Keeping costs down comes easy in this scenic Keralan hill station, where the only thing that’s elevated are views of the Western Ghats – visible from many of these budget-friendly hotels. Here’s our pick of the bunch in Munnar – bookable with Culture Trip.
The scenic beauty of South India’s most important tea-growing region is all about its unspoilt natural spaces, spice-stitched plantations and rich wildlife. You’ll inevitably want to be out and about exploring the trails, forests and national parks, so save your travel funds by picking a budget-friendly accommodation, whether an always-reliable small Keralan chain hotel, a delightful country homestay or a backpacker-style guesthouse. Here are the best stays in Munnar for cost-conscious travellers.
The ever-growing network of wonderfully welcoming homestays in Kerala offers some of the most charming, rewarding and good-value accommodation in South India. Priding itself on its home-cooked Keralan meals, warm family feel and lushly forested valley location, this three-bedroom homestay sits 11km (7mi) south of Munnar near Anachal village. Its cardigan-cosy rooms overlook distant tea-plantation fields. Don’t miss breakfast on the view-drenched terrace before heading out on a guided trek or day trip to Eravikulam National Park, known for its shola forests and endangered Nilgiri tahr (a horned sheep-like animal).
If you’re on the hunt for a budget-friendly base that’s within a 10-minute walk of the Main Bazaar but still surrounded by greenery, this bright modern-build property in the eastern part of town ticks all the boxes. Suitably comfy rooms have filtered water, mini-fridges and colourful prints – just the ticket after a sunrise hike past misty tea estates or a South Indian cooking class with a local chef. It’s near the Munnar Rose Garden, along the road to the spectacular 1,880m (6,168ft) Top Station viewpoint.
Business-style comfort meets a warm, homely atmosphere at this well-dressed hotel in southern Munnar, where thoughtful details such as handmade soaps, filtered water and various community projects support sustainable local tourism. Rooms are soothingly adorned with rich woods and calming tones; some have views of the surrounding shola forest, the Western Ghats and the rushing Muthirapuzha River. Perks include cooking classes, a modern gym and a restaurant serving international and Indian cuisine.
A small-scale, long-established Keralan chain is behind this bright, smartish address in southern Munnar. It’s handy for transport links, the bazaar buzz and in-town restaurants and sights (such as the former Munnar train station). But you’ll want to venture out to hike, bike and visit tea estates, soul-stirring viewpoints and the wildlife-rich Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Eravikulam National Park. Go for a valley-view room to take in those glorious emerald-green tea plantations.
Vibrant gardens and potted plants create a cosy feel at the budget-friendly bungalow-style homestay Rheinberg Town Haus, on the western fringes of central Munnar. From here, views reach across the town to the tea-filled hillsides beyond, and its handful of snug rooms keep things simple. There are bikes for zipping out of town, and the Main Bazaar is a five-minute stroll away (as are some of the best fuss-free restaurants).
Sitting on a low-rise hill in the thick of Munnar town, the Issacs Residency has an excellent and convenient location. There are many thoughtful touches to this well-established mid-range hotel, such as neatly tended flower gardens lining the driveway, Ayurvedic massages on request and black-and-white South Indian temple photos in the restaurant. Rooms are cosily decorated in earthy-red and terracotta tones and have desks and kettles; book one with views across the gorgeously green hills.
This long-running and smartly updated hotel, south of the Main Bazaar, focusses on nailing the basics, from tea-and-coffee kits and recessed lighting in the fresh, minimal, wood-floored rooms to sourcing some of its energy from solar power. There are bike rentals on request, and the bus station is a 10-minute walk away. It’s right opposite the century-old CSI Christ Church (the oldest in Munnar), which you’ll spot from some of the rooms.
These recommendations were updated on May 19, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.