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Dr Simon’s father in law who retired from services as the Deputy Chairman of Cochin Port Trust settled down in his ancestoral plantation which is 10kms before you reach Munnar town. On family trips up the moutains; Simon had the chance to explorethese area around and fell in love with the landscape. It was by chance that when he parted with his rubber plantations that this property in Munnar was up for sale, although discouraged by family and friends for the poor condition of plantation, he took it up for love of the location.
Travelling up and down from Kochi to Munnar, every weekend, Dr Simon invested thought and imagination in every little corner and object that today occupies the estate—down to every hook, lampshade, tile and curtain. Using ironwood, red cedar, teak, jackfruit wood and a local variety of wood, known as korungatti , he and his team of masons and carpenters to erect a space that was unlike any other in the values that it upheld. The rooms didn’t happen all at the same time but came up in slow batches spread over a decade.
There are none of the mandatory features of a resort here—swimming pool, salon or spa. But there’s enough and more of what you need: nature at its most tender and real; thoughtful and non-intrusive service that’s customised through careful observation of your needs; and a smile that comes all the way from the heart. Twenty five years after he first imagined Windermere in his mind, Dr Simon, who is now retired and lives in Kochi, continues to spend half his time at the estate. He and his in-laws live in their own villa at the estate.
Trivia: How Windermere got its intriguing name?
The name ‘Windermere’ was a quirky take on the Lake District of Windermere by the previous owners of the Estate. The original occupant of this property, I C Chacko, was a part of the Indian Civil Service under the British Raj. One evening, when entertaining his British friends, one of them remarked that the view of the hills bore a striking resemblance to the hills at the Lake District of England (minus Lake Windermere, of course!) The name stuck and continues to be our cherished legacy.
Team Windermere
Over the years, we have forged a committed team of Windermere staff. Some of them have been a valuable part of Dr John’s family for many years; others, who are experts in various fields are enthused about the Windermere way of life and service, have come together to create a warm, homely atmosphere.
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We respect Munnar
We respect everything that
we borrow from nature and
try our best to return the
favour. For instance, we
use energy efficient lighting
all over the estate. A bio-gas
plant provides us all the
fuel we need for cooking.
And water used around
our premises is recycled and
used in our gardens. As of
now, we are also experimenting resolutely through many trials
and errors to set up a
vermi-compost unit in our estate,
which should enable us to pursue organic farming—hopefully
sometime soon.

The bags and notepads used at Windermere are of recycled paper
made by children suffering from
disabilities at the nearby Shrishti Welfare Centre run by Tata Tea.

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