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Reviewed August 22, 2016

Those who want to spend a night right in the middle of the forest this is the apt place for you. You can hear the babbling sound of brook and cicadas and can go out for day and night safari and can watch Elephants, Bison, Porcupine, Black Monkeys, Wild Pigs,... The hospitality of the staff is excellent. Highly recommend this resort.

  • Stayed: August 2016, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Kiran J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed November 13, 2015

This location is probably the one of the most remote places we have ever stayed in and it was bliss. We were met at the gate by the very cheerful estate manager and transferred by jeep deep into the cardamom plantation. Our room was quirky but very comfortable. The shower didn't work but we had the best bucket and jug bath ever with hot water brought up by Mary our excellent cook. The walks and jeep safaris into the forest were fascinating and we saw a variety of animals including the giant squirrels, crested eagle and the very rare lion tailed macaque.

Room Tip: All rooms are quirky but delightful. Take a pair of hiking shoes or boots, even trainers for the forest walks.
  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled as a couple
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Thank John-Jenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 20, 2013

We arrived at the gates of the Reserve to be met by three men in a Jeep. After we were signed in our taxi followed them for about three miles of narrow road to a little village where we, our driver and all our baggage , transferred to a Jeep. After two miles of rough track we arrived at the Reserve Bungalow, an ECO lodge built up on the side of a valley. We had basic, but comfortable, accommodation with hot running water in the bathroom with which we dowsed ourselves then had our first very good meal provided by the resident cook and his assistant.we had two jeep safaris on very rough roads with guides and driver through the cardamon plantation to a small lake to do some fishing. At night another safari with searchlight eventually saw a spotted deer but no tigers.The guides were as enthusiastic and disappointed as we were.
ALL lights were switched off and we stopped to "stargaze"! Magical as was the view from the first floor viewing area of the bungalow. Another good Tandoori meal served by the ever smiling staff and a good night's asleep after very rough and bumpy safaris. WE were in the jungle without tele, phones or internet. Peaceful bliss with no sounds but the animals.True natural living!

Room Tip: Don't expect five star hotel accommodation
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jimmy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 6, 2009

We did not know what to expect here as we had switched lodgings at short notice and not done any research. We left it to our Agent and he got it right.
I believe this is the only guest accommodation within the Periyar Forest Reserve apart from the much over rated and expensive Lake Palace.
Access is via the Reserve Gate along the tarmac road. There are Elephant, Bison and Sambar to be seen along this road. Tigers too if lucky. There is a small fork left and the dirt road heads into the forest past a small village and into the Cardomon Plantations area. The trees are some of the tallest I have seen in India. They are home to a lot of birds and the Malabar Giant Squirrel as well as rare Lion tailed Macaques and Black Langurs.
After about 15 minutes of track twisting ever upward you burst out into the large grounds of the Bungalow. Our first impressions were "Wow! Is this for us?" It was. We were made very welcome by Cook/Manager Anil and driver Baby.
The Bungalow is 'Colonial Style' with living accommodation on the ground floor and three large self contained Bedrooms on the first floor accessed via a communal Verandah. The bedrooms were huge and finished off with highly polished timbers. The property is quite high at 8,000' so heat was not a problem. Lighting was by Generator at times of high demand as well as by Solar Battery when the Generator was Off..
The bathrooms were spacious and well appointed although showing signs of use. Hot water was available on request. We loved it. The verandah opened onto the forest canopy with resident Giant Squirrels, Macaques and Owls etc., The array of flowers was absolutely stunning. There was even a sitting out area and 'Camp fire' for use on chilly evenings too.
Food was served in the dining annexe on the ground floor and earned top marks for quality, presentation and taste. Breakfast was cooked to order. Anil was an attentive host and competent cook. We had been warned to bring in alcohol supplies but the ever resourceful Baby managed to produce a supply. A label I had not heard of, maybe home made, but it made a change to the ubiquitous Kingfisher.
After dinner we went on night drives armed with a spotlight and had some close encounters with Bison, Sambar and smaller Antelopes.
Daylight was the time to seek out Elephant and we enjoyed many close sightings in the hills. We also went for walks in the Jungle both escorted and unescorted. One trip took us right up to the watershed and a small lake, frequented by Wildlife, where Anil and Baby indulged in a fishing match. It was a scoreless draw. But we did find a pair of the rare and huge Indian Giant Hornbill and some Leeches found us.
We had three nights here and could cheerfully have spent a week. It was just so nice to escape the heat and noise of the Indian roads. The wildlife was a bonus.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mfuwe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 18, 2009

The 'Periyar Reserve Bungalow' to which this review refers is a 1930s two storied lodge deep in the Downton Estate in the Periyar Reserve, staffed by three or four people. Having checked in to the reserve’s gate (closed at night) our taxi took us a couple of kilometres further along a narrow tarmac road. It parked, and we were transferred to an Indian jeep for another 15 minutes of very rough track to get to the bungalow. There are three large guest bedrooms over a simple reception and dining room. As it’s on a steeply sloping site the large balcony is on the same level as the tops of tall trees, giving good views of the little valley and the wildlife in the trees. Below us should have been a cascading river but it was nearly dry when we went. All around are cardamon plantations and magnificent teak trees, with ‘jungley’ sounds day and night.

Although clean and spacious the accommodation was fairly basic, there’s no hot water for showers and the generator (and light) is off at night. The food was simple but quite good. There’s no alcohol available so buy your beer in the government shop in Thekkady before you arrive. What the place does offer are guided walks through the forest (fairly strenuous as it’s so steep) and going around at night in the jeep with a powerful lamp to see forest animals, mainly sambar deer. We paused at one point and turned the engine and lights off. Apart from the sound of some crickets the place was silent and the all that could be seen were sparkling stars in the jet black sky. On the reserve elephants are sometimes seen but tigers never. Trips are organised (via the jeep and taxi route) to Periyar Lake where elephant and bison were seen at a distance, and an interesting demonstration at an organic spice plantation.

This was not a ‘comfortable’ stay for our three nights. My wife didn’t like the difficult access and hostel-like accommodation but I loved the unique isolation and atmospheric setting. An extraordinary experience.

  • Stayed: February 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank NR16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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