Kumbakonam is a place best known for the hundreds of ancient temples dotted in and all around it. But when it comes to accommodation or food, Kumbakonam is definitely not a place that can pamper you like the hotels in a good vacation spot. But after my recent five nights stay at the Mantra Veppathur, I’m forced to eat my own words with a happy smile!
Mantra is everything you could desire from a dream destination, anywhere in the world. And more! A winding untamed natural path leads to the resort, and leaves you in the lap of luxury where every whim and fancy of yours is catered to with courteous smiles.
The welcome to Mantra Veppathur was warm and personal, and after a tour of the resort and its amenities by the General Manager, Nagaraj, we stepped into a perfect cottage that took us back in time.
Room service isn’t provided at the hotel, which I found rather atypical on the first day of my stay. But now that I look back at our stay, all the hours we spent sitting in the panoramic restaurant, talking to the staff and the other guests added to the experience of staying in this beautiful escape.
About the restaurant, well, it was a delicious indulgence of gastronomic proportions! On several instances, several courses were specially prepared for us to match our preferences, and for the first time in our stays at Kumbakonam over the years, we didn’t have to rely on canned food or noodles while driving around to different temples. We were so well fed at Mantra that the whole experience felt more like a lazy vacation than a temple trip for the two of us.
One of the things we enjoyed most about Mantra was the evenings. Every evening, there was a different cultural show for the guests, be it bharata natyam, a violin performance or another cultural performance. And after a long day visiting temples, it was a welcome break to sit down with a cup of coffee and watch a performance with the other guests in the garden.
The staff at Mantra was truly wonderful and exceptionally courteous. Nagaraj, the general manager was the kind of host anyone would love to have. He was attentive to our needs and always went way out of the way to make sure our stay was enjoyable. Rajesh, the manager of the resort, too was extremely helpful and took the time to help us while planning visits to different temples, and was always around to ensure that every moment at the resort was a wonderful experience.
In the restaurant too, the staff were just unimaginably hospitable. The food was great, the staff was friendly, especially Muthu, who added to the charm of the restaurant with his conversations. But that wasn’t enough for these guys at the Mantra Vepattur! One evening, the chefs set up a surprise private candlelight dinner for the two of us and decorated the table with handpicked flowers and carved fruits.
And on the last night during our stay, we were ushered away towards the scenic pool when we came to the restaurant to have dinner. And when we got to the pool, we saw an elaborate romantic candlelight dinner set by the poolside just for the two of us! And a whole makeshift kitchen was set up too, just to cater to the two of us. The head chef, Maruthavanan, along with the sous chef, Vijay, personally prepared all the dishes and served some of the most delectable dishes we’ve ever had. If you do visit Mantra, you definitely need to speak with Maruthavanan and take his recommendations on what to eat. During our stay, he had discreetly paid attention to the kind of food we prefer and on our last night, surprised us with a several course dinner that was perfect for our palate and that night was definitely one of the highpoints of our stay!
Mantra may be a wonderful resort, and better than any other hotel in Kumbakonam by a far cry, but that’s just not it. There’s one thing about Mantra that still leaves me amazed. And that’s the attention they give to the little things that matter to every guest.
The staff at the Mantra knows their etiquette, and they understand the meaning of privacy. On the last day of our stay, we decided to laze around and take a dip in the swimming pool. Unlike most hotels where the pool staff spend the whole time just staring at couples swimming or taking sneaky glances every now and then, everyone around the pool cleared away within seconds after we stepped into the area (even the farming staff working on the farm nearby left their tools and walked away!) and just one pool attendee stood near the pool and faced away from us the whole while to give us our privacy. And this was in a little town in south India! Shockingly, even several five star hotels in India haven’t taught their staff the fierce importance guests give to privacy.
During our stay, we met Subbu, the CEO and the man behind Mantra Veppathur, who was staying for the weekend at the resort. And it was clear that this resort takes its charm and hospitality from him. He was a warm and wonderful host, generous with his stories about different temples and their legends, and he made us feel involved and welcome throughout our stay.
There’s so much more I can write about Mantra. But then again, some hotels are best left to be experienced. And the Mantra resort is definitely one of gems that’s worth that experience. We had a wonderful time in Mantra, and I truly can’t think of a better place to stay in Kumbakonam than here.
After all, we arrived at Mantra Veppathur as guests. And we left Mantra Veppathur waving goodbye to several new friends.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Eco Friendly Resort with rural, traditional for all travellers who would enjoy every bit of their stay! ... more less
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