The Hill District Club: Nature’s Own Paradise

The Hill District Club: Nature’s Own Paradise

The forest held my hand and pulled me into

where the mountains stretched endlessly

trees reached up to kiss the clouds

birds and swishing wind played their notes

in treble and bass clefs

oblivious to the surroundings

 

Are you planning a weekend getaway to a hill station in Kerala? And you are still undecided on where to go? Thought of zeroing in on The Hill District Club, Wayanad? If not, I would say it would be the ideal choice ~ nestled amid the comforting silence of the woods, mist clad mountains, lush green plantations, this resort quietly erases the fine line drawn between reality and whimsicality, deftly weaving in a familiarity and tranquillity that exists in the chaos around us.

I wanted memories that involved more than just the little things. THDC did not disappoint.

 

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The Hill District Club {THDC} is that perfect place to channelize your energy and reconnect with your inner self by being one with the rawness and vitality of nature. It is a rejuvenating experience for the mind, body, and spirit and what amazed me was the timelessness, starkness, and untouched beauty of this tranquil getaway.

City life has its share of monotony and despite the glitz and the glamour knitted into it, there are times when we all long for that moment of solitude which can be elusive to the many of us who lead hectic lives. Invigorating long walks, watching the sun rise and set, the ethereal beauty of the mist gently settling on the mountains, the song of the birds, the crunching sound of leaves under your feet ~ in short, a chance to appreciate nature is what you can expect while staying at this 3.5 acre forest + plantation resort.

 

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Vikram and I were given a warm welcome with garlands of jasmine flowers and a sandalwood-tika. We were then led to the waiting lounge and severed their welcome drink, freshly brewed filter coffee served in a brass mug with some refreshments. All the while, amid the flurry of activities happening in the reception and waiting lounge, what caught my ears was the occasional cry of hornbill that broke the impenetrable silence of the lyrical and breathtaking beauty of the place. It was surprising to see how the minimalism inside the resort seamlessly and effortless merged with the natural surroundings outside.

The short walk to our suite was enjoyable and we soaked in the essence of the place in that short moment. There was a feeling of openness in the way the rooms were designed, and furnished in shades of nude, cream, and brown ~ they managed to blend with the natural and rustic feel of the outdoors beautifully. I liked the concept of integrating the natural environment into their architecture as well by using materials that were associated with the plantation making it very appealing.  Our room was bright and airy and it was just perfect for couples or guests looking for quietude and privacy. All rooms are also provided verandas with splendid views of the surrounding forest making it visually aesthetic.

 

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The Importance of Indulging in Soulful Food

People living in this part of the world believe in the importance of eating well, and a large part of their joy lies in partaking of meals fit for kings. Keeping that tradition in mind our day always began drinking filter coffee, followed by a healthy and nutritious breakfast. This is one of the highlights of travelling ~ trying out different cuisines that define the exclusivity of the region, and gorging on Malnad delicacies here was a real treat for the both of us.

The walk to the restaurant, though a short one downhill, was a walk to remember ~ it had soothing views of the swimming pool at one side and the sweeping green of the verdant forest on the other. And the gurgles of the meandering stream nearby serenaded us with its gentle continuity, making it a magical experience.

 

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Every day of our stay was made special by a serving of traditional cuisine ~ Appams {a crepe made with rice flour} or Puttu {steamed rice cake layered with coconut} served warm and freshly cooked for breakfast and Chicken Curry {Malabar style} and Prawn Fry in the typical coastal way for lunch were some of the dishes we got to try during our stay. But of course, a favourite was the Parippu Payasam {pudding} made with lentils! Savouring the authentic culinary delights of the place was quite an experience and now that I am reminded of this, I salivate!

Nothing says love like eating amongst nature. And on our last day at the club, the staff had arranged a fairy-tale experience by hanging fairy lights, and paper lanterns from the branches of trees for our intimate dinner on a candlelit boat stationed in the garden ~ a sure-fire way to create an ambiance. As daylight faded and the warm glow of twilight slowly ebbed, a dinner with just nature surrounding us, and the moon and the stars above, made for an enchanting evening.

