Variety

Retreat to the blue hillsides

M.R. Subramani | Updated on May 17, 2012 Published on May 17, 2012

Sinclairs Retreat Ooty, Udhagamandalam - M.R. Subramani.

A decades-old resort brims with fresh ideas and spaces.



The decades-old Sinclairs Retreat Ooty in Udhagamandalam, Tamil Nadu, is fresh from renovation. But even during the year-long renovation, the 79-room property kept its doors open to loyal customers. M.Y. Gouse from South Africa counts his stay here as the highlight of his India-visit a few months ago. He intends to return and savour the “home away from home” feeling exuded by this spectacularly located hotel.

Overlooking a valley, with wonderful views of the town below including its famous racecourse, the Retreat's scenic perch is something few others can match in the region.

“Our hotel's USP is its location, food and a play area for children,” says Dhrubo Ghosh, the Food and Beverage Manager.

The rooms and suites offer two kinds of views — the valley or the Blue mountains. The spacious rooms are tastefully done up, including the large-sized honeymoon suite at 890 sq. ft. and the premium 400 sq. ft. suites. The hotel offers two villa-type accommodations, complete with dedicated cook and other staff.

The hotel's central heating system is again a USP in this chilly hill-station.

Guests can nurse their choice of drink either at the Portico coffee shop overlooking the valley or at the Spanish-styled Alto Espirito Bar.

One of the hotel's chief attractions is the Tic Tac Toe entertainment zone both for kids and adults. While the video games and a play zone are a big draw for the kids, the grown-ups can work out at the modern gym or indulge in a game of table tennis, badminton, carom, chess or snooker.

The hotel's Pine N Petal restaurant offers quality and tasty food, although there is a limited choice of South Indian food.

Chef Sovan, who is from Kolkata, says he has come up with five signature dishes for the hotel.

Apple Ala dessert, where apple slices are batter-fried and eaten with custard sauce and a drizzle of honey; the Nilgiri Murgh, chicken cooked in green gravy of spinach, coriander, green chilli and topped with fenugreek and chopped mint leaves; cashew paneer masala; Banjara Murgh Kebab, spicy chicken marinated with beetroot and other masalas; and paneer malai tikka with marinated cream and cheese.

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Published on May 17, 2012
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