Situated about three miles from the town centre Ambady Estate is a small property in a peaceful location.
Less than an hour outside Munnar, Ecotones has nine rooms, including cottages and mud-houses. All have been built using local resources and have thatched bamboo-leaf roofs, yet are contemporary in style and comfortable. The local village is a short walk away, as are spice plantations, which you can explore on foot with a guide. There's also a picturesque reservoir nearby, and the property's gardens are full of exotic plants and flowers, providing a peaceful space in which to relax.
During your stay, you can spend laid-back days taking part in yoga sessions, following nature trails and preparing local dishes in cooking lessons. You can also arrange to go on guided walks to the nearby village, or take longer treks in groups. Bicycles can be borrowed (with maps for self guided exploring) or you can cycle with a guide for an additional cost.
The property's owner is an avid ornithologist and photographer, while his wife is a biologist, so they're always happy to share advice on birdwatching — some 146 bird and 300 butterfly species have been recorded in the area. Each evening you can enjoy a traditional Keralan meal, prepared using local organic ingredients to support the community.
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As well as its five premium rooms, which have views of the adjacent hills, Ecotones offers characterful accommodation in its mud houses and cottages. The former have been built in the traditional Muthuvan style, while the cottages boast a private outdoor area where you can relax and watch the fluttering, endemic birdlife. There is no air conditioning in the property, but the rooms are equipped with fans.
Although just a 50-minute drive from Munnar, Ecotones enjoys a tranquil setting among exotic flowering gardens and piquant spice plantations, with the local village just a short walk away.
Food and drink
The hotel serves a variety of traditional Keralan dishes made from local, organic ingredients to help support the community, some sourced straight from the property's own farm. Its kappa and fish curry is a highlight.
Facilities and activities
During your stay you can join guided walks into the local village or around the spice plantations, or explore independently. Bicycles can be borrowed, and cooking classes give you a chance to prepare local dishes.
Environmental and social responsibility
As its name suggests, Ecotones is focused on being eco-friendly. Plastic bottles are never used, instead, water is drawn from the ground sustainably before being filtered for drinking. Much of the food is sourced from the property's own farm and waste from the kitchen goes back as animal feed.
Quiet and eco-conscious, we find that this property has the feel of a homestay thanks to its welcoming staff. Staying here, you can spend plenty of time relaxing or walking while taking in the mountain scenery.
Places & hotels on the map
Alternative places to stay nearby
Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.
Windermere makes a wonderful retreat, set amidst magnificent scenery with the best views in town.