If you live in South India, and the talk about hill stations crops up, the first thing that comes to the mind are places like Ooty and Kodaikanal. I have already written about Ooty and the stay in Destiny Farm Stay and you can click here to read that article. In this article I bring you a review of the Kodai Resort Hotel and discuss whether the hotel is worth staying in to go aroung sight seeing in Kodaikanal easily. If you wish to read about the Kodai International instead, click here.
Kodaikanal is roughly 450+ kms from Bangalore and the journey by drive can take anywhere between 8 to 10 hours. If you drive at night, add a few more hours to that since you will be traveling slow. If you have kids this number will substantially go up further. One of the other ways to get there is to take a train from Bangalore to Kodai Road Junction station and further take a private cab to reach Kodaikanal. The distance from Kodai Road is 80km and will take about two to three hours to complete.
The Kodai Resort Hotel is bang in the middle of Kodaikanal and walkable distance to the famous Kodaikanal Lake nearby. It is also very near to the stalls, shopping and other restaurants that make it an attractive location. Given the most costliest hotel around is Carlton Kodai, this hotel we are talking about it just a stone's throw from there.
Further Coaker's walk is just a walk away from the Kodai Resort and for most needs you do not need a car. Everything is literally a walk away. Why this matters is that, either you can stay far away and come to the lake and its surroundings to just shop around, or stay nearby the lake and avoid transportation costs for every journey. So in terms of location this hotel ticks all boxes
In terms the terrain this resort is constructed on a slope and you enter the resort at the top and the rooms go down all the way below. In terms of accessibility for elders this resort could prove to be a pain, but due to its age and the way it is constructed one cannot expect comforts. So for elders this resort is a no-no unless you are willing to take upto fifty steps each time you want to get in or out of the resort. Further if you are the elderly, make sure to ask for a room near the entrance as it will save you some effort and pain.
The resort itself is nestled in such a way that it offers beautiful views of the mountains around the place from every room terrace. In fact the terrace is the single reason why you should stay in this resort. Each terrace is to some extent blocked from the view of another terrace so privacy is there to some extent. The terrace is a great place to sit down and sip a cup of hot tea or coffee looking at the landscapes and having personal but important conversations for which you never found time earlier due to your hectic schedules.
The room we got was almost like a semi house with a hall and a bedroom inside. There is an attached toilet as well. The windows to the room are placed rather high and open into the terrace. In fact the way to the terrace is also from the windows which sounds a bit unique to the place. The rooms were warm and has basic stuff like some cookies and water for you.
There is also a TV which is mostly useless and I wish the hotels really focussed on bringing about good DTH connections with many channels as they could. Everything is about price and personally for me watching TV on a resort stay is taboo. We go to the resort to do other things like walks, treks, conversations, good food and other activities. TV falls very low in that priority order. But all guests are not like me and would like to spend their evening catching up with TV programs.
The hotel has a lawn all the way down where the room ends where people can meet and the kids can play with each other. The lawn also has some kids play area with few slides, swings, etc. It also houses an Emu which is a huge bird. The gardens around the laws and stairways are a sight to behold and they really add charm to the place.
The hotel sports a restaurant near the entrance which has a good spread of food items for breakfast. Lunch and dinner are not covered though you can order a-la-carte items. Each day's stay covers breakfast for all and the restaurant was a nice place to have a morning refresh over that piping hot cup of coffee. The weather in Kodaikanal is pleasant and it varies between cool and cold during non summer months. During summers the temperatures can reach to around 30 deg C which is NOT the best time to visit the place.
For food there are other good hotels nearby such as Astoria Veg and you can bring food from there if you do not want to use the restaurant.
Dinner, dance and music, star gazing and great sunrise moments
There is also a dance floor during the late evenings which has music playing for you to participate and dance if you wish to. Typically this goes on for an hour or two every night and if you are tired after the morning's journeys around, you can relax and hit the dance floor. It is in the club area and slightly away and high placed compared to the rooms below. The sound can be heard in the rooms a bit and nothing much can be done about it.
Given the rooms sport huge terraces, its a fantastic opportunity for both star gazing at night and some great sunrises in the morning. It is so picture perfect that I can say I have never seen such beautiful sunrises from a hill station for quite sometime now. We always see good sunrises from beaches, but this is another great experience altogether.
Other notable things about the resort
The resort also stocks a club and a library which has good books for kids. If your kid is of the type they want to read books then nothing better than here. The same place also sports TT tables for a game or two. There is also a small shop that sells among other things toys, spices, chocolates and other small gifts. Nothing that you will not get anywhere nearby though so it is really upto you if you want to purchase something from here.
The major attractions include Coaker's walk and the stunning Kodai lake nearby which are both walkable to the resort. I will speak about these in a different blog post.
The resort is reasonably priced with deals ranging between Rs.2000 upto Rs.7000/- during the monsoon months (prices will vary for peak times and based on season and based on the configuration on the rooms you choose). It falls under the reasonable category for what it has to offer in terms of location, food, and room types and is worth considering if you do not want to waste time in going around Kodai.
If you liked the review of the Kodai Resort hotel and are considering to stay there, please do share in the comments below whether you liked the place and the great walks nearby, and the morning coffee with sunrise.
The Kodai Resort hotel is not very modern, yet is placed exactly in the middle of all attractions, and is priced at a quarter of other bigger star hotels, offers reasonable food and a good environment with unique rooms and terraces. The fact that is walkable to the places nearby is surely a reason you must consider this resort for your next holiday.
The people were warm and hospitable and I also did not see many reasons to complain on the service offered. The elevation makes it a bit impossible for asthmatic patients or elders to climb up and down, but barring that one negative point which is not really in the control of the management if you are able to walk around this resort offers value for money on everything.