Editors posted on 7th December

Coffee, Pandi Curry & Infinity Pools: Where Will You Stay In Coorg?

A cup of fresh coffee on the hilltops, a few treks, sinful local cuisine, and massages that could give Bangkok a run for its money: You’ve got yourself the perfect blend of adventure, indulge and relaxation – across all budgets. Pack your bags for Coorg now!

LUXURY

Vivanta by Taj

Pick from 63 luxury cottages, suites, villas and rooms, all with spectacular views of the valley, of course. If you have time and the inclination to actually get out of the infinity pool or the indulgent Jiva Grande Spa, then traipse off to do some bird watching, tour the plantations and then learn the nuances of coffee tasting. Or trek to the source of the Cauvery.

Windflower Spa

Set in the tranquil forests, this resort is great if you’re not looking to leave the premises. They only have studios, suites and villas, so you’re in for a real treat. Rough jeep rides, hot oil massages, gravity cycling and hydrotherapy are some of the activities you can engage in, although the massage is our primary suggestion. Leave some time for a splash about in the pool.

Orange County

The original luxury resort in the region, here luxury meets rustic in thatched roof cottages, bamboo furniture and a private pool, depending on the villa you pick. Take a stroll through the spice trails and coffee plants, or have a gala time in the larger infinity and community pool. Nature walks, bird watching and a coracle ride in the property’s private lake are other options when there.

The Tamara Coorg

Quite the honeymoon hotspot, this one has you living almost above the tree tops. Each room has a balcony to gaze onto the canopy below and if you ever come down from this cloud nine, you can practice yoga on the wooden deck, or head off on a Rudraksh trail, apart from the usual plantation tours and nature walks. We personally recommended the Signature Coffee Therapy at the spa as the coffee cocoon works it magic on your city skin.

BUDGET

Casa Coorg

Granted that it’s not as vast an ‘estate’ as others, but when the home itself is in the middle of other plantations, a golf course and paddy field, what’s not to like? The rooms, and a cottage, are built such that you’re given your privacy and each sit-out overlooks the undulating hills. Ex-army couple Bharat and Pearl will give you plenty to talk about, what with their army escapades, and Pearl’s fabulous cooking. Oh, and make sure you take some condensed milk and whiskey because the lady of the house makes divine Irish Cream!

Balakrishna Niwas

If you’re up for it, hike up the steep hill this homestay sits atop, or get the owner, Mr Babu, to pick you up. Sunsets and sunrises are best watched from the second hill top, also part of the property, before you settle in for drinks and barbecue. Then walk back to the main house, with three massive rooms and an attic room, for a dinner laid out for kings. Coorg cuisine reigns supreme, and Babu really spoils you with chicken curry, Pandi or pork curry, akki {rice} roti and nool puttu {string hoppers} for almost every meal.

Gowri Niwas

A Kodava home {plus a cottage} in the heart of Madikeri, this was one of the first homestays to pop up. Situated at the heart of Madikeri, the capital of Coorg, it’s great for those looking for a luxury vacation on a budget, and is picturesque to boot!

Kedakal Estate

A bit of a posh homestay, you can really get lost in this hilltop property. A swimming pool, barbecue area and interiors with interesting history, you’ll really be cut off from civilisation here. Personalised plantation walks, bird watching, local food and bonfire chatter are also on offer thanks to the hospitable hosts. But what we most love, apart from no cellular network, is the Quad bikes for that added thrill of zipping around.

BB Estate Homestay

An ancestral home with lush gardens and plantations, this estate takes you back in time. You have the option of staying in two outhouse suites, or really soak in history at the 175-year-old bungalow that offers three bedrooms.

Springdale Estate

A bungalow set on 100 odd acres of coffee bushes, you can’t go wrong with this one. Three cosy, Victorian bedrooms are open for guests, and you’ll love that it feels old-school {with bay windows and cushioned arm chairs}. A fireplace in the sitting area wins brownie points and works well to tell kids stories on a cold night, or maybe even propose to your significant other. If you like, they’ll organise angling and rafting for you when in season, or opt for golf, treks, cycling and plantation tours.

This post first appeared on Little Black Book, Bangalore.