There are some places I visit that become very close to my heart. Not just because of their aesthetic beauty, but that combined with the warmth and love of the hosts. Such places become more than a beautiful stay experience, they become home in another land.
One such place I recently experienced is a small cottage retreat in Chikmagalur, far away from the main town, nestled deep amidst the beauty and serenity of a lush coffee plantation. Owned and managed by Nalima Kariappa and her three daughters, the quaint cottage retreat is a warm and genuine coffee estate stay where one gets to experience the rustic-luxury of plantation stays while learning about local methods to grow and process coffee beans.
As I write this, I can still remember the gorgeous view from my cottage, that delicious cup of coffee and the peace I felt there.
The stay consists of two beautiful cottages nestled amidst a 200 acre coffee plantation. The rooms are airy and welcoming, with sit-outs offering gorgeous views of the plantation and serving as an ideal space to tune in to the sounds of nature. There is a fireplace in each cottage making sure your stay is warm, comfortable and cozy.
The bathrooms are bright and airy, offering you two kinds of showers - a cozy indoors one and a cool and breezy outdoors one.
Apart from all the aesthetically pleasing indoor spaces, the cottage retreat offers its travellers beautiful flower-filled gardens to lounge around, an indoor and open air-dining area, a cafe that serves delicious filter coffee using the in-house blend and some yummy cakes, lots of nature trails within the plantation and a tyre swing to give you a taste of local games and fun!
MEET THE HOSTS
Nalima and Maanavi were my sweet hosts at the cottage. It was such an inspiration and a pleasure meeting these ladies!
A big reason why this place made a deep impression on me is because it's an all women run initiative. I feel proud and honoured to work with such properties and they give me a sense of empowerment.
It's beautiful to see how Nalima along with her team of coffee planters is spearheading operations at the estate and making some of the best tasting coffee I've even had! I think the difference in the taste and aroma is because of her love, passion and hard work at the estate.
While she stays busy at the estate, her three daughters, living in India and New York help out with marketing and other aspects related to the estate and property.
All their efforts combine to make your experience an absolute delight and one that stays in your memory for a long time!
Thanks ladies for hosting me at your beautiful estate. I'll be back to volunteer with you some day and learn more about growing and processing such fine coffee :)
If there are any young people out there looking for volunteer work and new learning, the estate offers room and board for volunteers in exchange for curiosity, a willingness to learn and help Nalima around the estate.
The cottage is located 30 minutes by road from Chikmagalur town. From Bangalore, you can either drive to Chikmagalur or take the AC Volvo that leaves early in the morning and reaches Chikmagalur by 11:30 am. From the bus stop, I can help you arrange a cab till the cottage.
Rs. 6,500 per cottage per night including breakfast for 2 adults.
There are special discounts for wanderbugs :)
Best suited for:
- Couples looking for a quiet and peaceful getaway
- Small families who love nature and want their kids to learn about local cultures and practices
- Small group of friends looking for some peace and beautiful surroundings
- Solo travellers.
Best time to visit:
Summer is a popular time to visit the region, but I loved the monsoons here!