LUXUXY BREWED STRONG AT JAVA RAIN RESORT, CHIKMAGALUR- WEEKEND BREAK FROM BANGALORE.
This blog is about my luxurious stay in Java Rain Resort, set amidst the quaint coffee plantations of Chikmagalur (Karnataka, India). After an enriching wildlife expedition to the rainforest of Agumbe in search of King Cobra, I pampered myself with the best of luxury at this excellent property. Their tagline is apt: Luxury brewed strong.
I have been traveling across India since 9 years now. And this country still never fails to amaze me. August 2017 for me had been amazing. A quick beach vacation and stay with a local family in Alibaug and ODing on Vada Paos in my soul city Mumbai was followed by an eye opening wildlife expedition in the thick rainforest of Agumbe. Soul satisfying South Indian food nourished me in Udupi next followed by a calming stay at the lovely Java Rain Resort in Chikmanglur.
India is one of those countries where so much variety in just one week is possible. 9 years of travel and more than 160 destinations later, India still amazes me.
Johann Binny Kuruvilla, who blogs at Escaping Life suggested we meet and do the famous Mullayanagiri and Baba Budan Giri trek near Chikmagalur. Heavy rains dashed our plans and instead of sweating it out on a trek, we decided to pamper ourselves at the luxurious Java Rain Resort in Chikmagalur.
It was 15th August, India’s Independence Day. Charmed by the smell of coffee plantations and heavy foliage, we decided not to take a taxi and walk from Kaimara crossroads (2.5 kms away) to arrive at Java Rain Resort. As we walked, the local kids reminded me of my childhood when we eagerly awaited Independence Day celebrations in schools. We were greeted with smiles and curious questions by kids. Girls flashed bangles with Indian Flag’s theme while boys showed off their Indian flag themed wrist bands.
Soon the pucca road disappeared and a dirt road led us to Java Rain Resort, Chikmagalur. On either sides of the pathway, black pepper, red berries and coffee beans burdened, the tender branches. Crickets played their orchestra while slugs, snails and pill millipede crawled nonchalantly. We would have missed these small details had we taken a taxi.
THE IMPRESSIVE RECEPTION OF JAVA RAIN RESORT, CHIKMAGALUR:
The first thing that impressed me was the impressive reception. It was open from all sides except the roof. Sofas were laid out in the unconventional lobby opposite the reception desk. Buddha statues in stone reflected in the pool of water in the lobby. Balloons, Indian flag and a floral rangoli with the theme of Indian Independence Day welcomed the guests.
Built on a height, it offered us sweeping views of the forest of Western Ghats and towns below. Female staff dressed in traditional South Indian Saree greeted us and led us to the restaurant for breakfast and coffee. It is a coffee paradise after all.
THE ULTRA LUXURIOUS ROOMS OF JAVA RAIN RESORT, CHIKMAGALUR:
The sheer size of the room strikes you the moment you enter it. Each room is appointed with comfortable beds, lampshades, writing tables, wardrobes, fruit basket etc. The dark furniture blended with the pastel colored theme of the room, making it cozy and comforting. The large LED TV screen remained unused by me, as usual.
Huge glass windows substitute the two walls of the rooms. Sheer translucent curtains and opaque ones allowed me to use them as per my mood, whims and fancies. The huge glass panels offered nice views of garden, so I mostly pulled the curtains to one side. The good part was that Johann’s room which was adjacent to mine had a connecting door. So we could knock and chit-chat when not snoring in the bed.
During the night, the different lampshades in the room allowed me to enjoy different light settings. There was a roof window on a corner of room near washroom which allowed sun light to pass without compromising on the privacy.
Each room had a private lawn and an amazing sit out patio. It was a perfect place to relax or chit chat. Me and Johann would often gang up here for conversations and tea.
They had 3 categories of rooms, named after coffee, viz.
- Fika – The Presidential with private pool, Jacuzzi and views of Western Ghats.
- Qahva – The interconnected twin villas with private Jacuzzi. I stayed here
- Kaffa – The Single villas. It has open shower.
