More about Rose Gardens Homestay
Charming and warming!
This homestay really deserves the business. People like Tommy and Rajee are exactly the kinds of people you hope to come across whilst traveling but so rarely do. The rooms have their own entrance and are large, very clean and comfortable with a nice modern en-suite bathroom with shower. Rajee's cooking is fabulous - we ate like kings and she always makes about 5 dishes plus rice etc so even if one is not to your taste you won't go hungry! Tommy took us out on a trek - his knowledge of the place is second to none. If you are into plants then you;ll love learning from Tommy. And I can't forget the boys - who are great! But it's really the warmth of welcome and the fact that you are welcomed into a family and looked after that makes it so special. In the evening we sat outside sipping a beer and reading our books to candlelight listening to all the noises of nature - ah! The family obviously enjoys the homestay business and it shows in everything they do. We only stayed 1 night, I would recommend 2 but if you can only make it for 1- it's still worth it. In March it was little cool in the evening but still warm (25C) during the day. Finally, I booked with Tommy direct - he responds to text messages and emails so it's very easy he has his own website - you can find it on the Keralan tourist website. He also offered to arrange transport to get us there from Cochin (about 3 or 4 hrs) which would have been much cheaper than the way we did it...
Days of bliss in Munnar
We were advised to stay at the Rose Gardens by another homestay in Cochin and how pleased were we that we followed their advice. Although a little out of the main town, this homestay, which gets it's name from the nursery it has in its back yard full of the most beautiful flowers, suited us perfectly as it just the experience we were looking for.
Tommy and his wife are just lovely and their children are really fun to be around. The homestay itself only has a few rooms (so book early as to not be disappointed), but the advantage of this is that you really get to know what it's like to be in an authentic homestay, unlike others which really are glorified hostels. My wife constantly talks about the fresh coffee we had there as well as the home grown food, honey and spices which are picked directly from his back garden.
We were only meant to be passing through for a night, but ended up staying three I believe, as we really enjoyed spending time with them, my wife, in the kitchen learning how to make a variety of Indian dishes while I helped the family with their computer and listened to stories about India and the lifestyle.
Tommy took us on a tour of the plantations on one of the days which was an absolute highlight. It's unlike like a commercial tour, as in this one he takes you through plantations owned by colleagues and friends teaching you about the techniques and methods used in harvesting the crops.
If you are a fan of a bit of rest & relaxation, then this is definitely the place for you, the rooms are massive and the bathrooms with hot water showers were the immaculate and by far the cleanest I experienced in India. We were very sad to leave and I'm sure you will be too.
Awesome experience altogether!!!
Rose Garden Homestay was a kind of pleasant experience probably I wont be able to forget ever. First of all since this was my first stay in any homestay, I was a bit sceptical about this at first. But I would not have known the correct definition of hospitality, had I not stayed over there. Tommy (owner of the homestay) and his wife (Rajee) gave us a warm welcome. We stayed there for 2 nights and truly enjoyed Tommy's vast experience of nature and not to forget Rajee's delicious food. She always cooked more than enough food for us and happily shared all the recipes to my wife. My 3 year old daughter had a nice time with their 4 year old son. The incident which I will never forget has actually happened when we left their place and almost got on bus to reach Bangalore. Actually we left a small dress top of my daughter, which was not that important. But Tommy came all the way to the bus station (12 kms) rushing by his car and handed the dress over to me in a nice cover. Now thats called homely behaviour. I would definitely recommend his homestay to all my friends....
My friend Sarah and I had a lovely couple of days staying with Tomy, Rajee and their three children at Rose Gardens. We would have stayed longer, if they hadn't been booked up. The highlight was our walk through the local tea plantations, where we took a refreshing dip in a waterfall - which we had all to ourselves. The other highlight was Rajee's amazing food - definitely the best Indian meals I've ever had. And we enjoyed just sitting around with the family, chatting and drinking endless cups of tea on their beautiful porch, and wandering through their incredible gardens - where they grow every type of spice imaginable, as well as coffee, pepper and, of course, roses. Definitely the highlight of our trip to Kerala.
We booked at Rose Garden after reading good reviews in Tripadvisor.
We did not know what to expect at a homestay, but found it to be a delightful experience. Our hosts, Tomy, Rajee and the boys were wonderful and very attentive. They are willing to show guests around the area and are keen to to make you feel welcome and comfortable in their home.
The rooms are very clean and comfortable. Rajee's meals were excellent with many of the ingredients (especially the honey & coffee) coming fresh from Tomy's garden.
Deepak took me on a enjoyable walk to a neighbours plantation where I was shown how Cardamon is processed.
