Source: Orange County
It may be the "Scotland of India", where whiskey pegs are a must every evening, but we are also quite happy to sit sipping a cup of fresh coffee on the hilltops. Throw in a few treks, flavour-packed local cuisine and massages that could give Bangkok a run for its money, and you've got yourself the perfect blend of adventure, indulgence and relaxation -- across all budgets. Pack your bags for Coorg now!
VIVANTA BY TAJ
Pick from 63 luxury cottages, suites, villas and rooms, all with spectacular valley views. If you have the time and 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 Kaveri.
Where:1st Monnangeri, Galibeedu
Price: ₹12,000 upwards per room per night
Set in tranquil forests, this resort is great if you're not looking to leave the premises, where you have the choice of staying in studios, suites or villas. Rough road jeep rides, hot oil massages, gravity cycling and hydrotherapy are some of the quirky activities you can engage in, although the massage is our top pick. Leave some time for a splash about in the pool.
Where: Survey No 201/P1, Kedakal Village, Suntikoppa Hobli, Somwarpet Taluk, Mercara,Kodagu, Madikeri
Price: ₹12,000 upwards per night per room
Contact: +91 8276262500
Source: Orange County
The original luxury resort in the region, Orange County achieves an irresistible blend of rustic style and modern indulgence in thatched roof cottages, bamboo furniture and private pools (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.
Where: Karadigodu Post, Siddapur
Price: ₹31,000 upwards per villa for two nights, including meals
Contact: +91 8274258481
THE TAMARA COORG
Source: The Tamara
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, 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 -- unwind as the coffee cocoon works it magic on your city skin.
Where: Virajpet-Talakaveri Road, Yevakapadi
Price: ₹18,000 plus tax per room per night
Contact: 080 71077700
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 is 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 her fabulous cooking. Oh and make sure you bring along some condensed milk and whiskey because the lady of the house makes divine Irish Cream!
Where: Chevur Estate (Next to Coorg Golf Links), Bittangala Village, Virajpet Taluk
Price: ₹3,500 per couple per night
Contact: +91 9449635127
You can hike up a steep path to reach this hilltop homestay or ask the owner Mr. Babu to pick you up. Sunsets and sunrises are best watched from a second hill top that's also part of the property, before you settle in for drinks and barbecue there. 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, pork (pandi) curry, akki (rice), roti and nool puttu (string hoppers) for almost every meal. A great option if you want the country life without being too far from the town, Madikeri (7km away).
Where: Mekeri Village, Madikeri - 571201
Price: ₹3,500 for two per night
Contact: +91 9845989898
A Kodava home (plus a cottage) in the heart of Madikeri, this was one of the first homestays to pop up in the area, and offers plenty of comfort within a reasonable budget. Situated at the heart of Madikeri, the capital of Coorg, you have the luxury and comfort of home. Coorg district, the birthplace of River Kaveri, lies in the picturesque Western Ghats of Karnataka and is home to the Kodavas. The people of Coorg live close to nature and have a great love for the land.
Where: New Extension, District Kodagu, Next to SP's Bunglow, Madikeri
Price: ₹2,000 per person
Contact: +91 8272228597
You can really get lost in this hill-top property, a rather posh homestay. A swimming pool, barbecue area and interiors with interesting history complement personalized plantation walks, bird watching and bonfire chatter 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. Local food is served, and you won't regret picking Kedakal Estate if you want a serene getaway that gives you a break from "civilization".
Where: The Kedakal Estate, Kedakal Post, Suntikoppa - 571237
Price: ₹2,500 per person
Contact: +91 9448284341
BB ESTATE HOMESTAY
Source: BB Estate
An ancestral home with lush gardens and plantations, this estate takes you back in time. You have an option of staying in two outhouse suites or really soak in history at the 175-year-old bungalow which offers three bedrooms.
Where: BB Estate; Kadagadal Village, Box 69 , Madikeri
Price: ₹1,200 per person per night
Contact: +91 9448167277
A bungalow set in 100-odd acres of coffee bushes, you can't go wrong with this one. Three cosy and Victorian-style bedrooms are open for guests, and you'll love that while it feels old-school (with bay windows and cushioned arm chairs) it's also got a very modern touch, especially when it comes to the bathrooms. A fireplace in the sitting area gets this one brownie points and works well to tell kids stories on a cold night, or propose marriage to your significant other. If you like, they'll organize angling and rafting for you when in season; else you can opt for golf, treks, cycling and plantation tours.
Where: Arapattu, Kadaga, Virajpet - 571218
Price: ₹5,000 per night
Contact: +91 9845989898
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