 

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Outdoor Activities

Take in the Sights and Sounds of the Place ~ Recreational Nature Walk

For all those who love the outdoors, THDC is inviting when it comes to biking and walking ~ witnessing first hand the surreal beauty of the place and becoming one with nature.

Our daily routine was quite exciting when I look back now ~ the day was heralded by the song of a Malabar Whistling Thrush and that breathed life into everything in the forest. The bird songs, incessant chatter of cicadas, and the foraging monkeys brought the entire place alive and whenever I stepped out onto the veranda, there was this harmonizing connection, body and mind with the forest outside that left me with reverence for wilderness, and a sense of peace and contentment.

 

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The club hosts nature walks at 6:30 am, and then again at 4:30 pm which is an experience you wouldn’t want to miss. It is the best way you can feel the serenity of the place that silently lingers amid the plantations and the jungle. While exploring the splendid greens lend your ears to the call of birds and insects that consider this place their home. There is a lot to explore here, so make sure that you wear appropriate footwear before scaling these hills.

 

Fishing at the Angling Island and Swimming

One of the main attractions of THDC is the Angling Island and for city dwellers, fishing is a luxury. The club provides you with the fishing gear you will need to lure a fish to your bait, and Vikram and I found this exciting and relaxing at the same time. It was fun watching the fish come to check out the hook bait and if you caught one, you could cook and eat it too.

While the 20 yards of fresh water reservoir is tempting enough to swim, paddle and watch the time stretch lazily to eternity.

 

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Looking for Indoor Family Fun?

If you’re not an outdoor person or just want to take a break from the sun and spend some quality time indoors {yet enveloped in nature}, THDC offers you a variety of choices to keep you entertained and relaxed. You can play Cards, Chess, Caroms, Table Tennis and trust that their facilities will never leave you feeling restless.

The splendid views of the mountains can be savoured perfectly by sitting in their garden that is complete with a wooden seating area filled with cushions. It is an ideal spot to relax when you take a break from the activities. You can read at leisure, watch the sun taking its leave with that someone special, or sip a drink and just soak in the aura of the place.

 

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At Close Quarters with Nature ~ Camping

You have to experience the wild during your stay here and the club has an excellent and safe overnight camping facility within the club boundaries that will take you into the existential and mesmerizing forest, ensuring you enjoy the elemental beauty of nature.

It was quite a unique experience sleeping in the open air and Vikram and I enjoyed every bit of it ~ from that of fixing our tent, to the bonfire, to watching the enigmatic night sky, to the sounds of the wild, to waking up feeling the morning sun run its warm fingers through the mountains and the forest, to drinking a hot cup of filter coffee ~ everything was just perfectly scripted.

 

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The Icing on the Proverbial Cake

THDC is not just a holiday retreat. They also have partnerships with India’s best golf and city clubs and if you avail of a membership with The Hill District Club you can access these facilities. They have over 70+ private clubs all over India where you can take advantage of their reciprocal agreement and enjoy their services and club visitor privileges.

In Bangalore alone you have access to 14 prestigious cubs. You may get in touch with Girish on +91974445288 or at cmg.thdc@vistararesort.com to learn more.

 

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End note: Elegant and in its essence a state of mind, The Hill District Club is an exquisite getaway. What emerged from our travel to this exclusive resort situated in the lap of nature was a new sense of harmony, rejuvenation of the mind, body, and spirit, and a sacred sense of seclusion that left the both of us exalted and bathed in bliss.

And forget not that earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair ~ Kahlil Gibran

 

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Address: The Hill District Club, Kolagappara, Meenangadi PO, Wayanad District 673 591, Kerala

** It will take you a 6/7 hour drive from Bangalore to reach THDC, depending on the road conditions and traffic. The drive will take you through the Nagarhole Forest and you might be able to spot a few animals crossing the road or on the sides if you are lucky.

 

* Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from THDC, and is a narrative of the author’s experience at the property. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review.

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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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