Delicious home cooking
This is a real Keralan homestay experience, eating delicious food with the family. Everything is home grown or homemade, including their own honey and coffee beans. There are two fairly large guest rooms at the front of the house with an adjoining verandah overhung with flowers and vines. The family run a garden nursery and we had a guided tour by the middle son aged 12. Tomy, the owner, is a real character and takes his guests on treks through the tea plantations as a sideline, telling stories along the way. His wife, Rajee, is a fabulous cook and I would recommend asking her to do meatballs which are the most delicious things I've tasted. Just try everything on the table, you won't be disappointed. Unfortunately we had a lot of rain during our stay and the only problem we had was not being able to dry out our clothes after a downpour and also the bathroom towels were constantly wet. The rooms and the bathroom were immaculate though and the price of the room and the evening meals was excellent value.
Lovely family, excellent location, delicious food
Tomy and Rajee's homestay is a hidden delight in the high range of Kerala. We received a warm welcome and were presented with spotless rooms and hot showers. After the intense heat of the lower plains of Kerala, Munnar is a pleasant relief, and Tomy kindly acted guide showing us all the spots where tourists do not usually get to venture. Tomy runs his own nusery and my mother, being a keen gardener, was in her element being able to discuss with Tomy the wonders of Elderflower Cordial, the 'sensitive plant' and Tomy's array of spices grown direct from the garden.
Evenings and mornings are an array of traditional Keralan food, cooked by Rajee, a skilled and fantastic cook. We tried home-made chocolate, coffee grown from their garden. The variety is tremedous and you do not leave the table without feeling extremely satisfied and ready for the day/evening. I was able to help make breakfast one morning and I believe cooking lessons are a must at Rose Gardens!.
The personal touch of being with a family made the stay more enriching than being in a hotel. It is cheaper. The quality of company and experience had cannot be matched.
magical and not to be missed
We have done a lot of travelling and stayed in many different places all over the world and have to say that Rose Gardens is certainly right up there with some of the best . Yes the food is out of this world - we are vegetarians and we ate like kings - , yes the accommodation is spotless and comfortable with a great shower, yes the trekking is magical, Tomy's knowledge and passion for the local flora and fauna is extensive, yes you can sit in the lazy chair and watch the monkeys leaping in the trees just across the way and yes the location is out of this world - Rose Gardens boasts its own microclimate and therefore does not become bitterly cold at night like Munnar itself. Staying with this family was a unique experience and we are so pleased that we found them. Tomy and Rajee are two of the most genuine, charming and delighful people we had ever met. My camera broke whilst we were there so they leant me theirs, I lost my expensive sunglasses whilst in the town but did not realise untill a week later when Ihad returned to Cochin. Tomy found them and drove to Cochin to ensure I got them. So special. Our stay at Rose Gardens was an absolute joy and one we will certainly never forget. We cannot wait to return and hopefully catch a glimpse of the elephants.
A beautiful friendly homestay
We stayed at Rose Gardens during mid May and had a great time there, we felt very welcomed and the room was clean, safe and nice (if somewhat basic).
Upon arrival we told Rajee, Tomys wife, that we were hungry and she was very quick to bring us something to eat and some tea in a very British looking teapot which we thought was quite quaint! Rose Gardens doubles as a plant nursery run by Tomy so as you can imagine the garden is very nice, full of all different types of plants and flowers. We were given an in depth tour of the garden which was very interesting.
Rose Gardens is situated around 10km from Munnar town so if you are looking for a place to stay in the town itself (something I personally would not recommend), this may not be the place for you. We were very happy to arrive after a 4 hour trip from Cochin, the cooler climate made it seem like paradise! The room is large but a bit basic, with a bed, hanging rail, writing desk, bedside table and small coffee table. The bathroom on the other hand was very nice and modern with a Western style toilet and shower cubicle, the whole place was spotlessly clean too.
Tomy is very helpful and is able to take you personally to see the sites. He is also friends with the manager of a local tea plantation as other reviewers have mentioned, thus can take you there alone with no other people around (except the pickers). My girlfriend was ill during the stay and Tomy and Rajee were very helpful, providing all she needed.
Again, as other reviewers have said, Rajees food is excellent and there is always enough – we were full to bursting every time we left the table! One meal in particular was honestly the best I’ve ever had! The breakfasts are very sweet so be prepared to leave with no teeth! Something else worth mentioning is that the water is purified, therefore you are able to drink it directly from the tap, which was a nice surprise as we had been used to only drinking bottled water to that point.
We only had one complaint, which was that it was sometimes loud at night as the house is right next to a road used by trucks and buses. It wasn’t too bad, but if you’re a light sleeper you may want to bring some ear plugs.
All in all a very nice and welcoming homestay which we fully recommend!