The fragrance of the mountain air tinged with the sweet aroma of Eucalyptus and other exotic herbs and spices gently nudged our sleepy senses awake. We looked out of the window bleary eyed as the bus wound its way across the meandering mountain road. We experienced early morning nirvana as we beheld the beauty of the valleys that stretched out below us. A horse which stood grazing in the pasture to our right gave us a casual glance and went back to its grassy fodder. We smiled at each other in anticipation of what the immediate future held for us. We were just a few kilometers away from our destination, Kodaikanal – the gift of the forest and we were already intoxicated by the natural beauty that enveloped us. Kodaikanal is a hill station in Tamil Nadu, India
It was not our first visit to Kodaikanal, in fact, we had been there more than a couple of times. But this visit was something special as we were guests of Great Trails Kodaikanal By GRT Hotels and having experienced the warmth and hospitality of GRT Hotels and Resorts at Radisson Blu Hotel GRT Chennai, Grand by GRT Hotels Chennai, Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay by GRT Hotels Mahabalipuram, and Regency Kanchipuram by GRT Hotels, we were sure that our Kodaikanal experience would be something beyond the ordinary, an experience that we would cherish for a long, long time.
Great Trails Kodaikanal by GRT Hotels
The Great Trails Kodaikanal By GRT Hotels experience began as soon as we alighted from our bus. A smiling driver escorted us to a waiting car and off we went down the mountain road to a valley, where stood the picturesque Great Trails Kodaikanal By GRT Hotels, nestled amidst verdant hills. The drive to the hotel itself was a blissful experience as we wove through potato farms set in symmetrical splendor, layer upon layer of gorgeous green.
Hotel Review: Great Trails Kodaikanal by GRT Hotels
Watch our video to get a glimpse of the property and also listen to General Manager Joe Dominic Richard talking about the property.
Smiling faces, exuding genuine warmth greeted us as we were quickly checked in while we refreshed ourselves with a soothing welcome drink. Our luggage was stacked onto a sturdy jeep and we were driven to our Timber chalet across a steep incline. The chalets are situated at a height and they offer some stunning views of the valley in this beautiful hill station of Kodaikanal.
Great Trails Kodaikanal By GRT Hotels has 40 beautiful cabins with the British style of architecture that sits pretty overlooking a beautiful valley, surrounded by hills, virtually in the lap of nature. All rooms are equipped with Coffee maker, sofa, work desk, electronic locker, LCD television and complimentary WiFi. There are two categories of accommodation.
One is the Timber Chalet, which is built with timber which has come all the way from Indonesia. We were put up in one of the timber chalets and we woke up to stunning views of the valley stretching out below us. The timber chalets are spacious at 458 square feet and come with a super comfortable and large bed, bathroom, and also a sit out or balcony where one can sip ones’ morning cuppa and simultaneously admire the scenery. The Timber Chalets make for an ideal place for families to bond together while holidaying.
The other type of accommodation is the Rock Cabins and make a cozy nest for couples, with an area of about 225 Square Feet and stunning views too from the large windows, individual sit outs or balconies.
The views from the rooms and the property are stunning. Here is a look at some of the amazing views that we enjoyed during our stay.
The chalets are set in the midst of beautifully landscaped gardens filled with exotic flowers and trees. Here is a look at some of the colorful flowers that adorn the property.
Food is best enjoyed when it blends together love, hospitality, caring, and the flavors and aromas of the world all concocted to startling effect by the magic wand of experienced chefs. At Great Trails Kodaikanal By GRT Hotels, food takes on a magical dimension and at the same time packs the flavor of a mother’s or grandmother’s lovingly cooked meals. Flavors and aromas, traditional and contemporary, Indian and Foreign, all fuse together to remarkable effect as Chef Manager Sundarajan expertly marshals his forces.
Watch our video: Chef Manager Sundarajan talks about how weaves his magic in the kitchen with the flavors and aromas from around the world:
The Idlis that are on offer at breakfast is so soft, that one can be forgiven if they think they are made of cotton!
If food satisfies the stomach, the ambiance is what appeals to the soul. At Great Trails Kodaikanal by GRT Hotels, a restaurant intriguingly named Whistler’s Cafe perches at a vantage point and offers breathtaking views of the valley. Whistler’s Cafe is an ideal and soothing place for the stomach and the soul. Having breakfast, listening to the morning sounds of the forest and watching the clouds gently moving in the sky is indeed the perfect start to the day. Lunch and Dinner at the Whistler’s Cafe are also an experience one needs to immerse oneself in.
If you thought that the Great Trails Kodaikanal By GRT Hotels was only a place that one could relax and rejuvenate in, a calm and tranquil haven to just sit back and relax, think again! You have a whole range of activities within and outside of the hotel which will appeal the adventurous streak in you. Bala who manages the various activities in the hotel talked to us about what they had on offer.There is a total of 7 outdoor adventure activities available within the hotel premises. The place boasts of the longest Zip line in South India which stretches to 130 meters and apart from that there is the Swinging Bridge, Burma Bridge, Multivine, Earthquake Walk, Charlie Chaplin, and Valley crossing which is surely guaranteed to give an adrenaline rush.
Watch our video: Activity Co-ordinator Bala talks about the various adventure activities available at the resort:
Apart from these activities, Bala also organizes outdoor treks with varied grades of difficulty into the hills and jungles of Kodaikanal. If you are looking for more sedate activities, you can settle for indoor games like Table Tennis, Carrom, Chess, Foosball, and outdoor games like Badminton and Basket ball.
The property also has many kids specific activities like Kids zipline, rope bridge, slides etc.
Come evening the quiet environs of Great Trails Kodaikanal By GRT Hotels comes alive with Guests trying their hand at Karaoke singing, the cold mountain nights erupt into dazzling fun activities around a bonfire and entertainment in the form of magic shows and games are sure to enthrall young and old alike.
The Great Trails Kodaikanal By GRT Hotels will also organize tours to places in and around Kodaikanal covering both offbeat places like a visit to a Strawberry Farm or the visit to a 3000-year-old Poombarai – Kuzhanthai Velappar Temple temple in a picturesque village. One can also take in the famous sights of Kodaikanal like Coakers Walk, Pillar Rock, Pine Forest, Kodai Lake, Bryant Park, etc., in comfort. One could choose the tours according to their choice from the following:
- Special hiking tour
- Nature tour
- Green Valley tour
- Park tour
- Wild tour
- Heritage tour
The service is impeccable and bears the hallmark of the GRT brand. But what will really strike you is the kind of personalized service that seems to have been imbibed in the DNA of the staff of GRT. It is not a mechanized kind of efficient service with plastic smiles. It is a service with genuine smiles and caring! Each and every member of the staff ensure that guests feel at home and are available to ensure that you have a great experience.
In Our Opinion
Great Trails Kodaikanal by GRT Hotels is an ideal stay for families & couples. A pristine location offering stunning views & thrilling adventure activities & many more things to experience.
Great Trails Kodaikanal By GRT Hotels is the place you need to head to if you are looking for an unforgettable experience in the hills of Kodaikanal. The natural environs of the place combined with activities that are sure to give one an adrenaline rush will ensure that families, kids, and couples will have a unique experience while in Kodaikanal like we did.
We have bid adieu to Great Trails Kodaikanal By GRT Hotels and its lovely staff, but the people and the place have found a permanent place in our hearts. Click here to view GRT Hotels and Resorts site.
We were hosted by Great Trails Kodaikanal By GRT Hotels, but the views expressed here are our own based on our experience.
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