I've resisted writing this review for a while now; but now that a major travel magazine has gone and done a story on this place, I might as well as go ahead and strike it off my 'secret getaways' list and give Tranquilitea Holidays the glowing review it richly deserves.
The farmstay properties that Tranquilitea Holidays has on offer are incredibly charming in the way that only places in Indian hill towns can be and they'll live up to all your country cottage fantasies. Names dating back to the Raj? Check. (Rosery Cottage, Tenerife Hill...). Working fireplace, check. (in Rosery cottage at least.) Room with a view, check. Cozy interiors, check. Gardens with a profusion of birds and flowers, check. Hot breakfast and tea from the host's tea gardens, check. Taste of life in a tea estate, check. Charming host, check.
Whether you pick Ooty or Coonoor, you will not regret staying in places run by Tranquilitea. Sandeep is a warm, charming, and attentive host and he's half the reason your holiday will be special. Add the tea tasting experience to it and you absolutely cannot go wrong. (You can also buy the fine teas that you taste and be warned that you are possibly signing up for a somewhat expensive, but totally worth it habit for life. )
I must add here that these are independently run home/ farmstays and you might be disappointed if have hotel-like amenities in mind.
And while in Coonoor, do visit the Acres Wild organic cheese farm if you can, or at least buy some gourmet hard cheeses to take back (available at the Nilgiris outlet in Bedford). Stock up on forst honey, spices, tribal art and crafts, natural soaps, beeswax balms, pottery, jewellry, spices and more at the absolutely amazing Green Shop. Eat and shop at the French fusion organic restaurant and store - Bhoomi Shanti - run by a Frenchman. Buy some very expensive, exquisite, and old-fashioned home linen at Needlecraft.
But whatever else you do, do stay at a Tranquilitea property.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in the midst of our tea estate on the slopes of the highest mountain in Coonoor, Tranquilitea farm stay offers guests two fully furnished rooms which open out to their own individual gardens with unmatched privacy and a spectacular view of the surrounding hills. We tailor make our tours to suit individual guest requirements be it a round of golf, a walk in the estate, gourmet tea tasting tours or whatever else you may fancy. ... more less