Tag Archives: travel

Grand Palace Hotel and Spa, Yercaud

relaxThe roomcorridorsantiqueExteriorslong exposure
Awesome poolTrue blueComfy by the poolcolorsrefresh by the poolview of houses from the Hotel
lake viewreflections in the lakeYercaud boat houseafter a bonfireStanding tallColors of Sunset
Valley viewstrangerA panoramic view of Yercaud Lake

a trip to Yercaud, a set on Flickr.

Wonderful trip with family to Yercaud.  Stayed at Grand Palace Hotel and Spa and here’s my review –

Stayed here with family for two nights on 30/03 and 31/03. Overall, it was a pleasant experience.
A very nice property in Yercaud, easily one of the best.
Nice and spacious room.
Clean swimming pool, well-maintained.
Good service, anytime.
Indoor and outdoor games for timepass. Bonfire, etc etc
Nice restaurant with good food.

I did not try the spa and the pub, so cant comment on that.

Some minor suggestions –
Please look at changing the Towels. Most of them are not white anymore. There were 2 neatly folded towels in our room, but they were DAMP, and clearly used/not washed properly. I had to call room service and change it. That is shabby service. The ones replaced were clean, washed, but still failed to impress. You could not confidently use them without smelling it. So please have them changed. This initial impression took two days to change. 🙂
The food was good in the restaurant, but at least twice, a fresh plate and spoon had some food stuck to it (even after it was washed). Had to ask for a new one. Have someone look at the cutlery before it reaches the table.
Early morning is the time when we normally try to play some games. Be prepared with what we might need to play. “No shuttles”, “Store is closed”, “Opens at 09:30” is not what we would like to hear. Try to foresee and have spares ready.

Slowly after day 1 and 2, our impression about the place changed for the better. I would definitely visit again and recommend this place. Hopefully, these issues don’t exist then.

Room Tip: Choose 110 or the ones on the same row in ground floor if you travel with elders/kids. Much easier…
Stayed March 2013, travelled with family


ShoreTempleCompleteViewa view of the beach on a Sunday morningShoreTemple7ShoreTemple6ShoreTemple5ShoreTemple4

Mahabalipuram, a set on Flickr.

I was there on a solo trip to click some pictures and that was achieved. Nothing out of the ordinary, just average. It could probably have a very historical background, I am not discounting that fact. I am just saying from a layman’s perspective. Also I should mention that the place was clean.
If you plan to visit Mahabalipuram, lets say the beach, tiger caves, etc etc, this is a must-see. Otherwise just for this, travel from Chennai is not worth it. People with extreme interest in history, sculptures can visit.
Photographers, better early or very late. A lot of schools arrange for excursion to this place and it can be crowded. Getting a shot without children in frame will be impossible 🙂
People on the way from Chennai to Pondicherry or vice versa can drop in for about an hour for a pleasant break.
Overall, just ordinary.

Visited March 2013

A cultural journey – DakshinaChitra

Muttam - open to sky area in the middle of the houseThinnai or the place to sit in front of the houseVaasapadi or the main doorjust another view of the pillarsVeettuvaasal with kolamsmoothly floored Thinnai
a straw hutpathway to the housesa tiled roof houseThulasi plant in the Muttam areainteriorsfor the visitors
Kerala Syrian Christian houseKerala tiled housea complete view of another Kerala housenice symmetryLeaves in the foregroundnot exactly a modular kitchen ;)
village house in KarnatakaEntrance door hardly 4 feet highLady cookingopen to skykitchen utensilsgarden

This is my second visit to this place, mainly to click some photos. I’ve been here earlier with my family. This time it was just me and my camera. Continue reading

Banasura Hill Resort, Wayanad

Salad3Salad2Salad1Chole BaturaChukku Kaapirestaurant
FrontageCorridorsRooma broken tuskera view from the boat4a view from the boat3
a view from the boat2a view from the boat1Banasura waterfallBamboo forestMist covered Banasura Hill

WayanadVacation, a set on Flickr.

