A smart and almost regimented little army town in the Blue Hills, Coonoor is quickly gaining in on big sister Ooty. And if you pick, like us, 180° McIver, as your home for the holiday, then it’s likely you’ll never want to come back. A colonial house, with delightful wrought-iron tables and chairs dotting the well-manicured lawns, the hotel goes back in time to the early 1900s, when the house was actually built. Especially since there’s little else but relaxing to be done. A little way from the cantonment area, the resort is ideally set close to town, but just enough to stay away from the hustle-bustle. That luckily means the views are spectacular.
There’s six rooms to choose from, each varying in sizes and exuding their own charm, all well-appointed rooms with wooden furniture — from the beds to the regal arm chairs, dominating the space. Feeling particularly self-indulgent and generous (towards self, naturally), we checked into the grand suite — the Blackwood. It even sounds regal, doesn’t it? Four-poster bed, a parlour area, powder room and a bathroom large enough to throw a cosy party, we’re feeling right at home here. And then we drew open the curtains to find our favourite spot — the private sit-out that overlooks the lawn and then the entire valley beyond! Oh! Most wonderful to curl up with a strong cup of tea, a good book and the sunset.
La Belle Vie — the multi-cuisine restaurant is another feather in the cap here. The veggies are mostly organic from their own garden. You can pick the verandah or even the lawn to soak in the cool breeze. But what is absolutely essential is a nap under the majestic eucalyptus tree that finds pride of place in the garden. Needless to say, the whole lawn area is vantage point for the best views. Dinner is best had inside for the typical hill-station feel, especially in the winter with the fire crackling away.