Great hill stays in the Nilgiris

Six terrific reasons to drive out of Bengaluru over the weekend

Colonial Heritage Bungalow

Quaint, basic and full of stories– what else would you expect from a 100-year-old house? The heritage bungalow is lo cated a bit outside Ooty, so head here if you’re aiming to get as far away as possible from the maddening crowd. The rooms are huge, so it’s good to pack in as a group with kids, board games, decks of playing cards, and 48 hours of unplanned bliss.

Fortune Resort Sullivan Court

Named after Ooty’s founder, John Sullivan, the Fortune Resort Sullivan Court is an expansive new property. It has more than 60 rooms, but it’s the suites that you should be after. These overlook verdant landscapes, slopes of green and rolling mists, and have separate living rooms and bedrooms. The hotel is very close to the centre of town, which means you can don’t have to make elaborate plans each time you want to head to the market.

Destiny, The Farmstay

Farm life can be decadent too, or at least the way Destiny plans your weekend. The 25 cabins at this farm are playfully divided into four themes–Wild West, Great Explorers, Men of Nature and Plant Savers. The actual farm is a short walk away, so you get to indulge in the more adventurous pursuits of horse riding, fishing, zip-lining, rock climbing, monkey crawling, massages, and barbecues. The restaurant uses the farm grown veggies and herbs, and if you’re interested, you can turn farm hand for the day.

The Gateway Hotel

The tea estates of Coonoor made it a firm favourite with the British–it led to a number of spectacular bungalows being built there. The Gateway is one of these, a colonial hangover that’s been turned into a pretty property, perfect to spend a hideaway weekend at. If you visit in winter, the garden bonfires are truly a special treat.

Acres Wild Cheese-making Farmstay

As a guest at Acres Wild, you can lend a hand in cheese-making, as well as take part in brick-making, or feeding farm animals. The farm-stay is run by filmmaker Mansoor Khan and his wife Tina. Three cottages (with a total of five rooms) are located on the organic farm. When here, wander around the 22 acres, which also include ponds that attract wildlife like bison, panthers, deer, wild boar and elephants.

Fernhills Palace

The Fernhills Palace deserves to be on top of this list. The palace was once home to the Mysore Wadiyar kings. Today, it has nineteen suites with glass-enclosed verandahs and private gardens, Jacuzzi-fitted bathrooms, decked with Victorian furniture and the still-deep silence that marks out a luxury experience. To add to the experience, the hotel also arranges golf sessions at the nearby Ooty Club or permits to visit restricted forest reserves.