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Old 3rd June 2011, 16:59   #1
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Smile Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

“Exceptional Hosts, Fantastic Place!!”

Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay at Coonoor, Tamilnadu:
Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor-photo0491.jpg


What can I say about Mansoor and Tina? They were superb hosts and one of the reasons we treated this place like our own home

Coonoor is a fantastic little hill station 6000 feet up in the Nilgiris. We were there May 23rd to 27th this last week and the weather ranged from cool in the afternoons to coolest at night. There are no fans in the rooms, so you can be sure the temperature never exceeds 25 C

We were a group of 10 adults and 4 kids in all from 3 different cities. All family and extended family. Drove down from Mumbai. Some flew from Delhi and drove down from Bangalore. Well worth the effort. The cottages are exceptionally well made and tastefully furnished, fully equipped and not wanting in any way

Due to a bit of a goof up, Mansoor gave up one of the cottages to another family. So he graciously opened 2 rooms of his own beautiful house to us. We took the Colby cottage which is a single room studio and the Cheddar which is a 2 bedroom unit with a nice living room, fully equipped kitchen and all the necessary conveniences for a short or long stay

We stayed 4 nights with plans to go out and explore the surrounding areas, but ended up doing nothing but enjoying the farm all 4 days we stayed

Yet we were never bored. There is enough even for kids to do and be happy. There's a pond with fish and ducks and geese. If you catch some fish, Deepak the cook will be happy to cook them up for you. The cows that help make the cheese, roam free all day. There is a well equipped games room and tv room with loads of books and board games, carrom and cards

A billiards table for the adults, many walks that you can take and various farm activities that you can participate in

The food is a good variety of wholesome home cooked Indian cuisine. In may this year Mansoor and Tina opened their third and newest cottage to guests. So while we were there, it was the first time since the farmstay opened that they were hosting more than 3 rooms (till may it was only the 3 rooms in colby and cheddar). 5 rooms that they had to give and 2 more rooms in his home. It was a real struggle for them to manage our food on time. Any other place and any other hosts and guests would have been irritated. Here we could just not be. Mansoor, Tina and the staff worked tirelessly from morning to night to make sure everyone was comfortable

With 5 rooms to give out now, they definitely need to have a couple more staff on their rolls. Something that I am sure Mansoor will fix very soon

The cheese that they make on the farm is world class. Its organic, well made and people who dont usually eat cheese also end up having a feast. The herb garlic and pepper top cream cheese is just fantastic. And for the connoisseurs, they have a wide variety of moldy and sharp cheese to try out. Gruyere, blue cheese, haloumi, colby, feta, gouda, smoked gouda, parmesan, cheddar, monteray jack. And they are adding more varieties. For some reason, they dont let you sample the cheese before you buy. I however took a leap of faith and the experience of the cheese put out at breakfast and in the salads and bought close to 3 and a half kilos (in all) of almost all the varieties of cheese that they had available at that time. I am not disappointed. The prices are very very reasonable.

A word of advise:

Some of the cheese takes a while to make. So if you want like a Gruyere or any other moldy cheese, please order it up in advance. They dont sell cheese to visitors. So if you are not staying there you have to buy it from a retail outlet in coonoor

There's a lot of wild life around the estate. A walk out at night with a good spot light will let you see many. we saw some hare, Indian Gaur, fox, mongoose and a good variety of birds (during the day)


My advise to travellers to Coonoor and Acres Wild:

Dont believe any one who says 2 days is enough for Coonoor. Its a good 2 hours from Coimbatore airport or railway station and a better part of 6 hours from Bangalore. So you usually end up at your stay late afternoon/evening. That day is gone. You actually settle down and enjoy the place from the next day onwards. So 4 nights is the minimum you should plan for. A week would be fantastic

Have a few meals at the farm. The night you arrive and the night before you depart and maybe a couple in between. There are many nice places to dine out in Coonoor. Mansoor and Tina will guide you. The restaurant at McIver's is excellent. We had dinner there once. Priced somewhere close to reasonable. Rupees 500/- APC. Its a better place for lunch as they have a nice property with good valley views.

