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.
- 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