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How is sterling thekkady..... any one stayed there?

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Patna, India
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How is sterling thekkady..... any one stayed there?

We are a group of 8 adult visiting thekkady in November 2011 and booked Sterling

Can any experiened wish to share his views? Please help

Jaipur
10 posts
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1. Re: How is sterling thekkady..... any one stayed there?

When you visit to this Resort, please should post your experience. Actually that is new one, we also plan for jan.2012 for this resort.

Thanks in advance

Seattle, Washington
1 post
1 review
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2. Re: How is sterling thekkady..... any one stayed there?

Decidedly un-sterling experience at Sterling Resorts, Thekkady, India.

We recently stayed at Sterling Resorts in Thekkady (20th-23rd Dec, 2011) and had one of the worst experiences we’ve ever had staying at a hotel either in India or elsewhere. I would give this resort a rating of zero stars if I could but for the presence of very nice, personable staff who tried tirelessly and with a game face, but with seemingly both hands tied behind their backs. The resort itself has the potential to be so much more especially given that it is located in a very special site in Thekkady. However, I can’t imagine this happening unless the poor management team (starting with the manager on site, Mr. Vinay Chathurvedi, and his presumed higher up, Mr. Imran Khan – more on them later) is replaced with someone with a modicum of competence and if the staff received the training that they deserve. This resort was a complete rip off in my view and if you want to share in our experience, read on.

To start with, if we had paid 50 USD per night (in retrospect, an appropriate sum in my opinion), I/we would have taken the lumps and rolled especially cause the rest of our trip to Thekkady was fantastic (a boat ride and viewing animals, a superb Kalaripayattu demonstration, and an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime hike in elephant country – the one thing that Sterling Resorts got right perhaps because it was outsourced!). Instead, we were pre-paid to stay there for 3 nights at ~160 USD a night and had two rooms (for us and our family friends visiting us in India from Seattle - a first time experience for them).

We got to the resort to find the outside structure impressive, but upon check in, we were told that our card reader does not work (due to some technical troubles on their end). Their ‘world-class’ (Mr. Vinay appears to think of his organization thus) solution was to not inform guests prior to arrival but to drill holes in the wooden doors and have someone running around with a screwdriver, which they then worked through the holes to let you in to the rooms! When I was more than a bit nonplussed and suggested that this was a serious security and privacy issue (and that I could get a screw driver in town and do the same), the manager assured me that they have someone doing rounds 24/7 and this was not an issue (when I requested help getting into my room late a couple of nights into our stay, the screwdriver guy barged into a neighbor’s two doors down, despite me waiting right in front of mine!).

We walk into the room allotted to us on the first day and were struck by the strong smell of mildew (my allergies flared horribly each of our nights there) and the small size of the room itself. On getting into bed, we noticed that the sheets only covered half the bed – when we tried to call, we then realized that our phone does not work. When we ultimately reached the in-house ‘junior’ manager, he was clearly embarrassed and claimed that this was the first time in his life that he had seen a bed made up this way and had the sheets changed rapidly (good on him, but his second time was shortly to follow in my friends room!). Apparently, the political issue at the Tamilnadu-Kerala border was wrecking havoc on the resorts laundry and was the reason for the ‘bed’ ineptitude as well as us going days on one towel per room! However, I was quite upset with this explanation because I had emailed their contact person (Mr. Imran Khan) 4 days prior to our trip specifically asking if there was any problem related to the ongoing political troubles and got no response to my query from him. Perhaps I should have suspected the coming lack of professionalism/incompetence/neglect or was it simply fraud (class action anyone?).

Furthermore, hot water was unavailable on demand and when we needed it and this was again a big production to have it turned on (one would think that the lack of hot water would be noticed with minor levels of competence). Similarly, getting someone to supposedly manually switch on the generator when the power went off also required complaining (power failure is a common occurrence in these parts that they should at least be prepared for!). While the food was good (not excellent or spectacular as pretty much everything else we tried in Thekkady), the service was snail paced and haphazard. My buddy goes for a swim in the pool and almost cuts his feet getting out cause the pool ladder (one of two ladders) was broken in multiple places. When we told the management about this being a serious concern esp. cause we had three kids in tow, they were again apologetic (as they were every time our list of complaints grew longer). When I complained to the presumably ‘senior’ manager, Mr Vinay, about all of these, he was bizarrely patronizing suggesting that “You can feel this way” to which my response was “Don’t tell me how I should feel”. In an ode to incompetence, NOTHING really was done about any of our problems however (the sheets continued to be half size, one towel per room, and they didn’t even bother taping up/removing the broken plastic steps in the pool). And when the entire plug socket came off the wall when I tried to get my cell phone cord out, I simply had to just laugh about it (to their credit, they screwed it in properly the next morning despite me not complaining for once).

