Review – Elephant Valley Eco Lodge

Elephant Valley Eco Lodge is a relatively secluded resort located about 20Kms before Kodaikanal. From the Palani – Kodaikanal National Highway, you need to drive about 5 Kms into the valley towards the forests. Elephant Valley is an ideal getaway for a quiet, peaceful family outing amid pristine greenery. The resort has a natural stream running through it and engages in extensive organic farming.

Why and Why Not?

  1. If you like unadulterated family time and being digitally disconnected, this is the place to go.
  2. If you like difficult-to-pronounce spa treatments instead of wilderness treks, this is not the place to go. The fresh air, scenic beauty is therapeutic though.
  3. If you like waking up to a verdurous setting and noise of birds and river, this is the place to go. For shopping, sight-seeing you need to drive for over an hour.
  4. If you relish varied cuisines spread on lavish buffets, this is not the place to go. Food is very simple yet tasty and there is no room service.
  5. If you have Pets and want them to have fun with the rest of your family, then this is the place to go. Elephant Valley is pet-friendly.

Accommodation

From tents to cottages to tree house, Elephant Valley has different styles of accommodation with varying budgets. The rooms and the decor is in tune with eco friendliness, so do not expect lavish levels of comfort and facilities. They use reclaimed wood, antique furniture in combination with some modern fittings to furnish the rooms. You do get hot water in the bathroom but it takes some time. We visited during Christmas time so far the cold nights Elephant Valley provides wood fired heaters. The issue is that this heater lasts for 4-5 hours effectively, so it can get a little uncomfortable during very cold nights.

Food and service

The food is definitely not the high point here. There are no ‘menus’ and most lunches are buffets with basic items like rice, chapathi and couple of curries. While the choice is not that great the taste and freshness is something to be experienced. This is probably they use organic vegetables grown in the farm right next to the restaurant. There is no room service due to the tough terrain, so if you feel hungry beyond the scheduled hours, be prepared to inform the restaurant upfront and wait.

The number of staff for a Christmas weekend was surprisingly less. But I must say that every member of the lean staff did his best to manage the show.

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