Nestled in the picturesque hill station of Valparai is the Stanmore Garden Bungalow, under the ownership of Briar Tea Bungalows. The journey towards Stanmore is equally delightful as the property itself. The theme for Stanmore Garden Bungalow is the Plantation Evolution and the nostalgia that surrounds it. It has a very spacious compound. From the Stanmore compound, you can have a spectacular 360-degree view of the tea plantation and the surrounding hills. Yet another fantastic view is that of the amazing Grass Hills.
Due to its long stretch, the tea greenery vanishes to infinity. Stanmore has four spacious bedrooms with elegantly designed decors and functional fireplaces. It also has a superbly furnished living room, dining room and a fully-fledged kitchen. In addition, it has five single bedroom wooden chalets overlooking the magnificent grass hills and two double-storeyed wooden chalet suites overlooking the Injipara river.
Each Briar Tea Bungalow, wooden chalet or tent has a distinct personality of its own. The compelling reason is the way they are placed in relationship to the topography of the land that surrounds them.
For example, the Stanmore Garden Bungalow compound is strategically tucked on top of a hillock with a 360-degree view of some striking scenery near and far. There is a winding river afar, a Shola which appears in deep forest green, tea gardens on slopes of hills in soul quenching shades of green and still more grass hills and mountains all around in hues of grey and blue.
The wind propelled white clouds, sunlight and fog play tricks on the landscape by making far away mountains appear and vanish as you watch. There never is a dull moment. Every sunrise is different and so is each sunset.
The single bedroom wooden chalets are built with precision and each balcony opens up to a breathtaking view of the tea garden. The wooden suites have an additional upper floor and balconies. The lower portion of the double-decker has a living room which can be converted into a bedroom at night, a dressing room and a WC. The upper deck has a bedroom, a well-appointed bathroom and a large deck with chairs to relax. The view of the river and the hills from the upper deck balcony is splendid.
ACTIVITIES TO INDULGE IN
- Bird watching/photography
- Tea factory visit
- Tea tasting
- River bathing/riverside walk
- Sunset tea at exquisite sites
- Plantation walks – Our prescribed plantation walk is rather long. Just be mentally prepared for a long but exciting walk
- Trek along the peripheries of the reserve forest
Air – The nearest airport is the Coimbatore International Airport, which is a 3-hour drive away.
Train – Coimbatore Junction is the nearest railway station – approximately 105 km. Coimbatore has got train services to most Indian cities.
Road – Valparai can be reached by cars and buses from Pollachi, Coimbatore and Palakkad.
Stanmore Garden Bungalow
Valparai, Tamil Nadu- 642127
Text and images by Supriya Aggarwal