A wonderful trip to Wayanad with family. Stayed at Banasura Hill Resort and here is my review –
We were here for 3 Nights and 4 Days from 19/10 to 22/10. We were two families (myself and my co-brother) with kids.

Ambience and Rooms
Very beautiful and unique. It is definitely not like the usual hotels that I have stayed. It gives you a feeling of being very close to Nature and at the same time, doesn’t compromise on the niceties of life.
We stayed in the Earth Rooms, located in the same building as the reception. Rooms were very spacious and spotlessly clean. Bathroom was very clean and all basic toiletries were in place.
The bed was very comfortable and since we were four of us, I had requested for an extra-bed and that was good too. An LCD TV and a water kettle to make coffee and tea are provided in the room.
Every day, the room is cleaned and the beds are made. So when you come back tired after an outing, you find the bed welcoming 

We ate here three times a day for almost four days and were not even close to being bored. Delicious, yummy food with a nice variety. They have a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They maintain a good balance between Keralite food and North-Indian food. At least one or two items are typically tasty Keralite food. The spread was very good with soups, starters, salads, and decent variety for main course and a nice dessert. In addition to the normal variety, they have cornflakes, bread and jam and fresh juices for breakfast. So it was easy with small kids too. A few dishes we loved and remembered – Pazhapradhaman, Puttu and Kadala Curry, and all Keralite chicken dishes 
We loved the welcome drink (Ginger/Chukku Coffee) and ordered that at the restaurant at least thrice.  Don’t miss that !

We drove from Bangalore, and took the route mentioned in one of the earlier reviews.
Bangalore – Mysore – Gundlupet – Muthanga – Mysore Road – Sultan Bathery – Beenachi – Kenchira – Nadavayal – Panamaram – 4th Mile – Tharuvana – Vellamunda – Pulinjal – Banasura Hill Resort.
The sign-boards were clear almost everywhere and we double-checked in a couple of places just to be sure. General rule – as you pass by one, ask for the next town  However, after Vellamunda, probably we missed it or there was no board, we took the other road instead of going to Pulinjal and had to come back at least 2 KM. That was the only miss .
Good if you have a vehicle at your disposal, but If you take a package that includes a few trips around, resort arranges the vehicle and then you don’t need one.

Customer Service
This beats all other categories hands down. Everyone serves you with a smiling face, be it a room boy, or in the restaurant, or at the reception. That was something very pleasant and not easy to see everywhere.
Mr Rajesh, GM of the resort was very friendly and helpful. In fact, he drove us to Vellamunda late in the night, to buy some medicines for my child. Many thanks for that. 🙂
Mrs Swapna, Manager Reservations, was a very pleasant person enquiring now and then about our stay and suggesting places to see and so on.
Praveen was very helpful at the reception.

Around the Resort
Lots of greenery, plantations of coffee, tea, spices in and around the resort. A small trek and there is a beautiful waterfall. A trip to a tribal village is interesting. Speed boating at Banasura Sagar Dam was good. Tholpetty Wildlife sanctuary was disappointing, just saw a few deers.

There is a free wi-fi that you can use around the reception area. It works fine.
Mobile signal is not available in the rooms. Airtel works at the main gate. Vodafone and BSNL are better I guess.

Overall, this turned out to be a very memorable vacation for our families. Another trip with friends is definitely on the cards !

Room Tip: 106 and 107 have a good scenic view.

Stayed October 2012, travelled with family


Ponte di Rialto, Venice, Italy.Eiffel Tower, Paris, France.A football field as seen from top of Eiffel TowerBig BenTower BridgeLondon Eye
Change of guard paradePicadilly CircusPicadilly circus, LondonThe Royal Palace of BrusselsPalais de justice, Brusselson the Highway from Brussels to Luxembourg
Lutheran Cathedral Helsinki

Classics, a set on Flickr.

These are some of my favorite clicks outside India and I really treasure the Eiffel Tower and Canal Grande because they were clicked with an ordinary Olympus film camera 🙂