Forest resorts have a compelling charm that combines the amenities of modern comforts with pristine nature. Vythiri Resort in wooded, hilly Idukki in Kerala is situated a few kilometres away from Lakkidi—one of Wayanad’s most breathtaking viewpoints. Guests can go on treks in the dense Nilgiri forests, accompanied by an in-house naturist about the flora and fauna that they encounter on the way. “Wayand is a unique place which is host to number of rare and special flora and fauna. We want tourists who arrive here from various parts of the world to understand how special the place is,” says M Sajeevan, the assistant resident manager at the resort.
Bjieesh, the in-house naturist, says, “We offer treks during all times of the season, except the monsoon months when the forests are infested with leeches and tourists are apprehensive about going in. It is an opportunity for them to see the Mountain Squirrel, the Slender Loris and the Langur which is scarcely found anywhere else in the world as well as observe other animals like deer, sambhar and wild boars in their natural habitats. They will also be able to see a number of birds native to this part of the world, including the Malabar Whistling Thrush, Malabar Trogons, Scarlet Minivets and the Malabar Grey Hornbill,” he says.
Vythiri resort is spread across 150 acres of forest area. Thirty-five acres have been utilised for various buildings. A natural stream circles the resort, forming the occasional waterfall with many rooms overlooking these.
The wide range of accommodations start with basic cottages, but the pick of the 43 rooms is the tree houses. Situated atop Banyan trees at a height of more than 80 ft, the tree houses offer a breathtaking view of the Wayanad skyline and the Western Ghats. “Our rooms are mainly aimed at couples coming here for their honeymoon or for a short vacation, and the solitude and the privacy that the tree houses offer is just what they are looking for,” says CH Gopalakrishnan, Vythiri’s manager of operations.
Vythiri, too, like most resorts that house the typical wellness complex, has one that blends traditional Ayurveda with Western treatments. Constructed like a traditional Nalukettu, it features a full-fledged Ayurveda centre with a doctor and four masseurs on the top floor and a European style spa and other wellness treatment facilities on the lower floor. Free daily awareness classes on Ayurveda are also headed by in-house doctor, Dr Aneeb AP.
The food is highlight at Vythiri. The chefs blend elements of traditional Kerala cuisine and Wayanad’s own unique tribal cooking. “We have 16 chefs here, each of whom are masters of a particular style and we decide the dishes for the day based on the where the majority of our guests are from. While seeking to introduce Kerala and tribal dishes to our guests, we take care to ensure that not all dishes are completely strange to them.” The masalas are bought from Kudumbasree units—run by local women—across Waynad. For a jungle experience with all the comforts of home and hotel, it can’t get better than this.