The Tamara Coorg: Luxury Amidst Nature

The Tamara Coorg: Luxury Amidst Nature

The gentle whiff of coffee makes its way into my room, filling my senses with the promise of a delightful day as I stretch myself rolling over the comforter to welcome the gentle rays of the morning sun.

There is something about Coorg that touches my soul with an effervescence that I have not known before. I step out of my luxurious bed to enjoy one of the most mesmerizing views in Karnataka – a beautiful morning which has wooed the silver butterflies out of their slumber who are now regaling me with their tender flutters over the coffee plantations and the adjoining forest. Unaware of my own infatuations, this beautiful morning was also the dawn of my love affair with Karnataka’s enchanting coffee country, Coorg.

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I recently received an invitation for a stay from The Tamara Resort in Coorg. My husband, Vikram and I were warmly welcomed to the resort with fresh flower garlands. What was meant to be an R&R trip soon became an adventurous one giving us the chance to reconnect with nature as we enjoyed our stay in what is undoubtedly India’s most romantic resorts!

We packed in anticipation of a few beautiful days at The Tamara and started our journey with restful sleep as we drove past the endless cacophony of the heavy city traffic. As the outline of the tall city towers slowly disappeared in the horizon and breath-taking landscapes whizzed past our windows, we woke to find ourselves crossing sleepy hamlets and misty rivers. Hills replaced the city buildings, urban chaos gently made way for the frenetic wilderness, and the sweet serenading of birds substituted the noisy streets of Bengaluru.

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Topsy-turvy roads engulfed in a blanket of vibrant flowers ushered us to the glory and greenery of the resort as our senses dipped themselves in the peacefulness of the environment, the blissful aroma of local food, and the constant presence of freshly brewed coffee. The process of rejuvenation had already begun with the vibrancy of the place and its picturesque beauty inadvertently reaching out to the depths of our soul, rekindling love and peace, and most importantly, our lives.

For the effervescent nature lover in me, The Tamara was a spectacular silhouette of a dream that was turning into the most beautiful reality. Nestled amidst the tranquil confines of a plantation, the resort is a structural masterpiece. The property owes its aesthetic splendour to an Indonesian landscaper who has conceptualized the design on the ideology of balance between man, nature and God. As for the cottages which inarguably personify magnificence, the resort had sought the experience of an architect from Kerala. Tucked away in the hills, surrounded by sparkling streams and greenery, the 181 acre property lies at almost 3,600 to 3,900 feet above sea level. The resort covers a sprawling area of 10 acres, while 10 acres is utilized for Cardamom plantations, Coffee plantations take up 125 acres while the rest of the property is thick dense forests. The true essence of the rich bio-diversity of the property is felt in the vociferous rantings of the cicadas and crickets from dusk till dawn when the melodious chirps of the birds urge you to leave your bed and join them in their symphony. Ah! The irresistible lure of the jungle.

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The resort has 52 cottages designed as Alpine Chalets. They are categorized as Luxury, Suites and Superior Luxury {which has two Bedroom units and a luxurious Jacuzzi}. The cottages dot the hills with the least intervention to the beautiful Eco-system of the property, and have been astutely built to provide complete privacy to the guests, while ensuring the flow of natural light and enthralling views of the place. We drove 4km uphill from the main road to reach the reception where we received a warm traditional welcome including a tilak and aarti before we were requested to rest on the sofas lined up by the side till our transport arrived. I was just beginning to soak myself in the resplendence of the place when an electric buggy arrived and we were taken to our cottage.

Our cottage had one bedroom, an extended living area and a private sun deck which evidently turned out to be our favourite space. If it were up to me, I could have spent long hours on the deck gazing at the matchless magnificence of the surroundings, the splendour of the hills veiled in mist, and the grandeur of the sky as the orange sun gently rose above the horizon summoning us to leave our beds and join nature in the celebration of a new day. With a cup of steaming coffee and newspaper in my hand, I spent my mornings on the deck breathing in the fresh mountain air, allowing myself to forget the urban clamour of Bengaluru for the 2 nights and 3 days that we were to spend at The Tamara Coorg.

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The cottages have a steady flow of natural light which made the place warm and cosy just like an enchanting log cabin tucked in the heart of the woods with the availability of all the comforts one can imagine for a splendid stay. I think there is no better way to describe our stay at the resort than in the words of The Tamara itself, “It is a short sabbatical that you deserve”. And the resort lives up to the statement in every aspect of its hospitality; the sumptuous gourmet food, wellness therapies, state-of-the-art luxuries and the promise of some very interesting leisure activities.

 

We enjoyed 3 soulful activities at the resort– the Yoga session, a plantation tour around the property and an exuberant early morning trek that lasted for three hours but gave us a lifetime of memories.

