BRR, Dandeli has a great location. It is located on the Kali River where it broadens up just enough before plunging into a rapid. This I believe is the clincher. The resort itself could have done with better upkeep but the rooms are pretty ok. There are 32 rooms in all. Food is passable and it is limited service with buffets for all three meals. A tandoori barbeque on one of the evenings was however great. The best aspect was that the staff was very friendly and some of them are genuine wild life enthusiasts. Quite a few of the staff were young men –rather, kids- who have taken time off from studies to pursue this passion. Dr.Onkar, who is an Ayurvedic doctor doing his Phd., is a wealth of information when he joins you for a nature walk. There was Praveen who has done his masters in Zoology and is taking his break for a year before going to an Australian University to pursue higher studies on reptiles.
The safari into the reserve forest area is about an hour and 15 minutes drive. The animal density is pretty low and not too much to be seen apart from quite a few birds. The safari, a nature walk, a coracle ride are built into the tariff plan. Other activity of note is white water rafting organized through Jungle River Lodges and costs Rs.1400 per head. It’s a great experience especially for first timers. That apart there is Ayurvedic messages, rappelling, fishing, kayaking, and boat rides on fee basis.
To get to BRR you have to turn off at Karwar on the Goa-Mangalore National Highway and drive in about 40 km; alternatively it is on the Bangalore-Shimoga-Karwar highway.
If you are not particular about five star facilities, then this is quite a great place to visit.
Staying at nature nirvana was truly attaining nirvana! Pure bliss! The lofty mountains, the mysterious green coffee estates, the exotic perfume of coffee and the fresh mountain air itself were a balm to our souls, specially my over-worked techi-husband! I would grade the mountain experience 10, if given the choice. Well, Chikmagalur is about 6 hours from Bangalore. Ok, but the only complaint I had was the home stay was about one and 1/2 hours from Chikmagalur itself. Though the roads are good, the last 6-7 km stretch was quite rough, and I don’t think it’s suitable to come over here after dusk. The home stay provides an escort from Chikmagalur, so that helps. The rooms were clean and well maintained; there was a good fire-place to warm us up, lots and lots and lots of books, hammocks - what more can u ask for? We were taken for a tour of the estate in which the home stay was situated. We saw how the coffee which we pour down our throats actually was processed. There is a small rocky stream, a lovely gorge and a small man made lake for coracle boating. Longer treks also could be arranged for the adventurous ones. The food was good and had a homemade quality to it. A bit ‘coco nutty’ for the waist conscious, though, but who cares – you are on a holiday! The staff was really courteous. They also claim to arrange bonfires on request. They do have a TV set, a VCD player etc., but we considered it a sacrilege to watch TV and listen to loud dance music in such heavenly surroundings.
I would suggest this place for a short weekend just to relax - put your feet up, read a nice book lying on the hammock, breathe in the fresh mountain air, savour the taste of freshly brewed coffee in the misty mornings, warm your souls in front of a roaring fire, huddle yourself in blankets and drift off to dreamland ...tomorrow is another day in paradise!
- Problems with booking on the web. Though 75% advance was paid, no receipt confirmation was sent
- Ambience: The place is set amidst trees, but the landscaping is really bad.
- Room: We wanted a basic room with no frills attached. What came along was broken ceiling. My guess is that the bathroom was broken and extended and the room enlarged; the architect left the bathroom tiles as a decoration item in the room!
- Zero Storage space in the rooms
- Bathroom: Extremely cramped, hardly any shower area. The water leaked into the room after every shower. So there was a permanent pool in my room. Door mats were extinct.
I guess we just missed the ‘best highlights’! Fun thing: Rats, which jump on you, raid your belongings, climb windows in the middle of the night. It won't be fair if I did not mention the actual staff of the place is quite nice and friendly.
We drove to Goa and the car needed some cleaning. I must have asked the owner at least everyday if he could get it cleaned or arrange for some water for me to clean it myself. After 3 days we filled in three bottles of Bisleri and did it ourselves! It seems most of his staff was on vacation during Christmas. Incidentally, this is also the peak season in Goa.
The owner was extremely rude. We had booked 2 rooms in advance. For personal reasons we had to leave early and my friend informed the owner about it. Even before we could ask for a re-imbursement he said "IF YOU ARE THINKING OF GETTING YOUR MONEY BACK FORGET IT". We were leaving because of a death in the family. He could have said it differently. Too much to ask for I guess!
If you were to visit a place like Goa, the room is bound to get dirty. When we asked for it to be cleaned, the staff was fine with it but Mr. Antonio exclaimed that rooms are to be cleaned only after 3 days. Well, we had a small beach in our room and the sand isn't that bad so why am I complaining?
We had some foreign tourists in the same place. I was probably imagining the discrimination and so were my friends in terms of services offered to us and them.
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