Just before the lockdown, I was fortunate to take a road-trip to a luxury homestay nestled in the Nilgiri mountains, called The Xanadu Froghill. Covid-19 was about to loom large on us, and I did not want to take risk by travelling to a touristy place. I chose this place, because it was pleasantly isolated, we could drive down ourselves from Bangalore, and social distancing (which was not yet enforced in India that time) was automatic in this place.
The 6 hour smooth drive on the Bangalore-Mysore-Mudumalai-Ooty highway through the Bandipur forest road, and then the Mudumalai forest road, was beautiful and relaxing.
Ideal for :
The Xanadu Froghill was ideal for a weekend gateway from Bangalore, Chennai, Calicut or other South Indian cities. The calmness inside the property is a solace to the noisy life that we lead in urban set-ups. The place gave us enough time by ourselves, and the opportunity to rejuvenate.
The Property :
The property was the right mix of breathtaking views of the Nilgiri mountains from the room or the balcony, and luxury-home feel with homely food for us. As we approached the property from the highway, we took a narrow forest path to get there. The property manager helped us on phone, and after going for 500 metres, we saw the beautiful hidden bungalow surrounded by forests, a well-kept garden and a place for bonfire.
The Rooms :
The property had three very spacious double rooms, with each room being different, as we would have at home. We stayed at the premium room, that had a beautiful view from our window, and a bathtub in the bathroom. The study-table was absolutely a delight for me to spend time writing my blogs, or just chilling listening to the birds.
The balcony was a perfect place to sit and sip a cup of tea, and then take a walk around the property in the evening. The staff told us the numerous stories about the animals around and their experience. Venturing at night was not advised though.
The dining cum sit out area was created in the European style, with the fireplace making it look absolutely stunning. This was an awesome place to spend the evening. The stuff was very kind and made homely food as per our choice.
Things to Do Around The Property:
The property is situated in a 25 acre land inside the forest. There is an option to go to Ooty (43 km), or even do a safari in Bandipur or Mudumalai forest (23 km). But, we chose to get up and experience sunrise behind the frog-hill, explore the forest around by foot, spend time in the garden under the beautiful Jacaranda tree, and do jeep off-roading with the property manager inside a tea plantation. We also spotted a cute barking deer. Needle Rock View Point (3.5 km) and Pykara Boat House (24 km) are other two popular options.
The rooms have different pricing, all in the range of Rs 5500-7500 per night. The pricing might vary based on the season. Breakfast and all other meals in homely style were available at a standard rate. The staff would also suggest or help with the names of restaurants a few kms away. The wifi was good and available free of cost.
How to get there?
The road-trip from Bangalore (260 km), Chennai (590 km) or Kozhikode (100 km) is the best way to get here. The roads are smooth and beautiful. The nearest airport is Calicut (100 km). It is also possible to get to Gudalur (3.5 km) or Ooty (43 km) by bus from these cities, and then take an auto or taxi to get to the property.
Best time to go
Across the year, this property remains open. The monsoons are fantastic with a different mood, and rest of the year remains relatively cool due to proximity to the Nilgiris.
We loved our stay there, with the opportunity to spend time with nature and each other. Rejuvenation was the biggest takeaway from this lovely place.
Nilgiris are less touristy and hence selecting a good property is important. But staying in more developed Ooty is another option to enjoy the weekend in the similar region.
Hope we all get to travel soon, but until then stay home and stay safe.
Keep going places,