Travellers’ Choice Award 2018

Congratulations to the team. In 2014 and 2015, you were awarded the Trip Advisors’ Certificate of Excellence. In 2017, you were awarded Trip Advisors’ top accolade, the Travellers’ Choice Award. And now, in 2018, you have again received this award – 2018 Travellers’ Choice. Well done to the team. You deserve it.

Cough Cure

It is not only the tourists who are coughing. We hear many local people coughing and spluttering. The local cure may be worth a try! Take the juice of a lime and some hot water. Add honey to taste. Now add a liberal helping of ground black pepper (about a level teaspoonful). After the initial shock to the taste buds, it doesn’t taste too bad …. and it might just stop that irritating cough!

The grizzled giant squirrel settles in the valley

For the grizzled giant squirrel high trees are an ideal habitat. The squirrels have taken up residence in a number of neighbour’s gardens. From time to time, they are seen at the Sadayandi Temple. They are on the ‘near threatened’ list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). At the moment our mixed habitats aren’t so suited to it, although Chris saw one sunning itself on the solar panel, by the pool.  

A new bed!

Pondicherry Suite has been revamped with a new king-sized bed and deep sprung mattress. As you can see, there are new bed coverings. You might sleep with the elephants or with the peacocks!  

Birthday celebrations

Chris was eighty at the beginning of the month. He celebrated with the staff team and their families, joined by members of his family. Many happy returns, Chris!  


Shiva has overlooked the pool for many months. The team decided that he should have a more venerated position. This entailed weeks of discussions until a design was agreed. Friends in Sembatti helped with creating the bamboo backdrop. The mason and staff team completed the dais…… and Shiva can now dance in splendour.    

Ploughing the Mango Farm

At last the ground is not too wet and it’s not too dry! Ploughing has started around the mango trees. Some are now about ten feet high and looking extremely healthy. Once the ploughing has been completed, the irrigation ditches can be re-dug. These are attached to a tank filled with water raised by a solar-powered pump. There are still mangoes in the market – and we are already looking forwards to next year’s harvest.

Giant Squirrels

Over the last few months giant squirrels have been spotted at Cardamom House and in the surrounding gardens and countryside. Their body is roughly the size of European domestic cat. with the tail the same length again.   This is evidence that, as the valley becomes more vegetated, the flourishing habitat is proving hospitable to a wider range of wild life.   Thanks, Polpandi, for taking these photographs.

Trip Advisor Award

The team have again been awarded the Trip Advisor Award. Back on 1 January, the team donned their new uniforms, chosen by Chris, Shankar and Janet (a regular long stay guest). The selection provides an opportunity to ‘mix and match’. Guests have commented on the smart appearance of our staff. Since the New Year, we have been busy welcoming guests from Australia, France, Canada, Israel, the US, the UK. We have also been visited by tour agents, journalists and photographers. It has been a busy and satisfying time.  

Barking Deer

We are fortunate to be surrounded to the north by forest lands. Occasionally,we hear a barking sound. In day light we might make out the shapes of a small feed of barking deer. At night, we can catch their eyes in our torchlight. When it’s a cool morning, we may see a troupe of monkeys warming themselves as the sun hots the rocks. They then move off in search of food. Fortunately we have a telescope so that we can take a better look at these shy animals.