Just five hours away from Bengaluru, Coorg is a fabulous destination for adventure lovers, couples, and families
Wouldn’t you want to stay in a property that’s made it to the Condé Nast Traveller Hot List in India, US and the UK? Situated 1,200 metres above sea, here is where you get fresh, thin air. You can walk through the 180-acre rainforest that the property sits in, and then pamper yourself at the Jiva Spa. In the afternoon, head to the strawberry farm and pick up tips on making homemade preserves. For the best experience, book the Nirvana suite, which comes with its own pool, and sun roof.
Consider the drive to the Tamara a test of your commitment. It is long and snakes through green forests, tough enough to keep away the hordes. Once you reach the 170-acre coffee plantation, the silence hangs heavy. Besides the obvious trappings of cottages that sit on stilts, there’s The Falls, a restaurant that treats you to organic fare against and over waterfalls (a glass floor suspends you over gushing waters!).
Homemade cookies and home-grown coffee greet you every morning. And although there are lush indulgences around (the hot oil massages are legendary), The Wildflower also allows an active itinerary. In order of increasing activity, there’s yoga, plantation tours (nice to see where the morning cuppa came from), horse riding, zorbing, and quad biking on the property. You can also ask the desk to organise a traditional Kodava meal at a planter’s house, or go zip-lining off the property.
If basic comforts and authentic Coorgi cuisine are your main concerns, we’d suggest climbing a tree at Porcupine Castle. Literally. The Nest at the hotel is a treehouse bedecked with modern amenities (except a TV, thankfully) and commands a gorgeous view. It sits 12 metres above the ground, tucked in the arms of a black currant tree. This luxury doesn’t come at the cost of the environment; local tribals and indigenous methods were employed to put this cosy cottage together.
A traditional Kodava villa with a pool and Jacuzzi in your backyard, planter’s chairs to
laze in, angling at the nearby Kaveri, and teeing off on Coorg’s world class golf
courses—this is a day at the Orange County. Oh, and there are ‘age retardation’
therapies on the menu at their authentic Ayurvedic spa. We’d recommend riding the
coracles on the river for a truly calming experience.
Don’t judge a place by its size. KAAV has just four guestrooms, but this is a luxe safari lodge in the heart of a national park, which boasts of being one of the best elephant reserves in the country. Boat or jeep safaris take you into the sanctuary that’s home to leopards, tigers, wild dog, sloth bear, hyena, gaur, sambar deer, and wild boar. For resort-like delights, you can bask by the pool in dappled sunshine and ask the kitchen to fire up a barbecue just for you.