I am not a big one for plush rooms, extraordinary rain showers or a seven-course meal during my stays… But give me the sound of a waterfall in my room, the lure of pet and wild animals on the property and a chatty owner and I might coerce them to let me stay for another day. The last few years have been fabulous for researching hotels, homestays and guesthouses for books and articles. Here are some of the dreamiest hotels I’d love to go back to.
The Blue Matsya – A beach house from where you can see the Lighthouse of Kaup beach is one of my favourites. The kind of place I would like to take up for a month and become friends with Henry Anna (the little adopted pup), finish a couple of books, get some work done, whet my cooking skills (self sufficient kitchen) and be let in to all the fisherwomen gossip along the coast. Be warned: The white and lemon coloured house will be hard to leave. (www.thebluematsya.com)
Olaulim Backyards – I think this is my staple suggestion to everyone going to Goa. Even though Olaulim has been covered by every major travel magazine and blogger, it’s still as heartwarming and familiar to go to. Thanks to Pirkko and her troupe of dogs, cats, goats and a donkey, Mantra, and her wonderful family. The highlight for me was definitely the animals and a tributary of the Mandovi River (Olaulim River) that skirts the house. Canoeing in that, with the dogs swimming alongside is my favourite memory from the home. A place I could spend a month in and still not want to leave. (www.olaulimgoa.com)
Chateau Woods –It was difficult to tear myself from the balcony of my room. For two whole mornings, it took me three cups of coffee and massive self-coercion to get up and start work. The sprawling tea estate in front and the sound of the Soochipara waters at the back of the home, and two little devil kittens for company – what more does one need? Perfect for getting some writing done if you stick to the terrace of front of the main bungalow or bag the cottage on the edge of the valley. (www.cwoods.in)
Oland Estate – The earthy sensibility of Oland Estate’s plush cottages blend in seamlessly with the surrounding tea bushes and coffee plantations, off Ooty. The home-run plantation stay truly embodies the spirit of providing an authentic wildlife experience in the midst of luxury. Wide-open balconies, wooden furniture, leaf patterns embedded in the flooring and quiet nooks & corners are best suited for privacy in spacious set ups for families or large groups. The common lounge areas in the units are well equipped with LCD TVs, DVD players. All this, comes with a fantastic view of a wide range of hills right in front. The hook for me? An in-estate waterfall perfect for a picnic. (www.olandestate.com)
|Villa Templeberg, Galle, Srilanka|
Villa Templeberg – Just a few nautical miles away from the southern edge of India, this is my pick for Galle. Though the 200 years old house in not inside the walled fort, it is just a ten minutes drive away. Two dogs, brilliant (this is an understatement) local food, a library, a sun deck and plenty of conversations over coffee is just the beginning. Wait till you get yourself up at the Jacuzzi at a vantage viewpoint and chat with the monkeys and squirrels in the coconut plantation. After strolling around in the Galle Fort, tuck yourself in the cosy four-poster bed with a mosquito net. (www.templeberg.com)