This place has some polar attributes to it. It is a farm stay in a lovely rural location mainly geared towards Indian corporate team building as far as I can work out. We were there as 2 families and the rest of the place was full of company men from Bangalore (very nice people indeed!).
The views are spectacular and the accommodation pretty basic. Evening meals are good but breakfast very limited. Staff are friendly and helpful. Sadly, the dining room is a fairly gloomy experience. There is no sit out area to enjoy the spectacular views, which there really should be.
There is a table tennis room, a couple of zip wires, basic climbing wall and muddy hole for fishing. Limited riding, walks and volley ball are available. A fire pit and play area with barbeque is located fairly centrally. The fire is lit in the evenings and there are barbeque snacks which are very good indeed.
Maintenance, however, is poor. Plenty of nails stuck proud of the boardwalk by the rooms. The play area was in a poor state of repair verging on dangerous, the doors in the rooms were decaying, curtains, valances and paintwork filthy. There was little or no attention to detail. As a personal bug-bear of mine, the sheets in one of the beds had not been changed from the previous occupant.
Guests are effectively confined to camp by electric fence and this is made clear with the threatening sign by the front gate. We couldn’t work out how to get to the lake and understand that you can't swim in it "by law". The beautiful countryside surrounding the property is unexplorable as there is no agreement with the forestry commission to allow access. This is a crying shame as if this place offered serious hiking over a number of days, or likewise serious riding, or water based activities (eg sailing and canoeing) then it would be world class and could be used as a superb "base camp". At the moment it is restricted to fishing in muddy pools with a cane and very basic "activities".
On a positive note, if you go you must do the barbeque, which is in the woods. That was a great treat for all of us and well worth organising. Bring your own "drinks", but be aware that you can’t have them in the dining room.
There are plans to build a Spa (nearly completed and looks really nice) and pool, which will certainly be a welcome addition, but I can't help but think that the big picture is being missed - do people who want a spa really want to get shaken around by what appears to be a 4WD prison van over a hopelessly unmaintained track for half an hour just to get there? (Doors locked on the outside, grills on the windows, so no escape! Fix this please Destiny as it is so unsafe (fire) that I would recommend that people walk rather than sit in this death trap, which will take little more time and will be a lot more comfortable.) Also the website is pretty hopeless and really needs to provide better info on rooms and so on.
So, mixed feelings about this place. If its fantastic location was used to the full for serious walkers and riders and watersports then it would be world class. Its location alone makes it worth a visit, but for now it is better suited to corporate events. It needs to sort out its priorities and capitalise on the natural resources that surround it rather than trying to be something that it isn’t. Pity.
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- Also Known As:
- Destiny Farmstay India/Ooty (Udhagamandalam)