This time thought of trying out Homestays instead of hotels/resorts. Tourism dept seems to be encouraging homestay concept which benefits both the traveller and the host. Tourists get a feel of the culture & tradition and host gets to make the extra bucks. I had seen the blog on Annapara in Wayanad and decided to experience the same with my family. Annapara (elephant rock) is in the midst of mountains and tea plantations.
We are welcomed by Shibu and Praveen who go out of their way to ensure guests are comfortable. Food prepared by the cook couple is awesome. We ended up over-eating every day and had to find ways of burning up the calories after every meal ! Thankfully, being in the mountains helped us to burn those calories much faster.
The place is not cheap by any means but advantage is that you get to move around on your own or with Praveen whenever you feel like it. Place is nature's bounty so one can easily relax just being with nature. There is good enough space for children to run around. They can play badminton or read books (a small collection) or just listen to music (own ipods, please).
The best thing (for some it would be the worst) about the place is that there is no electricity and you get power only from 7 to 11 Pm in the night. Rest of the day can be spent enjoying the breeze from the trees all around.
Our days were spent enjoying a shower under waterfall, swim in the natural pool, visit to eddakkal caves (prehistoric), a drive through the sanctuary to see elephants, wild boars, bisons and deer and to the nearby tea factory.
The place is amazing and a visit is definitely worth the money you spend. Word of caution - the food is mainly Kerala cuisine, therefore one needs to be prepared to accept that and relish every bit.