First the booking, I booked the Tea Sanctuary at the last minute through phonw when my other booking at Munnar fell through. The manager Mr. Dharmaraj was very helpful and though I had only a confirmation sms from him, we kept in touch via phone, and when we reached the bungalow the caretaker and his helper were already waiting for us.
We stayed at the Chokanad Bungalow for 3 nights, in the middle of the Chokanad Tea Estate. It is set far back from Munnar town, at mid elevation with beautiful views into the valley below and the mountains above. Away from the din,clutter and crowds of Munnar, we had the whole bungalow, the tea estate and even a herd of migratrory wild elephants all to ourselves. We had a lot of fun walking around the hills of the estate, watching out for wildlife and clicking photos of birds we had never seen before and meeting the plantation workers.
The bungalow itself is an erstwhile tea planter's bungalow, well aged over a century with some antique furniture. Most of the rooms have their own fireplace, which can be lit upon request. We had all meals at the bungalow, they were healthy (low fat), locally grown, hygenic, and very tasty.
The caretaker and his helper were like family. The whole ambience was very homely unlike the commercial atmosphere of a hotel, and you are transported back in time to a way of life that does not exist in urban India. You need to carry your own evening entertainment, we had carried our own board games. Also carry some warm clothes for the nights.
The add on attractions advertised on the website, such as the angling and golf, need prior arrangements/permits/fees. If interested in these, inquire and book well in advance.
Staying at Chokanad bungalow, we felt much more connected to authentic Munnar, to its nature and its people. We would like to make this an annual trip to Munnar.
- Also Known As:
- The Tea Sanctuary Hotel Munnar