I recently visited Kerala. Kerala has been ranked as one of the best tourist destinations in India. Kerala was absolutely amazing.We visited Cochin, Alleppey backwaters and Munnar, but my personal favourite was Munnar. Munnar is a beautiful hill station, here you can treat your eyes to vast expanses of tea plantations,forests,valleys and mountains.
Since I was visiting Munnar for the first time I was confused with the accommodation options. The popular areas to stay in Munnar are Chinnakanal, Idukki and Old Munnar. I decided to book a hotel which would not be very far from the main town. After going through a number of hotel booking sites I finally found the perfect hotel for us. Having read a lot of good reviews about Grand Plaza, I booked it for my 2 nights trip and I am glad I did. Grand Plaza Munnar is a beautiful hotel in the heart of Munnar. It is located in Old Munnar and is close to the KSRTC Bus Depot. The hotel is away from the hustle and bustle of the town yet not very far. It is close to the Kanan Devan Hill Plantations, which adds to the charm of the hotel.
We reached the hotel by 2 pm, we had traveled for almost 5 hours and were totally exhausted. But at the reception we were offered Spice tea, which was the best spice tea I had in Kerala, in few minutes all my exhaustion had vanished. We decided to rest for a while and then start exploring Munnar. Our rooms were comfortable and offered a mesmerizing view of the hills. The hotel has different category of rooms-Elegance and Ambiance and Emience suite. The view from all the rooms is equally beautiful.
Grand Plaza Munnar believes in making the stay of their guests memorable. This can constantly be seen in the efforts that the staff takes. The chef organizes a Complimentary cooking class every evening and the Manager organizes a morning walk daily in the nearby tea plantations. The hotel has taken up a Sustainable Hospitality Initiative and believes in building together "Nature for a Better Tomorrow". The hotel is doing their bit for the environment. They have stopped using plastic bottles and instead use glass bottles and have replaced plastic straws with paper straws.
Out of all the Eco-friendly initiatives the one which I found the most creative was the Sightseeing board. Usually in most hotels they keep paper pamphlets which contain a list of local sightseeing places. But Grand Plaza has found a creative way of solving the problem of using paper. The wall near the Travel desk showcases a tree which contains the names of the important sightseeing places in Munnar along with the distance from the hotel.
The restaurant at the hotel serves delicious food. They serve variety of cuisine including North Indian and Kerala cuisine. The complimentary breakfast was also elaborate and tasty.
The rooms,food and the friendly staff all made our stay delightful. But the part of my stay which I liked the most was the morning walk in the tea plantations. Every morning at 6.30 the Manager Mr. Balaji took us for a walk. Mr.Balaji is a friendly man and a nature lover, he told us many interesting stories about the History of Munnar, about the local people of Munnar,and about the plantation workers and wild elephant. Tea gardens are so appealing to the eyes and to witness the sunrise there was absolutely breathtaking. We were lucky to spot some endemic birds of Munnar during the walk which includes the Malabar Whistling thrush. Morning walk in the tea gardens was the most memorable part of my entire Munnar trip.
There are a number of good hotels in Munnar but if you are bored of being a conventional tourist and want to see and explore places which are beyond the common itinerary then I would definitely recommend you to stay at Grand Plaza Munnar. If you are a nature lover you will love every bit of your stay here. If you belong to a city where it is difficult to spot a clear sky which is free of pollution you will definitely love the morning walk and the blissful sunrise. I can ensure you that the morning walk will be the highlight of your Munnar trip and you will take back beautiful memories from your stay.