The British built Munnar town as an ‘ideal city’, from where one could head to any destination among the wide expanse of tea plantations. The town is now the starting point for visiting the various attractions which are scattered in different directions. Many head to Munnar whenever they have a holiday. Countless hotels, resorts and homestays dot the landscape of Munnar, but there is just one property that extends eight-and-a-half acres right in the town – Tea County.
Tea County waits for them in the town, maintaining a local flavour. Though the British have left, Tea County sticks to their tradition of playing the perfect host in a fitting ambience.
Awaiting Neelakurinji bloom
This year, there has been a significant increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting Munnar. They enjoy spending time on the balconies of Tea County, watching the rains of Kerala drenching the Munnar town. There is no other balcony in Munnar which presents such beautiful views of the town - this is the USP of the resort.
Luxurious rooms and suites await visitors who will be arriving in Munnar to watch Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthiana) bloom in the hills after 12 years. Ayurveda therapy offered during the Malayalam month of Karkidakom is ready as well as monsoon tourism packages.
There are 67 keys – one royal suite, four suites, 26 premium rooms and 36 deluxe rooms. In addition, there is a conference room, board room, class room, theatre and a multi-cuisine restaurant at Tea County, which was opened 18 years ago.
A visitor arriving at the property takes the tarred road beyond the main gate and reaches the lounge on the left side. It is of five-star standards. Walk towards the right and the first sight that greets you after a flight of stairs is the dining hall. The corridor on the left gives a panoramic view of Munnar town.
All around the premises are cottages which are similar to independent two-storey houses. Each of which has its own garden and is virtually a ‘viewpoint’ overlooking the town.
Tea County is often referred to as a haven by honeymoon travellers. They have traced this spot right in the Munnar town even when numerous other options exist from Rajamala all the way to Top Station. Adding to the popularity is the KTDC brand. Families too find the resort to their liking as it flaunts a health club, facilities for indoor games, currency exchange and doctor on call. The tag of a ‘safe and secure’ resort attracted more and more family tourists.
The management has introduced day tours from Tea County to the various destinations around Munnar town like Eravikulam national park, Rajamala, Mattupetti, Pothanmedu, Devikulam, Pallivasal, Ecopoint, Kundala, Anayirangal, Marayur, Thoovanam, Tea museum and Top Station. This has placed the resort even more higher in the tourists’ preferences. It is now referred to as ‘The ideal starting point’ for a Munnar sojourn.
Tea County is a premium hill resort. It has five blocks of cottages, each of which can accommodate two families. Since the year 2000 when it was opened, many people have felt security offered by the resort as it is under the KTDC (Kerala Tourism Development Corporation) and prefer to stay here. It offers buffet for breakfast, lunch as well as dinner, helping families to stick to their travel budgets. Camp fire is arranged on demand, and Tea County has become attractive for college groups too. At the restaurant, an Italian counter also functions.
Usually, season arrives in Munnar along with the mist and cold. During rains, there are relatively fewer visitors; but this year things are different. After 12 years, Neelakurinji is blooming at Rajamala. Tourists can also enjoy the rain creating magic in the hills. During heavy showers, the temperature often falls below zero. Visitors can view the Mattupetti and Kundala dams overflowing. Intrepid photographers among the tourists can venture into the tea gardens during heavy rains and catch the rain making merry among the green hills.
Tea County has already arranged a monsoon package for three days and two nights which is priced at Rs 7,600. This is the best deal you can get anywhere in Munnar, says Tea County assistant manager Gopu Chandran.
“Tourists will have to spend extra only on food,” explains manager Bilal Mohammed. Moreover, the resort arranges day trips for visiting all nearby spots.
The year 2018 is truly special for Munnar tourism. Tourists who came during the last season had promised to return during the monsoon. With the Neelakurinji all set to paint the Rajamala hills in blue, why wait to book your room in Tea County?