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Brighton India
What a haven
Apr 27, 2006 11:06 PM 3400 Views
(Updated Apr 28, 2006 12:12 PM)

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The journey in April 2006 up this mountain to reach Chikmagalure was fraught with the inherent dangers of Indian roads, potholes large enough for a dog to sleep in, hairpin bends, vehicles overaking where they really shouldn't and people who seem to be more intent on reaching the next life than living this. However, the arrival at the Taj Garden Retreat was magic. What a haven. The gardens are beautiful (remember to tip the gardeners, they seldom get any tips and are probably the lowest paid members of the staff) and the pool (ditto the pool cleaners) was spotless and hoovered and de-flowered (!) every day. The pool was surrounded by beautiful flowers, and the views were stunning.

Our arrival was marred by waiting for an hour for our a la carte lunch, only to find that my chicken was raw in the middle - very dangerous. However we made our complaint and were assured that thenceforth our stay would not be marred by a single bad episode. And it wasn't. We booked for two nights and ended up staying 5 - which says it all really.

Beware the morning nature walk is not BETWEEN 6.30 and 7.30 leading us to believe it was a one hour walk, it LEAVES between 6.30 and 7 and is a 3 km hike up the mountainside and as an overweight woman approaching geriatric years, I was able to do it, passing through a delightful little village, and going on up to a small temple nestling in a sort of cave in the rock. Why people drop litter at such places is beyond our comprehension.

If you are Indian and reading this PLEASE spread the word to everyone you meet that civic pride is sadly lacking in India and needs addressing NOW. In days past, meals were wrapped in biodegradable banana leaves and such, but now wrappings are plastic, film coated paper and so on, and they make such a terrible mess everywhere. Please please I beg you to pass the word.

Anyway, the road back down had been vastly improved with new tarmac, although it had been made no wider and although the potholes had vanished, sadly the mad drivers hadn't ! Being a humanist and not a Hindu, I have no faith in an after life, nor am I interested in one unless I KNOW that is is my second or fifth life ! So I quite like to live out my three score year and ten. ha ha

Anyway, I would really recommend this hotel. The cottages are big, but the ordinary rooms in the hotel are very adequate, and those fronting onto the pool are wonderful.

Internet access is a bit iffey by the way.

Don't hesitate to take a visit to this hotel, you won't regret it. Oh, its BEST feature by far was the ayervedic massage, hosted by a delightful husband and wife team. I got my best massage anywhere in the WORLD at this place, and very reasonably priced they were too. Absolutely to be recommended.

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Taj Garden Retreat - Chikmagalur