Review: Wayfarer Mountain Resort, Munsiyari, Uttrakhand

A hut at Wayfarer Resort in Munsiyari in the Himalayan state of Uttrakhand in IndiaAs far as first impressions go, the Wayfarer Resort in Munsiyari in the Himalayan state of Uttrakhand (Uttranchal) flatters – but it does end up deceiving you a bit on the service front. What works for it is its setting: its perfect. The view of the Panchachuli peaks and surrounding mountain ranges leaves you with no option but to keep looking at them for hours on end as long as the cloud cover allows you to.

If you are willing to take a bit of the rough and inconvenient in your stride, this is the where you should stay when in Munsiyari, a place to mark as priority in your future planned itineraries. (Actually the next best option may not even be an option if you want at least a certain degree of comfort)

Here’s a review from my stay at Wayfarer in early June 2008:

[To see more images of the resort, click here. To see images of Munsiyari in general, click here.]

  • The Location: Like I said – tough to match. On elevated ground (about 90 hillside steps up, great for losing weight if you do these a few times a day) one kilometer from the town square on the Madkot Road, the mountains rise behind it while it faces the Panchachuli and other mountain peaks – it is one of the closest and clearest views you will get of these ranges. The only audible decibels here of birds and other jungle insects, the occasional blare of a horn from the sparse traffic road below, a rare election campaigner blasting out promises from a megaphone or of fellow guests.
  • The Accommodation: Seven eco-friendly huts and three tents, all with attached bath.
  • The Rooms: The huts have thatched roofs, clay plastered walls, cement floor and adequate lighting with CFL bulbs. Beds are the folding types with comfortable mattresses to keep your back straight after a day of hiking or driving around. A covered patio in the front allow you sit, chat, have tea and enjoy the view of the mountains. The tented accommodation has similar amenities. A wood or coal fired heater, with an exhaust leading out, has been provided for the extremely cold nights.
  • The Baths: Very basic, with a WC, a small wash basin and bathing area. You get running cold water, but hot water (heated in wood fired heaters) is delivered on request in the morning hours in buckets. No showers here, only taps. Built as an extension of the rooms using tin sheets for walls and ceiling. The metal door can make a racket if not closed gently.
  • Food: A kitchen with flexible hours: works only when there are guests, from early morning to late evening. The cook can put together dishes on demand, especially when there are fewer guests. Quality and taste can be inconsistent, but mostly below par although some fellow guests disagreed with me; call it good if you compare to options in these parts. Advance notice is suggested, as ingredients need to be arranged from the market most of the times; you may not always get your selection either as the markets around may not have everything you want unlike big city ones. For those on a meal plan, it is disappointing to see only limited dishes being offered which seem a bit of a let-down for the price charged (see point on pricing below).
  • Electricity: Not very regular. And generators are put on only in the evening hours, and perform erratically when all rooms are full; higher capacity generators are required here. It can get quite dark and gloomy in the huts even during the day; you need to balance a torchlight as you find your way around the bathroom in the dark. If you need to charge your laptop, mobile or camera batteries, do so whenever you get power. You would not want to miss out on taking those snaps.
  • Water: Did a disappearing act a couple of times, but was fixed within minutes. They have adequate storage, but we all need to go easy on use of water for environmental reasons especially in such locations where it is not easy arranging for water.
  • Housekeeping: Sheets and towels are washed, but do not give a very comfortable and clean feel. An investment in a high capacity washer and dryer would be more reassuring for guests. And no one comes to you asking if you would like the rooms cleaned in the day; you have to specifically tell them to.
  • Tariff: Rs. 850 for tents, Rs. 1200 for huts. Add Rs. 850 to include breakfast and dinner, and another Rs. 250 for lunch too – all for a couple, taxes included. There is an ala-carte menu too; it may make more sense to take a room-only rate as ala-carte prices work out lower for the same selection they provide on a meal plan. And you have the option to not eat if you don’t like the food.

A view of the room in the hut at Wayfarer Resort, MunsiyariThe final word? Back of the envelope calculations suggest Wayfarer does not generate enough revenues from this property to manage it well; they would do well to raise the prices a bit and put it back in the running of the place. It is a fantastic property – a little extra effort would be a delight for travellers. But don’t let this discourage you: go to Munsiyari, and stay at Wayfarer. The trip is worth it.

Contact Information
Wayfarer Tours & Travels (P) Ltd.
9/477, R.K.Puram
New Delhi – 110022. India
Attn: Mr. Subroto Roy

Tel: +91.11.26107715, +91.9810261791 (Mobile)
Email: wayfarerindia@yahoo.co.in, wayfarerindia@hotmail.com
Web: http://wayfareradventures.com

SHARE

11 COMMENTS

  1. I have statyed at Wayfarer and I would agree 100% to the reviews that you have mentioned, the place is definitely good but can be maintained better….

    Cheers,
    Sunil

  2. It is a pity they are doing so much injustice to what can otherwise be a great property and a destination in itself. Do share more of your experiences on this blog Sunil – you seem to be quite adventurous yourself.

    Cheers… Ajay

  3. we have taken three school excursions to Munsiyari and stayed at Wayfarers every time. The kids simply loved the ambiance, the view is out of the world, the food was good, the workers were most hospitable and we understood how difficult it must have been to get supplies for a large group , though they turned out sumptuous meals. We got any number of cups of tea and hot water in the mornings, campfire in the evenings and long nature walks all day long. I recommend the resort to all those who love adventure and dont mind roughing it out.

  4. Hi Rehana…Thanks for ordering additional views about the place. Will certainly help readers make better informed choices. Look forward to more such feedback from you in the future.

  5. Hi Sunil/Ajay..Actually compared to the other joints in Munsiyari Wayfarers is by far the best…The staff especially (am talking about 2005) was really good and the 5 days my wife and I spent there were superb..we have travelled the entire Kumaon region (almost) and Im sure most of you would agree that Munsiyari is actually the most enchanting of all the place’s in Kumaon…If the quality has gone done (due to what ever reason) then the management need to take stock of the situation before the charm of the beautiful property goes down like a lot of other great properties in the Kumaon hills..

  6. I would like to make a couple visit in mid August so could you please reaply back with some more information.rnrnThanks & RegardsrnDushyant KumarrnMob: 09871848958

  7. I am driving a sedan to Munsyari with family of 4 adults in End June’ 2011.
    1.Road condition is ok? I hope no damage to car suspension?
    2. Driving time from Nanital to Munsyari for an average driver not going rally speeds?
    3. Where last can i have Diesel pumps who will dispense Hi-speed diesel.
    4. Compared to Zara resort & Wayfarer which is better.
    thanks guys to help with the above 4 points as need to make my family trip a memorable one.

  8. Hi Deepak, the sedan is not a prob. There are bad patches in UP, just drive carefully. Not sure of distance but it is a full day drive from Munsiyari to Nainital. Depending on route you are taking, I would suggest you keep tanking up everytime fuel is down to half. And unfortunately, Munsiyari is not known for any good accommodation nowadays. I believe the standards at Wayfarer have fallen further. Don’t know about Zara.

  9. i along with my two friends planning for munsiyari on 19 th of sept. 11 for three day trip. pl let me know
    1. road condition from champawat – lohaghat – pithiragarh as we are coming from satna kanpur sahajahanpur.
    2. weather condition

Leave a Reply to rehana ali Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here