Where Serendipity Meets Serenity
If I were to ask, given a choice, what kind of luxury staycation I would prefer ? Is it the nice posh hotel in a swanky city with all the amenities or a beach front resort with a private beach or a forest resort tucked in the wilderness of deep dense greens where only noise one can hear is of waterfall gushing ,birds chirping , or herds of animal roaring from afar. I would have chosen the third option first, for it is very rare for me, where I can find my senses nurtured amidst the natural dwelling.
So, this time while I planned to skip Durga Puja back at home and wanted to head somewhere where I could relax and align myself with the nature’s serendipity. I came across the website of this property. The moment I saw Nature Resorts and the website , I immediately fell in love with the virtual vibes I got at that moment. Thats when I decided to visit this place which is in Tamil Nadu. Although, my plan was to do a trip across Kerala and the places I didn’t visit last time. But, I made up my mind to spend at least two days in the lap of Nilgiris.
About Kurumba Village Resort
This is one of the first property solely owned by Nature Resorts started in 2004 in Kurumba Village and is dedicated to the lost tribe, “The Kurumba”. Kurumba’s are the least civilised group in the district and they mostly live in the hill slopes and feverish places, Kurumba houses known as gudlu were the temporary constructions in the forests with thatched roof, the traditional occupation of Kurumbas is food gathering, like collection of honey and forest produce.
Kurumba Village Resort has an unique location, perfectly perched in the blue Nilgiri hills surrounded beautifully by a rainforest, where the area will never have any other commercial projects nearby in several years to come. And hence, is a sole refuge in one of the largest biosphere reserve in Western Ghats.
Surrounded by beautiful spice plantations like Nutmeg and Clove trees, this eco-friendly resort is situated in Upper Burliar on the Ooty-Mettupalayam Road, 32 kilometres away from Ooty. They have made the maximum possible attempt to keep the entire experience close to the nature by going organic.
How I Got There
Since, I was doing a solo backpacking trip this time, I decided to avail a public commute. So, my route was Bangalore —> Coimbatore —> Mettupalayam —> Kurumba Village which is situated between Mettupalayam and Coonoor, this was all done by local buses (must say TNSTC buses are really efficient) . This place is a little offbeat , so ideally it is recommended to have a car or avail a resort cab if possible.
So, Once I reached Burliar which is a stop just 15 kms ahead of the resort. I got down and was picked up by Resort cab.
About My Stay Experience
Upon check-in, staff welcomed me with traditional garland made of wild flowers and mango tree leaves (which gave the vibe of nature) .
I was assigned a beautiful Kurumba cottage which was way down below the main reception area, hence a boogey cart was always on call to pick and drop the guest to their respective cottages. One of the main USP of the place is that each and every cottages are very strategically placed which ensure maximum privacy and excellent view of Nilgiri range with waterfalls nearby, which is just opposite to the resort. All the Kurumba cottages have thatched, pyramid shaped roofs with private balconies and large windows to take in the views. It has 22 tastefully designed cottages which comprises of Tribal arts and unique artefacts on the walls. There is mini library of books and a lovely fruit basket on arrival in each of the cottages.
500 sqft of luxurious double room cottage overlooking a gorgeous view , even the bathroom has a view to die for.
A bigger and a spacious 1000 sqft cottage which has a living room and a bedroom with a larger balcony.
Kurumba Duplex Suite
Tastefully designed for a big family which has a living room and a spare bed in the ground level and the first level has the bedroom with a killer view along with a Balcony.
Kurumba Jacuzzi Suite
They say , if you want to indulge in the lap of luxury with a hint of nature, you got to experience their Jacuzzi Suites. The suite has a 4-poster king size bed; a private dining area; tall french windows that open up onto a fantastic balcony… and a large jacuzzi; an aqua spa to massage your body and senses.
The bathrooms are fitted with bathtubs which overlooks the panoramic vistas and some of them has shower cubicles and one of their green code is to recycle the toiletries bottles , so as to minimise the waste.
After I was done settling in the room, I quickly changed to come out to explore the beautiful surrounding. It was already past the lunch time , but the staff were super courteous to wait for me till they close their buffet section for lunch. Their in-house restaurant is beautifully built with all sides open to beautiful view of the blue hills and green expanse. Management have ensured to handpicked their speciality chefs from all corners of country so as to deliver an authentic taste of varied cuisine on the menu. I had my sumptuous meal while chatting with the chefs on duty .
Each and every staff takes a personal initiative to interact with their guest to ensure guest satisfaction. They always make sure to give a feeling of home by giving personal attention.
After my lunch, I decided to chill by the Swimming Pool as it was already late afternoon. The pool has a very strategic location overlooking the Nilgiri hills.
As the evening sets, there is unique concept of having tea/coffee at their tea shop which serves the same in a traditional style . The tea shop runs from 4.30-6 pm for all the in house guests. It also serves snacks along with the beverage . The idea is to gather and socialise with each other while enjoying nature.
Spa Experience -Ayurshala
Their in-house Spa which they named as Ayurshala , offers various Ayurvedic Massages to soothe the body and senses, which is done by well experienced masseur.
