Conde Nast Traveller India

THE HILLS ARE CALLING

THE TAMARA KODAI

A cobbled pathway leads to a porch, where stone figures of monks greet you. The reception is flanked with pillars that hold up a rustic timber truss roof. Heritage is evident in the walls of solid stone and majestic fireplaces. Yes, you’ve checked into The Tamara Kodai.

Located over 6,500ft above sea level, in the folds of the Palani Hills in Kodaikanal, The Tamara Kodai dates back to the 1840s. The building was originally called Baynes Bungalow, named after its owner, British district judge, Mr Baynes. In 1860, the Bungalow was sold to Father Louis Cyr, who christened it La Providence, post which it served as a monastery. Today, The Tamara Kodai is a luxury heritage haven, complete with the trappings of a boutique resort. For your stay, choose between the Luxury Suite and the Superior Luxury Suite. Both exude a typically colonial charm, thanks to fourposter beds, imported hardwood furniture and intricately worked tiles on the sliding doors and armoires. They also boast spacious balconies that open out to views of Kodaikanal’s lush hills and valleys.

A quick chat with the staff will reveal that the property has been designed to ensure that you and your loved ones can spend quality time together. Go on treks through hilly terrains, explore forest road cycling excursions or take part in archery competitions. For some much-deserved downtime, unwind with a book at the library, indulge in Ayurvedic wellness treatments at The Elevation Spa or take a few laps in Kodaikanal’s only temperature-controlled swimming pool. Want some alone time with your partner? Drop the kids off at the crèche, where the staff will keep them entertained. Come winter, huddle around the lobby’s fireplaces and sip on home-brewed coffee or spend the evening around bonfires arranged on the deck of the resort’s two restaurants.

Speaking of restaurants, head to Bistro 1845, a French style à la carte bistro and bar, and relish European, Asian and Indian fare. But for a lavish buffet, stop by La Providence. Here, there’s a live kitchen counter that promises fresh, hot meals.

With The Tamar Kodai’s seamless blend of modern luxuries and familiar comforts, you’ll never want to leave.

#22, La Providence, St. Mary’s Road, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu 624101. For more information, visit www.thetamara.com/kodaikanal-resort. For reservations, email reservations@thetamara.com or call 1800-120-777-000 | (+91).080.7107.7701

THE TAMARA COORG

You are wrapped up in the cosy embrace of lush greenery. Through the varied hues of green, you spot a waterfall, gushing down into a mist. In the distance, sprawling plantations of coffee, cardamom and pepper catch your eye. The silence is interrupted by birds, chirruping gaily as they fly by. There’s a nip in the air. The wind whispers in your ear, almost as if it’s welcoming you.

Welcome to The Tamara Coorg. Nestled in the midst of the Western Ghats, over 3,500ft above sea level, this charming property spans 180 acres of verdant forestland. Through the thicket, you will notice the wooden cottages perched on stilts, giving the illusion of being suspended mid-air. Each comes with a private balcony, from where you can take in early morning views of the sun peeping out from behind the hills while sipping on a piping hot cup of tea or Coorgi coffee. For a truly exclusive stay, consider the Suite Cottage, which features a separate bedroom and living area, or the Eden Lotus Cottage, which flaunts a private sundeck and Jacuzzi.

Once you’ve settled in, dine in style at The Falls and have an evening cocktail at The Deck. The former sits on a bridge across the valley, beneath which runs a silent stream, visible clearly through a section of glass flooring at the centre of the restaurant. With its warm lighting, elegant decor and comfortable seating, The Falls is the perfect place for romantic candlelit dinners for you and your special someone.

That’s not all. Exclusive facilities and specially-curated activities, too, await. Don’t miss out on the Forest Therapy experience, which immerses you in the healing energies of the forest through a lone walk, guided meditation session and pampering foot massage. A visit to The Elevation Spa and Yoga Temple are musts as well! Feel your stresses melt away through holistic rituals, tailor-made yoga sessions and therapies that use natural, organic products. Better still, the activities team offers treks through forested trails; tours of the coffee, cardamom and pepper plantations; bird-watching walks through the Ghats; Blossom to Brew coffee brewing sessions at The Verandah; outdoor sports; indoor board games at The Business Retreat; and lots more.

Sustainability is the guiding principle in every process, policy and activity here. The resort has has its own sewage and waste-management systems in place and is as close to plastic-free as possible. What’s more, it was built such that there was minimal disturbance to the surrounding environment. The low lighting across the resort ensures that the surrounding fauna isn’t disturbed at night and the pathways are free of all kinds of fencing.

So, the next time you need to escape the bustle of the city, make your way to The Tamara Coorg and feel yourself become one with nature and, in the process, one with yourself.

Kabbinakad Estate, Yavakapadi Village, Napoklu Nad, Madikeri Taluk, Kodagu District 571212. For more information, visit www.thetamara.com/coorg-resort. For reservations, email reservations@thetamara.com or call 1800-120-777-000