Sparsa Resort Tiruvannamalai-Detailed review

Last weekend, I went on a bike trip to Gingee, Tiruvanmalai and nearby areas. As I decided to spend the night around Tiruvaannamalai, Sparsa resort came to my attention. At about 4000 rupees a night (after booking.com genius 10% discount and 18% tax), Sparsa was about 3 times expensive than budget hotels and lodges in Tiruvannamalai but I decided to splurge a bit and stay at the luxury resort, partly because there were many activities we could try and partly because I was going on a bike and not spending on car rentals, which is usually a major expense during my road trips. In the end we enjoyed the stay at Sparsa, despite a few shortfalls and this post is my detailed review based on our one night stay at Sparsa Resorts, Thiruvannamalai.

The good things at Sparsa Resorts, Tiruvannamalai
1. Got tender coconut water as welcome drink and shamelessly asked for one more class during check out, so had it as goodbye drink as well.

2. Activities: Guests can indulge in dozens of activities throughout the day. We tried a Yoga Session, pottery, cow milking, bullock cart ride, mehendi, flowering, parrot card reading and tea kadai. I was expecting some crowd/waiting time but didn’t see much guests at most of these activities. Some of them started a few minutes later than scheduled, but we could do it at our pace.

2A: Milking the cow was first time for me. Not very difficult. But the tricky part will be ensuring the cow cooperates- for this the cow owner was nearby and he ensured baby calf was within reach of mother cow.

2B: Bullock cart driver was very clever to get away from the cart and click photos like below as if guests are riding the cart all by themselves. Very clever of him. Ride lasted about 10 mins/1 km

2C: Pottery- made simple pots on the potter's wheel

2D: Tea Kadai- I thought they will teach how to make tea. But involves only serving tea/coffee and cookies.

Roof with natural materials
2E: Parrot Card reading

2F: Flower assembly, Mehandi
Did not try!
2G: Yoga
Session lasted about 40 mins, was quick refresher of asanas I had done ages ago. Again only 3 people turned up for the session!
3. Well maintained campus. Despite being summer (mid-March) the Sparsa resort campus was very green, well covered and shady. So full marks to maintenance. Though the campus is not as spacious it should be, adequate open space is maintained. Lots of birds, including several peacocks make the ambiance lively. I couldn’t notice a children play area though (Some slides, see-saw etc)



4. Overall experience was good. In the room couldn’t locate the master switch to switch off all lights in one go. Also in rooms with two separate beds, general practice is to give one overhead lamp for each bed witih separate switch- no such thing was found (this is useful when one person wants to sleep while other prefers to read or work on the bed). The coffee mug was bit huge to my liking. But these are my personal feelings- every guest may not feel the same, so I can’t really complain.
5. Many eco-friendly measures are adopted. Giving shampoo in small quantity in these earthen pots is a good idea to avoid wastage I think.

6. In room dining is reasonably priced- a plate of sambar rice/curd rice costs Rs 132 inclusive of taxes.

7. Gym and other facilities are decent. We didn't try spa.

Almost all rooms in Sparsa resort are standard cottages that cost about 4000 a day. There're two rooms which are bigger and slightly expensive at 7.5k
Possible improvements/Missing things/shortcomings at Sparsa Resort, Thiruvannamalai
1. No Lambretta scooters
Resort website shows these scooters as available and one of the listed activities, but when we visited there were no scooters. I was looking forward to try it. Security said scooters were removed long time ago. They should update website accordingly.
2. No Balcony/Sit-out area: Most resorts will have cottages with a balcony/sit out area. Designers of Sparsa resort didn’t consider this, so none of the rooms have a balcony or sit out area. Guests can sit in garden though, if available(refer image below)
3. No live counter in restaurant: During breakfast, I asked for a mini Masala dosa and learnt that they don’t have a live kitchen to cook as per order. Live kitchen is a standard practice in most resorts. Also no nonveg items at the breakfast- not even egg. I am a vegetarian hence perfectly fine, but for those it matters, do keep in mind.
4. We had requested for a room with one large bed, but were assigned a room with two single beds. When asked, we were told resort is sold out and no other rooms are available. We were asked to put both beds together- which is not as comfortable as one large bed, plus putting two beds together blocks access to central switches as shown below.
5. Drinking water: Sparsa provides unlimited purified drinking water- which is good but problem is they provide water in small one litre jugs. During summer it gets exhausted fast and we’ve to call and request more water. During our one day stay, we had to ask for 4 refills of drinking water. My feedback would be to either install a RO unit in each room (like in Evolve Back resorts, so that guests can have unlimited water) -most evolve back resorts do this way- or keep a larger capacity jug- 2 litres or more- so that guests don’t have to dial for water too frequently.

5. No views: All cottages are inside a fairly covered campus, so don’t expect any view from your window, except may be some plants/garden view. Hill is unlikely to be visible from most cottages.

6. No lamp kept- rooms have this small lamp with a matchbox- I suppose a lamp or candle is supposed to be kept there to be lit up in the evening. But there was none in our room, so we couldn’t light up anything.
7. Approach road: was in a bit bad condition and got fully slushy due to early morning road. Not a big problem though.

8. WiFi limited to select public areas, no newspaper was served at the room (available at reception)

Despite above listed shortcomings, Sparsa is a good resort to stay in Tiruvannamalai. It is 5 kms away from town but if you have a vehicle at disposal not a big deal. There aren’t many resorts in Tiruvannamalai town so if you need some luxury stay and comfortable with a budget of 4000+ per night, I think Sparsa is a good option. There’re many Ashrams in Tiruvannamalai that attracts lots of international devotees, many of the book Sparsa resort for their stay. Do despite Tiruvannamalai being a small town and not really big on tourist map, the resorts often face sold out condition. Probably the reason they don’t offer free cancellation. (Once booked, cancellation costs roughly 25% or 1000 rupees).So do book in advance once your trip is confirmed. You can book using Booking.com widget below.
Booking.com Similar: 25 activities to try at Evolve Back, Kabini * Lilly Pool Cottages, Evolve Back, Coorg * Yelagiri Residency Mathura resort

4 comments:

  1. The resort looks beautiful. I loved the lambretta scooter image- some nostalgia :-). The other attractions like Kili Josiyam and milking sounds fun (especially after last weekend at vaksana)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Note that Labretta is only on the website, not present at the resort...

      Yes, other activities were good

      Delete
  2. Honest review, its really good to know about this resort. I think with time they will improve their services and other loopholes.

    ReplyDelete

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