There are some experiences that hit you in the face real hard. What we went through at the Silver Brook Estate was more of the love-hate type. Being put up at a Home Stay is a bit different from a resort. At a homestay, one is entirely at the mercy of the caretakers or managers of the place. A resort is atleast run by a management and concerns can be voiced better. Taking a risk on purely internet reviews on tripadvisor.in, we booked our stay in advance and arrived at the place with a bit of anxiety.
More on the love-hate thing now. We love our host Revathy who ensured that our family had the most fabulous stay ever at a hill station. And we also hate her for making us miss the experience so much. So there you go. Revathy and Yogesh are the owners of Silver Brook Estate which has 4 rooms and a cottage in their 5 acre estate. While we did not have the pleasure of meeting Yogesh, we did enjoy our 3 days interacting with Revathy and her loyal team. Every wish of ours was accommodated to the maximum possible extent. This post is a way of thanking them all.
More on the facilities now.
The estate is just off the Kadagal bus-stop to the right. It is situated in a calm, peaceful surrounding with a tiny brook running in the estate. As we went in summer, the brook was just trickling. I'm sure the flow will be much better after the monsoons.
The estate is a bit away from any civilisation which lends it a feel of the perfect getaway. The surroundings are only the forests and the birds which chirp loudly at dawn offering the best wakeup call. Madikeri town is about 6 kms away but the whole point of such a place is to stay away from civilisation and recharge. The only disappointment for us was the lack of a mountain view. I'm a fan of nature in all her glory when she shows me mountains and valleys. Silver Brook does not offer this but the point is too minor to be picked taking everything else into account.
Now this is where everything falls together. The cottage and rooms are simply a wonderful combination of a home away from home. One step inside the cottage and you understand the passion and commitment with which the entire structure has been put together. Yogesh and Revathi are fans of the Chettiar architecture and all furniture and interiors have been ornately blended together. If you are a fan of ancient south Indian architecture, this place will be pleasantly nostalgic. The sitting area furniture, the heath, tables, wall decorations have all been painfully hand-picked to lend a warm welcome.
The well stacked library to suit all from the fun-loving to the eclectic. The photos will speak for themselves.
The bathrooms come with the soap, hand towels and bath towels. So there was no need to carry any of those.
As the morning sun diffuses through the glass tiles into the room, there is a gentle but evergrowing brightness that tickles the eyelids. The beds, the linen, the bathroom, the towels; everything has been put together with so much thought. There are complimentary tea and coffee bags for that occasional cup if you need it. The staff also supply these beverages at reasonable intervals.
There are 4 rooms and 1 large cottage which form the entire "resort". The atmosphere of the entire building is lively and open. Everything is spic and span. We did not encounter the ubiquitous cockroach, ants or lizards during our three and a half day stay.
There are also games available for play. Badminton, Cricket, Chess and Boardgames are available for people with children. Even otherwise, there is tons of space for children to run around and have fun.
Exemplary service levels. And Silver Brook stands tall. The team present here are polite, courteous and are strictly no-nonsense. Revathy is a wonderful host whose perky attitude gets even the most introverted to open up. It was a pleasure interacting and exchanging ideas with someone who is well informed of almost everything.
As this is a homestay, there is no concept of room service. We just had to step out and ask the staff what we wanted. They always responded with a "Yes" and gave us our extra pillow for the kids, an extra towel if needed. I pestered the staff for a Rin soap, an iron box, a tennis ball, tea, water, coffee, a bottle etc. Each request was attended to with a smile. The request for a Rin soap did attract a surprised look though.
For those in need of a tour in and around Madikeri, there are arrangements made from the homestay itself. They also offer pick up and drop services from and to Mysore. So there is no need to have your own transportation unless it is really essential.
A very clean kitchen. The food was excellent. That's it. Just excellent. No elaborate buffet spreads with 12 items. It was always just more than the right amount. 5 Veg dishes and one non-veg dish for lunch and dinner. Less oil, less salt, less spice. No stomach upsets, no heaviness, no heartburn. Enough for the palate to feel light yet easy on the insides. We are very picky eaters when it comes to calories and Revathy's team did not disappoint. We enjoyed everything that was served. Breakfast was a fun affair, lunch was melancholy and dinner was full of camaraderie.
The food served was a mix of North and South Indian. The chefs prepare the meals based on the type of people staying at that point of time. This is very thoughtful of them. Children were practically given a free hand to mess everything up and the staff responded by just going about their job with a smile.
I refuse to give any information regarding the specifics of each dish as this should be a surprise to those visiting Silver Brook Estate.
We miss our stay so much that there's no question of where we're going back again. One look at the guest book gave us all the insight into the sheer variety of people who visit this wonderful homestay, from all over the globe. At such reasonable rates along with the company of so many humane individuals, I'd be hard pressed to think of a better place. We're going back for sure. Sometime.