Aims to un-slave the traveller from all things technology. True to its name, it is a refuge for most people stuck in the grind. What it promises instead is to reconnect our primal selves with the sights, sounds and smells of nature be it the rustling of trees in a forest, the babbling sounds of a brook, the soft calls of animals or a stunning view of the rare star-studded night sky. Come here to be wrapped in the arms of nature, communing with the environment and meeting interesting people over a campfire.
This beautiful one-of-its-kind-place is hosted by wife and husband duo Sylvia Kerkar and John Pollard who together, with a dedicated staff, tend to a variety of tasks at the homestay.
John, who is from England, is an adventure sports enthusiast and the first to pioneer white water rafting in South India in 1999. He started the first Rafting operations in Peninsular India which later opened up South India’s rivers for recreational white water boating.
Sylvia is passionate about ceramics and runs her own pottery studio at the Unhotel and in Goa.
We offer three types of rooms in this cosy little forest refuge. The main cabin overlooks the forest and a stream and can fit in three single beds or a double bed plus single bed. The rooms on the rooftop are spacious and airy and offer views of the forest all around. For those who want the ultimate camping experience we have a fully furnished tent with an exclusive sit out. All the rooms have attached bathrooms. Clean linen, blankets, towels and hot water in buckets are provided.
The Forest Refuge offers Indian, Asian and European dishes all made with local ingredients sourced from its own farm. Guests can enjoy barbeques, oven-fired pizzas, grilled food and homemade breads. The food is mostly vegetarian in keeping with the environment and all meals are served buffet-style at the dining table beside the stream during the day and by a toasty campfire in the evenings.
Room service is NOT available.
In the spirit of eco-friendliness, this Unhotel uses its own basic energy supply which is solar-powered; water is supplied by a waterfall nearby and firewood from the forest is used for cooking in ovens, grills and stoves.
Since the idea of this homestay is to disconnect, there is NO internet or telephone connection here.
The activities provided at The Forest Refuge are a nature lover’s paradise. Discover hidden waterfalls and streams (in which you can swim); spot rare wildlife like Sambar Deer, Sloth Bear, Porcupine, Ant Eaters or the more elusive leopard; trek through the forest and Savannah-like grasslands (guided treks to the Dudhsagar waterfalls can be arranged); spot some interesting birds like the Asian Fairy Bluebird, Rufous Babbler, Great Indian Hornbill, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher and many more; and indulge in arts and crafts like pottery, cob building and bird watching (on request).
The warm, cosy connection with nature that it promises – from its solar-powered lighting to its own kitchen garden, from its waterfalls to its campfire. Whether you are reading a book on the porch at this homestay or looking for a rare bird, time seems to stand still here.
The Forest Refuge is an ideal getaway for those who love nature-based activities like camping and trekking, who are looking for a detox from toxic city life, kids who love the outdoors and for those who can survive without basic communication devices.
It is not for those who cannot live without technology, TV, electricity, running water or the bells and whistles of a standard hotel room. It is also not for those who do not like camping or prefer non-vegetarian food. Not recommended for the elderly or families with infants.
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