We stayed for two nights at Bamboo Banks as part of a two week trip in South India.
Location: we were in the area to visit Bandipur National Park, having heard that it was well worth the visit. The hotel itself is closer to Mudumalai park but was only a 45 min jeep ride away from Bandipur (organised by hotel). The 42 acre grounds of the hotel are enormous and make a great getaway location - it's really quiet and peaceful.
Facilities: the rooms are simple but provide everything you could want. They are also enormous (enough for 4 people) and have all the normal amenities you'd expect (fridge, a/c, towels/linen, safe etc). The shower in particular was excellent. In addition, having good wifi in the room as well as the communal areas was a real bonus.
Food: really great selection for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Food was all really tasty and tasted very authentic. The staff were amazing and catered to our every need. The outdoor dining area was also great and sitting by a big fire at night after dinner was lovely.
Activities: the hotel has endless free of charge activities - there is surely something for everyone. If you're after a more relaxing break, there are hammocks and a swimming pool where you can take in the surroundings. For the more adventurous are quad bikes, bicycles, horse riding, racket sports, a jeep tour of the grounds and a viewing tower with spectacular views. There is also a children's play area and trampoline for kids. It was also very easy to arrange safaris and jeep rides through the hotel and we were glad not to have booked these trips in advance.
Staff: this is the real highlight of this hotel. The staff are all unbelievably caring and treated us like their own family. The hotel owner gave us a great private jeep tour of the grounds on arrival and on our final evening showed us the stars through his spectacular telescope. A great and unexpected experience! The hotel manager checked-in on us every day and gave us a comprehensive and honest breakdown of options and prices for external safaris. The rest of the staff helped to create a beautiful, clean and welcoming environment and we could not thank them enough for their hospitality.
Overall, we had a perfect stay at Bamboo Banks and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for accommodation near the safaris or en route to Ooty.
I had a three day vacation earlier this week at Bamboo Banks. I had been wanting to vacation here since December, having read excellent reviews. My opinion is that all the great reviews here are genuine. This is a great place to unwind with the family, especially if you have kids. The owner of the resort, Mr. Zerasp Kothawala was kind enough to suggest the best time and duration and also went ahead to suggest we take the Brick House which turned out to be a good deal as it was not only spacious but also private and yet not too far from the dining area. But after 3 days of stay I also suggest the Annexe building as the deers and other animals hang around closest to it and it is also close to the swimming pool and play areas. If you are a large party of say five or six people, the Brick house is ample. It has got a LARGE bed (fit for 3 ) and a smaller single bed in one room and a decent twin bed in another room. Both rooms are air conditioned. There is an attached bathroom and plenty of wardrobe space, in addition to a fridge and a TV. The sit out is excellent with chairs, a dining table and even a swinging couch. Plenty of space to park your car next to the house.
Coming to the resort- it is not too far from the town and yet a little forest in itself completely cutting off from urban chaos. The property is huge and offers enough wilderness to give you the feel of a forest. The first impression wowed me at the gate. There are two gates to the property and both have a rustic water mill to automate the opening and closing. Physics and DIY enthusiasts will find it quite interesting. The property is a farm as the name suggests and hence you would find goats, hens ducks, geese, turkeys and other domesticated animals around. These will be a hit with your kids. My daughter could not get enough of them. Then there are Sheeba, Bahadur and Nagi, three wonderful free roaming Labradors for company that are an absolute delight if you are a dog person. There are four horses and my 3 year old horse crazy daughter got a ride right at our doorstep each day. There are two horses for riding - Gypsy and Sugar Daddy. Rides are between 8.30 AM and 10 AM which makes sense. Rest of the time, the horses graze around along with some fine cows giving a good pastoral feel. Then there is Sultan the donkey. A word of caution. Do not pet him. He will follow you into your cottage. Absolutely no sense of privacy for this fellow. Do not flash shiny trinkets especally red bags or sandals at him. He will grab them and hide them in his shed like toys. He is a real comedian and kept me delighted through out. Look out for him. The farm is incomplete without him.
There is a fine tree house with good views. There is an excellent outdoor swimming pool that gets 5/10 just for its location and additional 5 for its maintenance. It is quite small but a good one to while away your afternoon. There are some hammocks, a trampoline, some kiddy play things (swings, slides etc) right next to the pool.
