We had not visited Ooty for nearly a decade and decided to make a trip this May. We were clear that we did not want to stay in Ooty. The beautiful hill station has unfortunately fallen prey to commercialization and become crowded. We heard about Destiny Farms from a friend and when we did a quick search on the web – we liked what we saw.
Destiny Farms is like a piece of paradise on earth. It’s about 26 Kms from Ooty ( 1 Hr drive) located at Avalanche and is set in the midst of breathtakingly beautiful lakes and hills. If you are driving from Coimbatore it’s a 4 Hr drive ( 98 + 26 Kms) and if you are driving from Mysore its again a 4 Hr Drive ( 155 + 26 Kms). The Coimbatore Ooty hill road is a jammed up road.
It’s not easy to locate the place and the last few miles you do not see any shops / people to ask for directions. We fortunately took the hotels pick up service from CBE Station ( they charge Rs 4500 for an AC Innova)
You park your car and the last 2 Kms you travel in the Hotels 4 wheel truck that takes you through the jungle. The drive is rattling even with the truck travelling at less than 10 Km/ hr. But its fun – kids love it.
The first sight of Destiny Farms is a wow. It’s on a hillside that faces a crystal clear lake. An old mansion has been converted into a hotel. And they have strawberry , cabbage plantations, potatoes and herbs garden along the hillside. The whole place is peaceful , serene and beautiful.
The rooms are very nice ( No TV / No Fan / No Heater) – they have proper W Style bathrooms. And you get hot water in the morning and evenings. They have two type of rooms – we stayed in the larger one that has a fireplace. ( Totaly about 20 rooms) And the view from the balcony is beautiful. The restaurant is excellent – serves great food – kids were happy to find Pasta. ( Surprisingly no S Indian Food)
As we went about to explore the place we found a stable of horses. Big guys from Jaisalmer – you need a ladder to get on top of them. The stable was neat and the horses very well-maintained. They do complimentary rides in the evenings – in the afternoon you can take the horses for a jog on your own around the farm – very nominal cost. They also have some Sheep ( looks like its imported from N Zealand) , and Rabbits. Further down there is a pond where you can fish for Carp. The farm has over 50 cows and kids can see them being milked in the morning & evening (automated) – the milk is so sweet ( thanks to the fresh grass that the cows eat) that you don’t need to add sugar to your tea.
In terms of activities – its a great place to relax and unwind. Good to come as a group so that the Kids can have fun. The hotel organises treks and can even set you up in a tent near the lake with barbecue & snacks. They also have an open jeep ride that takes you the nearby hills / tea gardens etc. ( every time you go out – you have to use the Army truck thru the 2 Km wobbly drive). They also arrange for Rock Climbing and Valley Crossing. Kids can watch cartoons in the TV room and play indoor games like TT , carom etc. The reception has a cute library with novels & comics. You can play football or cricket at the ground near the horse stable. many of the staff are from Nepal – and their football standard is very good
The place attracts a lot of families from Bangalore and we were surprised to see 4 families who had kids from NPS. Nights are wonderful – you can see thousands of stars sparkling in the sky. It’s so relaxing to lie down in the benches and just stare at the sky. Air is fresh & pure and you can talk softly and be heard 100 m down the hill. Every evening the hotel sets up a bonfire with music and serves veg and non veg starters. ( No Liquor)
Ooty is close by and you can pack in a days trip to Ooty. The botanical garden is great – but all other places are crowded. The lake stinks and the boat ride was no fun. Clearly Ooty is a place avoided during the peak season.
Destiny Farms is a great place for a 2 Night – 3 day trip. Rates are reasonable – rooms are priced at Rs 4500 / night ( large ones – peak season) and include breakfast. ( Compare this with the 9 K that the Taj charges at Conoor – that includes all meals)
It’s amazing to see the passion with which the owner ( a young lawyer in his early 30’s) has built this place. He also owns a few more properties. Has an eye for perfection – and service is excellent. It’s not easy to run a place deep in the mountains in the heart of a jungle.
Kids loved the place and we didn’t feel like leaving Destiny farms. They are clear that they want to come back here every holiday.
1. The place accepts credit Cards
2. BSNL connection works – Airtel connection requires a walk towards the main gate
3. The farm is located in the middle of forest land – you are not allowed to venture out of the fenced area on your own
4. Days are pleasant and nights are cold. In summer nights were 5 – 6 Degrees. In Winter they would be Zero. The place is higher than Ooty – and is surrounded by forests & lakes – that’s what makes it cooler. ( Did you know that Ooty at over 2200 M is the highest hill station in the world that has no snow!)
7. No restaurants or shops close by – but the restaurant at Destiny Farms is good – lots of variety and reasonably priced
5. Contact details for Destiny Farms