Located on Observatory Hill, at an altitude of 1,600m a short distance from the hill- town of Munnar, Windermere is a peaceful place to relax and enjoy the cooler climate and more relaxed atmosphere of the Western Ghats.
Surrounded by a 60 acre cardamom plantation, Windermere Estate is a family-run business with a very friendly and laid back atmosphere. Accommodation is in garden rooms, rustic cottages and spacioud villas, most of which enjoy fabulous views of the steep sided tea estates and the cardamom hill.
Windermere Estate offers traditional Malayali, Oriental and continental cuisine. The main dining area is a spacious barn, with wooden pillars and beams and an open fireplace. Barbecues are sometimes organised around the camp fire. Snacks are available from The Hut. No alcohol is served is served here, but guests can buy their own and enjoy it in their rooms. There is a library located above The Barn with a range of books for guests to enjoy.
This is great walking country and the hotel can arrange tours of the cardamom plantations which are rich with flora and fauna. For the more adventurous, there is a guided mountain walk which takes about 4 hours and offers wonderful views of the town of Munnar. There is also a walk to the lovely Attukadu waterfalls, an excellent spot for a picnic. Back on the estate you can cool off with a swim in the pool in the gardens.
Open: Windermere Estate is open all year.
Location: Windermere Estate is a 60-acre cardamom plantation 3kms from the town of Munnar in Kerala. It is at an altitude of almost 1,600 metres. The closest airport is Kochi, some 95kms away.
Rooms: There are 18 rooms in total, comprising garden rooms, cottage rooms and the planter’s villa, all with en-suite bathrooms. The rooms have high ceilings, terracotta floors and teak furniture. Garden rooms are located on the ground floor and have a veranda. Cottage rooms are slightly larger and are located on the upper floors and have sitting rooms or balconies. The 2 planter’s villas have a double bedroom, a sitting / dining room, a large bathroom opening onto a private courtyard and a balcony. The planter’s villas are the only accommodation with TVs, DVD players and ‘phones. All accommodation has views of the gardens, hills and valleys. There are 2 sets of inter-connecting rooms, ideal for family accommodation.
Activities: Guests can visit the view point, stroll in the gardens, watch birds and butterflies, relax in hammocks in the glen, or gather with fellow guests at the boulder. The estate offers a guided walk through the cardamom plantation each evening, taking about 2 hours. Guests can explore the area by bike, go shopping in Munnar, take the 4-hour guided trek around the estate and take a jeep safari to Kolugamalai Tea Estate. There are occasional yoga classes in the library. The planter’s family who run the estate live next door and are able to offer advice and assistance on additional things to do and places to visit.
Facilities: The gardens are well stocked with trees and plants and attract birds and butterflies, and includes a swimming pool and small sunbathing area. ‘The Barn’ is the main restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch (by arrangement) and dinner. It offers continental, Oriental and Indian cuisine. Guests are encouraged to meet the chefs and learn how dishes are made. ‘The Hut’ offers a more rustic atmosphere and serves drinks and snacks. Many of the ingredients are grown on the plantation. Windermere Estate does not serve alcohol, however, guests can bring their own drinks and can consume these in the privacy of their own rooms. There is a library with a selection of fiction and non-fiction books, magazines and board games and plenty of space to relax. You can buy coffee and cardamom grown on the estate, packaged in attractive jute bags.
Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Health: We recommend malaria prophylactics for travel to India.
Communication: There is free Wi-Fi internet access in the library and a computer that guests can use. There is little or no mobile coverage.
Notes: Due to the nature of the accommodation (there are lots of steps) and activities, Windermere Estate is not suited to people with limited mobility.
A wide ranging tour showcasing the culture, scenery and wildlife of southern India.
An exciting combination of rural South India, the key ancient temples, cardamom and tea plantations, and the backwaters of Kerala.
"A nice older style hotel with accommodation in cottages. Very pleasant atmosphere. Set Kerala menu for dinner. No licence. We stayed in one of the lower garden cottages and there are a considerable number of steep steps up to the restaurant which would make it inconvenient for a less able or infirm person (we had to stop half way up for a breather)."