Recently I shared my experience of an amazing road trip to Masinagudi, through the scenic forest areas of Bandipur and Mudumalai, during which we spent a night at the Forest Hills Farm and Guest House before coming back to Bangalore.
Forest Hills Farm and Guest House is a family-run rustic-themed resort tucked in the folds of the forests surrounding the Nilgiris. This was one such place where you would happily disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with nature.
Our first impression
We reached the guest house quite late after what seemed like a very long drive from Bangalore. Initially, we expected to reach by 11 am as we left Bangalore at 4 am but our delay was caused by a roadblock due to a Governor visit.
Coming back to our first impression of the place. The directions from the main Masinagudi-Ooty road were simple to follow to reach the front gates keeping one of the landmarks in mind.
While looking around, we saw a herd of deer sitting in a clearing just in front of the guest house. They looked unfazed by the proximity of human presence. Looking at all the greenery around us, I was already feeling rejuvenated and ready to explore the rest of the place.
Rooms of Forest Hills Farm & Guest House
They provide a variety of rooms which include Standard rooms, Deluxe rooms, Deluxe hut, Machaan (watch-tower), Family cottages and Treehouses. The tariffs of the rooms are including food.
All the rooms were very neatly decorated keeping in line with the rustic theme of the property and were true to what was shown to us during booking.
The guest house’s highlights are the animal watch-tower and an early morning bird-watching session. Even though we didn’t spot any Elephants from the watch-tower, sitting there was relaxing in its own way.
For the bird-watching session, we sat in complete silence in a shed and watched the helper lay out rice and few pieces of watermelon for the birds. All the birds who are regular visitors came in for their meal and the experience of watching those birds feeding was remarkable.
The other in-house activities included cricket, carom, badminton, volleyball and table tennis. All these activities make this guest house appropriate for a team outing or retreat.
Apart from the games, a bonfire was arranged for us in the evening along with some delicious snacks. The evening was well spent with laughter and multiple rounds of our all-time favorite game of Dumb Charade.
We got to taste the simple yet delicious local cuisine (buffet style) with a limited variety for both veg and non-veg dishes during our lunch and dinner. But we ordered a couple of snacks during bonfire which included Onion Pakora (Fitters), Chili Chicken, Paneer (Cottage Cheese) Pakora, Pepper Chicken and Chicken 65. Even though the dishes were quite tasty, their portions were less in comparison to their cost.
The caretaker of the guest house, Mr. Sebastian was very courteous and enthusiastic to show us around and took very good care of us. He even volunteered to drive us to the nearby Maravakandy and Moyar dams and was kind enough to give us a mini safari-like experience on the way. Of course, it was not free and we had to hire the vehicle but the price was worth it.
Things to see around
1. Jeep Safari: Forest Hills Farm & Guest House is a stone away from the Mudumalai National Park safari. Safari timings are 6:30 am to 9 am and 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm.
2. Bird-Watching: The forest of Masinagudi is home to more than 200 species of birds and a paradise for bird lovers.
3. Trekking: Apart from bird-watching, people also enjoy short treks along the main road, up to the hill to the Murugan Temple.
4. Gopalaswamy Betta: The Gopalaswamy temple is located on the highest peak within the Bandipur National Park and offers a sweeping view of the park. There are Forest Department vehicles available at the foothills to visit the scenic hilltop.
5. One day trips: Many people also stop by Masinagudi on their onward journey to Ooty (approx 29 km) or Coonoor (approx 49 km).
So, here are my final thoughts on my stay here ~
Sleep quality – 5/5 (No bed bugs. I slept like a baby!)
Cleanliness – 5/5 (We found the place spick and span)
Room amenities – 4/5 (No Geyser or TV in our room)
Food – 4.5/5 (Snacks portion sizes were a little low and it was not informed to us before ordering)
Service – 5/5 (They were prompt whenever we needed something)
Value for money – 5/5
Overall rating – 4.5/5
Note: They won’t allow you to bring alcohol from outside. But they would provide them if you need it (price may vary from outside).
Reading reviews of a resort/hotel before booking them, can save you from a lot of worries later on. That is why I have penned down my views for you guys to check out this place before making your decision.
If you like this blog post, please share it with your friends or family. And if you have also visited Forrest Hills Farm & Guest House in Masinagudi, tell me about your experience in the comments below!
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