A few months ago I spent 3 nights at Elephant Valley Resort. Earlier in my blog I had written about a very interesting trek I did from the resort to see a few dolmens. It’s not just Elephant Valley in name- I actually ran across elephants both during my trek and also managed to view them from a distance from the resort. I thought it was high time I wrote a quick review about Elephant Valley Resort. In my opinion the resort has a lot going for it and is a great choice to unwind away from the crowds.
Elephant Valley is not exactly located at Kodaikanal. If you are driving up to Kodaikanal you have to take a small detour much before you reach Kodai and drive down to reach Ganeshpuram which is where Elephant Valley is located. The biggest advantage of the resort is that it is located over a very large piece of land- you can spend days and weeks exploring the terrain. You are, however, forbidden from wandering off on your own (for your own good- there is a fat chance you will run into herds of wild elephants or just lose your way). All you have to do is avail the services of Madasamy at the resort and he will be more than happy to take you out on guided treks.
We were given a cottage that was right next to the reception. The dining hall was about 5 minutes away by walk which wasn’t all that bad. But the ground is fairly uneven so elderly folks will have to watch out or they might stumble- especially at nighttime. The cottage we stayed in was apparently used by workers who lived on the farm many years ago and as such were rustic but charming. What I loved was the fact that you had a massive sit-out with extremely cosy and comfy couches. The view from the room and outside was just spectacular.
As I said before you can spend days wandering around the compound. There is a large patch of lawn right outside the restaurant where you can relax, play badminton or just run around. The resort also has a recreation room with a few board games.
The food was homely and comfortable. You get a buffet or a la carte depending on the number of other guests who are staying at the resort. I can still remember a banana with hot caramel dessert that was served with dinner on one of the days I was there. It was awesome!
If you really want a unique experience (and are fit enough) you have to stay in the tree house- you actually have to climb up a narrow ladder up a tree and stay in a room which has two huge branches poking inside- the balcony is just spectacular. If you stay really quiet you may be able to sight a few wild elephants or other animals that come down to the stream. However I did wonder if the room might harbour more bugs than the ones on the ground. You also have to cross a rope ladder over a stream to get to your room- perfect adventure eh?
The resort also has a huge organic farm where most of the vegetables used for meals are grown. The farm also grows coffee and pepper that you can buy. The general manager of the resort was very sweet- he gave us a tour of the garden.
Overall Elephant Valley is a great place to cut yourself off from the hustle and bustle of city life for a few days. The only drawback is the long drive/ bus ride from anywhere else (especially if you have motion sickness) but the resort more than makes up for the discomfort