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My 10 favourite resorts

My 10 favourite resorts

My 10 favourite resorts

I have listed below my 10 favorite resorts. While making the list; I ensured the following criteria; which in an irrational way made sense to me.

  • Only one resort per destination.
  • Famous resorts around Bangalore, like Angsana, Golden Palm … etc. were not considered.
  • Hotels were not considered too.
  • Only one resort from a group / chain of resorts was considered eligible to be in the list even though other resorts from the same group might have made it to my list if they were not barred.
  • Finally only resorts from Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Pondicherry, Wayanad & Bekal were considered. The reason for doing so is that I have fully covered all destinations in these states + Wayanad + Bekal well & felt confident that I might do a reasonably good job in picking excellent resorts from these chosen states & destinations.

Below are my 10 favourite resorts. The list carries 3 resorts from Karnataka, 2 from Kerala, 4 from Tamil Nadu & the last one from Pondicherry. These resorts are not listed in the order of excellence & are just listed as I thought it right – no rhyme or reason.

Lot of my readers may not agree with my choice of 10 favorite resorts. They all might have different lists of their own favorite resorts & all those different lists could be very well true + might carry higher acceptance than mine. But what cannot be disputed though with my list of resorts is that all these are wonderful resorts & are great fun for holidays for all.

As far as I’m concerned, and based on where I’ve been in the last few years, here are my top 10 resorts:

1) ORANGE COUNTY, KABINI

Orange County Kabini

Orange County Kabini

Destination:

The Kabini Forest Reserve is one of the most popular wildlife destinations of Karnataka, probably because of its accessibility, lush green landscape surrounding a large lake, and sightings of herds of elephants.  Once a private hunting lodge of the Maharaja of Mysore, Kabini was a popular shikar hotspot for British Viceroys and Indian royalty. Now it is considered to be one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka, famous for its spectacular wildlife and bird life

Resort:

Orange County, Kabini comes with all the facilities you’d expect in a world class luxury resort … and then some more.

Situated in the heartland of the Kadukuruba tribe of Nagarhole forest and surrounded on three sides by the Kabini River, Orange County, Kabini is built in authentic Kuruba village style. Each palm-thatched hut at the resort comes fitted with all the luxuries you could hope for including its own plunge pool or Jacuzzi in a private, open-to-sky courtyard.

A scenic Reading Lounge, a traditional Ayurveda Village and the timeless Infinity Pool are designed to relax and rejuvenate your body, mind and soul. The other facilities include a board room and a well-stocked bar.

Distance from Bangalore: 225 kms.


2) VIVANTA BY TAJ, MADIKERI, COORG

Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri, Coorg

Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri, Coorg

Destination:

Coorg is 1,593 square miles of undulating topography carpeted in every shade of green. High up in these coffee covered hills, the sacred Cauvery river is born. An ideal destination for honeymooners, leisure & adventure seeking patrons. A must see hill station for all.

MADIKERI

The capital of Kodagu district is located on a hilly setting surrounded by the forested slopes of the Western Ghats. Here, time seems to have stopped. Situated at an elevation of over 5000 ft (1,525mts.) above mean sea level, Madikeri has a charming old-world look & provides access to some excellent picnic spots.

Resort:

Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri, is quite simply a journey of lost and found. It invites you to travel to the bosom of a 180 acre living rainforest and unravel surprise after surprise in the most delightful style. Lose yourself in an expansive space which sits within a vibrant hill range at an altitude 4000 ft.

Go wow with wide angle “forested” views from every room. Vivanta by Taj, Madikeri – Coorg offers 62 rooms & villas and a Presidential Nirvana suite.  The Chef remains as eager to wow you with specially designed meals. Try mixing biz with fun and see how well wired the resort is.

Feel the Vivanta by Taj vibe as you find little surprises delighting you all the way during your stay. Lose yourself in paradise found.

Distance from Bangalore: 260 kms.


 3)  THE SERAI, CHIKMAGALUR

The Serai, Chikmagalur

The Serai, Chikmagalur

Destination:

Chikmagalur is situated in south western part of Karnataka. Carved against a mountainous canvas this beautiful Malnad district is full of surprises… lofty peaks… delightful dales… racing rivers… sparkling streams… captivating cascades… and the bracing mountain air – a balm to the work-weary. Climb high above the world where the mountains seem to touch the sky. Marvel at the beauty of the snow-white coffee blossoms. To add adventure to enchantment this hilly district has some exciting trekking routes in the Western Ghats.

