Review: Wild Planet Resort – A true magical experience in the woods
We always talk about going on a holiday to escape from the hustle bustle of city life and end up in a crowded hill station, right? Then we console ourselves by saying that we have booked a stay away from the city, in a serene location, which may be true in some cases as such properties exist and I’ve been to many such beautiful ones. But when I saw the video of Wild Planet Resort on Facebook, I was blown away! I was so curious to experience it first hand and to bring a detailed review to my beloved readers. I was excited to see if the place is really what it claims to be. And honestly, I came back impressed and the stay exceeded my expectations. Read on to find out why I say so. And at the end of this post, I’ve posted a video of our experience in Wild Planet Resort which’ll give you a pictorial view what you have read so far.
First off, the location. Wild Planet is nestled amidst the dense forests in the Nilgiris bordering Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The place is truly secluded. When I say secluded, I mean it. Once we reached Devala, we had to drive a few kilometres inside well tarred mountains surrounded by tea plantations. A small village passed by and that was the last settlement we saw until we reached Wild Planet resort. We drove across hills, crossing one after the other and roads turned bumpy yet fairly manageable by our little Punto.
Apart from a couple of vehicles, which we suppose were returning from Wild Planet Resort, we spotted no human being around! This was one of a kind experience for us and this bumped up our excitement to another level. Throughout the drive, we were guided by well-placed sign boards helping us to take correct turns and reassuring that we are on the right path. We were lonely but not lost. After a few minutes, we reached the parking lot of the resort where our car relaxed for the next couple of days. We on boarded a 4×4 jeep with our luggage and set off on a hair-raising drive inside the deep woods.
20 minutes later, we finally arrived at the resort. Beautiful valley view cabins were camouflaged in the lush green tea gardens. After being in the woods alone for so long, far from human habitation, we stared at the panoramic view of resort in awe and thought, ‘No kidding! The resort is indeed located inside the jungle!’
In the reception, we were welcomed with a refreshing welcome drink and were briefed about the activities in the resort. We were handed the keys to our Luxury Kenyan tent and were driven to our room in a sparkling new Mahindra Thar. The reception is in the highest point of the resort and the restaurant located upstairs offers some amazing views of the surrounding area. Our luxury tents were about a kilometre away from the reception and when we wanted to go to the restaurant or the swimming pool, we could call the reception for a vehicle at any time of the day and they would be present to pick us up in a jiffy.
As of now, there are 4 types of rooms in Wild Planet. Hill Top Cottages, Valley View cabin, Jungle log house and Luxury Kenyan tents. Let’s look at each type of rooms offered by them.
Hill Top Cottages: These are located at the tip of the hill and are spread evenly across the main building comprising the reception and the dining hall.
Valley View cabin: These cabins are located a little downhill and have easy access to zipline area and the swimming pool.
Jungle log house: These log houses are located a little away from the main reception area and give a feel of staying in the real forest. These are secluded and gives the much needed privacy for honeymooners.
Luxury Kenyan tents:
These are a new addition to Wild Planet which is introduced this year and lives by its very description! The interior is tastefully decorated with eco-friendly artifacts and quirky furniture. Beautiful, layered fabric roofing give these rooms much needed tent like appeal yet managing in to bring in that luxury feel. I especially loved the rustic wooden feel of the bathroom décor. The beautiful balcony opened into a scenic spectacle with backdrop of huge mountains and layers of tea gardens in the foreground. Every morning, we woke up to the chatter of birds and a melodious whistle of the Malabar whistling thrush. Needless to say, the balcony was our favourite corner in the entire room.
Not everyone likes to sit in the balcony and stare for hours together. After a while things may get monotonous. To break this boredom and to get some adrenaline pumping, folks at Wild Planet have lots of outdoor activities for the visitors to take part in. I totally loved the zip line that is set amidst the tea plantations – just amazing! Trekking, nature walk, bird watching, rain forest walk, monkey crawling, floating bridge, archery, kayaking, spider net and hammock climbing – so many to choose from that you won’t ever get bored! As the night falls, temperatures get low and chill starts to set in and a bonfire in that weather made the stay extra special.
