Sure, there’s plenty to do in Ooty. Cold that must be savoured, tea to be experienced. Viewpoints to get to. Pictures for social media profiles to be clicked. Gardens to be seen. Trains to be taken.
But if you’re the hibernating kind – one who actually goes on a vacation to decrease your activity level, not ramp it up – you might as well do it at the resort we stayed at, Sinclairs. Newly refurbished, the resort is located on a scenic piece of land in Doddabetta, about five kilometres away from the Railway Station.
This is the sort of place that greets you with a spot of kumkum. Having dispensed with that ritual, we settled into our roomy abode. The icy hill-station weather means that they don’t bother with formalities like an air-conditioner, or even a fan, in the rooms.
All rooms have large windows – ours afforded us a beautiful view of the hills, and we could even see the roads and vehicles inching along in the distance. When the sun’s out, as it was briefly on the November days we visited, these windows allow for that paradoxical experience, sitting in a blaze of light while still shivering.
It’s the perfect setting for activity no more strenuous than taking a walk around the surroundings, or reading a book outdoors. Of course, there are plenty of options for the otherwise inclined. There’s a play area, a gym, a spa. But during our stay we were just content to try and imprint the memory of clean mountain air on our senses before we returned.
(And yes, the hotel’s proximity to the Doddabetta Tea Factory did prompt a walk down to the government-run tourist spot, where we could watch tea being made and drink, for free, a cup of very strong, very good, tea).
(The writer was at the resort on invitation)