Cloud walks, green hills, dense forests, thundering cicadas, soft birds singing and the intoxicating smell of coffee, Coorg encompasses all of these in a beautiful way. Gently cradled by the mighty Western Ghats and floating amidst a cloud of green, it is one of the few places in India where one can resonate with the spirit of nature in its pure and untouched form.
As one drives past the Suntikoppa highway, mere 12 km before Madikeri, the road leads into a dense forest. A narrow struggling road takes you deeper into its realm. As you leave behind the world of mobile signals, the forest welcomes you, greeting you with utter silence, yet so much to listen to.
A rough drive (especially in late Monsoon) takes you to an 18th century forest bungalow which still resonates with an age old charm. The reception and dining hall looks like one straight out of a period drama. The numerous antiques, glorious chandeliers, Victorian dolls and antique clocks strangely complements a small home theatre, a snooker zone besides the coffee bar.
One of the earliest estates established in the country, this coffee estate is spread over 200 acres of flourishing coffee-bushes, surrounded by spectacular forested hills and gushing streams of crystal clear water.
The property was developed in the 1800s by Lieutenant Colonel W. R. Wright, an army officer in British India, who was a writer as well as a poet. His keen oversight of every branch of the plantation contributed to the transformation of the estate in just twenty-three years.
After Lt. Col. Wright, the property remained with his descendants until 1964 when it was bought by the present owners, the Thaikappa family, who hail from southern Tamil Nadu, India.
The original Bungalow houses the reception, a beautiful verandah overlooking beautiful English gardens (where you are served breakfast), a period dining hall, a home theatre, a lounge, a coffee bar and a snooker zone.
A well lit path starting from the bungalow guides you to the cottages each named after a flower or plant. The rooms are huge with four poster beds, antique wooden almirahs and a lovely sit out with a private garden for each. The glass panes opening to the garden outside gives you a magical view right from your bed.
If the rooms are great, the bathrooms are even better. Immense in scale with natural light ceilings, stone bathtubs, exclusively made toiletries, live plants and wooden showers, they are nothing short of a tropical paradise.
As for the food,they serve local delicacies to international cuisine along with their own estate’s coffee.
They also have a treetop restaurant named The Perch which is operational only during the winter and summer seasons round the year.
There are numerous activities to indulge in from specialised spa treatments, plantation walks, trekking through the green hills or just sitting in the airy verandah chilling, listening to the drizzle and sipping your coffee.
With its age old heritage, stunning location, impeccable hospitality, great food and a celebration of the past paired with all the modern amenities, Old Kent Estates and Spa truly captures the essence of Coorg in every possible way.
For anyone planning a vacation, has to look no further. This one is special in its own way.
The best time to visit is winter when all the activities are operational and ongoing. However, the true beauty of Coorg can be felt during the monsoons i.e. from June to October. With the constant drizzle, overflowing streams,clouds walking up to your feet and pure greenery its a magical time to visit Coorg.
However, don't forget to stay protected from leeches and insects which are at their highest population during the monsoon!
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