Luxury Hotels

INDIA – 11

Really, Taj Madikeri Resort and Spa, in the district of Coorg, gets better and better (it is the rare category of resort that causes you to say ‘wow’ at first visit and at every subsequent return other touchpoints show themselves).  How one envies Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones and their kids.  They were all there for four nights. As is sadly her wont, Girlahead did it as a one-night stay.

Madikeri’s a hill station town, 1,170m ASL, population 34,000. It was founded by the Kingdom of Coorg and was originally called Muddurajanakeri, “the capital of Maharaja Mudduraja”. It’s in the Kodagu District of  Karnataka, three hours’ drive from the nearest airport, Mysore. Yes, it’s quite a trek, three hours’ drive from Mysore, but worth every second of it. The final 10ks are through rainforest, untouched apart from a single-track approach road, put in by the owner. From time to time you see the top of a tiled roof peeping above the green canopy of mixed forest. You barely see the main ‘services block’, a vertical affair painted a dull grey-green to be as invisible as possible.

This-all the return visitor knows. This time there was an introduction to Buddha, over two metres tall and challenging to reach through the undergrowth. But we did it, above, and touched an even greater sense of at ease with nature.

It’s impossible to avoid nature, here at the Taj that the owner, Pramod Ranjan, designed and built. It took him seven years from start to finish, No blueprint, no set budget, but passion and determination.

He has experiences galore, mountain-biking and ziplining, trekking and swimming (there are indoor and outdoor pools). This time there was the added pleasure of being introduced to resident duck and geese, and carp and koi who literally jump over each other in their haste to get proffered snippets of bread. See the video below…