"Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going."
- Paul Theroux

Views & Interviews

Q&A: In conversation with travel writer, Ami Bhat -
Travel Writer, Blogger and Social Media Influencer

October 2020

Ami Bhat is a post graduate in marketing by qualification and a travel blogger by passion. Besides travel, she enjoys photography, and if you don’t find Ami at her desk, she would be out playing badminton, or swimming, or just plain running – something that is required for her restless soul.

Besides her blog – www.thrillingtravel.in – Ami has been published in several websites and publications – including the Lonely Planet India, Huffington Post India and the Travel Café of Money Control. Her travel blog has been widely acclaimed as one of the top travel blogs in India, as well as internationally.

In this interview we chat with Ami about that certain thrill that she associates with travelling – whether it is real, or virtual. We also chat with her about her invitation by RCI to stay over at Sterling Holidays, Wayanad.

What are your thoughts on travel – what makes you happy and upbeat?

At the beginning of every year, I diligently note down the long weekends and plan for them. And when I cannot travel physically, I travel virtually through words on this travel blog – something that we all can relate to during lockdowns related to the pandemic.

I go into raptures when it comes to heritage destinations and become an absolute outdoor freak on beaches and hill stations. I believe that sometimes, one does not need to travel too far to have fun. Travelling around your home can also be liberating. I don’t believe in counting immigration stamps and tick-marking places off my list. For every place that I go to I feel like going back again, and sometimes do manage to.

What were your first impressions of Sterling Holidays, Wayanad - and your stay at the resort?

To start with, I expected at least an hour’s drive once I hit border of Kerala, for most resorts are typically at least one hour from the border, or from Sultan Bathery. What surprised me was that I was there in less than 30 minutes. Bang in the middle of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, in fact right opposite to the fences was this resort. The location was perfect. The resort looked quite classy and open - with those villas where I could hear birds twittering around. The reception was a typical Kerala-styled décor and very elegant too. Everything suggested that I was in for a huge treat.

Sterling Holidays, Wayanad – image courtesy, Sterling Holidays website

What was your room like, in terms of interiors and comfort levels?

My little villa room was quite cosy and very well styled. Loved the contemporary setting. I think the one thing that I absolutely adored was the little sit out on either sides of my room – one at the entrance and the other from the bedroom. Perfect to enjoy that cup of tea.

Sterling Holidays, Wayanad – image courtesy, Sterling Holidays website

What was the food like at the resort? Did you try something traditional?

The meals at Sterling were quite elaborate – the spread included traditional Indian dishes as well as a bit of Continental and Chinese. This was the case for all meals. It was quite tough picking what to eat for there was so much choice. The taste was quite lovely and the Chef personally, spoke to most guests to understand what they liked. He even treated us to some cooking demos, and prepared a special Kerala Biryani.

Sterling Holidays, Wayanad – image courtesy, Sterling Holidays website

What are you comments on the service levels at the resort?

Every staff – whether the housekeeping or the reception or even the club house attendants – was well trained. Ever smiling and ready to help – they knew how to go out of their way to make things comfortable.

What activities does the resort offer, on campus and outside campus?

Sterling had a holiday center with games and activities for the guests. Every day there would be a new activity planned – be it pottery or a bonfire or bird watching trails. There were plenty of indoor and outdoor games for the guests. A separate toddler area was also part of the set up. The outdoor pool was always open for the guests. One could also take up Spa services while here.

Sterling also curated certain experiences like a tribal village visit or a bird watching tour that added more to a holiday. You could book these as a part of your stay.

Sterling Holidays, Wayanad – image courtesy, Sterling Holidays website

After your Wayanad experience, would you recommend a timeshare plan to a friend?

Sterling Resorts have got some good properties for families. What makes it even better is the tie-up with RCI that allows its timeshare owners to experience other properties under other brands. I also liked the concept of their curated traditional experiences that add more meaning to a holiday. With the busy corporate lives that one leads today, a guaranteed and luxury holiday is what Sterling promises - and that could work well for the families who need that slow and luxurious pace to unwind and relax, at least once a year.

Ami Bhat


Content Disclaimer: The views expressed in our interviews and stories do not necessarily reflect the official policies, practices and guidelines of the All India Resort Development Association, or its members. These views are based on personal experiences, private opinion, or open source information. (Images used here are either "paid-for" stock photos, images shared by the people we interview, or images under one of the open source licenses such as Creative Commons and others.)

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