Resort:

To describe The Serai as a haven to rejuvenate oneself is an understatement! Here, in its exclusive environs, you reconnect with yourself – physically, mentally and emotionally. Ensconced within the embrace of nature, The Serai creates an ambience where you will feel an innate alignment with nature, all at once transporting you into a state of tranquility and serenity.

A luxury oasis of peace and tranquility that refreshes mind and body; a well-deserved respite from modern day travails, trials and tribulations.

You can relax in the infinity pool or play a game of billiards at the resort itself. And if you want a little more exercise, cycle on the buggy track around the resort.

The Serai is unique for the fact it is luxury perfectly in tune with the fecundity of nature, and a one-of-a-kind destination where you will discover ‘the Lap of Luxury’ and ‘the Lap of Nature’ in the self-same instant.

Distance from Bangalore250 kms.


4)  VYTHIRI RESORT, WAYANAD

Vythiri Resort, Vythiri, Wayanad

Vythiri Resort, Vythiri, Wayanad

Destination:

Wayanad is a hill station in North Kerala, a jewel in God’s own country – Kerala. Nature reigns here & is at its best. Wayanad literally means “the land of paddy fields”.

This land is rich in natural wonders, history & tradition. Its vast expanse of greenery, spice scented breeze, mist capped hills, salubrious climate & the hypnotizing beauty dazzle all visitors.

Resort:

Vythiri Resort, in Wayanad is an exquisite eco-friendly jungle getaway. Wrapped in the lush embrace of a tropical rainforest, you will dwell @ Vythiri Resort in perfect harmony with nature – pristine and waiting to be explored.

Rustic themed cottages in indigenous architecture beside a frolicking jungle stream, splendid tropical birds on overhanging branches, colorful butterflies and the insistent chatter of cicadas. The powerful throb of nature is the only clock you will need at Vythiri Resorts in Wayanad.

Days begin with the rousing melody of a Malabar Whistling Thrush. The forest comes alive with an orchestration of sounds and bands of foraging monkeys. The day ahead is ripe with possibilities. Guests may choose to relax in their cottages, go for walks in the forest in the company of the resident naturalist, swim in the freshwater pool, opt for treatments at the Ayurvedic spa, play indoor games or take part in the many outdoor activities that the resort has included in its itineraries.

Distance from Bangalore: 290 kms.


 5) THE LALIT, BEKAL

The Lalit Resort & Spa, Bekal

The Lalit Resort & Spa, Bekal

Destination:

With its massive oceanfront fort, golden beaches, scenic backwaters and exhilarating watersports, Bekal has begun to inspire the imagination of intrepid travellers from around the globe. This secluded destination in North Kerala, Bekal, boasts of numerous natural attractions and places to visit.

Resort:

Nestled midst the coconut groves of North Kerala coast, The Lalit Resort & Spa is one of the finest spa destinations. Spread over 26 lush acres surrounded by the Nombili River and the Arabian Sea, The Lalit Resort & Spa is an idyllic sanctuary in “God’s own country”. The Resort welcomes you with a personal Holiday Host, who will be available at every moment of your stay to ensure a memorable experience.

Escape to The Lalit Resort & Spa Bekal and enjoy a holiday that rejuvenates, refreshes and invigorates.

Distance from Bangalore: 370 kms.


 6) DESTINY – THE FARM RESORT @ THE NILGIRIS

Destiny - The Farm Stay

Destiny – The Farm Stay

Destination:

Tucked away in a pristine, untouched valley of Avalanchi (about 25 km past Ooty), and set in the Niligiri Biosphere, Destiny gives you the real experience of a farm stay, blended with a wildlife adventure resort unlike any other.

Resort:

It’s a holiday where every moment is anything but usual. Do so much, or do absolutely nothing but take in the sight of the lake, the hills and the clouds beneath you. With all the comforts of the good life, no matter how old you are or what you do, there’s always a new experience to inspire & refresh you.

Destiny, the farm stay – “It all begins here”

Distance from Bangalore: 345 kms.


 7) KURUMBA VILLAGE RESORT, COONOOR

Kurumba Village Resort, Coonoor

Kurumba Village Resort, Coonoor

Destination:

Kurumba Village Resort is situated adjacent to the ghat road between Ooty and Mettuppalayam at the area known as Upper Burliar. Ootacamund, ‘the Queen of Hill Stations’, is only 32 Kms away and is connected by road and rail.

Resort:

The name of the Resort simply reflects the promoters’ desire to retain whatever is available of our ancient heritage.

The cottages are airy and exotic with their Kurumba-tribal-styled thatched cottages, which are, pyramid shaped and bright interiors with pristine colour. Kurumba village resort provides an eco-friendly atmosphere to their guests and the dependants living in the resort.

