Located in the Western Ghats, Windermere Estate is a perfect retreat to explore the beautiful green tea hills of Munnar. This 18-room boutique hotel is well positioned for fabulous views of the surrounding countryside.
Perched 1600m above sea level does mean that clouds and rain are more common than the rest of India
Surrounded by beautiful scenery
Warmly greeted by Dr Simon and his wife who bought the 60-acre cardamom plantation in 1990s and live on the estate
Ideal retreat for walkers and nature-lovers
Sitting on Observatory Hill, high in the Palni Hills, Windermere Estate is perched on a hilltop, surrounded by a cardamom estate. The 360 degree views from this wonderful little retreat are truly awe-inspiring and you often find yourself looking down on the clouds below you, but when the clouds disperse, the Western Ghats open up before you.
Windermere, famous for its unique ambience and charm was established in the 19th Century. With rooms in the farmhouse and separate cottages which look over the valley below, Windermere Estate consciously avoids anything hotel-like. There is no reception, and home-cooked meals are served in a dining room with kitchen at the far end. The owning family live in the old planters bungalow and their friendly staff will take you off on long walks in the hills or private cardamom estate. It is very much a place to experience the hills at their best as the peace and solitude up here is second to none.
Local sites and attractions include the Eravikulam National Park which is home to the endangered Nilgiri Tahr and the Anamudi peak located in the southern region of the park. There is also the Tea Museum in Munnar where you can experience the art of tea making and Marayoor where you can visit the caves (muniyaras) with murals and relics from the New Stone Age. Thoovanam waterfall and Rajiv Gandhi National Park are also nearby.
When to visit
After a walk through the spice plantations I enjoyed relaxing on my private terrace taking in the fantastic views.
Windemere Estate is set in Munnar, part of the Kerala Hill Country in southern India, situated at the confluence of three mountain streams - Mudrapuzha, Nallathani and Kundala in the Western Ghats.
Backwaters - Experience Kumarakom
Kumarakom is a village based on the edge of Lake Vembanadu. The village is beautifully laid out over a number of different picturesque islands and is a wonderful example of how people live in the backwaters.
Periyar - Boating at Lake Periyar
Boating in the splendid artificial lake formed by the Mullaperiyar Dam across the Periyar river adds to the charm of the park. Spot some fascinating wildlife from the boat including animals coming to drink on the lake.
Periyar - Jungle Walk in Periyar National Park
Take a jungle walk in Periyar National Park. You will see a variety of bird life and small mammals, including Nilgiri Black Langurs (a type of monkey), deer, giant squirrels and if you are lucky wild elephants.
Periyar - Spice Plantation
Visit a spice plantation and discover where many of the spices you have in your kitchen at home are grown naturally. This is a lovely experience for couples or families of all ages to enjoy.
Windermere Plantation Walk
Perfect after an afternoon of tea tasting you will enjoy an evening walk with the Windermere’s staff and learn about the importance of this spice in Indian cuisine as well as its health benefits.