Review of Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri, Coorg, India
It is not often that one is left breathless. However, that is precisely what I encountered during my recent vacation to India. It transported me from these landscapes besieged by artificial and almost smothering skyscrapers into the lap of nature – but with a dash of luxury.
Without much ado, let me introduce you to “Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri, Coorg, a sanctuary for nature lovers and sybarites”. Literally, a 180-acre sanctuary for the tired mortals to recuperate at an altitude of 4000 ft in the middle of subtropical rainforest.
This is the only place in Coorg where you do not wake up to the smell of coffee but a rainforest offering the nature’s beauty in its purest form – Parvinder Singh Bual, General Manager, Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri, Coorg
-Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri, Coorg 30 acres built up area and 150 acres rainforest
-63 luxurious rooms and villas
-The Luxury Bliss Villas are spread over 3,300 sq. ft. each and come with an indoor pool and a retractable sun-roof. The 9,000 sq. ft. Presidential Nirvana Suite offers three bedrooms, a swimming pool, private pavilion, its own courtyard and facilities for in-house dining
-30,000 sq. ft. Jiva Grande Spa for the ultimate pampering
-Best for honeymooners, short getaways or simply if you want to indulge in luxury that’s in harmony with nature
-Best times to visit: All year round is perfect to visit the resort. However, the 4-month (June-Sep) monsoon season has its own romantic charm
-Room Rates: starting INR 13,380 per night (approx. US$ 200)
-Nearest International Airports: Mangalore (150 Kms), Kozhikode (190 Kms) and Bengaluru (240 Kms)
-For booking: https://vivanta.tajhotels.com/en-in/madikeri-coorg/
Photo Gallery – Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri, Coorg
A little bit of trivia about the region: Coorg (Kodagu), located on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats is rated as one of the top hill station destinations in India and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region is recognized as one of the world’s eight ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity.
It isn’t for anything that Coorg is called the Scotland of India. The picturesque locales, alluring mountains and lush coffee plantations leave you with an enchanting experience.
At the resort check-in lounge you cannot help but notice the jaw-dropping panoramic vistas of the Western Ghats and imposing mountains that Coorg is famous for. Who wouldn’t want to wake up to dense canopies and verdant valleys everyday for the rest of your life?
Designed to merge with the surroundings and become an integral part of the lush green forest, Pramod Rajan, the man behind this luxurious retreat has done an excellent job in blending modern sense of aestheticism with nature whose beauty so often escapes us. But, at Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri, Rajan seems to have tamed its spirit perfectly and placed it before visitors for their enjoyment.
The interiors of the rooms are muted and uncluttered in order not distract one from the views of the nature outside. Wood and stone – natural river stones – have been used extensively, keeping in line with the nature. The materials used add to an enjoyable amount of rustic feeling to the hotel.
Nishani Hike – is a 3 km steady climb along ridge to a viewpoint. You can explore the lush grasslands and Shola forests
Forest Walk – is a 2.5 km nature walk over moderate terrain, where you can breathe in some of the fresh mountain air while exploring the plantation, paddy field, and evergreen rainforest ecosystems.
Zip Line – If you are a little bit adventurous you can go for a fun ride on a zipline through dense forest.
Coorg Conservatory – Here is where you meet Colonel Muthanna who will enlighten you, with great passion, about the Coorg culture and history, the conservatory houses artifacts from the traditional Coorg culture.
Although I missed the Nishani hike and the Zip line adventure – which I hope to do on my next trip – the forest walk made it up for both. Apart from a good, but mild, physical exercise, the walk through the forest must have given my lungs a refreshing cleanup.
We had a guide Mr. Pradhan for our nature trail walk. After interacting with him for a while I felt like he is a living ‘Google’ for topics related to nature! All throughout the walk he explained to us on a range of topics including the forest ecosystem, its importance and how the Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri is helping maintain that, the flora and the fauna in the forest and many more interesting topics related to nature and environment – which generated a lot of curiosity and interest in us.
There are three restaurants: Nellaki Restaurant, which serves local Coorg specialities, The Fern Tree, which serves North Indian dishes and Dew, with an innovative ‘Wellness Kitchen’, ensures that health conscious guests can enjoy some organic treats.
The breakfast buffet includes continental and Indian delicacies, and compare with typical breakfast served in five star hotels here in Dubai. While we relished much on the North Indian dishes we were a bit disappointed with the South Indian varieties.
Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri also has a top notch bar that serves the finest of spirits and signature Vivanta Fuse Cocktails. The bar and grill at the outdoor pool are a perfect place to enjoy evening sundowners. Green-fingered gastronomes can marvel at the hotel’s extensive organic herb garden and learn to make home-made preserves at the on-site strawberry farm.
We had a demo of Coorg cuisine arranged by the Executive Chef, Deepak. Most of the ingredients were locally sourced from within the property or from nearby farms – organic- and cooked in earthen pots to get that authentic taste and aroma. We were surprised to see how close Coorg cuisine is to Kerala cuisine, except for one additional ingredient – Kachampuli or Garcinia Cambogia, which is a well-known fat burner.
Jiva Grande Spa is spread across a massive 30,000 sq. ft. over 3 floors with stunning rainforest views. The Spa has an unusual design with slowly unfolding layers. It offers a surreal experience rooted in the region. The expansive spa & wellness space sports private treatment suites with their own steam & showers; a relaxation deck; and the signature Jiva experience – the wood fired Gudda bath that draws from the local ethos of Coorg and is found in traditional households of the region.
Unfortunately, this too was a miss for me and so will have to wait to indulge in the luxury until my next trip to the resort.
Staying at Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri definitely made a lasting impression and left us wanting more. Although it’s best for a three day stay, I hope you will like it so much that you will be inclined to extend your stay.