Silver Tips, Munnar is quite an unexpected adventure in this otherwise quaint little town. the Hotel has an impressive history: built as a Cinema Hall in the early part of the last century it lived on for many decades as the only silver screen in the area. when the owners decided to convert the property into a hotel they decided to honor the heritage and made it into a theme hotel and that is the single biggest USP of this modern and well appointed hotel.
The rooms and the decor : like i said, this is the deal clincher. every room, suite and even the restaurant is dedicated to some great celluloid classic. I stayed in a room called Charulata, after the Satyajit Ray classic (guess me being bengali had something to do with it) and the small touches like a giant poster of the film and a small history of the movie on our walls were something unique and nice. there are similar small touches all over the room :- a runner on the bed designed as a movie film, lamps modeled as focus lights used for shooting and they do bring a smile on your face as you notice them. you can find varied classics like Godfather, Umrao Jaan and Nayakan all here!! me and my wife spent hours looking at the various rooms with movie names and remembering which ones we had seen!! The rooms are well appointed as well with every amenity one needs in a mid range hotel and with a rather spacious bathroom as a bonus!!
The Location : a short auto ride away from the main munnar bazar. the views are ordinary. for those interested in history there is a quaint little ancient church a short walk away.
The Staff : i went around Christmas last year, which was the peak season in kerala for tourism, so i guess all the staff was geared up for their best so no complaints there.
Extras : The buffet here is quite good and very reasonably priced.
Cribs : Free Wi-Fi please!!
Summer vacation is a special time for kids, and my daughter Aisha is no different. Just like any other child she hates going to school and given a chance, can watch television for hours. Having recently started geography lessons in school, Aisha’s latest interest was to learn about the biodiversity and wildlife of India, by catching up on the latest shows on Animal Planet. I instead decided to give her a first-hand experience of nature and wildlife, by planning a holiday to Kerala. Quite obviously, she loved every moment of the week we spent in ‘God’s Own Country’. If you too, want your kids to have a memorable (and educational) summer vacation, here are a few reasons why you should be travelling to Kerala.
What’s in It for Kids:
1. Periyar National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary:
Located about 120 kms from Kochi, Periyar National Park is a renowned tiger and elephant reserve where you and your child can view wildlife up close. When it comes to exploring the sanctuary, you have several options to choose from. You can opt for the Periyar boat cruise – a one and a half hour excursion on the Periyar Lake or go for the Jeep Jungle Safari for an up close and personal view of the ecosystem. Another option, which is a popular one with the kids, is the elephant safari.
Boat departure timings: 7:30 am, 9:30 am, 11:15 am, 1:45 pm and 3:30 pm
Cost of boat cruise: Adult: Rs. 150; Child: Rs. 50
Cost of Jeep Safari: Rs. 1,600 - Rs. 2,000 per person
Cost of elephant safari: Rs. 350 - Rs. 1000 per person (30 minutes - 2 hours)
2. Houseboat Stay:
Hire a houseboat in Alleppey to explore the beautiful backwaters of Kerala. While your kids will enjoy the sight of ducks, frogs and birds along the way, you’ll get to see the beautiful tropical vegetation, distant villages, rice fields and temples. What’s more; enjoy the delicious local food prepared by the staff onboard. Although houseboats can be hired for as little as a day, it’s better to hire one for at least two days to give you and your kids ample time to experience the natural beauty on offer. You can even explore some beautiful beaches in Kerala, which are just as happening as the ones in Goa and just as clean as the ones in Andamans.
Tariff: Starting at Rs. 7,000
3. Thenmala Ecotourism Village:
A children’s eco-park, musical fountain, butterfly safari, elevated walkway that takes you through the canopy of trees, and a deer rehabilitation centre – that’s Thenmala Ecotourism Village for you. If that’s not all, your children can also enjoy a boat ride through a wildlife sanctuary and an electric vehicle ride through the forest. Boasting of being India’s first planned ecotourism destination, Thenmala is nothing short of a paradise for children and adults alike. If one day is not enough to explore the Village, you have an option for overnight stay as well.
Timing: 9 am to 5 pm (daily)
Price: Adult: Rs. 390; Child: Rs 280 (excluding accommodation)
What’s in It for You:
1. The World’s First Ayurveda Resort:
Although Ayurvedic massage and spa centres are located across the state, the Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort, just a few kilometres from Kovalam beach is the first Ayurvedic resort in the world. An ideal place for those who are looking to relax their senses in a natural way, Somatheeram offers a range of Ayurvedic treatments. Depending on the time you have at hand, you can opt for therapies that last about an hour, or go for the extensive treatments, which can take up to 14 days. The resort also organizes indoor games so that your kids can enjoy their time here, while you unwind.
No holiday is complete until you’ve shopped for some local specialties. When in Kerala don’t forget to buy spices, coconut products, handicrafts such as cultural icons, and showpieces at Mullakkal Street in Alleppey. Moreover, if you love traditional clothing, you can even buy handlooms directly from the weavers in Chendamangalam, near Kochi.
Along with this, don’t forget to check out some spectacular beaches in Kerala before you complete your summer vacation!
Where to Eat:
Ginger House Restaurant, Kochi:
Although there is no dearth of restaurants in Kerala that cater to a variety of cuisines, the Ginger House Restaurant is a must visit. Why? Because it is the only restaurant in the country that is located within a museum! Living up to its name and unique location, the restaurant offers a range of delicacies with a zingy ginger flavour, such as ginger milkshake, ginger prawns and ginger lassi. Apart from enjoying the great food here, you can also admire the antique look of the restaurant, where everything from the chairs to the pillars tells a different tale from history.
Address: Jew Town Mattancherry, Kochi – 2, Kochi, Kerala | Phone: +91-484-3290464
Where to Stay:
Royale Gardens Hotel and Resorts Alleppey:
The Royale Gardens offers luxurious accommodation at an affordable price. Located in close proximity to popular tourist places in Alleppey, the hotel has a plethora of amenities and services that make for a memorable stay.
Address: The Royale Gardens Hotel and Resorts, Haripad, Alleppey, Kerala | Phone: +91-479-2404000
Amenities: Wi-Fi | Dining Hall | Spa | Swimming Pool | 24-hour Room Service | Kids Pool
Tariff: Rs. 4,000 per night
Find more hotels in Alleppey
Quality Airport Hotel, Kochi:
Located just 1.1 kms from Cochin Airport, Quality Airport Hotel flaunts great architecture, warm hospitality and state-of-the-art amenities and services. With 22 well-decorated rooms including a Maharaja Suite, the hotel caters to both business and leisure travellers.
Address: Near Cochin International Airport, Nayathode P.O., Angamaly, Kochi | Phone: +91-484-2610366
Amenities: Ayurveda Centre | Swimming Pool | Wi-Fi | Bar | Multi-cuisine Restaurant
Tariff: Rs. 2,300 per night
Find more hotels in Cochin
Approximately Rs. 25,000 per person (inclusive of airfare till Cochin and hotel stay for 4 nights and 5 days)
Book your holiday to Kerala here.
Here are some interesting tips on travelling with kids.