It is a lovely place, very loving, friendly people and the food is just simple so very healthy! good rooms, well managed. can be there in any season monsoon or summer each of it is an experience by itself!
- Free Parking
- Breakfast included
A fine place to stay if you want to spend some time in wilderness. The quality of hotel and rooms is good. The food is buffet and its great. Its located much into the jungle and your car cant take you there if its not a 4 wheel drive. But not to worry, hotel manager can arrange jeep for you at Rs 200 per side trip. We took our own tents and got some place from the manager to keep away from everyone.
Overall compared to other places its a good place to stay.
Place is approx 36 kms from madikeri. Big estate with Chingara waterfall within the property. A small thrilling jeep ride will take you to the homestay area. Always crowded place. They have a small place if you want to camp. Food is not that great and specifically don't drink the homemade wine they have... :P
We were a group of 5 friends who decided to have a trekking weekend and confirmed our stay at Honey Valley homestay. We had read some good reviews about the place and better still, a trail leading to the Tadiandamol peak which starts from the property itself.
The location of Honey Valley is pretty much correct in google maps and it took us up to the Kabnikad junction from where the 4 km path to the homestay starts. Since we reached the spot at 4:00 AM and since the Manager did convey his inability to pick us up at that hour, we decided to rest in the car.
A jeep came to pick us up @ 6:30. We parked our car at a spot nearby (meant for the homestay at a charge of Rs 25 per day). I am not sure if they do let you go up all the way even if you did have a 4X4.
The location of the homestay is awesome. Nestled in the forest with coffee plantations interrupting in between, we fell in love with the view on the spot. We were provided a 5 bed room which had 2 bathrooms (only one had a bath area). Very clean and comfy. There are no fan and did not feel the need for it either.
They provided us with self-guide books which details the 18 trails starting from the property and also advised us on how to go about our trek to Tadiandamol. After a light breakfast, we set out for the trek. Although we couldn't make it to the destination, the trail took us through beautiful surroundings. Pick a trail and go for it! You shall not regret!
Overall the stay was satisfactory but a few things could have been better
Pros : 1) Awesome location.
2) Private trekking trails from within the property provide a sense of adventure.
3) Clean room and bathrooms
4) Friendly staff and manager
Cons: 1) Since branded a homestay and not a resort (although the property is being expanded and looks more like a resort), facilities provided to the guest such as room service are unavailable. Not a huge problem though.
2) Food wasn't great. Breakfast and picnic lunch provided were abysmal. A stale loaf of bread was provided in the picnic lunch but was replaced promptly.
3) They charge Rs 200 for every trip between the Kabinkad junction and the homestay (4km) when clearly it is inaccessible for guests with regular cars. They should have made at least one pickup and drop free.
So there is a side to this story. The place was recommended and I just booked it to stay there for one night. We used google map directions to find it, and we couldn't. Unfortunately our mobiles had no reception either, so we couldn't call. We asked locals, but people didn't know, so we were actively looking for the place for 3hrs, its hidden and its a good 2km /feels more/ tracking up hill to get to. It can not be accessed by car or any transport but a jeep. There are no sign's, neither information about the jeep service they offer. Say again I thought I am booking an ordinary accommodation, and I feel it should be emphasised that the place it's extremely difficult to get to. Otherwise, the place, food and the owners are above expectations. Highly recommended, we booked the rooms, but next time we will go for the Tribal Hut. Super lovely place.
A perfect homestay for our first wedding anniversary!
The people make the place and it is so true here - be it Mr.Suresh or his wife Mrs.Sushila or other staff - excellent hospitality and it is this personal touch that sets this place apart from the others.
Heard about them from a colleague who had been there almost 8yrs back and still they have kept up their reputation! The terracotta/brick colored walls caught my eyes on their site. Their tariffs were unbelievable given the kind of steep rates charged by other pathetic looking stays.
If you do not have a 4X4 drive vehicle you have to take their jeep for the last few kms uphill and that is another part of the stay we enjoyed ,a bit of a rickety roller coaster adventure by itself :)
Kudos to their courteous,brisk and responsive staff - be it their drivers who took us up and down even if it was off their regular hours at times, their cooks - who made fresh and perfect local dishes for us to savour the Coorgi cuisine, their guide - who patiently led us to and fro Tadiandamol, their helper boy (if we may call him so) - ensured that our room was clean and upto our satisfaction. Not to forget their 'guest' staff - people like Les - their family friends or volunteers who regularly visit and spend time at Honey Valley. From my first phone conversation to book a room I have observed that they are clear, consistent and very organized - be it the timings to serve food or the way they explain their rules,tariffs and the hand written final bill!
Things to do -
1) Tadiandamol Trek with a guide - One of the best experiences! Route begins from honey valley - something that the owner Mr.Suresh has charted along with his daughter - not sure if you will have another alternative route that is equally scenic yet challenging!
2) Their breakfast and dinner - Assuming you will be away in the day and return in the night-Ensure that you inform them about being there for food as it is the best way for you to savour Coorgi cuisine and to talk and know more about the ingredients and prep etc. Sushila aunty is around almost for all meals and a very charming, down to earth person to talk to about everything you want to know - the food or the estate and their heritage. Chaklunde,Paaputtu and all their chutneys and cherry tomatoes are still lingering on my tongue! Almost all vegetables come from within their estate,aunty decides the menu and in our 5 day stay we had a new menu everyday!!
3) Private Waterfall - Am not sure how many homestays have their own waterfall but this one has their own. And not everywhere can you get drenched without qualms about the noisy public around or take your own time to get to the water. May have been an even better experience if there was more water but never the less a great experience - just us, lush greenery, gushing water, bird chirps and occassional passing by jeep.
4) Get the home-made wines sold here. We were lucky to get the last bottles of passion fruit wine but could not get the banana wine. Grape wine was a good buy too.They sell spices/chocolates too. We recommend their coffee powder too instead of getting some random stuff from a random shop in Coorg.
5) Face the valley from the dining hall and chill out during sunset over their onion pakoda and tea- pretty much what you will see a lot of visitors there do, especially if you have had a long day! They have a good collection of books and a neat well maintained dining hall sort of space which is bright and warm when the sun shines through for breakfast. You may see a lot of foreign tourists and backpackers who have been spending weeks/months there already! Take a walk around their colorful, well maintained estate.
6) Go for lunch at Tamara which is walkable from HoneyValley or ask for their jeep drop and pickup. Though we went for a dinner, we wished we had gone for lunch as their views are best in day and you may not afford a stay at Tamara :P
7) A day at their other stay - Chingara - where we did not stay but recommend based on the other tourists around who tried.
After a 5 day stay, was time we packed our bags, said goodbyes and took photos..damn I actually miss the place :(
A perfect setting for good memories so highly recommend a long and pleasant stay here!