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Enjoy the chill of Kodai this summer


With an audible plop, a large yellow leaf fell off the African Tulip tree just outside our balcony window, while we sat sipping my coffee. Along the edge of the balcony two ants ran around a granule of sugar Bonny had dropped, planning to haul it away. Relaxing in the enveloping beauty of Hill Country resort, I pulled my coat together, while a delicious icy sliver of cold ran up and down my exposed feet. Kodaikanal, a city in South India, lived up to its reputation of being chilly at any time of the year. And itís advisable to carry thick socks, a cap and maybe a light shawl to throw over oneself, once the sun dips on the horizon.

Hill Country Holiday Resort Kodai, is located 5 km from the heart of the city. Thatís a huge relief and only once you reach the bustling Kodai Bus stand, will you understand my use of the word Ďrelief.í Kodai was crowded with tourists coming in on loaded buses and taxis from the plains. It was the Diwali Weekend, so everyone had decided to take his family and relatives, to enjoy an extended weekend in the hills. When our taxi swung into the Hill Country Resort driveway, the fragrance of the welcoming beds of profusely flowering Aster Marias, Salvias and Fuschias filled the air. Far into the distance rolled the lush encircling Palani hills where Kodai is located, at an altitude of over 2000 metres.

We enjoyed a suite of rooms which included a living area with a comfortable set of sofas around a TV, a fully serviceable kitchen area and a very private and luxurious bedroom. To shut out the Kodai cold, the thick fleecy duvet was welcome to snuggle into every time we felt like taking a nap. Early in the morning, there is no need for a wake up call. Perky little Bulbuls perched on the branches of an old pine tree whistled out to one another, waking us up with their calls. We woke in time to watch the mists rise off the lush greenery, covering the hills in the distance.

Hill Country Resorts was booked to capacity, yet the feeling of being overwhelmed by huge groups of families does not happen since the resort, is spread over a five acre sprawling campus. Make your breakfast a lavish and desultory affair, taking your time over the enormous buffet spread in the Orendo multi-cuisine restaurant. This is where Selvaraj the chef and his team holds sway and like the magical piper, the smells of his art, bring in the guests by their noses. Start with a platter of cut fruit washed down with a drink of fresh grape juice. Graduate to either an Indian spread including Idli, Vadas, Dosas and Kara Bath or a more continental spread of omlettes, scrambled eggs, jam and toast. Everyone really settles down to making a huge meal of breakfast, with the nippy air giving ones appetite that added edge to it.

We however ate a quick and snappy breakfast, as we were looking forward to enjoying a treatment at Sowkhya- the Ayurvedic Wellness Centre which is in the resort. Make your bookings in advance, as Sowkhyas efficacious treatments have preceeded its name and a number of guests come especially to avail of its curative treatments. My feet had swollen while riding the bus into Kodai, so I was looking forward to a Rejuvenation package. Young Doctor Subhash explained that among general treatments, one can have a General body massage, a Skin Renewal Massage and Shirodhara which needs three sittings to be effective.
Forget your inhibitions when going for a massage. For Salma my friend who had accompanied me, this was her very first massage, and so it took a bit of time before she slowly relaxed and gave in to the masseurs ministrations. Sowkhya also makes their own herbal massage oils, so I found them to be less Ďstinkyí and cloying like some other Ayurvedic massages, I have experienced over the years. They also have seven day, 14 day and 21 day packages, which include Obesity management, Stress Management, Detoxification Therapy, Arthritis management, Low back pain and Neck Pain treatments.

The main club house in which the restaurant was housed also housed a Bar named H2O and an Arcade for games, Pot Shot for Pool Table and Fuss Ball- everything to keep both young and old happily entertained. Plus a state of the art conference facilities, which cater to a number of MNCís requirements.

At night there was an exciting bonfire where all the guests assembled and Rajashekar conducted an evening of fun and games. Excellent with his interpersonal skills, in no time he had the young and not so young on their feet, taking part in the games he had organised. After having worked up an appetite, the guests trooped into Orenda to enjoy a buffet Dinner, which again had Chef Selvaraj cook up a storm of Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisines. The resort manager, Mohanan keeps a quiet eye over the guests, ever watchful of their needs. Apparently the team has been with the resort for over 10 years which says a lot for the magnanimity of the owners.

And if you are a flower lover, the variety and profusion of flowers all over well maintained property, can leave you lost in their perfume. Beds of shell pink speckled roses flowering in gay abandon. Fuschiaís with their white bell shaped skirts, parted to show off the magenta inner petals- like ballerinas dancing in the breeze. A variety of day lilies, all set against smooth and weed less, lush green lawns. Itís a riot of colour and fragrance which one hardly finds any more in our city gardens today.

So, let the perky little squirrel sitting on the Hill Country Resortís logo, beckon you into taking a trip to Hill Country Kodai. Acquiesce to his call and make your booking - it is one decision you will not ever regret making!

The address of the resort is:
Hill Country Holidays, Attuvampatti P.O., Villpatti, Kodaikanal - 624 101.
Phone: 04542-240953, 240954, 240958

For bookings contact:
KALPANA ROY, MANAGER - CUSTOMER SERVICE,
HILL COUNTRY HOTELS AND RESORTS INDIA LIMITED,
# 9, JAGANNATHAN ROAD, NUNGMABAKKAM, CHENNAI - 600 034.
PH: 044 - 2822 1930. 2823 6217/0877,
EMAIL : kalpana@hillcountryresorts.in, hillcountry@bsnl.in, hillctry@md3.vsnl.net.in
Check out the website at: www.hillcountryholidays.com





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Content copyright © 2014 by Marianne de Nazareth. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Marianne de Nazareth. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Marianne de Nazareth for details.

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