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“A destination unto itself”

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Rose Gardens Homestay
Ranked #3 of 188 Munnar B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Minnesota, USA
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A destination unto itself”
Reviewed November 14, 2013

I suggest you put Munnar on your itinerary just for the chance to stay with Tomy and Rajee at Rose Gardens. We spent three nights with them (and even got some time with their three sons, each a wondreful young man) and it was the highlight of our 8 day side trip through Kerala (part of four months in India altogether). Many reviewers have touched on the views, the lovely rooms, the gardens, the impeccable local food. They are right, all these are wonderful. Instead of rehashing those points, I want to emphasize why you should choose THIS homestay experience. From the first online interaction, Tomy went to work taking care of us by arranging car transfer from Cochin. His attentiveness never relented. We shared much conversation with him in particular; Rajee was rather busy preparing our fabulous meals, but once my partner and I asserted ourselves as eager to learn some cooking she put us right to work with some fine instruction in making roti. At one point, every guest of the house was in on the kitchen work (four couples' worth), and the laughter and conversation was simply the best interaction we had throughout our Kerala travels. (You'll be grateful for your easy access to chats with Tomy, but do be sure to take advantage of some time with Rajee as well if you can, as she's a delight.) The Munnar area is widespread along a main, winding road up the mountainside; there is some distance between homes and businesses, and roads are bad so transit is slow. Because it is a short distance from the main city, Rose Gardens isn't really the place to stay if you expect to roll out of bed and stroll through shops every morning. However, if that's your pleasure, you really ought to be shopping for hotels, not homestays. Proper homestays have a unique character and distinct advantages for the traveller who wants a genuine taste of the local culture, and Rose Gardens is top notch. You eat the food the family eats, hear the night sounds the family hears, partake in the conversation (and the sense of humor!) the family has to offer. If you need clean linens and a new bottle of shower gel daily, or prefer to make packaged tea in your room, you need a hotel, not a homestay (though Rose Gardens will undoubtedly provide these if you ask for them!). Hotels certainly have their place, and we stayed both in hotels and at Rose Gardens during our Kerala trip. We thoroughly appreciated the benefits of each. But it seems, well, just silly to me to make packaged tea in my room and miss a chance to drink Tomy and Rajee's fresh brewed stuff...accompanied, of course, by delightful conversation with some of the kindest-hearted people we've met in two months' time in India. No concierge could have given us the local knowledge and the devoted attention Tomy did, and his advice for sightseeing excursions led us to the most memorable experiences of our Kerala journeys. The personal touch extended great distances as well; when his regular driver was booked, Tomy himself drove us to our next destination some four hours away. And when one half of another couple took ill, both Tomy AND Rajee escorted them personally to their next destination to be sure they were well-tended. My own family wouldn't likely do this for me! A visit to Rose Gardens isn't just a stopover on your vacation, it's a destination unto itself. If you're even thinking about the tea in your room (there was tea in our room?), I would argue that you're missing the entire experience. Not sure when we'll be back in India, but if we ever come within 300 km of Munnar again, we'll be making a special trip to visit Tomy and Rajee.

Room Tip: Four rooms plus a cottage on the property; the two upstairs rooms have easiest access to the balcony...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank langmart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
627 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 320 helpful votes
Reviewed November 12, 2013 via mobile

The setting of this homestay is wonderful. Just a short walk takes you to a stunning viewpoint. The gardens are full of flowers and a variety of herbs and spices. The owner is only too pleased to take you on a tour of his extensive garden. The best rooms are upstairs at the back. From there you wake up to the wonderful sounds of the nearby jungle and garden. You also have the use of a nice veranda overlooking the garden. The rooms are comfortable, but a little dark and damp due to the humidity. It would have been nice to have had the rooms refreshed daily with fresh, dry towels and a restock of shower gel, tea, coffee etc, but this didnt happen during our 3 night stay. I'm sure if we'd asked it would have happened, but you shouldn't need to ask. Breakfast and supper are provided, which is taken with the other guests and often this results in some interesting discussions. Unfortunately, especially in Kerala, I have an allergy to peanuts and a dislike of coconut. I mentioned this on arrival and all was well on the peanut front, but almost everything at one meal in particular on our last night had coconut in. They kindly provided me with an alternative dish or egg and tomato, but I was so looking forward to the food.... I can have scrambled egg and tomato at home...The hosts are very welcoming and attentive though and are happy to help in giving advice about any travel plans that you have. Just be aware that the roads, especially towards Munnar are dreadful. Munnar is only 12km away, but it takes 45mins to an hour to get there. We really enjoyed the tea factory visit about 40km away, but it took 2.5-3hours to get there. Top station is also good, but to stand any chance of seeing anything before the mist descends, you need to be there certainly before 10am. It would have been good to have been advised on our arrival that payment is by cash only. We barely scraped enough together to pay before departure. If not we would have to have made the long trip to Munnar and back which would take up to 2 hours to get to an ATM.
I would definitely recommend this place as a good base to explore the Munnar region.

Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank CardiffMaddie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Union City, New Jersey
1 review
Reviewed November 12, 2013

Great homestay experience from Tomy (owner), Rajee (Tomy's wife), and Deepak (Tomy's son). Breakfast and dinner are both included in the room rate. Breakfast is homemade and includes natural ingrediants from Tomy's backyard plant garden, including coconut pancakes, honey, pineapple jam, sweet passion fruit, and coffe/tea. On our final day, we were served breakfast from our room terrace overlooking the plant garden. Breakfast was very tasty, but lacked protein. I would have preferred a protein option as well (ie eggs).

Dinner is very good typical Keralan style.

Room and bathroom were both very large and clean. We had one or two insects get into the bathroom possibly through the exhaust fan area. That could be screened better.

Tomy also provides an hour long tour of his plant garden where he has grown a number of spices, fruits, and vegetables. For all of you who manage a home vegetable garden, you will really enjoy this tour..

All in all..Great stay! Thank you Tomy, Rajee, and Deepak!

-Tobin & Betsy

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank tobinvarghese
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hazebrouck, France
1 review
Reviewed November 6, 2013

I stayed a couple of days with Dad & Mum at Rose garden, and I honestly think we couldn't have made a better choice. Tomy's family is really nice, helpful, and make the stay a real pleasure. The accommodation is perfect, better than we've had through the rest of the trip for sure, the rooms are spacious and utterly clean, with a decent view overlooking the peaceful garden... The place is really calm, and the surrounding noises are those of nature and absolute serenity... no constant horns and traffic sounds for sure! Food is also a major point, everything is home cooked by Tomy's wife and a real pleasure to taste, I was wondering all day long what would the following meal look like, (and accordingly taste like) which always came to be a great surprise!
We also had a great visit of the garden, which was truly amazing. You name a plant, it's in there! Very instructive too, getting to know about different kinds of pepper, cardamon and other exotic species... Keen on walking, we had great advice from the family on what to do, and were able to discover the beauty of the surrounding tea plantations...Magical.
To end this review, I would just like to thanks Tomy and his family for the wonderful stay. We also spent some great time talking with all of them, getting to know, understand and discuss about some aspects of their culture.
Don't hesistate.

David

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank David-Smagghe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2013

Our best experience for this trip must be Mr.Tomy & Family's homestay in Munnar. Very warm, accommodating, generous and knowledgeable. And the food was simply awesome. I dont think we ever ate that much during our trip.

The house is spacious and the rooms were great, - big, clean, bright, comfortable beds and fully equipped bathrooms.

Do check out Mr.Tomy's spice garden - where pretty much everything is grown there.

But it was Mr Tomy, his lovely wife and handsome son that made our stay very memorable.

Hope to seem them again sometime.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MohanRR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2013

My husband and I, along with 6 friends from Ireland, stayed at Rose Garden in mid-October 2013 for two nights. On arrival to the Homestay we first thought that perhaps we should have selected a place with more views of the tea hills, however what it lacked in views of the hills it more than made up for in hospitality, warmth and great food. On arrival, Tomy & Baji greeted us with delicious french-style toast and homemade pineapple jam, along with our choice of tea or coffee. Just what we need after our 8 hour journey from Delhi. Every meal was homecooked by Raji and each one better than the last. Her pineapple curry was a hit with all of us. The guesthouse was spotless with modern bathrooms and nice powerful hot showers. Rooms are spacious and beds were comfortable.

Tomy gave us a tour of his extensive garden which was packed with every plant, spic and herb you could think of. There was garlic, chilli, cocoa, pepper, mini pineapples, giant lemons ... I mean everything! It was very educational and nice to think that all our meals were sourced freshly from their garden.

We also had fun solicialising with Tomy, Baji and their kids in the evening time. They made us feel right at home and taught us a lot about the area.

Thanks Tomy & Baji. It was a wonderful stay.

Claire

Room Tip: All the rooms were of similar par, but the ones on the ground floor of the house have a nice veranda...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Claire J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangalore
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 20, 2013

We stayed one night at Rose Gardens Homestay. Tomy and his familiy are very helpful and hospitale. Even though the house is located on a road it is a really nice and quiet place. You can sit on the terrace on the backside of the house and enjoy the view on and the sounds of nature. The rooms are big and clean. They offer cooking lessons for their guests. You can also simply sneak into the kitchen when Tomy's wife prepares dinner and learn a lot about the South Indian kitchen. We could also try to do a Chapatee ourselves. Don't miss the breakfast with homemade coffee, pineapple jam and coconut pancakes and Tomy's tour through his wonderful flower and spice garden that he has grown for decades around his house.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Uli_and_Lilo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rose Gardens Homestay

Property: Rose Gardens Homestay
Address: NH 49 Road | Karadipara, Munnar 685611, India
Location: India > Kerala > Idukki District > Munnar
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 188 B&Bs / Inns in Munnar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This is a Homestay. Tomy and his wife Rajee are the Hosts. Homestay Rosegardens is 10km. before Munnar town. It's surrounded by 2 acres of land. In the land most of the spices and flowers. We are running a floricultural Nursery also. We make home cooked food for the guests. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rose Gardens Homestay Hotel Munnar

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