February 25, 2014

My TripAdvisor Review No.15: Club Mahindra Binsar Manipur Villas, Uttarakhand

5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago
We arrived at the Binsar Resorts as the sun was setting, and were immediately offered a refreshing drink of rhododendron juice. Then we were taken up to the log huts, also known as Manipur Villas, by their Jeep. The road leading up to the log huts was a narrow cemented path precariously hugging the mountain side, and we had our hearts in our mouths during the short ride.

By the time we settled into our studio log cabin it was quite dark, and the sight of the twinkling village lights from the balcony was indeed mesmerising. The log cabin was also very cosy, with a dry kitchenette, a small dining area, a sitting area with satellite TV, and a bedroom. It was as if we were in a fairy-tale world, living in a dream home hugging the mountain-side.

When we awoke the next morning, the view from the balcony was even more breathtaking! The sun was just rising above the mountains. We could see the fluffy clouds in the valley, floating above the matchbox like houses in the fields below, and small dinky cars winding their way along the road. Birds were twittering in the pine trees. I thought that I was still asleep, having a beautiful dream!

Walking down the Jeep track to the main Valley Resort was an adventure in itself. We got a good view of the snow capped Himalayan range and took a lot of snaps on the way down. Besides the Jeep track there was an even smaller track, meant only for walkers and climbers, which involved a more challenging climb.

A must-see at Binsar is the Wild Life Sanctuary. The entrance gate to Binsar WLS is about 10 km from the valley. At about 7 km from the gate is the ancient Bineshwar Temple, and a further 5 km up is the KMVN Tourist Rest House. From the TRH you have to walk along a jungle path to reach the Zero Point, from where you get a magnificent 180 degree view of majestic Himalayan peaks. Guides can be hired at the TRH to show you the way and identify all the peaks for you. We were also lucky to spot a pair of pine martens before they quickly disappeared into the bushes.

Binsar valley is about 30 km from Almora. Other places to see around Binsar include Jageshwar, Baijnath, Bageshwar, Kausani, and Patal Bhuvaneshwar. These places are at quite a distance from Binsar, and you would need to hire a taxi. Taxis can be booked at Travel Desk of the main resort, or can be hired from the gate if available.

We had a-la-carte dinners at the 'Silver Oak' restaurant, and the food and service was excellent. The restaurant has a very good ambience, with seating for families in individual log cabins. Buffet dining was available only at the Valley Resort. The nearest restaurant outside the Resorts, about a km towards village Bhainsori, was the 'Shree Hayat Hotel' which was good for alu paratha and bhajjias and other local dishes.

There is a souvenir shop in the main resort, where you get the local produce such as pickles, spices, jams and cosmetics.

All in all this was a very unique and refreshing holiday in which we were in our own dream world for 5 days.
Stayed November 2013, travelled with family

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