GReaT TraiLS By GRT: Amongst the Best Hotels in Kodaikanal
I remember the first minute after my flight tickets were booked from Pune to Madurai, for my onward journey to Kodaikanal. It was exciting, undoubtedly. I had never been to Kodaikanal and with this new love for travel blogging and “passion” coming into the picture as well, it struck me that this is the life I have always wanted to live. Or that’s what I think as of now. May be priorities will change over time. None-the-less Kodaikanal it was – for the moment – and I was deeply engrossed with all sorts of thoughts of how I am going to make this trip wonderful. And yes, how can I forget the most important part of the trip… staying in one of the best hotels in Kodaikanal !
Kodaikanal: Princess of Hill Stations
Kodaikanal is a very popular hill station in India, especially in the Southern part of India. It was established around 150 years back, as it gave much respite from the scorching heat in the downtown areas, closer to mean sea levels like Chennai, Madurai etc. Located at just about 3 hours road journey from Madurai, which in turn takes about an overnight journey by train from all major cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Cochin etc makes it very viable to travel to. It is situated at roughly 2,000 metres above sea level, the place has just the right temperature in every season.
After having reached Madurai early morning around 7 am, I admit I hadn’t slept at Chennai Airport previous night even when the layover was close to 5 hours there (I was flying Pune – Chennai – Madurai). About 2 hours of finishing up with morning chores in Regency Madurai by GRT Hotels, I along with my invited-set of Blogger Friends, were off to Kodaikanal. I got talking to our driver, an experienced one and all willing to help, he shared with me the terrain, the topography, the geography of the region & surroundings. I was a little worried on learning that out of the Madurai – Kodaikanal 120 kms stretch, about 50 % is flat plain terrain and the rest (a whopping 60 kms) is Ghat section. That too, climbing 2000 metres… As we began with the turns, I thought to myself: “I am done, I can’t do this… may be I will catch a bus & come on my own. I remembered the first time I was on my official visit to Goa in AC Volvo bus, how I gorged on that Chicken Thali somewhere around Mahad and just 50-60 kms thereafter, I started vomiting for the entire time starting from Kashedi ghat right up to Panjim”.
But I couldn’t have left the vehicle just like that, as it wouldn’t be in line with the group. So, I start shifting my attention to the outside. The hills, the cleaner air, that feeling of freshness. I actually felt fresh. It was cooler than the AC. Everything was just right.
Great Trails by GRT: Amongst the Finest Hotels in Kodaikanal
The time I got picked up from the Madurai Airport at around 7.15 am by one of the Sales Managers Mr Venkat, I had a feeling of all positiveness and I knew where this is going. So somewhere my expectations formed from that moment and thereafter it was all “WOW ! Customer”… Some MOMENTS OF TRUTH !
Moments of Truth is a terminology widely used in Hospitality Industry to denote every instance, when an interaction occurs between a Service Provider (Hotel) and a Customer, that can leave a defining & lasting impression on the Customer, positive or negative. There are around 20-25 MOT occurring each day…
So, here is my version and my personalized experience of Great Trails by GRT Hotels and why I consider this one as amongst the finest hotels in Kodaikanal:
Reception, Welcoming & Some Great Views
So this is where you first get down from your vehicle. This is the reception area, also has restaurant facility adjacent to it. An excellent garden, well maintained and good landscaping done in and around the property. Have a look at the area in the premises and in the vicinity:
An expert team of professionals from the Hotel Industry (read Staff) had gathered to welcome us, with that refreshing Welcome Drink, which was enough to take us out of our slumber with a punch…
Super Fast Check In and Spacious Rooms
The check-in procedure was super cool and without hassles. There are 2 major kinds of rooms in this property namely Timber Chalets and Rock Cabins. While I was put up in one of the most beautifully designed Timber Chalets (the description and the photos of which are shared below), the other ones are also good in terms of their area around 225 sq. feet rooms, wooden flooring, queen size bed apart from there being all other general facilities and amenities like Wifi, Electronic Safe, LCD etc. Wooden Chalets, on the other hand, are of the highest category in terms of overall ambience and “resort-feeling in the jungles” and price.
Having a strong hot cup of tea, post dinner, in 10 degrees temperature, with cool breeze playing around is one of those things I love to do ! These Timber Chalets, at around 450 sq. feet area, are significantly bigger than the other category of rooms like the Rock Cabins. Facilities are similar here as well.
Some Stunning Views Around
One of the most beautiful sunrises I have seen here in Kodaikanal…
Some Other Important Pointers
- In addition to the above amenities, the hotel also takes utmost care of you having all facilities in-built like Playground and slides for kids, Swinging Bridge & Burma Bridge for adventure loving adults.
- There are also indoor games like Chess, Table Tennis, Carrom etc – meaning that you can have everything that you require here itself.
- GRT Hotels in Kodaikanal can also assist you in terms of conducting a special trekking activity in the pine forests and such other adventure activities in and around Kodaikanal. Feel free to speak to them. By forest, I mean this kind of forest:
How To Reach GRT Hotels in Kodaikanal ?
- Madurai is the closest major city that has Bus Stand, Railway Station and Airport, at about 116 kms one way and takes about 3 hours roughly from Kodaikanal
- Madurai, in turn, is conveniently accessible to all major towns and cities in India
- Do not forget to take your medicines in case you have any trouble traveling on zig-zag roads…
Overall, I enjoyed my stay here. I am of an opinion that Great Trails by GRT ranks amongst the best hotels in Kodaikanal and is worth staying with your family and friends, where you can expect a great level of professionalism and hospitality. Talking to the servers (waiters) in English or Hindi may become difficult at times and you may find it hard to explain your needs (since they are more comfortable with Tamil – their local language), you can always approach the Reception or Room Service and get the job done. Rest is all simply awesome.