The night before our incredible hike, my buddy and I were both sitting on a pool side hammock, having a quite drink talking about our hike and laughing about the resort when the hammock string broke sending us crashing onto the tiles on the pool deck and my scotch onto my friends shirt. We were incredibly fortunate to have not cracked our heads or injured/cut ourselves up (the glasses we were holding survived luckily). Accidents happen but this was a disaster waiting to go down, given that only one end of the hammock was tied on with anything resembling appropriate material. This was a last straw and I was livid at this time and heaping curses on the management team and the owners of this resort and demanding to see the manager, Mr. Vinay, and telling the staff that they were being sold down the river. Mr. Vinay shows up fulminating and acts like I am the problem for abusing his staff, accusing me of being drunk (despite my wasted single malt), claiming that he’s spoken to the esteemed Imran Khan and Makemytrip.com about his problem guest (me) and that I should know that hammocks only take one person’s weight and that we shouldn’t be drinking in public on their property and that he’s going to check me out right away (at 10 pm on the second of our three night stay with my kids and my friends kids fast asleep, and with me having prepaid ~1k USD for two rooms for three nights). I clarified that my ‘praises’ were not directed at his staff, but rather directly at him, Mr. Imran and the owners of the place, who I now believe are perpetrating a fraud. Furthermore, I mentioned to him that I had seen a couple lying on a neighboring hammock earlier in the day as had my wife and two children on the hammock that deposited my buddy and I on to the poolside tiles (yet none of the staff present had enumerated the hammock rules as spewed by Mr Vinay to any of us). I also mentioned that he should put up signs re drinking (every other private property that we went to in Thekkady had no such restrictions) and signs clarifying that the hammocks in his property were only for single person use (and I presume, the sign would also say that if your weight is more that 250 lbs, don’t bother!). My good cop friend ultimately was able to calm things down (also involving a Bollywood style drama of the resort staff lining up beside their puffed up manager and the drivers who accompanied us and their colleagues coming to our aid, livid at the suggestion that a guest was being treated as such in India and including the indignity of being asked to pay for the hammock!). Upon prodding by my friend, Mr. Vinay grudingly decides to offer us a free extra dinner (a 30 USD compensation for 7 people that we never took up) and a free jeep ride (50 USD).

At this point, I/we just decided that we can’t let the incompetency of this man and his higher ups get in the way on enjoying the rest of our stay in Thekkady, although we were bracing for the trip into the forest arranged by this resorts. That, however, turned out to be amazing thanks to our ‘in the back ground’, incredibly keen eyed and knowledgable driver (Shahul Hameed, Jungle Jeep Safari) and the guide he hooked us up with (Mr. Kannan, second name unknown). As did the Kalaripayattu (they have a center in Thekkady/Kumily town) and food/ambiance/experience (including Chrissy’s Café, where we should have stayed for ½ the price of Sterling for a way better experience, and possibly, every other place in Thekkady).

What we would have expected is a pre-journey missive from the resort to guests regarding the problems they were facing to due political issues (e.g., bed sheets and linen; especially considering I emailed prior hand) and a discount for pre-paid travelers of up to 50% (given their serious safety and privacy issues with the key cards and screw drivers – seriously!? never before experienced in all kinds of travel context in all kinds of locales). If the management of the resort had even a modicum of decency, ethics, professionalism, competency (…fill in the blanks), they would have pre-warned and prepared guests coming into the resort. Needless to say, this is the first and last time we would waste our money and more importantly, trust our time and experiences into the hands of Sterling Resorts in general and folks like Mr. Vinay and Imran, in particular.

Jaipur
10 posts
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3. Re: How is sterling thekkady..... any one stayed there?

I have stayed at sterling thekkady resort for 2 days (Jan.10 - 11) and found this is one of the good property of sterling resorts group. Staff is good mannered & cooperative. Room size is little bit small but quite sufficient for a small family & couples.If we talk about services.... it is quite good..hot water is available fm 4;30 am n house keeping n room service is quite satisfactory. As far as monkey's problem concern.. they r a common problem in Thekkedy..... it is a wildlife area n u can't stop them to come in the area of resort particularly. The appreciable thing is that staff takes extra pain to keep aside the problems created by monkeys like shedding the tree leaves n picking the things up..

Erode, India
Level Contributor
1 post
21 reviews
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4. Re: How is sterling thekkady..... any one stayed there?

Sterling thekkady is an awesome resort by sterling holidays!!!!

A must visit.. Sterling is improving their resorts very fast!!!! I have noticed the change in customer service from the time the new management took over last year..... I'm a sterling member.... Keep up the work sterling!!!!! I stayed in thekkady frm 6th Feb 2012 to 8th feb 2012. Everything is gr8 there. But sterling has to improve the food taste in all their resorts. This is my sincere request to sterling's top management..

coimbatore
1 post
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5. Re: How is sterling thekkady..... any one stayed there?

My family stayed in sterling thekkady from 30th march2012 to 1st april2012.

All of us enjoyed the comforts provided by them. It is next to Tiger reserve and you can see forest squirrels, monkeys , lot of birds near your room. Rooms

are small but comfortable. No airconditioner in any rooms.No kitchen. A lovely compact swimming pool. Reception is verygood.

P.Sundhareshwaran

Coimbatore,

Tamilnadu

Chennai (Madras...
1 post
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6. Re: How is sterling thekkady..... any one stayed there?

How good is the service at Sterling Thekkady! Is it worth going on a well deserved break! Pls give me frank reviews!

Noida, India
Level Contributor
51 posts
181 reviews
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7. Re: How is sterling thekkady..... any one stayed there?

Dear DEs/other travellers: Has anyone stayed in Sterling Resort Thekkady recently ? We are planning to stay there for a night on 18th October . Thanks.

8. Re: How is sterling thekkady..... any one stayed there?

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