Windflower resort in Coorg, India

Windflower resort in Coorg, India
The taxis wipers worked furiously clearing the windscreen of the rain pelting down as we drove into the Windflower spa and resort. And the heavy rain had played havoc and many large ancient trees had toppled over.It was terribly sad to pass them chopped into smaller pieces and being loaded onto a van for transportation.

If you are a nature freak and enjoy nature in it's pristine glory, The Windflower Coorg , which sprawls across 27 acres, in the village of Suntikoppa, is your ideal getaway. Originally a coffee, areca-nut and pepper plantation, Windflower has saved much of the original splendour of the estate and built around the existing ancient trees on the property.

Setting out at 5am to beat the crazy traffic jams Bangalore has become famous for, we were glad to make that extra effort. The road was clear and it was a wonderfully cool ride to Windflower Mysore, where we stopped off at their Olive Garden for a quick breakfast. Hot masala dosas and some khara bhat, downed with piping hot filter coffee, we soon set off on our way to Coorg, with a gift of a box of the chefs pride -- a delicious banana bread. " The secret is in the soaking of the banana in oil overnight," shared the chef, and we promised to try out his recipe ourselves.

Windflower Coorg has a pretty majestic drive -in, with its neatly trimmed hedges and lush red miniature anthuriums. It was refreshing to be greeted with icy face towels, a welcome jasmine garland and a refreshing drink of lassi.

Sitting in the airy lobby chatting with Roger Pereira, the Assistant Resort Manager he explained that the resort had 45 rooms, 12 studios and 24 suites. All had wonderful open to sky showers and jaccuzzis in the baths. The Planters Bungalow was special with two bedrooms and all other amenities on a more luxurious scale. While we chatted barn swallows silently arced around the roof of the lobby. These birds build cup nests from mud pellets and feed on insects caught in flight.

Soon we were walking past the vines of pepper, crawling up the silver oak trees, covered with delicate young pepper fronds. The cicadas set up a rasping chorus which had our heads shooting up searching the tree trunks, hoping to catch a glimpse of them. Big banks of scarlet Crab claws grew in profusion around the front door and behind the villa the coffee bushes, covered by a rash of berries,grew sturdily down the hillside.

Villa 11 was a lovely suite of rooms with a large seating area with a comfy sofa and chairs and two fancy large flat screen TV's. The villa extended to a massive bathroom with a jacuzzi and also an open to the sky bathroom. The bedroom had one huge window consisting of just a large, fixed glass which gave us a free view of the coffee estate and the magical mountains of Coorg in the distance. I just pulled up a comfortable chair with a view of the rain dripping on the coffee and sat there peacefully reading my book by Indu Balachandran - " Runaway Writers.

We just sat back on the beds and enjoyed watching the rain trickle down the large leaves of the Robusta coffee and make puddles around the short and squat trees of shade coffee grown under the spreading branches of old forest trees or planted silver oak. But like all coffee plantations, pepper vines snaked up the trees and if the number of dangling 'strings' of pepper in the making was any indication, they were in for a bumper harvest.

Bulbuls flit about the trees, their perky liquidy calls uplift your tired minds. Infact every where you turn in Windflower you feel that surge of tranquility and peace wash over your senses and de-stress our city minds. Sit with a cup of flavoursome Mysore filter coffee at any table in the restaurant overlooking the infinity pool and you will visibly relax. The birdsong, mixed with the cicada chorus in an endless stretch of green overtakes your sensory organs, reviving and rejuvenating you.

A gentle suggestion to anyone who visits Windflower Coorg. Never leave without making an appointment with the Spa and check out all the various massages on offer. Ayurveda for the traditionalist, excitingly unusual Balinese massages with chocolate, oil free massages for those who dislike the oil. One can even only indulge in beauty therapies like facials which help with skin ageing. Impeccably clean, the Spa experience is an ideal self- indulgence you will never regret. Infact while I enjoyed my massage a Malabar whistling thrush (Myophonus horsfieldii) perched on nearby tree, whistled throughout the massage. It's very cheeky and human sounding whistle, brought a smile to my face and I enquired if any other spa goers had experienced the same. " Yes," said Fatima one of the masseurs, with a smile, " many have to be assured that the whistler is not a human, but just a bird!

And ofcourse the holiday cannot be complete without good food. That's assured in the Windflower, Coorg. Executive Chef Nanda Kumar who presides over the well manned kitchens, turns out an array of mouth watering dishes, including the local cuisine. Unfortunately one cannot taste the famous local speciality -- Pandi curry ( pork) as the resort does not cook the meat, in deference to their guests.To keep their North Indian guests happy lots of regular dishes like Butter Chicken and paneer palak are on offer. And without a doubt since you are in Coorg ask for their filter coffee. It is to die for!

The pool with an infinity edge, gives one a feeling of expansive space and beauty. Built around two mature trees on the property, the pool is an icon of the resort, sparkling clean and invitingly blue on any given day. A plus point -- guests had to wear swim wear and caps when they got into the pool, otherwise our domestic tourists jump in with their underwear!

Nature treks and trips into the town also are arranged on request. Plus there are a lot of activities on site which are conducted. Surprisingly for all this offered the tariff is reasonable and definitely value for money spent.

For details contact:
Windflower Resort and Spa, Coorg. Address: Survey No. 201/P1, Kedakal Village, Suntikoppa Hobli, Somwarpet Taluk, Mercara, Kodagu, Coorg, Karnataka 571237. Phone:080 4114 2408. e-mail: fom.coorg@thewindflower.com
Marianne Furtado de Nazareth




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