Upper Coonoor is the nicer and prettier part of Coonoor. Well worth spending a mornings roam around

Mansoor recommends a guide Sultan, who can show you around and help you do a trek or two. They can also pack you a picnic basket to do a day trip out

Avoid the touristy places and points like the plague. They will leave you sorely disappointed

Avoid going to Ooty, unless you need to meet someone there who you dearly love

Having your own vehicle to move around is preferable but not essential. Mansoor can recommend a good car and driver (and you wont get lost)


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Last edited by 53BHP : 3rd June 2011 at 17:24.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 17:16   #2
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Default Re: Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

I would say cheez instead of cheers for your farmhouse experience at Coonoor. It seems to be a nice place photos and videos would have added value to experience.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 17:20   #3
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Default Re: Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

Quote:
Originally Posted by 53BHP View Post
My advise to travellers to Coonoor and Acres Wild:

Dont believe any one who says 2 days is enough for Coonoor. Its a good 2 hours from Coimbatore airport or railway station and a better part of 6 hours from Bangalore. So you usually end up at your stay late afternoon/evening. That day is gone. You actually settle down and enjoy the place from the next day onwards. So 4 nights is the minimum you should plan for. A week would be fantastic
Great find 53bhp; thanks also for all the tips about the place. I remember living in Coonoor during a vacation years ago and being disappointed with my Ooty visit.
Do Mansoor & Tina have any contact details/ website that you could share? if he is not okay with publishing the details can you please pm them to me? I would like to confirm with them before I plan. Also, we are missing pictures!

Last edited by selfdrive : 3rd June 2011 at 17:28.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 17:21   #4
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Default Re: Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

A couple of weeks back, I had watched a program on this place hosted on Highway On My Plate. Your experience seems to corroborate what Rocky and Mayur had stated - a fantastic place to stay and unwind and of course get cheesy! Waiting for the photos. How much did the stay cost you (Food and Stay)?

Last edited by pjbiju : 3rd June 2011 at 17:24.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 17:40   #5
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Default Re: Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

Photos are up. These are just what i took on my mobile. A lot more to post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ukderebail View Post
I would say cheez instead of cheers for your farmhouse experience at Coonoor. It seems to be a nice place photos and videos would have added value to experience.
Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
Great find 53bhp; thanks also for all the tips about the place. I remember living in Coonoor during a vacation years ago and being disappointed with my Ooty visit.

Yes Ooty is a real disappointment. But I guess everyone knows that by now

Do Mansoor & Tina have any contact details/ website that you could share? if he is not okay with publishing the details can you please pm them to me? I would like to confirm with them before I plan. Also, we are missing pictures!
Pics are up. A lot more to come. Mansoor and Tina have a website. Acres Wild Organic Cheesemaking Farm Farmstay Homestay, Coonoor, India - Mansoor Khan

They are however careful about the guest they host at their farmstay. In the sense that this kind of an experience is not for everyone. Especially those who are looking for a hotel experience with room service and all

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju View Post
A couple of weeks back, I had watched a program on this place hosted on Highway On My Plate. Your experience seems to corroborate what Rocky and Mayur had stated - a fantastic place to stay and unwind and of course get cheesy! Waiting for the photos. How much did the stay cost you (Food and Stay)?
4 nights with almost all meals for 10 adults and 4 kids cost very close to a lac

All tariffs and rates are on the website
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Old 3rd June 2011, 17:55   #6
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Default Re: Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

OMG!! that goats pic was too in the face.Looked like it would just throw out it's tongue through the face and go slurrpp on my face. hehe..

You had a nice vacation my dear friend. This place is good and have heards lots of rave reviews about it. Infact, there is a complete travelogue about it here on the Forum .

They are bit on the costly side, but it's worth all the price that they charge. And as you said, it' not for people looking for a hotel experience. You have to be one among their own to fully enjoy the stay.
More pictures please, this place is beautiful.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 18:27   #7
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Default Re: Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

Looks great from the description so far. As others have requests please put in more details which will help plan better. I'm personally planning a vacation in the next 3 months time and have never been to Coonoor though i have been to Ooty a dozen times.

Edit - Noticed you had posted the details already. Thank you.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 18:35   #8
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Default Re: Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

If its not mentioned before, its the same Mansoor Khan who made, those famous movies:
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Josh etc. (Web site says it).

http://www.acres-wild.com/Mansoor.shtml

Its good to read his exploits.

Last edited by ampere : 3rd June 2011 at 18:40.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 18:36   #9
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Default Re: Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

It is wonderful that you have quickly posted pics, now it is a complete travelogue, cheers to it, rather i would once again say CHEEZ
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Old 3rd June 2011, 18:51   #10
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Default Re: Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

I am raring to head to Coonoor after this TL.

