Getting lost & finding self in the middle of Nowhere!
Its always awesome to stay in the midst of plantations with all the greenery all around, birds chirping to wake you up, occasional insects & small animals that visit you in your room just the peacefulness!!! May it be in the rubber plantations of Spices Farm Stay, in tea plantations of Windermere Estate, or this time in the coffee plantations of Magnolia Resorts in Coorg.
Located in a small town called Virajpet close to Coorg, this entire property is about 73 acres. This was the weekend getaway for the owners who bought this property in 2007. Later on they relocated to California where Magnolia flowers became their favourite flower, so they decided to name this property the same. Soon they built 7 buildings here for their own use and 6 villas for the guests. By 2012 they built 8 more smaller cottages for the use of tourists, ecology enthusiasts alike!
As soon as I entered I was welcomed by women clad in saree draped in the authentic kodagu style. The reception is a square with the back that opens up to the glorious western ghats behind it. This entire square is tastefully decorated with traditional seating arrangements, retro styled sofa & chairs and the entire wall is filled images of coffee plantations across the world. The one thing that totally struck me by awe was a tree that grew inside this place and grows out through its roof. The care was taken to not cut down the tree and include it in this construction!!! That was totally heartening.
Very close to the reception is the Peppervine restaurant and Saaqi bar. The bar is an open air one and a few steps from it takes you to the back entrance of the restaurant. Between these 2, on the side is the space for bonfire. The resort provides 1 complimentary bonfire during the stay. Drinks and Bonfire in the chilly evenings of Coorg is just so awesome!!! Currently the bar isn’t licensed to sell, but you’re welcome to get your own drinks! But they provide an array of fingerfood incl some delicious options for veggies too incl cheese fried broccoli (must try), chilli paneer, onion bakoda etc.
The breakfast at restaurant is a mix of both continental and south Indian varieties. I did not manage to enjoy a lunch here as I was out exploring Coorg and for dinner, the buffet is just splendid with a very wide range in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian 3 course meal from soups to biriyani to Indian breads to tandoori platter to cakes to kesari et all. The place also has a scenic outdoor seating which is best enjoyed in breakfast or lunch! The service is quick and very professional, that’s rather unexpected in such a small resort in the midst of nowhere!!!
Roads are there to lead you from the reception to the restaurant to the rooms and all other places within the resort. The best way is walking or bicycling (resort provides it on request)! However the resort also provides vehicular transport if needed. Your own vehicle has to be parked at the parking area near the entrance and if you have a driver, he may stay at the staff quarters and will be provided simple food as well. There are maps in several places to let help explore yourself.
Within the property is a portion that doesn’t belong to the property, but to the forest department! That’s the mountain itself! A trek is allowed in this mountain, but prior permission from the forest department is required and has fixed timings! Yes, being a part of Western Ghats, this mountain is also home to Western Ghats animals including Elephants, so timings are set towards least disturbance to the animals here!!!
Within the property are also 2 lakes – Emerald and Turquoise. Check out the lakes in dawn and dusk. Avid birder or amateur doesn’t matter – spotting a grey hornbill is just a dream come true for both alike and grey hornbill is a regular visitor here. Unfortunately they didn’t give me the blessing of showing themselves to me……
There are 2 types of rooms, the 1000 sq ft villas (x6) and 900 sq ft cottages (x12). The villas are a thing of beauty with ancient pillars brought in from old houses & palaces that have been demolished! Sitting there in the border between Karnataka and Kerala, I was time and again reminded of the building style of Kerala with wooden carvings and terracotta tile ceiling etc. I stayed at a cottage. It’s a single room cottage with the bed on one side, and TV with sofa on the other. Close to the window is a small reading table and the view out of the window is the mesmerizing Western Ghats!!! Who needs a TV when there’s such a view outside the window!!!
All the cottages & villas are in ground floor and have their own dedicated pathways and entrances and porticos. These connect to the in-house roads. The best I felt was walking in these roads in the night – the light pollution is so less and the sparkly stars in the sky look gorgeous, the crackle of the crickets is so so so loud but that’s the only sound you hear, the roads look never ending in the darkness of night and more so ever just sitting in the portico of your own room in the night and just gazing at the sky listening to these sounds is so much needed to every city dweller!!!!!
Being in the middle of a forest at the base of a mountain, expect the unexpected! Grasshoppers and crickets would be everywhere! Moths might give you a visit inside you room if you leave the windows open. A walk on the wet grass near the lakes with your open sandals might attract leeches! Here’s a tip: apply nose powder (available in all local shops) or edible salt on your shoes/foot to prevent the leeches. If you’re lucky enough, you may spot deers or even elephants!!!
With this as your stay, you can venture out to regular tourist spots like Dubare Elephant Camp or Iruppu Falls or Bylaguppe Namdroling Monastery or you could do opt for eco-tourism and go on a safari at Nagarhole National Park or you could opt for a road less travelled adventure with…….. Stay tuned to know what I did!!!
To get there:
On Google Maps: Magnolia Coorg
From Mysuru Jn: 100km
From Bangalore City Station: 235km
Transport is arranged by the resort from nearest airport / railway station on prior request.
To Book: Magnolia Coorg, Make My Trip
Room tariff begins at Rs.8000/-
Resort Ph no: +91-82773-72100 and +91-99803-78253
P.S: I was invited by Magnolia Resort, Coorg to stay and experience the hotel for review purpose, however the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.