Coffee buzz

Wake up in Coorg and get intoxicated by nature.

     Print Edition: Feb 8, 2009

‚ÄúKodava-style‚Ä? private pool villa
‚ÄúKodava-style‚Ä?
The best thing about Coorg is that the holiday begins long before you arrive—it’s on as soon as you hit the highway. You don’t need an SUV for the drive through the countryside, since the roads are in pretty good shape. Just roll down the windows and soak in the fresh air. You’ll pass sugarcane and paddy fields. You’ll probably stop for a picnic.

A lot of people go for home stays in Coorg, but if you’re looking for tranquility, then there’s nowhere better than Orange County. Nestled in the Chikkanahally coffee estates— Orange County is like a trip into a bygone era, that of the Gentleman Planter. The estate was founded in 1926. During harvest season, you can actually see people plucking and drying coffee beans. The accommodation is nearly as beautiful as the coffee estates and offers four types of rooms, from cottage up to the private pool villa. There are also luxury AC tents with a lake view.

Do include a pair of shorts and sneakers because coffee estates are best explored on foot. But take a couple of guided tours before exploring on your own, particularly the spice tour—the vines on the silver oaks fire the imagination. Many nature lovers rise at dawn to watch the birds on the river Cauvery and the surrounding forests. Others take a coracle ride on the river (a coracle is a circular fishing boat). Further into the dense coffee estate, you will find lychee, rubber, a variety of rare plants, and in the neighbouring city of Bylekuppe, there’s a cultural surprise—the second-largest Tibetian settlement outside of Tibet.

When the sun is high, head back to the resort for the spa—the Sarvangadhara, for example, is an elaborate Ayurvedic massage at the Vaidyasala (Ayuvedic Rejuvenation Centre). Lovely

The information
Getting there: It’s 235 km from Bangalore down the Mysore Highway through Ramnagaram, Maddur, Mandya and Srirangapatna. You take a right towards Elivala, through Hunsur towards Piriyapatna and then a left towards Siddapura.
Cost: Rs 15,000 for a cottage at Orange County Resort (inclusive of meals).
Book: 080-41911040 coorg@orangecounty.in

The Radisson Plaza Resort & Spa
The Radisson Plaza
Or Alternatively… Here are a couple of other great options out of Bangalore.

Mysore
Royal Orchid Brindavan Gardens Built during the British Raj in the 19thcentury, the Royal Orchid Brindavan Gardens in Mysore is a taste of true royalty. The guesthouse overlooks the magnificent Brindavan Gardens. The private balcony has a view of the dam. All the sights are close by—Mysore Palace and Jaganmohan Palace, Chamuni Hill and so on. But it doesn’t get much better than a long walk in the gardens followed by an in-room lavender aromatherapy massage, a freshlydrawn crystal bath and a steaming cup of jasmine tea.

Getting there: It’s 235 km from Bangalore down the Mysore Highway through Ramnagaram, Maddur, Mandya and Srirangapatna. You take a right towards Elivala, through Hunsur towards Piriyapatna and then a left towards Siddapura.

Cost: Rs 15,000 for a cottage at Orange County Resort (inclusive of meals).

Book: 080-41911040 coorg@orangecounty.in

Kumarakom
The Radisson Plaza Resort & Spa Located on the shores of the Vembanad Lake and spread over 18 acres, this resort is awe inspiring. As you drive into the resort, a man-made lagoon in the heart of the property gives you an indication of how amazing this place is. Step into the 10,000 square metre Maya Spa and experience ‘Cloud Nine’, a special spa treatment. Take a luxurious house boat cruise and float in comfort and luxury.

Getting there: 80 minutes by air from Bangalore to Cochi, and then an hour’s drive from the airport.

Cost: Rs 14,000 for a room, Rs 19,000 for a cottage and Rs 75,000 for a Presidential Pool Villa.

Book: 080-40355055, www.radisson.com/kumarakom.in

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