There is a small hut with a good telescope too and Zerasp will be happy to show you some hevaenly objects through it.
Then there are the quad bikes. This is one resort where quad bikes belong. I have been to other resorts with quad bikes offering token space for riding them but here, an entire wilderness with jungle paths await the quad biker. There is a big ground where you can get acquainted with the machines. Mind you they are all well worn and have their own quirks (the big red one meanders to the right as a rule and needs your wrist power to keep correcting its direction). So my advice is to test ride it for at least 20 minutes on the open flat ground where they are stationed before going out into the wild. The paths are all well worn and some are dug in deep by wheels. The dried ridges can topple you if you are careless. Let the quad bike caretaker accompany you on your bike trek into the wild. You will find deer and peacocks on your ride.
Zerasp and his assistant also offer a ride through the property on one of their two open safari type MAruti Gypsy Take this first thing when you land in the resort to truly appreciate the property.
Right next to the dining area is an indoor lounge with a table tennis facility (good bats and balls and not worn out ones we usually see), table board games and a fine selection of books to read. Good place to hang out after meals.
But then, the true soul of the resort are the people running it. Zerasp is a wonderful host who will keep checking on you to ensure you are comfortable. Rafiq the manager is most helpful within the resort as well as his patient and detailed descriptions on what you could do outside (forest rides, safaris with govt units, best places to spot wildlife etc). There is an incharge for everything - for horse rides, for quad bikes, for farm animals, for food, swimming pool etc. Each person is a wonderful host in him/herself, ever helpful and cheerful. The food is home cooked and might not go well with some, but you can always discuss your food preferences. They were kind enough to prepare according to specifications and deliver the food on casseroles for my daughter who was a finicky eater. Each and every person is a gem of a human being and they are the reason why I enjoyed my stay.
All attractions are included in your daily tarriff and that makes it all more easier t enjoy. Meals are extra. And the best part, Zerasp is a thorough gentleman - he did not charge for my kid's food. It is not a big amount but the gesture means a lot.
The only sore point was I chose a Monday to land here. We were the only ones here apart from an expat couple who were more into safaris . It was only on the 3rd day that there were other families and it became all the more enjoyable, especially for my daughter. So my advice - visit the resort in a group. It will be worthwhile. I am planning to do so next year.
Thinking of a holiday??? a place to relax??? with motherly care? Bamboo Banks is of its own kind!!! you will definitely feel at home. The cottages are located in a way to provide you with utmost privacy at the same time a vigil security from the team. They take care of you very well. Home made food with a variety in it served at right time / accommodating your convenience with love and care. They take care of your needs with lot of care and make sure you are happy. They go beyond a consumer and business provider relationship where they become your family soon. I travel a lot and I used to stay in star hotels just for safety and comfort. While I thought of a trip in india I was double scared ad wanted trustworthy people. I ended up at Bamboo banks and we totally enjoyed it. They maintain a high level of hygiene. The pool is ready for you right after the breakfast. Book with bamboo banks and they organise your holiday with entertainment!!!
Thank you guys!!! would love to spend another holiday there :)
Being a part of the fast pace environment and chaos of city life, we wanted to escape to place where nature at its best which is tranquil to the heart and serendipity to mind. Eventually we found bamboo banks which treats you with generous hospitality and provides you a great experience. Highly recommend.
Dear Zerasp, Thank you for a most memorable visit to Masinagudi. I returned after 25 years, this time with my own family. Best regards, Neha
For other readers:
These people are like one big happy family and they will welcome you right in! My husband and I visited with a 1 year old in tow. It was the most comfortable, relaxing 3 days of 2016 for us! We will be back.
1. The cottages are huge and feel like home. There is much attentions to detail.
2. The property is expansive and gorgeous
3. There are farm animals for the kids to watch (turkey, cow, chicken, emu, etc.)
4. The property is at the edge of the forest- one night we were awoken by an elephant trumpeting outside our room
5. The owner and the staff are just incredibly hospitable
6. The paatrani-macchi is to die for. My one year old with 6 teeth ate a whole piece off my plate.
1. There are ATVs- this will definitely be listed as a 'Pro' in someone else's review
2. The place is heavily booked and there are only a handful of cottages, so plan well in advance. We almost didn't get anything and I can't imagine our trip to India without this vacation!