Tucked away amongst the densely forested slopes of the Western Ghats in south west Karnataka, Coorg has a quaint charm of its own. The land of coffee, cardamom, colonels and the Cauvery, Coorg’s seemingly modest offerings leave no stone unturned to provide you with one of the best holiday experiences ever. Find yourself traversing through its lush green valleys, lose yourself in its pristine forests, breathe in the raw fragrance of its spices and marvel at its rich and varied history soaked in tales of courage right from primitive hunters and warriors to many of today’s valiant gems in the army.
For a taste of all those treasured souvenirs at the pinnacle of luxury, look no further than the iconic luxury resort Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri-Coorg. Quench your travel and leisure desires at this idyllic nirvana. Located just around 7 km from the sleepy town of Madikeri, the resort offers you a getaway of complete serenity with 180 acres of virgin rainforest to call home.
An ecosystem in itself, the hotel offers you a host of amenities, dining options, activities, attractions and world class accommodation. The cherry on the cake has to be the extremely warm and friendly staff and management who work to the fullest of their abilities to make every guest feel at home. Like all of the best holiday getaways, this charming rejuve will leave you wanting more where it most satisfies.
You can catch a flight to either Bangalore or Mangalore and drive the rest of the way to the resort. The road from Mangalore is shorter, but the Bangalore route offers a smoother drive. Either way, it should take you around 7 hours to get there plus any time spent sightseeing on the way. Rental cars are available at both airports but it is advisable to book one in advance. The routes are lined with cafes and restaurants for a stopover at regular intervals.
After a long drive, the picturesque view of expansive, ceaseless, rolling green hills will refresh you. The lobby itself is designed with a minimalist outlook. Where opulent tapestries and palatial interiors adorn the lobbies of its counterparts, the Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri Coorg is beautifully simple with stark wooden panels, well placed fishponds and an unassuming corner front desk. The real show stopper however, remains the breathtakingly invigorating view. The surroundings have been meticulously designed to complement the view rather than to overshadow it.
Each guest is welcomed warmly with delicious freshly made Coorgi coffee. You would be perfectly content spending a couple of hours gazing at the charming view itself. There are buggies driven by the staff members to ferry guests around different parts of the huge property but make sure you take a walk around the pathways at least once for a delightful experience. The staff is extremely courteous and make sure you feel at home by making small talk on buggy rides and also at mealtimes.
Different kinds of rooms are available at three different rates. Each room is a tiny little cottage fashioned out of black wood and designed simplistically. All of the cottages offer fantastic views of the resplendent forest. Facilities such as heated water, WiFi, dry cleaning, etc. are available. Temperatures are cool so it is advisable to carry light woolens on your trip. Some rooms even have their own fireplace where you can cozy up with your loved one on a cold night. All of the cottages are carefully constructed at specific locations throughout the property so as to minimize damage to the immaculate forest.
Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri-Coorg has a trio of wonderful restaurants.
The Fern Tree is an all day dining restaurant which serves continental food. A few Indian specialties are also available. The ambience is minimalistic offering one of the best views of the property. Come armed with a camera when you dine here.
Nellaki serves Coorgi cuisine which uses spices and meat extensively. It serves lunch and dinner.
For the health conscious, Dew, the wellness restaurant is an excellent option centering their menu on organic ingredients and pro health preparation methods. The hotel also has its own bar called Hive.
The hotel has both an indoor and an outdoor pool for guests to swim. The indoor pool is temperature controlled and equipped with a Jacuzzi. There is also a gym if you want to work out during your stay. Yoga classes are conducted in the mornings.
There are a number of nature trails, morning walks and treks conducted around the beautiful forest. The guided tours ensure you get a good look at the astounding number of species of flora and fauna that the Western Ghats house.
For the more adventurous, there are mountain biking activities as well as a zip line across a part of the forest.
Apart from that, the resort offers pottery, culinary and baking classes for children and adults. Last but not least, you can wind down after a long day at the Jiva Spa boasting a number of special treatments to keep you calm.
Stay at Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri Coorg for a year and you’ll still never have seen the resplendent rainforest in all its majesty. Yes, the forest is the main attraction here; one you can’t afford to miss.
For a bit of history and culture, head to hotel’s conservatory, a mini museum with lucid displays of Coorg’s varied history.
Go to the quiet retreat of the Buddha garden, where the only sound you’ll hear is the bubbling laughter of the brook as it trips over pebbles. Romantic dinners are organized in this area too.
If this resort fails to keep you entranced for the entire duration of your stay, you can have a look at some of the other attractions in the area. Make sure you visit the Tibetan village. Karnataka’s own little Tibet is home to an architectural marvel, the Tibetan Golden Temple. The entire complex and interior is peppered with stunning architecture, gorgeous art and fabulous sculpture.
Raft across a section of the Cauvery to Dubare Elephant Camp to ride elephants and help them bathe in the river. Bathing takes place only in the morning, so set out early. Other nearby attractions include a waterfall called Abbi Falls, a rabbit and deer par called Nisargdhama and a flower garden called Raja’s seat.
For a heavenly getaway, leave your heart behind at Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri Coorg. It sure is a splurge, but it’s worth every penny.