After almost three weeks of continuous flow of guests at The Treasure Trove it’s time for a short break. Our first guests for the New Year, two wonderful families from New Delhi left just now. We decided not to honour any bookings for a week and all reservation inquiries were directed other trustworthy accommodations. The wear and tear caused by this long and hectic tourist season is immense.
As I relax in the food court overlooking the cottages everything looks like a dream. The decision to start such a venture, coming up with this Eco-friendly model promoting responsible tourism, generating funds for building the cottages,early days of struggle, all those wonderful souls who wholeheartedly supported us, the days of toil when we were running between different approval agencies for getting our papers approved, guests trickling into our place, international travelers giving high rating and very positive feed backs, meeting and befriending a lot of wonderful people worldwide. We still remember the excitement and anxiety when our first guests walked in.
From the earlier days of struggle we gradually moved up to one of the most popular accommodation providers in Wayanad in both domestic and international circuits. We were awarded the Certificate of Excellence Award in year 2013 and 2014 by The Trip Advisor which is the world’s largest and popular travel portal.
As advised by veterans in this field we always adhered to the policy of not accommodating irresponsible tourists who after consuming alcohol creates a lot of mayhem and trouble. Our decision to accommodate only guests who were willing to stick to our do’s and do not’s initially landed up us in a bit of struggling position but soon we were able to build up a huge customer base.
The most significant milestone in our success was our association with India-Untravelled. When co-founder of India-Untravelled Shivya Nath walked into our place and spent a couple of days here, we were never aware of the impending changes Shivya’s visit would bring forth. We were included as the first destination in the India Untravelled North Kerala circuit and accepting my suggestion Shivya included Bamboo Village Wayanad and Blue Mermaid, Kannur to the list. This partnership bought in high quality travellers, bloggers, writers and photographers to our place and we are proud to admit Shivya and India Untravelled were instrumental for our current popularity and success. The biggest jolt for the new year is the decision by Shivya to wind up the operations of India Untravelled due to some personal reasons. India Untravelled would be operated by new folks or might cease to exist. I still remember the words of Shivya while she was leaving our place 2 years ago. “You don’t need to sit fingers crossed; i am going to popularise your place so that you can quit your job and come back to this beautiful place. Shivya’s words proved right expect for quitting my job :). Winding up of India Untravelled is one of the setbacks we received in 2015 but life still should move on.
Another wonderful personality who supported us right from the start to this day is Sri. Rajagopal who owns the premium homestay in Wayanad, Glenora Homestay. Glenora Homestay located in a picturesque location is listed in The Guardian UK as one of the best 10 home-stay in India and is also listed in most popular travel sites and portals all over Europe. Sri. Rajagopal always supported us by referring guests to our place and wholeheartedly encouraging and appreciating our effort.
A well-wisher we lost in between this journey was Sri. Rajan of Uravu Eco Links. He was a person whom we could bank upon at times of crisis and he used to come up with quick solutions. His pragmatic approach to issues and challenges really helped us in this journey. His love, affection sense of humour and care will always linger in our memories.
Our guest posted excellent reviews in various travel portals, posts about our place in different popular blogs, photographers posted our photos in various sites, guest referred their friends and relatives to our place and there was no looking back. Due to limited number of inventory we were not in a position to accommodate all the enquiries and we had to refer our customers to other places which we believed where responsible and trustworthy. We initiated the plans of building a couple of cottages more but in between we abandoned the plan. Taking into account the stress and strain in running a small property comprising of just two inventories we were really aware of the challenge and toil involved once we go for a upgrade. Further we were not interested in running a pukka commercial model but rather preferred in sticking to provide personal attention to our guests.
This year we are planning to slow down things a bit and stick to the current strategy of only accommodating quality guests. We would want to pay a bit more attention to family commitments and our kids.
Our humble achievements have given us courage to look for a bit of diversification. With our association with KABANI we have plans to venture to a different vertical of this domain, which is challenging but interesting. After all life is all about taking risks and accepting challenges. Currently a road map for this is being laid down by Sumesh, enthusiastic CEO of KABANI and in years to come the effort will start bearing fruits. If things work out as planned we expect all those wonderful people who supported us all these years will be along with us.
All these achievements, success, experiences are like a dream. We were able to achieve this from a point of nowhere only because of the divine grace, prayers and blessings of our well wishers and also our hard work and commitment. Hopefully 2015 will takes us to the next level of success.