I’m not really a party person. Sure, I like the occasional drink (maybe more than occasional) and dancing to Bollywood songs is my favourite stress buster, but going out clubbing every weekend is not really my scene. And I definitely can’t sit idle at home all weekend, Netflixing and chilling. So what do I do? I head out to some of my favourite destinations near Bangalore. There are quite a few, but the ones that top my list are Coorg, Chikmagalur and Wayanad. I’ve been to these three gorgeous hill stations many times over the past couple of years, and what makes me want to go back more and more are some amazing properties that I discovered along the way, each unique and distinct from the other. With incredible hosts who make you feel just like family and beautiful locations, these stays are guaranteed to turn any weekend into a special one. Check them out:- 1) The Courtyard, Chikmagalur Chikmagalur is known for its coffee plantations. So how can you NOT stay in a coffee estate when in Chikmagalur? This traditional house had me reminiscing over my school vacations when we would pack our bags and head to my grandparents’ homes for two months of absolute bliss. As the name suggests, there is a huge central courtyard in the home that lends it that rustic charm. I have wonderful memories of waking up to the chirping of birds on peaceful mornings and sipping on coffee cultivated in the estate, with not a care in the world. Also, the food. The best of Malnad cuisine, all prepared at home and served with loads of love by the hosts. Phone: +91 98995 04039 2) Green Glade, Coorg It’s hard not to fall in love with Coorg. The drive up to the hill station is a joy in itself, with more beauty than your eyes can believe. I fall in love with the place a little more each time I visit it. There is something new that I discover every time I go that makes me want to come back for more. Like Green Glade homestay, for example. The first time I chose this home for my short getaway from Bangalore, I was floored by not just the beauty of the place alone, but also with how warm and hospitable the hosts are, who are originally from Kerala but have made Coorg their home. The best part about this is that you get to enjoy both Coorgi as well as Malabari cuisine. No wonder then that it is my top favourites in Coorg. Phone: +91 98868 21475 3) Keremane Estate, Coorg The more I travel, the stronger I feel the need to opt for properties that practise sustainable and eco-friendly tourism while making sure that guests are not presented even the slightest bit of discomfort. In that aspect, Keremane Estate checks off all the right boxes. Set in a five-acre estate, the place has eco-friendly cottages with thatched roofs and rustic interiors that reminds one of staying in huts. The rooms are large and airy, with plenty of natural light streaming in. My favourite spot was the verandah of my cottage from where I had the best view of the estate. But the best part of the stay is the large lake right in front that makes the vast surroundings seem even more expansive. If you are someone who loves being in the countryside, you would never want to come back from here. I know I didn’t. Phone: +91 79070 09766 4) Dare Nature Camp, Wayanad Hotels and luxury resorts are all good, sure, but there’s nothing to beat the rush you get when you stay close to nature. I can never get enough of this rush that I experienced when I stayed at Dare Nature Camp in Wayanad. The excitement starts even before reaching the camp. It starts with the thrilling off-road ride that will take you to the camp itself. This is just a preview of what’s to come. The camp was set up by an avid off-roader himself. Set in the thicket of a forest in a property that was originally built by the British to accommodate estate employees, the camp is ideal for those who get a kick of adventure activities like hanging bridge, valley crossing, zip-lining, laddering, etc. Phone: +91 94468 70165 5) Uravu Bamboo Grove, Wayanad Surely you have heard of Uravu Bamboo Grove! The inspiring story of a tribal community in Thrikkaipatta, Wayanad, that set up a sustainable mode of living by leveraging the most abundant crop in their region – bamboo. Predominantly an agrarian community, the natives have set up a self-sufficient lifestyle by not only building their homes out of bamboo, but also creating revenue by setting up resorts and selling bamboo-based products. Uravu Bamboo Grove is one such resort. They also conduct workshops for those who are interested in learning to make bamboo handicrafts. The resort is made entirely of bamboo and other naturally available materials, merged seamlessly into the surroundings. Phone: +91 81297 38386 So there you go. The next time you feel like giving the club a miss and are looking to get away from Bangalore, you know where to go.
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