It’s commendable how an entire eco-system has been created inside an isolated deep jungle to give a wholesome and memorable experience to the visitors and the owners deserve a round of applause for bringing this together.
Happy baby equates to a happy mommy. When at Wild Planet Resort, kids can be kept well occupied so that they don’t get bored easily. There is a beautiful swimming pool where the kids just can’t get enough and have to be literally dragged out of water – after all they need to experience loads of other activities designed to suit them, right? My son was so excited to try the zip line and once he did that, he loved the experience!
A small pond with a really cute hand peddled boat made Rinith happy who was eager to kayak but wasn’t allowed due to age restrictions. He was so content and happy in the boat that he spent more than one hour in the pond. His favourite past time was the kids play pen which has a collection of fascinating games.
Another interesting thing I noticed in the resort was that they have a separate ‘Kids Menu’ on the buffet table. It had dishes that would excite kids, something that’d interest them, like – noodles, french fries and toasts.
The chefs at Wild Planet laid us out a beautiful spread of scrumptious delicacies every day. In the 3 days we were there, no single dish was repeated, and the taste was above par. We got to choose from a wide array of dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. And every day, I’d look forward to digging on yummy desserts and ice creams. Rinith is a fussy eater and we’d lure him with a serving of ice cream at the end of meal on a condition that his plate is a clean slate!
The best part of the restaurant was the fact that it is located on the tip the hill which offers panoramic views of the surrounding lush green mountains. Just sitting across the table and watch the clouds drift by as we dine was a beautiful feeling. And while I write this, I was transported to that exact moment and felt a rush of feelings in my mind. Such is the power of nature and its therapy.
Folks at Wild Planet were friendly and ever ready to answer any question you throw at them. You can often see managers at the reception interacting with the guests, asking for feedback or trying to help the guests with their queries and requirements – which shows the dedication and passion they have towards serving their guests well.
The resort is spread over a 100 acres of sprawling tea gardens. So, the cottages are spread out all over the place. While the ones near the restaurant can walk to it, the ones far away find it difficult to reach the restaurant. To solve this problem, a quick call to the reception and they’ll send a pickup vehicle. All the vehicle drivers and the staff at reception are well co-ordinated with walkie talkie phones, thus enabling to deliver impeccable service to the guests every time. Its also important to note that the vehicle they send isn’t a usual buggy but a sturdy 4×4 because, the terrain is such. There are steep curves and turns, so if you stay in luxury tents or jungle log houses, then every time you take a trip to restaurant, it’s an exciting jeep/van drive all along!
How to reach:
Google Maps did a good job in guiding us to the resort. We need to get on Ooty route from Bangalore but instead of proceeding towards Masinagudi, we need to take a left after we exit from Bandipur towards Gudalur. And in the Gudalur circle, we got to take a right turn and head to Devala town. At a junction in Devala town, Google maps guided us to take a left turn and from then on, there are well placed sign boards guiding us the road we are supposed to take to reach the resort. These sign boards are placed strategically, affirming us that we are on the right path just when we start to wonder if we had lost our way. Once we reached the resort parking, our car rested there for a couple of days and we were taken to the resort in their jeep.
Wild Planet Jungle Resort,
Between Wayanad Hills & Mudumalai Tiger Reserve,
Nilgiris, Kerala – Tamil Nadu Border, South India
Room No: 108, Hotel Jaya Complex
Thali, Calicut – 02. Kerala. India
Phone: +91495 3025000
Landline: +91495 2700557 / +91495 2303106
Mobile: +91 940083 2000 / +91 940073 8000 (09:30 AM – 06:30 PM)
Our stay at Wild Planet resort was one of a kind. It takes really something bigger and better to beat this experience. Words don’t do justice to explain that feeling. Still, I like to leave you with these few lines which I wrote while at the resort.
“As the noon set in, a thick layer of clouds blanketed acres of greenery, conquering the monotony of layered tea plantations, broken down by the towering Silver Oak trees. Clouds played peek-a-boo and gave way to their close cousin, the mystical fog – some said its spooky while I said, that’s magic!”
We were guests to the kind people at Wild Planet. Our opinions are true and honest to us and we only recommend the best to our readers. So be rest assured that you will have a great stay here!