , can go to nearby church, or can try the arduous David scott trail , or even play football or cricket in the near by ground across the small rivulet. I am told that tents are erected in winters and many tourist undertake treks to nearby places and sometimes make it kind of base camp to go up to Cherrapunjie.
Ideally this is very nice place to relax and get the feel of local culture and place in general and James being very knowledgeable about the local customs and culture adds to the whole experience. But if you are looking for hotel like ambiance or services this is not place for you. Overall the price of both the food and stay is reasonable and the owners being involved in every aspect of your stay adds personal touch to everything. Moreover, there is a place you can park your car and even the driver has a place to stay.
I strongly recommend this place to the domestic tourists specially who are interested in activities and get the feel of local place and culture apart from visiting a place in general. Definitely I’ll revisit this place for a few days sometimes between Nov and Feb .


To quote my wife who did a small write up on this trip after coming back “... It was getting dark and cloudy and just when I thought we were reaching “The Land of Nowhere”, our host, James consoled (airtel worked)us that he was waiting nearby in his jeep, as it would be impossible to reach his little Maple Pine Farm as it is called, in our car in one piece! Sure enough, James and his four year old son, I, took us in his jeep, which bravely waded through a rivulet and steep hillock to reach a fascinating set of cottages. The surroundings were totally green and pristine and for miles there seemed no signs of any settlement! You could clearly hear the sound of the running rivulet merging into the sounds of the night, broken only by the barks of Lucky, their dog, I’s screams and the croaking of the frogs. The entire little settlement was constructed by James and ran mainly on solar energy. James is a Canadian married to Vallerie, a Khasi lady and they have three very cute sons-M,I and R. We were taken to our room which was beautifully built with a bunk bed which had my son jumping in glee. There was a common room bearing flags of India and Canada ,where the boys watched TV and played X-box and Play station. My son did not leave the place and suggested that we should spend the entire trip here. The cooking is done entirely by Vallerie and James and we tasted soft and fresh muffins straight from the oven, baked by James. We had wanted a Khasi meal, hence we were served yellow rice cooked in chicken stock with turmeric and steamed chicken with ginger root and chillies;of course shallots, chillies and tomatoes straight from the garden to top it up with a nice tamarind chutney. Next day ,James took my husband and son through a trek of the Sacred Forest while I took an easier walk. The lunch was packed by Vallerie and we left for Cherrapunjie”

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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11  Thank srikant99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 - 69 of 75 reviews

Reviewed June 6, 2013

Maplepine Farm is an amazing place ..situated on bank of a river and surrounded by lush green grass and brooks , it takes your breath away. James and his family are lovely and made our stay comfortable and a wonderful experience. The cabins are built by James and the farm is self sufficient and sustainable. We went in the rainy season but experienced rain, shine, mist, fog and joy. The children had plenty to do and an equally fun time with James and Valerie's kids.

James helped us with local transport and engaging us with stories of Meghalaya, khasi people, living root bridges. The food was great and even received a lovely massage for our aching muscles.
A relaxing holiday, lovely hosts and breathtaking views. MaplePine is excellent!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Laxmi867
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

This is an eco experience. It is not for the lavish lifestylers but more for those travellers wishing to truly experience the environment in this part of the world. James has extensive knowledge of the North East and has many contacts which enables you to plan a specific program. We were on the trail of Marnie's ancestors, and with James help we were able to accomplish all of our targets. We could not have done this without his assistance. The driver and guide he provided were most helpful.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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7  Thank Mike T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

Maplepine is a couple of miles from Mawphlang village, half an hour from Shillong. We caught a taxi to Maphlang and James picked us up from there.

You're instantly away from the hustle and bustle of Indian cities and surrounded by farmland, hills and a stunning stream (deep enough for swimming!) on one side. You can do walks into the Sacred Forest or just spend time enjoying the serenity.

James and Valerie are wonderful hosts - the huts are clean, warm and cosy; the food is delicious and they are incredibly knowledgable about the local area and culture. James literally wrote a book about northwest India, so what he doesn't know about traveling isn't worth knowing.

James took us on a trip to see some stunning root bridges and stay in some villages which aren't often visited - the whole experience was magical. If you're an open minded, curious traveler I would recommend staying here without hesitation.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are lovely, quiet and clean. You can't really go wrong!
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank mrmattwillis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2013

We spent 3 relaxing days at Maple Pine Farm - we instantly felt at home with James, Valerie and their three boys. The cabins were so cozy and clean and the meals were delicious!! The farm runs off of solar and wind power making it a unique off-the-grid destination.

We learned so much about the Khasi culture and got to explore the nearby sacred forest and ventured off with James to see some of the other villages, which included a home stay, and a chance to see the living root bridges.

It's best to arrive with an open mind and no set itinerary and you will be amazed with what this place has to offer. I highly recommend making the trip!!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank TravelRoots1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

The farm is situated on a beautiful riverbank surrounded by lush rice fields. I stayed there for six days in early October in between intense segments of a two-month journey in Bhutan and India. I had such a relaxing time there. Though some facilities were still under construction when I was there, the small cabin that I stayed in was very comfortable and super clean. It is a very personable place, not like an ordinary hotel or a B&B type of place. The owners of the farm, James and Valerie, were wonderful and went out of their way to make sure that I felt at home. They were a great resource about the local Khasi culture. I learned a lot from them. Also their three beautiful boys were really fun to be with! The farm is totally off the grid; taking full advantage of its open and sunny location, the sun and wind generate more than enough electricity to run the farm which I found very inspiring. I highly recommend the place.

Room Tip: All cabins look pretty comfortable. I think you can camp there too.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank 森の猫
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2012

My husband and I truly loved our time at the MaplePine farm with James, Valerie, their boys, and the animals. Driving down into the lovely valley, on a dirt road, across a stream to the MaplePine Farm was transformative. Here is a little oasis created with wonderful vision to highlight the culture of Meghalaya and the North East in a sustainable way; the farm runs completely on solar and wind power and they built the cabins and buildings themselves.

First of all James has a unique situation of being born in Meghalaya, raised for much of his childhood there, and returning to live and raise a family there. He is extremely knowledgeable and is a tremendous resource about the North East states of India, Meghalaya, and the many cultures concentrated in the area. Both he and Valerie taught us a lot about Khasi culture and Meghalaya. We utterly enjoyed our walk to the sacred forest with James, as he explained the meaning behind monoliths and various aspects of Khasi culture.

We were very comfortable in our cabin, even though parts of the farm were not yet completed. We had delicious meals prepared by Valerie and James and enjoyed our talks with the family over meals. We had only a couple days there, but seriously want to return to see more of Meghalaya and the spend time at the farm. We cannot recommend this farm highly enough!!!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank skyelin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about MaplePine Farm

Address: Shillong-Mawsynram Road | Lyngkien Village, India
Location: India > Meghalaya
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 54 Specialty Lodging in Meghalaya
Price Range: $12 - $250 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are somewhere between Camping, Home stay and Bread and Breakfast. We are not a resort. It is a small family run business. ... more   less 

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