If you check booking.com, you see that there are only rooms for 1000 rupees and more... But my budget was 1000-1200 rupees a day! Read on to learn the perfect place to stay for backpackers on a tight budget.
Many locals say Munnar is expensive, especially at peak season. But they are not right. Munnar is as cheap as other parts of Kerala are.
I found a nice and very inexpensive hotel ideal for backpackers on a low budget. The hotel's name is SMM Cottage (no cottages there just a hotel building with a strange name).
I booked a room by e-mail. The answer came very soon.
Prices. I paid 400 rupees for a single room with its own bathroom (hot water). There are a bit cheaper ones with a common bathroom as I learned from other travelers stayed there. And what is interesting, it was January 11 (2016), absolutely high season!
The room was tiny as well as its bathroom was but I had a window there so I had fresh air to breathe all the time. I feel being cold quite easily so I was nervous about blankets (even though I had a sleeping bag). So in the SMM Cottage, I was safe - the blanket was thick, heavy and very warm (a bit smelly but not so much).
The staff was professional and reservedly friendly. I felt they liked the job. They tried to sell me some tours once and, after I said 'I am not interested in such things', they forgot about this business forever. At the same time, they shared information on governmental buses and anything... So I liked them!
One more nice feature is that the hotel has balconies with chairs on every floor where you can hang out and dry washed clothes (full power sun lights there in winter). And, the most important, you can meet travelers there - a very nice space to socialize.
The location is good. It is 20-30 rupees to go by auto to Munnar bus station and city center (around 2 km away). Munnar city center is just one more chaotic Indian town, no reason to stay there. If only you want to buy quite affordable homemade chocolate there or a pack of cardamom. Do it while coming to the bus station.
As for SMM Cottage, you have tea plantation hills very-very near to walk in there and a nice view from a balcony and very low traffic noise.
Where to eat. Go to SN Restaurant, the best and the only option near Smm Cottage. Clean and tasty! Prices are regular for Kerala.
As for Munnar itself, it is just Heaven for those who like taking a bus and going to somewhere without an exact plan. Just ask what time last buses go back to Munnar on a road, chosen by you, and go!)