The Tamara Resort calls the Kabbinakad Estate its home where it gracefully rests in the setting of the majestic hills of the Western Ghats. The estate is a harmonious tableau of Arabica, Robusta and Cardamom plantations along with pepper vines twined around the silver oak and rosewood trees rising above the plantations to blend into the native flora and fauna which is a part of a rich ecosystem – one of the most valued heritages of the property. We embarked on our plantation tour with a local Kodava {Coorgi} guide who insightfully sated our inquisitiveness with informative facts about the place. He shared with us, a history of the coffee and spices and talked passionately about the importance of the Rudraksh trees. Filling us in on the vivid traditions and cultures of Coorg, he guided us throughout the tour of the plantation as we relinquished ourselves to the scenic splendour of the Kabbinakad.

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Our tour culminated with a signature coffee experience, “Blossom to Brew” at the resplendent setting of “The Verandah”. We sat at the airy lounge chatting with our host, who spoke fervently about Coorg’s evolution since the British planted the first coffee seeds on its lands. Raised in the coffee estates of Coorg, he has vivid memories of the estates as he grew up choosing to become a coffee trader at first, and then a coffee broker. And all this time, he has been perfecting the art of coffee brewing starting from the seeds right to the cup. His meticulous efforts shine in his organic in-house brew which was reminiscent of the quaint cafes snuggled up in the cobbled streets of small Italian towns. Since coffee making seemed to be the norm, we got the chance to custom blend and roast our own coffee beans giving us the opportunity to create the perfect “cuppa”. As we sipped on our cup of coffee, he jauntily asked what we would miss most about his homeland. With a pause, I answered, “The clean air and beautiful conversations”.

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Once dusk had set in, we called a buggy to take us to the restaurant for dinner. ‘The Falls’ is the only restaurant at the property and serves a spectrum of cuisines ranging from regional dishes to fusion food. Wrapped in warmth and elegance, the restaurant awed us with its impressive buffet spread. The oxygen-rich mountain air along with our exciting adventures around the property abetted in increasing our appetite, and The Tamara’s team of chefs indulgently helped us fill our tummies with rich fusions of cuisines and heady concoctions. We found it delightful that the head chef affably visited each of the tables indulging in a little chit-chat. Our chat with him primarily revolved around food, and his recommendation of a few local specialities. That said we found the entire restaurant team including the chefs and the serving staff amiable and quite enjoyed all of our meals. It helped that the views from the tables and the big glass see-through floor in the middle {which sometimes acts like a dance floor} added to the paradisiacal experience as we savoured the gourmet fare!

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Incidentally, our visit to The Tamara collided with “The Tamara Carnival” which is the time of the year when the resort celebrates the cultural heritage of India bringing together music and performing arts. For the two evenings that we stayed at the resort, we were treated to cultural performances which added to the beauty of our trip to Coorg. A doll dance and a three-piece band performance regaled us on the day of our arrival and a Theyyam performance followed by an Indo-western fusion instrumental performance electrified the next evening. For eons we have believed in the ability of music and dance to help us drop the shroud of materialism and explore the deep corners of spiritualism and divinity which uplifts our soul and leads us into a state of blissfulness as our inner being harmonizes with the elements of the universe. The Tamara helped us experience the same bliss in the romantic, small-town of Coorg.

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Early morning, 6.30 am to be precise, on the last day of our stay, we started on a 14km trek which was our confrontation with the wilder, more beautiful side of the estate. It took us 3 hours as our guide, Lithin, helped us climb up the hill of Ballayatre. Like we often say, it is not just the destination but the journey that matters. For us, the 3 hour trek was so much about the journey as we passed luxuriant coffee bushes and orange trees cheerfully swaying in the gentle morning breeze. With a beautifully preserved eco-system, Ballayatre is devoid of man-made intrusions exemplifying the sheer beauty of raw, wild nature. The foliage on the hill was a refreshing shade of green while the dewdrops that had settled on the unruly grass that edged the twin tracks glistened playfully in the morning sun. Leafy branches danced indolently to the enthusiastic chirping of the birds as the cool morning air gently ruffled our hair. Bands of mischievous monkeys chattered along the tracks as insects clicked creating symphonies of their own, bringing the forest to life. I cannot imagine anything more blissful than the joy of being a part of the endearing beauty of the wilderness.

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On our return to the resort, the day looked promising with the assurance of discovery and exaltation not just for the body, but for the soul too. The breezy woods, chatter of insects and incessant calls of the birds condoned the need for a clock allowing us to enjoy life at our own pace.

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End Note: Quietly tucked away in the heart of tropical paradise, The Tamara Coorg is truly your perfect romantic getaway. Our stay at the resort helped us create some of the most vivid memories which my husband and I will cherish forever. Needless to say, The Tamara gets my highest recommendation. I hope you will love it as much as we did.

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So have you been to Tamara? Or Coorg? What was your experience like?

 

*Disclaimer: I was hosted by The Tamara, Coorg. The invitation was non-commercial, and as always my opinions and experiences are unbiased, untarnished and entirely my own!

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

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