The activity centre which allows the guest to enjoy all indoor games such as chess, fuse ball or pool games. Also the kid centre have ample options to keep the toddlers busy for hours.
There are various adventure activities like rope climbing, Zip-lining or rappelling which is organised by their in house activity manager on a daily basis.
What intrigued me apart from their effort towards responsible tourism was that they have a unique concept of secretly making a wish come true . So, management have introduce this concept of going an extra mile to touch hearts and kept an option where a guest can make a customised wish like arranging a Tree Top dining , Cave dining (which is one of its kinds) , pool side dining and all with a private chef and a customised menu as per the needs. There are also other activities such as Tea plantations trips to tea tasting sessions, tribal cooking sessions, local sightseeing around Coonoor/Ooty , Trekking , Nature Walks etc. Basically you can name it and they would arrange it at the heck of it just to give the exclusive experience.
Experience I Gathered
The area is so big and interesting that I hardly wanted to step outside the resort. Hence, my next day started quite slow post breakfast as I explored the entire area by spending hours at the lovely pool gazing at the panoramic mountain view.
Post lunch I decided to go for a Spice Plantation walk with there experienced environmentalist who gave me a detailed idea about flora and fauna and the ecosystem. I was lucky to spot a Giant Malabar Squirrel along with a rare snake sightseeing right in our premises. We also trekked a bit in order to take a full experience of the resort surrounding which is actually quite adventurous . There are wild animals specially elephants which are spotted quite often.
In my last night, Mr. Jyothish (GM of Nature Resorts) was courteous enough to take time out and arrange for a special tree top dining exclusively for me. It was one of a kind experience for me in order to have a private dining along with a personal chef who designed a traditional Kurumba style set menu for me . Sitting with a backdrop of enchanting mountains and with only sound of waterfalls gushing by, the entire dining experience was so surreal to say the least.
Not only they serve various cuisine which is tastefully designed by their in house chef who hails from different parts but also they keep in mind that all the ingredients used are organic . Infact, their keeping it up with local home grown spices and staples , they make sure to support the local community.
Some of the special mention would be the continental chef from Kerala , Tandoori Chef from Bengal and the dessert genius (since I am a sucker of sweets ! ) .
As already mentioned above, one can experience a private customised dining at their recommended places which are Tree Top / cave dining or barbecue at the pool side . Chef ensures to give a world class dining experience.
Their Green Code Towards Responsible Tourism
I guess this is one primary part which every hospitality chain should primarily focus on, towards a sustainable tourism . Since, the inception of the resort , they have emphasized on the empowerment of local inhabitants which comprised of Tribal community welfare . Kurumbas were the least civilized tribe who were living on the hill slopes of Nilgiris and resort to forest produce for their living . The management of the resort have made sure that 90 percent of their staff are locals. Some of their initiatives are towards waste water management, spice plantations and forest conservation, minimise the use of plastic and going towards environmental friendly products, encouraging local culture and promoting tourism to empower them economically, minimise the noise pollution and vehicle movement to safeguard the nature’s sanctity. These are some of the ways that they are creating a sustainable environment.
Useful facts you should know
Airport – Coimbatore International Airport . However, it is also accessible via Bengaluru Airport or Chennai Airport as well.
Railway Station – Mettupalayam (18km) on the main line and Coonoor (5km) on the Toy Train line between Mettupalayam and Ooty. Which is also one of the must sightseeing while in Nilgiris corridor .
However, the most desirable way is to drive down from Coimbatore (50 kms) or Bangalore which is an overnight journey through picturesque Bandipur forest route.
It is favourable throughout the year because of the strategic location in the Bio Reserve area in the Nilgiris. With occasional rains occurring , one can always expect a pleasant temperature throughout.
Places to see
The resort is very near to the famous and the most desired hill stations often known as Queen of the Nilgiris , Ooty . Boating in Ooty Lake is highly recommended.
Also, Coonoor is also famous for its Tea Plantation and Gardens . One can opt for a full day sightseeing to both or either of the places.
Also, resort can arrange for bird watching , proper guided treks to the hills nearby. Some of the popular places is Dodabetta Peak which is the highest in the Nilgiris.
Visit to Botanical Garden is a must, which is laid out in 1847, covers an area of 22 hectares. There are about 1000 species of trees and 20,000 species that bloom in the rose garden.
Further information about the Resort
Hillgrove post, kurumbadi – 643 102, nilgiris, tamilnadu. india.
t : +91- 9498087861 / 62 / 63
for reservation :
t: +91 80888 55855 | +91 – 77100 29815 /16 /17 | +91 – 22-2351 4592 /93
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Also the same can be booked through booking.com
If you are looking for a perfect blend of luxury , peaceful relaxation in the humble environs of nature. Then Kurumba Village Resort has to be your pick while in Tamil Nadu. I would say a minimum of three days is ideally recommended to soak in the vibes of this heaven .
Disclaimer : I was invited to experience the staycation at this resort. However, as always all the opinions and views are my own. The images are copyrighted by the author of this blog.