Could you mention the places that one could visit (from whatever time away from the cheese of course!)?

And, all the pics please.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 19:19   #11
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Default Re: Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

Yes its the same Mansoor Khan. Its takes great courage to give up a super successful film and ad making career and start something like this. He is a great guy. Very knowledgeable in the arts, very down to earth and very patient with kids too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
If its not mentioned before, its the same Mansoor Khan who made, those famous movies:
Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar, Josh etc. (Web site says it).

Mansoor Khan at Acres Wild Organic Cheesemaking Farm in Coonoor, Ooty, Nilgiris India

Its good to read his exploits.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ukderebail View Post
It is wonderful that you have quickly posted pics, now it is a complete travelogue, cheers to it, rather i would once again say CHEEZ
There's a lot you can do. On their website there is a comprehensive guide to what you can do, where you can go and where you can shop and eat. Some of our fellow guests went off to this forest/dam the day we were leaving. Dont know how good it was. The guide recommended by Mansoor, his name is Sultan, took them. Sultan himself is an avid trekker

There are other more economical places to stay as well. Preferably stay in the upper coonoor area. Bedford/Sims park area. Luxury and service tax itself works out to a good 18% today. So any place that's legit and official will have a minimum ticket price

Our rooms cost us 3500 and 4000/- per night which is quite is reasonable in my opinion for the place and the experience. Still there are other nice places that can be stayed at I am sure. You can also do a day visit to the farm if you are staying elsewhere. The charges are again quite reasonable

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
I am raring to head to Coonoor after this TL.

Could you mention the places that one could visit (from whatever time away from the cheese of course!)?

And, all the pics please.
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Old 3rd June 2011, 22:29   #12
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Default Re: Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

I have always heard good reviews before about the place and the cheese. Its supposed to be a green setup. I have heard they are cousins of Amir Khan(?) Thanks for sharing.
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Old 4th June 2011, 13:40   #13
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Default Re: Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

That was quite a wonderful post with detailed pointers. I've saved this in my laptop for ready reference. Looks too tempting. Only issue - how to be away from business for 4 days!! Thanks for posting and looking forward to the 'real' photographs
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Old 4th June 2011, 15:45   #14
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Default Re: Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor

Mate this is the first time since I started my consulting practice in 2003 that I have taken 12 days off (max I had taken till now was 6 days for my marriage) from work

Believe me, I wasn't missed as much as I thought i would be missed. You just have to do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by mallumowgli View Post
That was quite a wonderful post with detailed pointers. I've saved this in my laptop for ready reference. Looks too tempting. Only issue - how to be away from business for 4 days!! Thanks for posting and looking forward to the 'real' photographs
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Old 10th June 2011, 13:50   #15
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Default Some More Pics

Here is the guy responsible for this splendid effort:

Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor-dscn0585.jpg
He has of course grown up a bit since this sketch was made

And here are some more pics from my Nikon P&Shooter. Doesn't say much about my photography skills when the quality of image from my 3.2mp samsung phone shooter is as good as the Nikon digicam

Most of the nice snaps were taken by my bro in law with his DSLR, all raw files which he is now busy converting

The vistas from the upper most and newest cottage Haloumi are truly spectacular and the best of all the property

This is Rhea. Real darling and very gentle with all the kids. Really soaked up all the petting and attention from the children:
Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor-dscn0571.jpg

Glorious day after a cold and wet morning:
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This is the house that we stayed in, Cheddar. It is a good 0.8km walk down to and up to the dining/recreation cottage. You can work up a real hunger just walking up. I ate serious quantities of cheese every morning for breakfast and didn't put on an extra gram of weight

The Cheddar house also has mind boggling views and was the coolest or coldest of all the houses. The perfect place for 2 couples without kids looking for some space and solitude. For families I would recommend the upper cottages of haloumi and colby
Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor-dscn0579.jpg

A village that lights up in the night. My 5 year old daughter remarked that it looked like a wedding. Fortunately there wasnt any blaring music and such from here while we stayed:
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Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor-dscn0581.jpg

Mansoor does these day visits which gives you a tour of the farm and lasts for an hour and a half. Very very popular. There were people every day. Beware that you cannot buy cheese from here when you come for the day visit. You have to order up ahead or get your hit from the stores inCoonoor market:
Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor-dscn0582.jpg

Acres Wild Cheesemaking Farmstay @ Coonoor-dscn0583.jpg

More snaps to come... Stay tuned
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