A 7.5 hour drive from Bangalore, Coonoor is a quaint little hill station near Ooty. It recently came in the limelight because of a Bollywood movie called Kapoor & sons which was shot there. Before that it was visited by the off beat travelers.
Nestled in the Nilgiris this town is a much better option than Ooty these days. It is less crowded and more personal. We took the road via Salem to get there, which is a slightly longer but faster route. The drive is also very scenic compared to the mysore- bandipur highway. There are 3-4 toll booths which are the only bottlenecks.
Coonoor is famous for its heritage properties, home made chocolates and cosy vibes. We went in May and the weather was a pleasant 20 degrees. There are several nice places to stay, like:
1. Kurumba resort- away from the town
2. Taj gateway- in the heart of coonoor
But since we don’t like to splurge too much on stay, we picked the 200yr old heritage property called Wallwood by Neemrana. It cost INR 5000 a night and looked quite decent.
We booked a room called “Camphor” which had a lovely balcony overlooking the estate and was away from the noise of the main house. If you are a couple that wants to avoid families then I strongly recommend Camphor. The rooms in the main house can get very noisy during meals since the dining area is right there.
This room was quite basic but had everything we needed including privacy. Also the food at this hotel was really tasty and homely. The staff was very helpful too. The hotel is located bang in the middle of the town and is close to all the touristy places.
Although we didn’t go to any 😉
What we did was breathe, eat, drink, drive around and sleep.
One day we went to a place which was called 43 hair pin bends on the map. This is a very popular biking route with breathtaking views of the mountains. The drive took us through lovely tea gardens coupled with thick woods. We even saw a family of wild Indian Gaur on the way!
On the way back we passed the Lovedale boarding school. A campus like no other! It really felt like we were in the UK countryside. You must try and take a look while you are there.
Some Places to eat and drink in coonoor are:
1. Hopscotch- a nice pub
2. Cullinarium- lovely food
3. Cafe McIver- nice place to chill
4. Taj gateway- good for a snack
5. Wellington club – if you have a army connection
All in all, it was a nice laid back holiday in the peak of summer. There are some nice walking trails and also lakes that one can explore.
Waterfalls are in plenty too if you are interested. But do not go to Coonoor seeking activities. Go there for the warmth, and the chill 😉
My verdict: A lazy little hill station where there is no rat race. Enjoy the clean air and poor service 🙂
My rating: 3.5/5 Wallwood Neemrana was ideal for us since we were out the most of the day. Food was excellent. Total value for money.