The invigoratingly clean air of the Kurumba Village Resort is to be breathed to be believed!

Distance from Bangalore: 335 kms.


 8)  THE CARLTON, KODAIKANAL

The Carlton, Kodaikanal

The Carlton, Kodaikanal

Destination:

Kodaikanal, undisputedly is one of the finest and unspoilt hill stations in India. Kodaikanal, nestled 7200 feet above sea level, with breathtaking landscapes, sloping hills, cascading waterfalls, lilting and flowing clouds, salubrious climate for most part of the year, is situated in the state of Tamil Nadu, South India. Kodaikanal is referred to as the “Princess of Hill stations” and has a long history as a retreat and popular tourist destination. It’s a lot cooler in temperature than lower elevation cities such as Chennai.

Kodaikanal was established in 1845 as a refuge from the high temperatures and tropical diseases of the plains. Much of the local economy is based on the Hospitality industry serving tourism.

Resort:

The Carlton is the only 5-Star Hotel in Kodaikanal, located on a hillcrest, overlooking the Kodaikanal lake, surrounded by nature at its very best.

And only The Carlton offers you a panoramic view of Kodaikanal and complements its natural scenic beauty with a stunning impact. Its majestic rooms and terrace gardens embrace and give you a wonderful view of the Kodai-lake; the focal attraction of Kodaikanal. The Carlton is a perfect blend of modern luxuries and old world colonial charm, reflecting the regal graciousness of the colonial era. Live it up in style in any of the 84 well – appointed rooms or the 4 suites and 3 cottages; all facing the shimmering lake.

Distance from Bangalore: 450 kms.


 9) RADISSON BLU TEMPLE BAY RESORT, MAMALLAPURAM

RADISSON BLU TEMPLE BAY RESORT, MAMALLAPURAM

RADISSON BLU TEMPLE BAY RESORT, MAMALLAPURAM

Destination:

Mahabalipuram, also known as Mamallapuram, is a town in Kancheepuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It has various historic monuments built largely between the 7th and the 9th century, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Project.

Resort:

Radisson Blu Temple Bay, a luxurious beach resort, is situated at the scenic, historic seaside town of Mamallapuram.

Spread across 44 lush, tropical acres and set against the Bay of Bengal, the Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay ensures a relaxing, memorable stay.  Come and experience their wow factor at the Radisson Blu Resort Temple Bay.

The resort meticulously designed to offer the best of comfort and leisure for tourists.

Distance from Bangalore: 335 kms.


 10)  LE PONDY BEACH RESORT, PONDICHERRY

Le Pondy, Pondicherry

Le Pondy, Pondicherry

Destination:

Pondicherry is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South India. The city has many colonial buildings, churches, temples, and statues, which, combined with the systematic town planning and the well planned French style avenues, still preserve much of the colonial ambience. Pondicherry is also known as The French Riviera of the East.

Resort:

Le Pondy is one of the finest beach resorts in South India and celebrates Pondicherry in all its true sense – the spirit, the architecture and the revelry.

Le Pondy, spread across 14 acres offers 70 rooms including 8 presidential pool villas, 8 luxury pool villas, 12 sea view rooms and 42 lake view rooms. Exquisitely furnished and sprinkled with luxury and convenience, these rooms offer two views facing the sea and the lake.

Le Pondy meets all your expectations & more too.

Distance from Bangalore: 330 kms.


Personally I’d be happy to stay in any of these ten resorts. Due to a high level of subjectivity and low level of consistency, it’s so easy to poke holes in any list. Hence, the beauty of a list, if nothing else & like my profession, it stimulates discussion.


We all love a bit of luxury, but there is so much more to making a resort really memorable.

Let me try something really daring now & pick five best resorts from my favorite 10 resorts. I am inviting trouble here; but I welcome disputes, debates, controversies, dissensions & disagreements.

1)      ORANGE COUNTY, KABINI

2)      VIVANTA BY TAJ, MADIKERI, COORG

3)      THE SERAI, CHIKMAGALUR

4)      VYTHIRI RESORT, WAYANAD

5)      LE PONDY BEACH RESORT, PONDICHERRY

Have I done the right selection here or am I biased as three of these five resorts are from Karnataka – my home state & also the four resorts from Tamil Nadu did not make it to the last five?

I like to believe that I have made an impartial & right choice. I have chosen 5 resorts that I think are the best. I know I cannot please everyone, and that’s fine with me.

The choices that we make aren’t always perfect but it’s ok… It’s part of the journey –Hayley Williams