As the day was coming to an end and the sun had slowly begun to set, we could hear the drongo imitating other birds. Soon the wild wagtails started singing too, followed by the Robbins, the sparrows and various other birds we couldn’t even recognise. We could hear nothing but the birds as their chirping filled the atmosphere and left us wondering if what we are hearing was true! This is exactly what the heritage bungalow of Old Kent Estates has to offer.
Located in Coorg, this heritage British bungalow called Old Kent Estates was built around 1826 and is surrounded by different types of coffee plantations in almost 200 acres of land. The estate owners cultivate mostly Robusta and Arabica varieties of coffee, supported by pepper and cardamom. No wonder the estate smells heavenly!
Owned by residents of Chennai, this resort is a perfect place for travellers to relax and rejuvenate themselves. With 8 luxurious villas built-in British Colonial style, amazingly beautiful bath rooms, and gorgeous sit-outs, they have plenty to offer to those looking to enjoy a weekend break!! The spacious rooms and even larger washrooms with closed glass roofs are their key attractions. The property has a panoramic view of coffee estates and the Coorg mountains with no signs of development nearby.
Each humongous villa, complete with its heritage character, comes with a living room adjoining a huge bedroom and a palatial bathroom with a beautifully crafted bath tub! They have their own private sit-outs overlooking the plantation and enough for a barbecue under the stars!!
One can never guess that the property is 400 years old. Even though they offer all modern amenities required for a comfortable stay such as luxury furnishings and toiletries, the one thing that caught our attention is how they have successfully retained the charm of their heritage bungalow. Post independence, most of the heritage bungalows in India have been taken under private ownership with only a handful that have retained the old charm.
With rapid development across the country, a lot of these bungalows have fast disappeared, giving way to townships and apartments. OKE has managed to retain all its past glory and some of its possessions. You can get a glimpse of that era in the architecture, furniture, the wooden flooring, the chandeliers and curios collected from all over the world!
One of the coolest things about them is that they have a private home theatre with a refreshing collection of timeless classics, blockbusters from both Hollywood/Bollywood and plenty of movies for the kids as well! One can spend an entire lifetime in this room watching these classics. It’s a great way to sit back, unwind and enjoy your favorite movies in a relaxed, comfortable ambience.
Their multi-cuisine restaurant, Planters Perch serves a plethora of cuisines that will leave you spoilt for choice. Line up for a nutritious and filling breakfast consisting of hot idlis, dosa, poached eggs, french toast and freshly squeezed orange juice. We were also served some amazing barbecue here with some herb rice. To bring a great ending to an explosion of flavors with the main course, is the fried ice cream. Loved their concept and the layers of flavors packed within the package. Absolutely delicious.
Every meal at OKE was a delight. At times, the food was so good that we just didn’t want to stop eating. Everything from the parathas, to the starters, juices, to the main course reflected the care and love the chefs had put into making the meals for us. The food is neither too spicy nor too oily making it a great fit for all the healthy eaters out there!
We were also treated to a coffee tasting session at their cafe. Roasted in front you, brewed fresh, blended with milk or served piping hot, the staff showed off its coffee brewing skills as they came up with a couple of drinks for us. It was a very unique experience of observing the tastes and aromas of freshly brewed coffee. For those who love their coffee, we highly recommend you give this a try. We loved the Affogato and the trusted cappuccino that they came up with in no time! It was a very unique experience for us to see the entire process of how the beans are grown, the pulping and sorting process, the roasting and finally having freshly brewed coffee!! These are one of the few personal touches that OKE gives to its guests to make the visit even more memorable.
This place is ideal for people who love bird watching, are experiential travellers and for those who are interested in knowing more about coffee and looking for plantation experience and treks. There are 3 trekking trails this home stay offer right from easy, medium to hard levels. We tried the hard trail which was almost 3 hours long but it was one of the best trails we have done so far.
During our trail we were taken to their coffee-making factory where we were introduced to different kinds of coffee and shown how the pulping is done. There was so much to learn. We also visited the 100-year-old tree in their estate, how could I not take a picture with this tree?
We spent 2 nights in this beautiful property and still could not get enough of it. The beautiful bungalow, growing more than 50 species of flowers in their garden is what we call “True Beauty” and we often miss waking up to the sound of chirping birds and butterflies fluttering around. What made this experience even better was the fact that even though this is a commercial establishment, we were always made to feel at home!
Do check their website here!