The Birchwood Retreat-One of the best hotels in India-Coorg-Karnataka-India
Taking a cue from my blog title – Coorg – When you are in the coffee capital of India, doesn’t it sound enticing to stay in a stately Villa on a coffee estate? I am sure it does. Well, I was lucky to experience the same during my stay at The Birchwood Retreat in the coffee harvesting season.
The experience of staying on the coffee estate was surreal. Although the property is on the main road, I felt as if I am staying in a ‘Jungle’, where a few Villas have been built for the ‘forest officers’ to stay. It is a euphoric feeling to stay at a place like this sometimes. There are a some things that you cannot encounter even in the best hotels in India. As Mary Davis said, “To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles”.
The whole property is designed in such a brilliant way that one would not feel away from nature when hanging out in the living room, kitchen, lobby, library, restaurant, etc. You name it and the escape to the mother nature and daylight is deliberately planned, in nearly every part of the property either through big windows or skylights.
The Birchwood Retreat has 27 rooms in the Clubhouse and 9 individual Villas. Each Villa has three commodious rooms – all rooms with a balcony (two of them with ensuite bathrooms) and a fully equipped kitchen. Thoughtfully, just the kind of home most of us dream of (weekend home maybe). As I mentioned above, the Villas are designed in a genius way ensuring that the daylight passes through round-shaped skylights. Another fascinating thing is that there are no curtains in the living room and kitchen. Yes, all you can see is a lush green cover around you. But, you will still have the luxury of privacy as the Villas are situated at large distances from each other.
There is a well-appointed gym, pool table, and a separate game room in the property. The library gives an unobstructed view of the trees thereby making it an absolute pleasure to read. There is also an infinity pool that will make you feel as if you are in the pond in the forest. Get into the pool in the late evening and you will feel like being in a fairy tale world.
- There is, of course, a coffee plantation tour in the morning at around 9:30 am. They explain the different types of coffee and the whole process from coffee harvesting to roasting to grinding
- For a group of 10 or more, you can request for a cultural show where well-known cultural troupes come and perform
- On a prior request, a visit to the Kodava ancestral house (Ainmane) is also arranged
- Bird-watching tour takes place in the morning hours. Being a Woodland, a lot of birds migrate here seasonally. A few of them are native to the hilltown of Coorg.
The Birchwood Retreat promotes local food and culture. Being a vegetarian, I asked if they could make some vegetarian versions of the local cuisine. And they did serve the Malabar spinach curry (pork replaced by spinach) with steamed rice balls (Kadambuttu), which was indeed a palatable combination.
When you find yourself searching online for the best hotels in India while planning your trip to Coorg, remember that you are visiting the coffee capital of India, where there is nothing better than staying at a coffee estate. The Birchwood Retreat will enable you to truly appreciate the quintessence of the beauty around.