Virajpet, the quiet cousin of Madikeri, only 45 minutes away, introduced me to the beautiful Coffee Trails Coorg. Perched up mid-way on a hill in Kodagu district, this homestay sprawls across a big property. There are two ‘bungalows’ or sections in this property. It is owned by Ragini and Capt. Suraj who stay in the main bungalow with the dining hall and kitchen and the guest rooms are in the other secluded section of the property. There are four guest rooms, each with balconies offering a good prospect at the Coorg hills.
I remember doing my research online on the place and no sooner I saw Coffee Trails’ website, I felt a certain warmth. The warmth stayed with me till the end of the trip. The rooms are clean and very well maintained. Every other accommodation in Coorg is titled a homestay, unlike the Himalayan villages which are true to the definition of a homestay. The homestay of Coffee Trails is set apart from the main host house and so I expected little or no interaction with them. However, I was taken by surprise when I met Ragini the two following mornings and spoke at length. She prefers to meet her guests in the morning, while they finish their breakfast (since the dining hall is located in the main house) and let them continue with their day as planned. Even though it was very non-interfering and respectful, I am used to the homestays in Himachal; where I have spent my time cooking in the kitchens and interacting on all daily activities.
My room was big and spacious and since I was travelling by myself I enjoyed the space! The balcony holds a special place in my memory. Every morning I could see the misty Monsoon clouds from the thin lace curtains and woke up refreshed. Coffee Trails is strategically situated in the middle of a hill and upon Ragini’s information, I decided to walk up the hill one morning. It was an easy walk uphill but the views were breath-taking. At the top of it was an ancient temple of Shiva.
Since I was travelling by myself, safety is always my primary concern. This Coorgi homestay excels in it. Edwin, the manager of the place, deserves a special mention here. He was courteous and very helpful. Be prepared to indulge in Ashok’s great cooking skills. One night I decided to try the Coorgi chicken in the homestay and I was taken aback by how deliciously well-cooked it was. In the cold night of Virajpet, the piping hot chicken curry with warm steamed rice and papad made a perfect recipe for my goodnight’s sleep. I must confess my latest crush were Kadambattu. These steamed rice balls, served with sambar and chutney, is a typical choice for breakfast in this district. I hadn’t heard of them until my stay here and now, I find myself looking for them across the country!
Somehow, my stay here was short. I miss the quiet mornings, the spacious balcony and the warm smiles. There was a certain comfort in the distant stay from the hosts’ home. There was magic in the long walks around the property. Coorg’s Monsoon charm had worked on me. And I would definitely go back to stay here and experience the winter air.
How to get there: Once in Virajpet, take an auto-rickshaw to the Dental College. Coffee Trails will be on the right corner, just before you see the gate to the Dental College on the uphill ride. One way trip from the bus stand will cost you Rs. 50 in an auto-rickshaw.
Address: Maggula Village, Near Institute Of Dental Sciences, Virajpet 571218, Kodagu.
Tariff: Rs 3500 per night on double occupancy. Includes breakfast.
Meals: Pre-ordered lunch and dinner. Rs. 250 and Rs 300 for vegetarian and non-vegetarian. I definitely recommend requesting Ashok to prepare a local delicacy at least once.
I was hosted by Coffee Trails Coorg and that did not influence my review of the place.