PRIVATE JACUZZI IN ROOMS OF JAVA RAIN RESORT, CHIKAMAGALUR:
The washroom of my room was huge. The private Jacuzzi was the highlight. I was able to fill it up as per the temperature I was comfortable in. I would lose track of time, as I lied down, eyes closed, allowing pressure from nozzles to rejuvenate me. The translucent glass panels facing the Jacuzzi allowed soft light to pass through. The bath salts enhanced my Jacuzzi experience. The water lilies and the greens placed next to the tub, instilled in me a sense of calm.
The shower area was quite large too and was easy to use. They had 2 wash basins. Perhaps it was an innovative idea to use all the abundant space. The design of washbasin was so aesthetic; I felt bad brushing my teeth in it.
THE FOOD AND BEVERAGES AT JAVA RAIN RESORT, CHIKMAGALUR
Interestingly, on 15th August, the food was themed around the Indian Independence Day. So the recurrent theme in the buffet food of Mirra Restaurant was the colors of Indian Flag. Soups, salads, curries, breads, fruits and dessert impressed with their variety and taste. I sampled the local delicacy Akki Roti and Green Malnad curry. It was mildly spiced crispy bread made with rice. I loved the taste even without dipping it in a curry.
There was also the option of dining in the al fresco extension of the restaurant. Just in case you fancy sipping coffee to the calls of peacocks and views of forest below. Every evening, High tea and assorted pakodas (fritters), cookies etc are served.
There is also an impressive tower like The Crimson Peak Bar. It has strategically placed balconies on many levels. The balconies allow great views of misty mountains, lakes, towns and also the Mullayanagiri and Baba Budan Giri peaks which we failed to trek.
THE LANDSCAPE AT JAVA RAIN RESORT, CHIKMAGLUR
The sprawling Java Rain Resort occupies a large area. No wonder, they have a battery car to escort guests. I preferred walking and enjoying the surprises lurking at corners such as spider lilies placed thoughtfully in Indonesian stone vases, guppy fish going about their business in large stone pots, Budhda statues in interesting poses. During night, the place lights up beautifully, often accentuating statues, vases, artefacts. The eye for details is impressive. There is facility playing table tennis, basket ball, carom, volley ball etc.
Shvah Spa is located near the reception area. It offers Thai and Indian Ayurvedic massages. There are swings in the garden. Fragrant lemongrass lined the pathways. The infinity pool overlooks the distant mountains, towns and forest. The pool area is in fact one of the most beautiful part of the property.
WALK NEAR THE COFFEE PLANTATIONS:
A walk around the coffee plantations which surround the Java Rain Resort acquainted me with the coffee culture which is so strong in South India. Arabica and Robusta are the two coffee varieties grown in India. Robusta is grown in Sakleshpur, Madekeri and Coorg . Robusta needs more water to grow, hence the geographical location. Robusta also gives more yield than Arabica. Robusta is stronger and preferred by Indians. Robusta is also cheaper (2000 to 3000 per 50 kg) than Arabica (8000 to 10000 per 50 kg)
We saw other plants such as fig. I was told when you break open a fig fruit, you will find insects called fig wasps escaping. The wasps are born inside the figs. Jackfruits and silver oaks trees also filled the forest.
Malay means rain and nad means region. I loved the experience of traveling to Malnad during the monsoon. As we were leaving, I filled my nose with the subtle smell of the dense forest it is set in and promised myself another trip in South India and Maharashtra next monsoon.
THE SCENIC ROUTE TO CHIKMAGALUR FROM UDUPI:
As I left Chikmagalur, the next two hours were misty and rainy and passed through curvy Western Ghats, riotous with greens. The route passes Madikeri and the next bustling town is Ujire. Ujire comes after a 2 long drive from Chikmagalur. 1:15 hours later, I came across another town Moodbidri.
HOW TO REACH JAVA RAIN RESORT, CHIKMAGLUR:
Java rain resort is in a secluded area and is 20 minutes cab ride away from a taxi or local bus. Taxis and buses are available from the bustling Chikmagalur bus stand (20 minutes away)
I was traveling through different parts of Maharashtra and Karnataka, so I found the local bus from and to Udupi most convenient. Udupi to Chikmagalur and vice the versa takes around 5 hours by bus.
Bangalore to Chikmagalur is also a great drive. The distsnce is just 250 kilometres (around 5 hours)
The view from my #SoulWindow smells so good!
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