Sorry for the long review, but this story needs to be told! I have been to this place as a big group of friends and family members (with kids) and have decided on it after going through the positive reviews, but I was thoroughly disappointed by the overall experience. To begin with, the place is good for staying, we have no complaints regarding that. Nice clean rooms and wash rooms and the whole house is good. But one negative here is the common dining area where all other guests come to dine all 3 meals and your bedroom doors open into this area leaving no room for privacy as against what we were told that the entire house will be for our grp! But that's just one of the things which were misleading, there are many more!
Food, home stays are expected to usually provide good food and we had good feedback of this place but I would say from my experience its also wrong. Food was pathetic, no taste, lunch served cold, had a microwave but didn't bother to heat the stuff too! It was expected to be south Indian food but didn't expect such low standard, even the rice used was very low quality and yeah there was no dal at all! Informed Javed (care taker) and he assured dinner would be better. Evening snacks had onion bhajjis and 2 members found plastic pieces in them and showed it to him too! Then comes barbecue, which was shocking! Carrots, onions in chilly paste for veg and you are lucky if you can find a paneer piece. Equally bad, non-veg and the worst thing, using same grills to cooks non-veg first and then veg items! Informed Javed again of all this and he says he has no items other than this for barbecue, the kitchen had no stock of things..At this point I messaged the owner, lady named Mrinal, called her too but she didn't pickup the call. After the lunch, snacks and now the quality of barbecue made me think, is this place really worth the money this lady is charging us? We were travelling with small kids and the lack of proper food really put us off. Even the drinking water we were scared to drink as the Aquaguard that was there in the stinking kitchen was not working. Then the lady sent the estate manager to listen to our grievances and all the guests (including one other family staying in the cottage) explained him of what all we had faced regarding lunch, snacks and the barbecue. Most shocking was the plastic thing, when we told him, and Javed confirmed, it was found that he had bought those bhajjis from roadside somewhere and this estate manager was least concerned that guests are being fed such food and said whatever has happened you forget and tell us what you want next! Very positive attitude towards life! We were given dinner (night 10pm) of half cooked bhindi, again egg curry, rasam and same rice from lunch. Later for next serving they served us a better quality rice which was cooked in the kitchen there, rest food was brought from outside.
Next day morning the owner calls me and says it appears that our group cannot be made happy with whatever their staff is trying. I told her to first listen to what all issues we had faced and don't put a blame on us that we are a difficult to please grp..I told her very clearly that I have no issues with the place or house but your food service sucks. When you are charging so much why can't you arrange proper cook? The lady herself is based in Bangalore and is well aware that guests coming from Bangalore, will have some basic expectations of good hygienic food in a home stay instead of taking care of that she labels us as a difficult to please group. She goes on to tell me that you are free to leave (we booked for 2 nights) as 1 night stay was over and that they can't make us happy but if we decide to continue, to pay the balance amount to them immediately then only they will arrange lunch! I was disgusted as it was completely spoiling our vacation and it appeared that these ppl just want to trap the guests by making them pay the money first! Fortunately we had not paid
the full amt at the time of booking. As we had traveled all the way and it was difficult to get new booking on x-mas eve, I offered her that we can stay provided she takes care of things and reduces the charges as the service they are giving is definitely not worth the money I am paying them. To this she didn't agree and even we felt like leaving this place as the attitude of this lady was very very disgusting. Some how we planned something and decided to leave the place after breakfast. After so much feedback given the previous night and have told them upfront what we want for breakfast, we were lucky to be served hot breakfast that day.
I left this place with a very bad memory of the interaction with this lady who seems to be very well versed in fooling people. My request to fellow travelers is, please don't get misguided by good reviews about this place like me! If you are fine with cold, low quality, in sufficient food, please come here. Stay wise no issues. Activities - nothing to do just a trek and dirty river bank with ppl washing utensils. Also, please make sure you don't pay full money in advance no matter how much these ppl force you (which in fact they really do under the pretext that other party is waiting to book). Best is to pay as minimum as possible at the time of booking and pay rest later based on the service provided. Negotiate and make sure you get yourself heard as this lady would not listen to you and would not give you opportunity to speak. She told me we have many cases of guests returning from riverwoods, which was no surprise to my ears after seeing their service and her attitude. Also, make sure you tell your expectations about food very clearly because these people have no cook, one village maid who cooked the food of us when we created so much issue, else they were bringing food from outside somewhere and telling us we are getting from another house. I can't believe a word she says after all this. No proper drinking water available, better make your own arrangements if travelling with young kids. Don't expect a barbecue like what we think barbecue is, here the definition itself is something else and to explain I am told, you know some people like to pay for this different experience! Well, not me! Best tip would be to avoid this place as there are many really good home stays in and around Chikmanglur. A little humility and good service could have earned more stars to this otherwise good place.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC