Postcard-perfect Tea Estates In India You Must Stay At If You're A 'Chai-vanist' At Heart



Photo of Postcard-perfect Tea Estates In India You Must Stay At If You're A 'Chai-vanist' At Heart by Siddharth Sujan

They say that there are two things that can unite any Indian—Bollywood and Cricket. I say there's one more, tea. As someone who's borderline obsessed with tea, I can say this with utmost confidence, on behalf of fellow tea lovers—there is nothing more satisfying in life than a cup of perfectly made tea.

India has since time immemorial, produced some of the most exotic varieties of teas in the world. And what better place to enjoy your cuppa than to do it right where all the action happens. The country's expansive tea estates offer some great accommodation options where you can not only taste exotic varieties but also learn about the entire process that goes behind making your favourite cuppa, all of that while enjoying a luxurious stay!

Photo of Postcard-perfect Tea Estates In India You Must Stay At If You're A 'Chai-vanist' At Heart 2/2 by Siddharth Sujan
Credits: Ashwin Kamath

Here are the best tea estates in the country you must stay at if chai is what runs through your veins:

Photo of Windermere Estate, Munnar, Kerala, India by Siddharth Sujan

Where: Bison Valley Road, Pothamedu Idukki District, Munnar, Kerala

Ideal for: Travellers looking for a home away from home experience

What’s so special: Situated in the popular tourist destination of Munnar in God's own country, Windermere Estate is as authentic as an estate stay can get. The property offers the comfort of home, great home-cooked meals and panoramic views that will simply take your breath away. To add to that, the manicured tea gardens and expansive plantations that have stood here since 1886 only add to the experience, making it a holiday for the mind and soul.

Accommodates: A room at Windermere Estate can accommodate two guests. However, children under 12 years can stay on an extra bed for ₹2,300 per night while children older than 12 or a single adult is charged ₹3,850 per night for an extra bed.

Price: A stay for two at the property will cost you around ₹22,000 per night. The prices are inclusive of breakfast for the guests.

What’s nearby: Trek up and camp at Top Station; go bird watching at Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary; ride a speedboat at Mattupetty Dam and visit India's first museum dedicated to tea, the KDHP Museum located in Nallathanni Estate of Tata Tea.

Photo of The Lodge at Wah, Panchrukhi - Paprola Road, Patti, Deogran, Himachal Pradesh, India by Siddharth Sujan

Where: Panchrukhi - Paprola Road, Patti, Deogran, Himachal Pradesh

Ideal for: Solo travellers or couples looking for a warm and comfortable homestay in the hills

What’s so special: Situated right in the heart of one of the country's biggest tea estates that spreads across a massive 526 acres, The Lodge at Wah is an extension of its serene surroundings. The resort is a completely eco-friendly property that offers its guests a heartwarming homestay in the heart of Himachal Pradesh's Kangra Valley. The staff at the property also organises what they call the Tea Tour, aimed to give guests complete knowledge of the tea growing and manufacturing process.

Accommodates: Guests have the option of choosing a single accommodation or double accommodation for the property's deluxe king rooms. Additionally, a maximum of one extra bed is allowed per room which is chargeable at ₹1,500 per night.

Price: A single accommodation stay will cost you around ₹7,000 while a night's stay for two in the same room will cost you ₹9,000. The cost includes all meals for the guests.

What’s nearby: Explore the region's tea gardens; interact with Tibetan refugees at Tashi Jong Monastery; take pottery lessons at Andretta Pottery & Craft Society and learn about Tibetan arts and crafts at Norbulingka Institute.

Photo of Banyan Grove, Takela Gaon, Jorhat, Assam, India by Siddharth Sujan

Where: Gatoonga Tea Estate, Jorhat, Assam

Ideal for: Travellers looking for seclusion while enjoying luxuries in the lap of nature

What’s so special: Nestled in Assam's famed Gatoonga Tea Estate, Banyan Grove is a heritage bungalow that has a rich history of more than a hundred years. The property takes you back into the colonial era with its decor and sylvan flooring, while spacious bedrooms equipped with all modern amenities keep the luxury factory high.

Accommodates: Banyan Grove only allows a maximum of two guests per room.

Price: An estate stay for two at Banyan Grove starts at ₹5,000 per night which includes a hearty breakfast. Guests can add dinner to their package by paying a fare of ₹6,500. Furthermore, paying a sum of ₹7,500 per night will get you all meals with the stay and ₹8,000 will get you all meals and drinks for two along with the stay.

What’s nearby: Make a day trip to the largest river island in the world, Majuli; witness rare varieties of apes at Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary; brush up your tea skills at Tocklai Tea Research Centre and visit Assam's oldest tea estate, Cinnamora Tea Estate.

Photo of Banasura Hill Resort, Wayanad, Kerala, India by Siddharth Sujan

Where: Vellamunda, Wayanad, Kerala

Ideal for: Travellers seeking an eco-friendly property for their estate stay

What’s so special: Located at an altitude of 3,500 feet above sea level and spread across an area of 35 acres, Banasura Hill Resort is unlike any other estate resort you'll ever come across. The resort holds the distinction of being India's only "earth resort"—which means that it has been constructed only using mud excavated from the very site that it stands on. The raw and rustic feel, warm hospitality and lush green tea gardens make this nothing less than heaven on earth.

Accommodates: A deluxe double room at the Banasura Hill accommodates two while a deluxe twin room can sleep four guests. Children under 12 are charged ₹1,000 per night for an extra bed while those above 12 or adults are charged at ₹2,000 per night.

