The Hills are Alive at Ayatana Ooty

Ayatana Ooty, set amidst a huge expanse of lush tea gardens, offers a one of its kind holiday experience.

By: Bindu Gopal Rao

Posted on: August 24, 2023

LF Says: ★★★★

Ayatana ooty hills

Driving from Bengaluru to Ooty is a scenic ride as it also passes through two national parks – Bandipur and Madhumalai. And as you enter Ooty, it is the palpable nip in the air and the whiff of the eucalyptus trees that sets the tone for this hill break.

I am headed to the newly opened Ayatana Resort & Spa, Ooty, which is about 17 km from Ooty and incidentally 17 km from Coonoor as well. As my car turns into the resort, the first thing I noticed is the landscape that has a myriad variety of flowers in all hues, lending an instant charm to the resort.

Ayatan Ooty Resort

The location itself is spectacular. Set amidst undulating tea gardens and carrot farms, you are surrounded by greenery in all its magnificent hues. After a quick check-in formality, I hop into a vehicle that takes me to my expansive, 600 sq. ft. Deluxe Garden Villa room. 

The room is plush with all modern amenities, including a Wi-Fi that is specific to the room I am staying in. A smart television with all major OTT channels, tea/coffee maker, glass bottled water, mini fridge, hair dryer, iron, and ironing board, safe and more are all part of the room. A large dressing area and a bath space that is roomy are some other highlights of the room. 

Ayatan Ooty Resort

The best part for me, however, was the large balcony complete with reclining seats that overlooked the tea gardens. A private barbeque area in the garden attached to my room was another highlight. And yes, the rooms also have a fireplace. Furnishings like cushions and runners made using the local tribal toda art embroidery added an authentic, distinctive touch to the room.

The property is marked by a magnificent red stone-cladding wall at the entrance, creating a sense of intrigue and mystery. Grand welcoming lobbies and accent stone walls provide a rustic countryside charm to the establishment. The terrace formations resemble wood grain and fingerprints, and are characteristic and quintessentially organic, hinting at Ooty's colonial roots. The luxurious lodges are carefully designed to infuse the intricacies of the local culture, providing a holistic, vibrant, and authentic experience of the region.

Ayatan Ooty Resort

The property is spread across 20 acres and has 30 rooms, four standard rooms (400 square feet area), 24 deluxe rooms and two presidential suites. There are eight rooms that come with an attached exterior jacuzzi that is popular with couples as the jacuzzi overlooks the undulating tea gardens. The retreat will also have residential villas coming up soon.

Apart from room service, the resort has an inhouse restaurant called Tycoons where all meals are served. A buffet breakfast is served every day and the lunch and dinner buffets are also available based on occupancy. Else an extensive a la carte menu that offers Indian, Asian and Continental fare is available to guests.

Ayatan Ooty Resort Tycoons

At Tycoons, gastronomy takes centerstage, drawing inspiration from diverse culinary traditions across the continent. This fusion of flavors is masterfully crafted using a medley of techniques, resulting in a symphony of tastes that awaken the senses. The culinary genius behind this experience is Desmond Rice, whose expertise curates a menu that unites hearts and palates through the hearty dishes. From the delectable Chicken A La Kiev to the comforting embrace of Shepherd's Pie, every dish tells a story of flavor and passion. The experience reaches its peak with treats like the smooth Caramel Custard and delicious, expertly cooked steaks that cater to every discerning palate.

The resort has a swimming pool and a few play areas for kids which is great when visiting with family. The bar, another pool restaurant for small bites, and the spa will soon be operational.

Ayatan Ooty Resort

One activity that I recommend you do when here is the nature walk that happens in the morning and evening. Accompanied by a naturalist, you can walk through the tea gardens, and hike up to see some magnificent views of the landscape. Make sure you have a good pair of walking shoes as the inclination is steep. Keep your eyes peeled for birds – you will spot some unusual ones like the black shouldered kite that hovers looking for its prey.

There is much to do outside as well and I recommend you take a ride to the UNESCO world heritage site, Nilgiri Mountain Railway. This is an experience to be tried and the nearest station to the resort is Lovedale. You can book in advance or try your luck at the train station. 

Do visit the expansive Botanical Garden that is spread over 22 hectares and has many indigenous and exotic varieties of plants. The man-made Ooty Lake, that dates to the 19th century, is a hub where you can opt for a boat ride and savour a slice of local life. A stop at the highest peak in the Nilgiri Mountains, Doddabetta, is apt to get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful mountains. 

Being located away from the city, Ayatana Resort & Spa allows you to savour the small moments and make the most of your break. After all, isn’t that what a holiday must always be about?

Stop at the Tea Museum to understand the long-drawn process of how tea is made including the various steps it goes through including the cutting, tearing, and curling (CTC) for standard teas. The Government Rose Garden here has over 20,000 variants and is the largest rose garden in India.

Sreejith Nair, General Manager Operations, Ayatana Ooty says, “The best part about this property is that is surrounded by nature - we have tea gardens and carrot farms and we also see bisons regularly in the tea estate. The location has the nature advantage so that's why we call it unique.” 

Ayatan Ooty Resort

Being located away from the city, Ayatana Resort & Spa allows you to savour the small moments and make the most of your break. After all, isn’t that what a holiday must always be about?

LF Says: ★★★★

Coordinates: Muttinad Village, Adigaratty Post, Adigaratty, Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu, India

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