We were in Coorg just before the monsoons when the day temperatures are comfortably hot, the mornings are shrouded in mist, and evenings welcome occasional drizzle. As I took a dip in the private pool of my heritage villa, I marvelled at the peaceful nature surrounding me that immediately wore off the fatigue of my road journey. I was at Evolve Back, Coorg, a luxury resort built in the middle of 300-acre Coffee and Spice plantation.
The resort is flanked by river Cauvery on one side and Dubare Reserve forest on the other. It occupies 45 acres of the plantation paradise and features intermittently dotted Lily pool villas and Heritage pool villas; along with 3 restaurants, a lake, a fishing pond, and paddy fields. The thoughtfully decorated property also boasts of an Ayurvedic spa, reading lounge, coffee museum, indoor activity room, gift shop, infinity and a family pool. The villas and the facilities are interconnected through a network of well-laid-out roads, and the guests can avail of the facility of electric buggies for easy commute.
The entire resort is surrounded by lush green plants and trees, giving a therapeutic and soothing feel to the visitors. If I am allowed to get a little poetic, I say that at Evolve Back the air is the cleanest you have ever breathed, the nature is perfect you have ever seen , and every nook and corner looks a small paradise you have ever dreamed.
MY ABODE: HERITAGE VILLA
The highlight of my stay at Evolve Back was my Heritage Villa which comes with a private pool. The open-air, temperature-controlled pool in the backyard sets the mood right for a peaceful dip both the in mornings and evenings. The luxury pool is completed with a Jacuzzi at one end. The villa has two sit-outs with planters’ chairs on which I loved to laze with a book in hand.
Merging local Kodava design with eco sensibility, the villas exudes earthy charm with modern creature comfort. My villa was massive; with a 4400 sq. feet area, it comes with a price tag of 40k per night ( includes breakfast and dinner).
The main door of the villa opens to a spacious living room that has a small kitchenette. The ensuite bedroom and bathroom complete the interiors of the villa. Care is taken to ensure the guest is comfortable during the stay; the room service is done twice a day, there are always unlimited supplies of fruits, and sweets that are prepared fresh in the in-house baker are kept in a customised glass box, minibar in the living room is well-stocked and there is an RO plant for drinking water in each room.
The resort offers many curated experiences which I enjoyed at a leisurely pace. On The second morning of my stay, I joined a guided walk ( binoculars are provided)around the property for bird watching. The thick green foliage around the property is home to many feathered friends and I must say it was a rewarding experience when we could manage to spot Indian Robin, Indian Grey Hornbill, lark, orange-headed Thrush, and a few more on our long morning walk.
After breakfast, my daughter and I went for a coracle ride in the Cauvery. Once we were seated comfortably in the coracle with our life jackets on, our guide paddled his way in the calm waters of Cauvery. Along the way, he helped us spot a variety of birds perched high on the trees flanking the side of the river. At one point, he swirled the boat 360 degrees which added to the excitement of this 45-minute long ride.
Another high point of our stay was the Plantation 4*4 experience. It’s a guided tour of the Chikanna Hali estate in a specially designed jeep. As we set on our course, our jeep manoeuvred its way through the narrow kutcha roads of the spice and coffee plantation; all the while our guide explained the nitty gritty of the cultivation. We took a few pit stops in between; to take a closer look at the coffee beans, sometimes to stroll the pathways of the plantation, and another time to take Instagram-worthy pictures against the backdrop of a lake at the fag end of the tour.
Coorg is known as the “ coffee cup of India”, so learning about the art and science of gourmet coffee makes an enchanting experience. At the rustic-style build Coffee and Culture Museum in the resort, we just did that. Here they hold a daily live session where one can watch and experience a variety of brews. A section of the museum also displays handicrafts, utensils, jewellery etc; that gives a sneak peek into the past lives of Coorgi people.
Besides the above-mentioned, Evolve Back has lots more to offer. There’s a massive reading lounge overlooking paddy fields that houses books for everyone’s taste. In the evenings one can enjoy the dance performances by the locals in an open area that showcases the Kodava culture. At the Ayurveda Spa- Vaidyashala, the guests can try a customised body massage after consulting an experienced physician. I, one evening got Abhyanga, a full body massage that balances the doshas and enhances your well-being.
Food At Evolve Back
During the three days I was there, I tried different meals at their three restaurants that serve nearly every kind of cuisine. All the restaurants boast breath-taking settings: Granary, an all-day-dining overlooks the paddy fields, Peppercorn is known for its grills and sizzlers and is set right beside the lake, and Plantain leaf that is placed amidst greenery serves authentic north Indian and south Indian thalis. And if you ask my recommendation, then I would say do try the local cuisine- Akki roti with bamboo shoot curry at Granary. And finish off the meal with Coffee rasugulla- it’s a spongy rasgulla that has absorbed and retained the espresso liquid!
Overall, we had a great time at Evolve Back, Coorg. The memories I made here will be cherished forever. This is an amazing resort with a team that is ever ready to delight you, and it promises you to have a relaxed stay close to nature.