LAKE FOREST HOTEL

YERCAUD

USP: Welcome to a world of green

IndEco's Lake Forest Hotel seems miles away from civilisation with creeping black pepper plants adorning the trees, tall silver oaks, the occasional waft of eucalyptus and the distant croaks and buzzes of its inherent animal life. But the hotel lies right at the heart of the hill station.

A five-minute walk from the lake, what I like about the place are the rooms; quaint cottage-like suites set at different heights nudged between tall trees, shrubs and stone hedges. The reception is a 19th Century British bungalow, built by the first owners of the coffee plantation in which the hotel is situated. The wooden bungalow retains its old-world charm.

I decide to take a walk before I go to the room and realise the winding roads and stone steps that I go through are canopied by green on all sides, with small wooden benches and sit-outs. The seating area outside the reception has tables and chairs crafted in old wood, an antique cycle and some other curiosity items.

The furnishing is minimal but tastefully done with antiques. A wooden cupboard, a desk with a mirror, a bed, refrigerator, dining table and TV and a couple of chairs in the balcony make up the room with large, airy windows. Even the flooring is red-oxide with painted patterns. While the food is only average (there is a menu in every room from which you can order), the ambience and prompt service make up for it.

I open the old-style handle to the balcony to find the morning mist blanketing the stunning view and the rich green taking on a shade of grey. It slowly regains colour as the morning progresses and the dewdrops begins to drop down like drizzle. I turn to close the door when a small insect whizzes past me into the room. I suddenly remember the small plaque outside my door, “The insects that come into your room don't know they are not supposed to.”

How to get there

Yercaud is 35 km from Salem, which is the closest town by rail or air. There are also a/c buses to the hill station from all major towns and cities. The hotel is located right at the entrance of the town, at Ondikadai Post, just off the road to Pakota Point.

Things to do

Yoga and meditation, trekking, estate visits and sight-seeing.

There is a recreation room with carom boards, pallankuzhi and some exercise equipment.

There is also a play area for children with swings and a trampoline.

Or you could just take a walk or look out your balcony for a stunning view.

Tariff

A Bungalow Suite costs Rs. 4,000, English Suite costs Rs. 6,000, Royal Suite costs Rs. 10,000, Eastlynn Garden costs Rs. 15,000 and an extra bed costs Rs. 950.

The charges vary for other nationals.

For details calls 04281 223217 / 223218 or look up yercaud.indecohotels.com

Keywords: Yercaud