Last year, after considering Scotland, Switzerland, Dubai, Bali, Sri Lanka and Shimla in that order, we zeroed in on Coonoor for a family trip. We were travelling with my best friend Menaka and her family. For the activities that the men had in mind for the trip, we decided that the setting would make no difference. We might as well save on costs. We were looking for an itinerary-less trip too – a trip that wouldn’t need us to move our butts from point A to point B, unless point B was the restaurant. I wasn’t looking to shop even. Aah, the pleasures of a zero activity vacation! If you’re considering such a vacation this summer, look no further.
Kurumba village in Coonoor fit the bill perfectly. There was nothing very remarkable around there that we were under pressure to tick off our list. The Kurumba resort is nestled in the foothills of Ooty which saves you a steep mountain ride as well. So win-win-win. Coonoor was roughly a 10-hour drive from Chennai including breaks. We started at the ungodly hour of 4:30 am. We always do on our road trips in order to put maximum distance behind us. We reached Coonoor around 2 pm, just in time for lunch.
The restaurant has the most spectacular views of the mountains rising just across from where we’re seated. There is a faint drizzle and it is pleasantly chill. There was a huge array of dishes for lunch and everything was delicious. It was all so near perfect, there was little else you could ask for. And then somebody ordered beer.
Kurumba resort is set in the most picturesque location, the rooms are located on winding paths that lead down the hill right down to a little waterfall that thunders right outside the rooms. This waterfall happened to be right outside our rooms. It was a short climb down from the balcony and up the boulders to the waterfall. We picked our way to the bottom of the waterfall and took turns to sit under the waterfall. Whoa! Icy chill sheets of water pounded our backs. Nothing prepared us for the onslaught. We looked at each other, laughed and shivered together. We couldn’t talk above the sound of the water.
Playing in the waterfall made us hungry. So we dried ourselves, dressed and climbed up the hill to the restaurant. Swimming made us hungry too. The swimming pool is wedged into the edge of the hill and it’s just the mountain and the sky above you. It is absolutely stunning. You could lie there all day and keep looking. You might be tempted to write poems or discuss life. Menaka and I did the latter for the sake of everybody.
The food was consistently good all of the days and I was pleasantly surprised by how fresh and yummy everything was. They made incredibly soft chappathis and phulkas and happily fried fresh cauliflower fritters when we asked for them. They were polite and happy to oblige. Evenings they served hot bajjis and a variety of tea at a little nook near the swimming pool under the tall, fragrant spice trees. Tea and snacks were on the house. So none of the guests missed it.
Ooty is about a 2 hour drive from Coonoor if you really need to get out. I would strongly recommend against it though as it disrupts your do-nothing rhythm and you feel grumpy later that you missed staying put. We thought we ought to get out on our third day. So we travelled to Ooty, took a boat ride in the very dirty Ooty lake, followed by a short bumpy horse-ride, ate corn, bought home-made chocolates and returned after a head-spinning drive down the mountain because Jagan fancied he was a racer on a mountainous dirt track. Even if you don’t have a racer in your midst, it is still not a great idea to budge from the resort.
Kurumba was originally a spice village and there are lots of spice trees all over the property. The in-house guide gives you a tour of the spice trees and shares interesting trivia about all the different spices. Did you know that nutmeg and mace are from the same tree? We briefly even wondered if we could offset some of the room costs by collecting a big bag of nutmeg. They were all over the place. They had a few adventure activity options for guests to try out – zip-lining, climbing across a rope bridge and the likes. They couldn’t get me to move my determined ass.
I loved waking up to the sound of waterfalls outside our bedroom. It was one trip, I wouldn’t mind making again and again and again. And I’ll leave you with the view from the toilet seat. Look at that! It convinced me that whoever built those rooms knew what he was doing. Who wouldn’t want that view in the morning?
Adding the cost details and links after quite a few readers pointed out these glaring gaps to me. Thanks guys. here you go:
We happened to book the cottage rooms which worked out to roughly 15k per night. You could book on makemytrip or contact the resort directly (link given below). Smart negotiators may be able to land some discount too.