We stayed at Pugmarks Jungle Lodge for 2 nights in the first week of Sep 2017. Pugmarks is closest to Tholpetty Wildlife sanctuary and is located in Mananthavady. It is more like a large homestay than a resort. We wanted to stay close to the forest in a hope to see some wildlife (unfortunately didn’t get lucky even this time 🙁 ). Pugmarks Jungle Lodge had good reviews on TripAdvisor and had some great activities for kids; so we decided to book it for 2 nights. We stayed the other 2 nights at Pepper Green Village. You can read my review of the same here. Read my post on Wayanad to decide on the area where you want to stay.
Location & Resort:
Pugmarks is right at the edge of forest reserve and is pointed on Google Maps. Access to the lodge is through a gravel road which is narrow but accessible by most of the cars.
The lodge is located on a property of 6 acres which is mostly coffee plantation. The lodge itself occupies a very small portion of the property. There is a reception (doubles up as restaurant) on the left at the end of the gravel road. In front of the reception is the playarea. There is a watchtower behind the playarea which is where the zipline starts. Activities on the property include:
- Swings – 2 normal and 1 large swing.
- 100 ft zipline for kids.
- Tyre swings
- Telescope (not available during monsoon/ when it rains)
They also arrange for bonfires for large groups. There is a watchtower that you can use for spotting birds and animals. On the right are the rooms and on the extreme right is the parking area. Behind the rooms is the coffee plantation.
One of the reasons why we booked this property was to make use of the activities. However, it rained in the 2nd half everyday and we could not do anything other than use the swing and watchtower. The property also has many monkeys, ants and mosquitoes; which is expected in a jungle lodge. Monkeys woke us up the first day by jumping on the roof of our room 🙂 They were also very curious about kiddo’s colouring books that he left in the veranda outside. Mosquito repellents are a must here; even if you only plan to go to the restaurant.
How to book Pugmarks Jungle Lodge:
Pugmarks has a website http://pugmarkswayanad.com/ and details of their rooms and tariff are posted online. You need to mail them on firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 04935 250250 or 9447546386 to check the availability first. Once confirmed, you need to transfer 50% advance to their account. You can pay the rest during checkout. The lodge is also listed with some OTAs like makemytrip.com and booking.com. However, the rooms are not named as they are on the lodge’s website which makes it confusing to choose from. We checked with the manager and the owner before we booked and they were not sure themselves. Also, Mr.Gopa mentioned in his email that they are not happy with the MMT service. We booked directly because we did not want to take any chances.
Staff at Pugmarks:
The owner, Mr.Gopa lives abroad and visits the property every few months. The staff is very polite and helpful; which is a delight. They also give you ideas on how to plan your day. We were however disappointed with few things:
- They do not arrange any Safari (even chargeable) as mentioned in their emails/ websites and even some TripAdvisor reviews. This may have been once in a while service they provide when the owner is around.
- The food at their restaurant is prepared by someone at their home, which is quite good and homely. You need to tell them if you want vegetarian or non-vegetarian and food will be prepared accordingly. However, even after requesting them for Kerala special breakfast (Appam, Idiappam, Puttu); we only got Idli / Toast and Puri/ toast on the 2 days we stayed there. Their explanation was that they just tell the cook if its veg/ non-veg and she decides what to cook. In that case, they should not ask customers what they prefer to eat (other than veg/ non-veg).
- The property experiences a lot of power cut during monsoon. They have a generator which is switched on after a few mins of power cut. However, the generator switch is inside their AC Deluxe Cottage which is where we stayed. It was annoying to have someone knock when there was a power cut to come inside and switch it on.
- The property does not have any phone in the rooms and the signal for Airtel was bad. It was difficult to get in touch with staff if required because the reception is unmanned most of the time. We needed an extra blanket, towels etc and it was frustrating to see no one around most of the times.
One thing that we were very happy about was that they provided a room to the driver. It rained like crazy on one of the nights we stayed and it would have been impossible for him to sleep in the car.
We stayed in AC Deluxe cottage. We had booked a Cedar Camp, but were given this cottage. We were not very particular and did not mind the same. The cottage had a bedroom and a small living room. The bed however was little smaller than queen bed and we had a tough time adjusting with the kiddo. The sofa in the living room was small for a single person.
Overall, Pugmarks Jungle Lodge is a nice small property if you would like to stay in a jungle setting. Do not go with high expectations on the activities like zipline, telescope or with a hope to spot animals. These are not possible during rains. If we happen to visit Wayanad again, I would look out for a different resort this time though. If you have been to Pugmarks and would like to share your experience, do post a comment 🙂