Return of the Raj

At Primrose Villas

2015 has been an action packed year for me. Not only am I a new entrant in the urban dating jungle (more on that later-I promise) :-)) my acting career has taken up from where I left off and last but not least, my baby “SimplySamtastic” has been growing by leaps and bounds.


The last few weeks have seen me “Wandering Through Vietnam”, publishing a tete-a-tete with my cousin brother who is “The First Indian” to sail the world solo and of course, my very first guest blogger, the pretty Payal Shankar. This particular blog post features one of Conde Nast’s stunning boutique hotels 2014, Primrose Villas. As I write this, I get the news that it’s also in Conde Nast’s list, “Coolest Hill Station Stays Across India” AND also “Hotlist Hotels in India” 2015. Phew! 🙂

Champagne in the midst of the mountains

The British during the days of the Raj were known to pick stunning locales and build luxurious getaways for themselves whether in Ooty in the South or Darjeeling in the North East as places where they could retire to escape the hot Indian sun. Primrose Villas, which is also the place mentioned above could have been one such place if the British would have been fortunate enough to discover it then.

The Villa at night

The word “luxurious” describes something that is of very high quality or of expensive taste. For me luxury also means something in which great effort has been put in to achieve perfection or something close to that and also the elegance with which it has been put together. I say this to you because this is the perfect word to describe everything at Primrose Villas-whether it’s the large dining area, the individual villas or the things inside or the food and service experience there.

Night View from the Villa

As I covered the 250 km drive from Bengaluru and the car climbed to approximately 1500 metres above sea level, I could feel the stress of the urban jungle slipping away. My very first sight of Primrose Villas was a glass walled dining room with a view of the mountains and valleys on all 3 sides and casually studded with heritage and family heirloom pieces.

The Dining Area

Amongst the things I saw was also a traditional doli (palanquin or a litter is what it means for my non Indian readers) complete with an extremely long horizontal pole which would be used by four bearers to carry it as a wall decoration. In two corners of the hall were two lamps which would reflect the rays of the rising or the setting sun and burst into all the colours of the rainbow. Antique telescopes and cameras were lying around in what may appear to be a casual fashion but were actually perfectly positioned to show themselves off in a discreet manner and to completely blend in with the surroundings.

The Palnquin

Me on a old fashioned wooden swing

The Dining Area

Moving on to the individual villas, I can only try to explain it to you in words. If any of you have seen the Julia Roberts starrer “Sleeping with the Enemy” or the teen thriller, “The Glass House” just keep that in mind. The villas are all glass with a view of the mountains and villas from all sides-whether from the bed, the bathtub or while sipping on your morning or evening cup of tea on the garden attached to each villa. Each villa seems to be individually carved out in the mountainside to give you a complete feeling of privacy and out of sight/sound of the other villas.

One of the Villas

The Villa from inside

Ravi also mentioned to me that Sumitra, his wife has been putting together all the various artefacts and heritage items displayed all over the villa for the past 20 years and hence I must make a special mention for all the elegant “little” touches all over the villa and I must say the good taste of this lovely couple shows everywhere-whether it’s the 150 year old wooden door which must have taken some effort to get into the heart of the mountains, the coffee flavoured toiletries all made from fresh coffee beans from the estate itself or the water which is mountain spring water, boiled and bottled at source and again sourced from the estate.

One side of the Dining Area

A log also used as a side table

The 3 chefs who specialise in different cuisines all seemed to be competing with each other as to which one of them could provide the most unusual though palate thrilling dishes. Even the humble dosa and uttapam were a gourmet delight in itself and I could go on and on. I will just satisfy myself with saying though, that I think Ravi Ramu and Sumitra should seriously consider a Gourmet Trail or a Gourmet Getaway and I will be able to recommend Primrose Villas for that without a doubt.

South Indian breakfast

A traditional Indian dessert-Kheer

The service is impeccable and non intrusive complete with a personal butler if one may need. Sumitra who was present throughout the weekend I spent there ensured that one got the feeling that one was staying in a impeccably run and luxurious family home and not a hotel.

I will just sum up by saying, if like me you live in a fast paced competitive world with all the symbols of success that there should be, just take a weekend out like I did and take a look at Primrose Villas for life the way it should be lived-elegant, understated, luxurious, serene and with a quiet perfection.

Me with the mountain pony

In the midst of the Southern mountains

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