In my last post , I wrote about my journey to Ooty, spiced up with certain constraints and situations. In this post, I will let you know my review of the Destiny Farmstay at Ooty. Read on ….
The Destiny Farmstay is about 25-30 kms away from Ooty main bus stand. The car parking in Destiny is about 2km away from the actual farmstay, and the road beyond that does not permit normal sedans or hatchbacks to get to the actual farmstay as its very slushy, extremely bumpy and risky in terms of damage to the vehicles. The directions provided by the resort is fairly accurate, but towards the end you may have to keep your ears and eyes open for signboards, turns, identification points and the likes.
An army truck belonging to the Little Earth group who run destiny farmstay, took us from the car parking into the resort. The ride can be very bumpy and little kids can feel rattled and extremely afraid as did my little one. So take care of this part. The reception at the resort was neat and kept well attended and the staff there were very courteous in welcoming the people to the stay. A welcome drink was also made available on arrival since it would mostly be beyond noon when people reach there. As other formalities were being completed, the lunch menu was also being taken for order from different guests so that lunch could be made available on time.
A point to note here about the lunch or dinner is that they are limited in timings and one has to be within the time frame of cafeteria being open to source the required dishes. Room service is available at a cost but not always. So its best you return to the cafeteria at specified times in order to avoid missing out on the food. And you guessed it right that there is nothing near the resort where you can otherwise go for food and so you are by yourself. Another thing I felt about the food was that it was quite expensive (even beyond bangalore standards) which is not a good thing. This is always a demand supply factor resorts capitilize on and I am okay with that if the resort were to be otherwise highly rated. Though TripAdvisor rates this resort high, one must understand the fact that there are actually very few new, other resorts, around this place. So naturally everyone who goes here would tend to recommend only this one. Additionally they do not add too much spice into the food, so its kind of kid friendly too which is a plus.
The rooms themselves are nestled neatly along a row overlooking a valley created by more than few mountain slopes. This is the valley where sloped farming is done. When we went to the resort rains were lashing ooty, and towards the evening the atmosphere was damp and the skies opened up a bit. The sunset was a surreal experience. The rooms were large with two single beds put back to back. So that meant some ample room for four of us (two kids). The toilets were large and neat, however not always did we get hot water. You can compare that to my review of the eagle eye holidays in chikmagalur where I did have hot water 24 hours of the day. So if they can do it, why not Destiny?
The room was supposedly a deluxe room, but the only deluxe part about it was the front verandah area overlooking the valley. Other than that the sofa inside the room was not well maintained and the springs had worn out. It was more uncomfortable to sit on it than anything the other way round. The rooms also had no tube lights or no fans and had a coffee maker in case you needed a quick one.
The farming itself consisted of many different type of flowers, cabbages, carrots and the likes being cultivated there. In addition to this they had a horse stable with atleast 3-4 horses who would take you for a ride at a specified time in the mornings with supervision on a high ground area. In addition to this were a large amount of cows, and some sheep. There were also rabbits and ducks which were near the pond down the valley. There were hundred odd steps that led to the valley below which is a good exercise if you take your kids down and back, assuming you are carrying them.
In addition to this, there is a disco room that’s operational at night, and there is a bonfire every night which in my opinion is absolutely necessary. Its advisable to carry a set of diapers, all essentials for kids, and atleast three pairs of footwear for kids. Some woolens and raincoats and atleast one or two umbrellas are a must.
Please be advised that there are NO medical facilities anywhere nearby atleast for a good 20+ kilometers, so you have to take all medical supplies that you might need. Remember that your car is parked a good 2-3 km away from the resort from where the nearest hospital is another 20km away, so this could be risky if you need urgent medical attention. From what I spoke with hotel staff, I am not sure that they are addressing this need.
Its also mostly likely that the cafeteria or reception would remain out of reach beyond some earthly hours. There is also a well stocked library to spend some time in. One of the major reasons I went to this place was that they had advertised some activities for the kids such as nature painting and so on, but the person conducting these was away on holiday himself, so one promise never met. Luckily since I carried a whole lot of sketch pens myself, I was able to get some paper and let my son try his artwork there.
I stayed at Destiny Farmstay for only one night, but I feel its an experience where kids learn about farming, and look and feel domestic animals once in a way. To summarize Destiny is aiming to be unique in what it offers, but the expensive food and no medical help nearby might make it go out of your list for a holiday. If you still want to give it a try, the location is beautiful and would relax a tired soul.
The cost for a deluxe room towards end of March was 5,500 + and the three time meal cost came to almost 1,700 +, add a fuel of almost 3,000 + from bangalore upto the resort and we are looking at around 10,000 for a day’s worth of holiday.
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