There is no better way to rejuvenate body and soul during the healing rains of monsoon than to escape to the Vivanta by Taj Madikeri in Coorg for a bit fun, food and pampering. Tucked down a 5 kilometre private drive, outside the hustle and bustle of city life (or even village life!), rests the most expansive luxury hotel property I’ve ever witnessed. The numerous individual villas, restaurants, blocks of rooms, activities centres and the spa have all been built within a 180 acre living rain forest. Yet unlike other properties that build them as a group together, each of these buildings now sit where there happened to naturally be space amongst the trees to ensure that the 250 species of flora in those hills would remain intact.
Top Reasons to Go:
- The views are simply …. breathtaking!
- To enjoy a beautiful private dinner at the Buddha Garden! This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a private butler, private chef, bubbles, absolutely amazing food of course … with the sounds of the jungle setting the mood for an incredible evening.
- It is perfect for families! Honestly, my daughter and I couldn’t experience everything we wanted to because they offer such a large list of activities, which makes us look forward to our next visit. From nature walks, cooking classes with their top chefs, pottery class, hiking (although bring dry bags ‘cuz it rains like crazy during in monsoon!), biking, the spa, pools, etc…there is truly something for everyone, day or night.
- The quality of the food is so high, it’s heaven for foodies! The Executive Chef prepares much of his menu based on the locally-sourced produce and that natural flavour shines through.
The first thing we noticed is there was no reception desk, so when we arrived we were treated just like guest’s in someone’s home. We were asked to sit down on one of the many sofas that offer panoramic views of the hillside. We were served a pick-me-up cup of infamous Coorg-grown coffee and we were checked-in right there from the sofa. From that point on I don’t think we had to lift a finger the entire holiday. Their staff are so skilled at pampering their guests that they almost predicted what we’d need before we had to ask.
Depending on where you’re villa or room is located, chances are you’ll call for a buggy at least a couple of times a day to move around from place to place. It took a couple of day to get used to that but the staff was so quick to turn up when we called that is actually played well with our somewhat lazy nature!
Our Premium Indulgence Room
Our 1,400sf Premium Indulgence room was so large I want to call it a suite but I suppose given the open plan architecture of it that it really is a room. The view was amazing, we had our own fireplace that the staff would setup and light for us when we wished. The bathtub was immense so their all natural amenities made for the perfect, relaxing bubble bath with a glass of wine and those yummy little homemade chocolates in the pic below that they bring by each day (ehem, and which I ATE almost 100% of each day they were sooooo good! haha). Ohhhh, and I realise it might seem strange I’ve included a pic of my laundry but their attention to detail is so beyond ‘5 star’ amazing, our ironing came back to us in a small valise 🙂
Luxury Bliss Villa with Private Pool
The staff kindly gave us a tour of the 3,300sf villas and they are incredibly impressive. Each is tucked away between the trees so there is 100% privacy, which is perfect for public figures or anyone who needs a true escape at times. And ESPECIALLY perfect for newlyweds on a honeymoon…what bliss indeed!
What I loved most is the private pool but the warm family room comes in a close second. There are private butlers and chefs that will attend to all the cooking and needs of their villa guests.
Eats & Drinks
During monsoon there are 3 restaurants and one lovely bar for guests to enjoy: Nellaki for Coorg specialities, Fern Tree is the all day dining restaurant, Dew is located just above the pool and is the health food option, and the lounge is called Hive Bar. The Coorg cuisine was our favourite but we also indulged in Thai, Moroccan and my daughter gobbled up a chicken burger upon first arrival.
Their room service is so amazing it was like dining out so we had breakfast in bed while enjoying our views in fine dining style most days. We learned after the first day that the team does things a little bit differently at that property than at other locations where food is delivered straight from the kitchen on a tray. Some villas and rooms are a 5 or more minute buggy ride away from the kitchen so they take extraordinary measures to ensure that French toast, for example, still arrives piping hot!
NOTE: I have so many photos of the food that I’m going to create a separate gallery for it in two days so do come back. This is just a sample of the amazing delights the Chef and his team can prepare for you.
Pottery & Cooking Class
Walking away with a couple of amazing recipes from my cooking class (and a few new skills) was a wonderful gift. However, the small box that my daughter made for me is now my favourite souvenir from India (those are her sweet hands below). The pottery master at Vivanta by Taj Madikeri fires up the kiln once or twice a month to glaze and fire each guest’s creation, and then carefully ships it to them, no matter where in the world a guest lives. I absolutely LOVE that.
Jiva Grande Spa
Ahhhh my favourite part of most any trip is the spa. When I travel with my daughter we book the couples rooms so we can stay together but there are so many unique treatments to try on your own at the Jiva Grande Spa, in amazing rooms overlooking the hills, that I did venture back on my own as well. From traditional Ayurvedic treatments, relaxing massages or their signature Gudda Bath, which is the traditional spa bath in Coorg … you’ll leave refreshed and rejuvenated. They even have yoga classes!
Their products are amazing too, just like in any Jiva Spa. I bought us both the hemp-dyed robes below and we absolutely love them.
Click here for the full spa menu.
It is one of those hotels and spas that will stay in your heart and soul long after your return to civilisation, thus putting it in the best category of hotels in my book! The modern yet warm desgin, décor and architecture of this property is luxury at its best … perfect for foodies, spa enthusiasts, the ideal family holiday …. and absolutely for honeymoons and true romance. I know it’s a memory my daughter and I will cherish for a long time to come and I can only give Vivanta by Taj Madikeri my highest recommendation. I hope you’ll love it as much as we did.
For reservations or more on this amazing property visit their website.
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