Me and my wife were here for two nights and we drove down from Bangalore. The property is close to the town of Manathwadi and the drive from Bangalore shouldn't take more than 6 hours. We reached around lunch time and met Mr. Anil, the manager who took us in a jeep till the cabins which is roughly 4 kms. The property has 5 rooms in all and is tastefully done with a courtyard/sit out area for each of them. The rooms are spacious and are furnished with antiques and ethnic furniture. Thankfully there is no mobile phone coverage or wifi here which lets you switch off from the world and enjoy your stay. The staff are courteous and accommodate every request you throw at them. The food served is all cooked freshly and is home cooked style. The property itself is huge and is a well preserved forest land, it is inhabited by more than 200 animal species and innumerable plants. You will meet Mr. Shaji who is a passionate Naturalist and will take on trail walks within the property. These walks are the best part of the trip and I highly recommend you don't miss them. You spot so many animals in their natural habitat, unlike a safari you walk here and it is a completely different experience. Start with an open mind and don't expect to see any specific animal and you will be surprised by what all you come across. We happened to to be one of the lucky guests as we spotted a tiger on our first day. Now a tiger sighting is real rare and we were lucky enough to see it for 20 minutes. Apart from that we also saw the Great Indian Hornbill, White belly woodpecker, flying squirrel, malabar squirrel, cat snake, sambar deer to name a few. A piece of advice to guests visiting, try not to trash or leave back plastic on the trails or at the property, it takes great effort to run this place and the least we could do is be responsible guests. Will definitely go back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Snuggled into a cosy valley, high up in the hills, with the grand old forest peaks towering paternally around it. Fringe Ford is as cut off from the world as you can get. It probably doesn't feature on a map, has no traffic fumes, no traffic, not even a road, and is thankfully ignored by the cell phone towers. What is does have however, is a fabulous, authentic experience of living in the middle of a remote plantation surrounded by forest, some great treks, silver silence punctuated only by the occasional warning calls of birds or monkeys when a carnivore comes visiting. And it offers you the best peace you've had on vacation anywhere anytime. There is a 360 view of the remote plantation surrounded by forest; all looking identical, but each with its own tale. The balding Namboodri peaks, named after the estate's ex-accountant, the range of hills that rises almost perpendicular at the back of the house, which once climbed, leads one on to Coorg, the peak out there, with the watch tower, which was built one day, and demolished that night by wild elephants. Fringe Ford was named by the Englishman who had first bought the land and built it into a plantation. It changed hands since then, and was finally acquired by its present landlord, Ahmed, who being a naturalist, let the land remain as plantation but adhering to strict eco friendly practices. In fact, the 520-acre property shares its boundaries, not fences with the wildlife sanctuaries of Wyanad and Tholpaty reserve forest, making this entire stretch, one of the last remaining bastions of the Malabar rain forests around, with shelter for its fauna and flora. ... more less