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The Green Hotel Haven

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

When my mum and I decided to take the trip to Mysuru from Kochi we spent a lot of time looking at where to stay ahead of arriving. Somewhere we can get up, have breakfast and get in action exploring the city and its surroundings straight away; also quickly and safely get back after being out in the evening or watching the lights on Sunday night at the Maharaja's Palace. We opted for a hotel (which will remain unnamed) with mixed but good reviews, a restaurant, not far from the train station we arrived from. It seemed like a really good price and a reliable tourist website. When we got there we sat in the nice lobby watching a young family arguing with the receptionist - hell was breaking loose and we started to lose our excitement and hope as we waited for half an hour. Finally it was our turn as we watched the family leave and get in a hotel car. Time to check in to our booked room. There are no rooms in this building. "You're kidding?! We booked for this hotel?!" .... "Yes we have your booking but no rooms here. We give you a car and send you to our other building." Okay, weird, so their other building can't be far, we'll just go with it and see because they're refusing to give us a refund. After a 15 minute drive with my eyes on my gps, we arrive to the worst customer service (from the same man as at the hotel) and it did not look like a hotel. The room was awful and dirty. It was as though the hotel takes as many bookings as possible and has this appartment space for when they run out of rooms in the actual hotel. The whole experience was so stressful and got too much. We locked ourselves in our room, took a deep breathe and started to think of a plan. We had a budget and if we can't get a refund we'd be breaking it by booking another hotel. But here's the thing... as long as I can afford it in the long run, HAPPINESS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MONEY, especially when it comes to looking after my mum after convincing her to come on our biggest adventure together. We left the room with no refund and marched away from the man at the desk, towards the old train station with our huge backpacks on our backs looking for an Auto (tuktuk) or car. Although this was a travel nightmare, I don't regret it because otherwise we wouldn't have found our then haven, The Green Hotel.

The Green Hotel sits in all its glory at the edge of Mysuru, very close to a yoga retreat, just off a main road but once on the grounds you feel like you're on an island away from all the hustle and bustle over the hedge. As soon as I crouched out of the Auto I could feel the relief and the peace of the place. Normally that relief only comes after we've checked in but everything about The Green Hotel was so welcoming - the calm + smiley staff, the beautiful buildings, the wonderful lawn with seating... it was just good vibes all around! Which isn't surprising when you find out it was built in 1916 for none only but the sister of Maharaja (Great King) of Mysuru! Chittaranjan Palace is the original name of the princess's palace, one of eight royal palaces in Mysuru! The family sold the palace post independence, to a film company as a film set/studio where several Indian movies, tv shows and music videos (such as the one below!) were filmed before a fire broke out and the studio was shut down.

It was English Dame Hilary Blume, charity entrepreneur*, who opened the palace as an eco and charitable hotel, The Green Hotel! It is run on reliable solar power, no air conditioning but plenty of fans that keep you cool throughout the day and night and no problem with charging phones and (more importantly ;-) ) cameras. Hotels can be eco and luxury at the same time - good cold and hot showers with a natural water filtering system that reduces the amount of water we consume without any limits! It even has a really nice complimentary breakfast and free WiFi for those wanting to stay connected.

Now my favourite part - the food. All of the food in the restaurant and cafe is local and made in-house. At breakfast there is a spread of fresh fruit, cereal and toast as well as curries and similar (seen below). With the curries being too spicy for some, you can ask for something else - they're very familiar with making omeletes and eggy bread! In the evening they have a long menu with both familiar and new meals, with good descriptions that tell you how firey the dish is (very much needed and not very common in South India)! Every single dish we tried was delicious and looked amazing. There were even different options of flavour for both rice and naans! We got a bit attached to our favourites: the spinach dhal and korma curries, along with coconut rice and dosa or naan bread to dip. The fresh lemonade was a perfect refresher too! Eating beautiful food at tables on the lawn in front of the palace was a great end to each day exploring. Sometimes we even had (good) hot chocolate, milkshake or Horlicks to round it off.

As for the cafe, it is literally one of a kind. It is the first all-women bakery in the city of Mysore! It's said that the common belief here is that working in a bakery isn't a woman's job as it is physical labour kneading dough and lifting big bags and trays. So taking a step to change this, Blume set up the bakery and cafe at the hotel to help underpriveleged women learn to bake from a French Baker and make a living. Now they bake a range of breads and cakes and supply them to several well-known outlets in the city everyday! Most of the people trained and recruited at The Green Hotel, including the women in the bakery, are referred by NGO Rural Literacy and Health Programme (RLHP), which works with the underpriveleged. All of the cleaners are widows and they also hire people from tribal communities that need help. In fact they consciously don't use machinery so that they can hire more people! So washing is thoroughly done by hand and hung out to dry out of sight and grass is cut by hand as you can see below!

They support such a huge array of causes it's amazing, I'll leave the link here for you to see the brilliant things they do for both communities and the environment.

I honestly couldn't recommend this stay enough, it's a really lovely environment with 31 comfortable rooms, clean bathrooms (I particularly remember the aromic local sandalwood soap), a very little library, a good restaurant and bakery/cafe, a travel agent, and a beautiful palace to keep cool in! You needn't worry about travelling to and from the hotel as the hotel will happily set up a driver for you. It's a perfect place to relax while exploring and I can't wait to go back!

Hotel Details

*Did you know that Dame Hilary Blume started the Good Gifts catalogue in 2003, changing the way we give. Giving each other the gift of helping others, for example by buying a goat or school garden for an African village or an allotment for the homeless. She also founded Card Aid, selling charity Christmas cards.

the future is green yo


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