Price: A deluxe double room costs approximately ₹10,250 and a deluxe twin room costs ₹21,750. These prices are inclusive of breakfast.

What’s nearby: Take a plunge in the gorgeous Soochipara Falls; explore dewy tea estates on a cycle; explore the flora and fauna on Kuruvadweep Island and take a wildlife safari at Muthanga Wildlife Sanctuary.

Photo of Taj Madikeri Resort & Spa, Coorg, Madikeri, Karnataka, India by Siddharth Sujan

Where: 1st Monnageri, Galibeedu Post, Madikeri, Karnataka

Ideal for: Travellers who love trying out new spa and treatment therapies

What’s so special: A property of the Taj Group, Taj Madikeri Resort & Spa is an eco-friendly hotel constructed from sustainable and recycled materials. Apart from some gorgeous tea gardens, the resort is also surrounded by spice and coffee plantations which make for an interesting ground to set out and explore. Keeping its core ideology of sustainable tourism in mind, the resort offers traditional Ayurvedic treatments at the spa and dishes cooked with locally-sourced ingredients in its restaurants.

Accommodates: Standard rooms, villas and cottages at Taj Madikeri can house up to two people while the Presidential Nirvana Villa comes with three bedrooms and can accommodate six people. A maximum of one extra bed can be put up in the rooms and is charged at ₹2,560 per night.

Price: Starts at ₹12,500 per night for two for the standard rooms. Guests have an option of paying ₹750 extra per person to enjoy a sumptuous buffet breakfast at the property.

What’s nearby: Meditate at Namdroling Monastery; marvel the architecture of Madikeri Fort; enjoy an elephant ride at Dubare Elephant Training Camp; offer your prayers at Omkareshwara Temple and walk down with the streams originating from the river Kaveri.

Photo of Vythiri Resort Wayanad, Kunnathidavaka, Kerala, India by Siddharth Sujan

Where: Lakkidi P.O, Wayanad, Kerala

Ideal for: Travellers looking for the ultimate luxurious getaway in a drop dead gorgeous setting

What’s so special: Tucked away in the jungles of Wayanad, Vythiri Resort is an exquisite getaway that offers everything Kerala is known for—tropical rain forests, comfort, exciting wildlife and of course, some great tea! The resort has a variety of accommodation options ranging from standard rooms to tree houses, all of which come laden with all modern luxuries. All this while you remain completely connected to the beautiful ecosystem around you!

Accommodates: The resort allows two guests per accommodation. All children under the age of two can stay free of charge while those aged between 2-12 are charged at ₹2,500 per night. A child over 12 or an adult can also get an extra bed at the property by paying ₹5,000 extra per night.

Price: Starts at ₹12,500 per night and can go up to ₹23,500 for the Honeymoon Pool Villa. The price includes accommodation plus all meals for guests.

What’s nearby: Invoke the explorer within you at Edakkal Caves; take a safari through Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary; spend an evening boating at Banasura Sagar Dam and take a guided trekking tour of Chembra Peak.

Photo of Singtom Tea Estate & Resort, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India by Siddharth Sujan

Where: Singtom Tea Estate, P.O. North Point, Darjeeling

Ideal for: Travellers looking for an authentic estate experience without shelling out a bomb

What’s so special: Built in 1862, the Singtom Tea Estate & Resort is one of India's first and most famous tea resorts. A humble abode nestled in the hills of Darjeeling, the estate offers guests a unique experience of exploring 1,600 acres of private tea estate and then returning to luxury at night. Gaze at the mighty Kanchenjunga while you sip on Darjeeling's best teas at the Singtom Tea Estate.

Accommodates: Both, the Standard Suite with Mountain View and the Queen Suite at the estate accommodates two guests. However, there is a provision of arranging one extra bed per room. The extra bed is charged at ₹1,000 per night for children under 12 and ₹3,000 per night for those above 12.

Price: The Standard Suite costs about ₹5,750 per night while the Queen Suite costs ₹6,000. Guests can pay an extra sum of ₹250 per person to enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast.

What’s nearby: Take a joyride in the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway toy train; visit the Peace Pagoda, a monument promoting world peace and harmony, for a tranquil experience; take a stroll down Mall Road; take mountaineering lessons at Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and indulge in white water rafting in the Teesta River.

Photo of Savoy Hotel, Monterosa Colony, Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India by Siddharth Sujan

Where: 77, Sylks Road, Ooty, Tamil Nadu

Ideal for: Travellers looking to add a historical touch to their estate stay

What’s so special: Taj Savoy Hotel is a 19th-century estate that has been sitting majestically on top of a hill in Ooty since 1834. The property gives a sneak peek into the old world charm of this beautiful hill station in the heart of Tamil Nadu. Spread across 6 acres of landscaped gardens, the resort is the perfect English-style retreat that you should head to if you're in the mood to treat your senses.

Accommodates: All the rooms at the property are designed to accommodate two guests. Children aged between 5 to 12 years can stay free of charge while an older child or adult is charged ₹1,500 per person per night for an extra bed.

Price: ₹6,500 per night for a twin room with garden view and ₹7,500 per night for an executive double room. Guests can add a hearty breakfast to their stay by paying ₹250 extra per person.

What’s nearby: Visit the Botanical Gardens to explore the natural flora of the Nilgiri mountains; go boating in Ooty Lake; pick up your binoculars for bird watching at Kalhatti Falls in Bellikkal and trek up to the Droog Fort in Coonoor.

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