Evolve Back Coorg Resort: Beyond Coffee & Spice Plantations

I was literary chasing the monsoon. As I rolled down my window, the enticing views of the lush green fields of tobacco and marigold flowers, earthy smell of wet soil and the free fall of raindrops on my face were enough to soak in the rustic beauty of Karnataka.


Leaving my world behind, as I was heading towards my destination Coorg, the villages started vanishing when I entered the thick forest area leading towards the Chikkana Halli Estate. The incessant showering rains, negotiating road passing through the lush coffee and spice plantations, and eye-arresting scenery were picture perfect. After six hours of journey from Bangalore, I finally arrived at the award-winning Evolve Back Coorg Resort in the late afternoon.

The soothing sound of the traditional Kodava music dominated the surrounding as I stepped out of my car. After the musical greetings, it was followed by a delicious welcome drink. I was soon escorted by the guest coordinator, Jenniffer on a buggy towards my Heritage Pool Bungalow. The very first impression of the resort was jaw-dropping.

About Evolve Back Coorg

Set in southern India’s luxuriant landscape, the Evolve Back Coorg is one of the most prominent and luxurious resort that celebrates the perfect blend of nature and culture in its secluded haven amidst the coffee plantations. Owned by the Ramapuram brothers, who bought 300 acres of coffee plantation in 1926 and later in 1994 they entered into the hospitality business by converting 35 acres out of 300 acres coffee plantation land and started Orange County Resorts in Coorg with 10 cottages. At present the resort boasts of 63 cottages and villas, three specialty restaurants, Ayurvedic spa, reading lounge, and activity areas, encircled by the paddy fields, artificial lake and the richness of lush coffee and spice plantations. 



It’s worth a mention that “Orange County Coorg” was the first resort in Coorg. Though the brand name of “Orange Country” has been changed and now it is called “Evolve Back”. According to them, the previous brand name was not echoing the sentiments of their mission of life, which was to preserve and showcase the authentic local spirit of the land of each place as they prepared to expand their footprint in other locations like Kabini and Hampi.


As you enter the alluring estate, you are transported back to a new world, ensconced by the intoxicating aromas of coffee and spices and smiling faces at the resort. It looked like a secluded paradise, away from the real world where one can indulge in luxury of nature. Whether it was the eye-arresting greenery,  the rhythmic sound of rain, traditionally designed plush cottages, world-class amenities or their award-winning and much commendable initiatives towards responsible tourism, Evolve Back Coorg is beyond a finest resort in India.

The Heritage Pool Villa

What really took my attention was their traditionally designed architectural style of the Heritage Pool Villa that speaks highly about the local Kadova culture and inspirations drawn from the Raj-era plantation houses. Sloping roof, terracotta tiles and the wooden columns simply impressed me from their very first look.

The intricate details on the wooden door opens up to the living area which has vintage-styled furniture, en-suite bedroom with four poster-bed, a private courtyard, swimming pool and sit out areas with planter chairs to laze around. The villa is the finest example of a perfect blend of tradition with luxury.


My favorite part of the villa was the traditional integrated garden inside the living room and the bench around it. The sound of raindrops was direct and continuous which make you appreciate the monsoon beyond obvious. The overtly spacious villa was equipped with every modern amenity you can think of. I relished those home-made fruit bars placed in the wooden box. The room service facility was quite good too. While vacationing at my plush villa, I spent most of my morning sipping the freshly brewed coffee, sitting in the balcony and admiring the rain.


The place is ideal for people like me who can spend an entire week there . It provides you the perfect set-up for your creative cravings in the most peaceful way. And when it is the season of monsoon, it gives you all the more reason to be there.

Culinary Expedition

When you are at Evolve Back Coorg, you are going to experience food extravaganza each time you step inside their signature restaurants. You will be on a food expedition that ranges from the delectable continental, flavorful local delicacies and your regular Indian platter. I literally had to skip the Hi-Tea every evening after the most scrumptious meals at lunch time. Let’s find out the restaurants and what you should have whenever you are there next.

Granary

The Granary is your go-to restaurant on the premises where guests relish the soulful food in the most beautifully arranged spread. There is also a live kitchen for breakfast, lunch and dinner, where your orders like Dosa, Vada, Omelette, starters are served piping hot, right from the pen. I must have had a variety of Dosas during my stay every day during breakfast. If you are someone who is keen on exploring the local Kodava cuisines, you must skip the regular spread and head towards the ethnic counter for tasting the flavors from the south. Sitting in the corner table, right next to the window overlooking the swimming pool surrounded by paddy fields and tall trees, I relished the best of traditional Kodava cuisines. Every time I sat there for the meal, the Chef Naveen Alvares would personally come and recommend the best menu for me.

Recommended:

  1. Kadumbuttu(rice-flour balls) & traditional mutton curry
  2. Coorgi Veg curry & Rice
  3. Coorg’s Pandi (Pork) Curry& Akki Roti
  4. Fish curry & Neer Dosa
  5. Aval Kuzhachathu (Sweet Poha – Rice Flakes with Jaggery and Banana)

Plantain Leaf

The Plantain Leaf restaurant is purely a South Indian set-up overlooking the lake, surrounded by lush greenery. You can go for the flavors of South India here, ranging from authentic filter coffee to a variety of vegetarian South Indian cuisines. I must say that the delectable taste of each delicacy served in a Thali has a distinctive identity which lingers in your mouth for hours.


I had the best time sampling it, however, what I loved the most was the mocktail and welcome drink, served in a shot glass. I must thank Libin Joseph for suggesting me these drinks. It gave me the perfect kick to start the meal.

Recommended: The South Indian Thali

The Peppercorn

My gastronomic journey reached at its peak when I dined at their specialty restaurant named The Peppercorn. The moment I stepped inside the royal camp, surrounded by thick forest, the candle lit tables were nothing less than a perfect date set up. This restaurant is all about your eccentric taste buds for humble Barbecues and Grills. You can choose your customized meals from their set Coorg Planters Menu. After my culinary expedition I wanted to taste something light yet authentic, however, I started with Red wine and some bread sticks.

It was followed by a soup named Mulligataway A La Peppercorn. Later from the coals, I ordered BBQ Baby Corn which was absolutely mouth-watering. For the main course, I wanted to have fish instead of chicken or mutton, so Fish Moilee was presented at my table.


Though I was literally on a food coma by the time the dessert was served to me. My high recommendation is their home-made fruit-flavored ice-cream.

I had the jack-fruit ice-cream and it was probably the best way to end my dining experience at the resort.

Signature Experiences

Vaidyashala

At the Ayurvedic village, the trained expert masseurs and masseuses takes you to a journey of healing in the most serene environment by giving the traditional therapies, meant for each body parts, depending on your choice of therapy.

I chose the Ayurvedic Body Scrubs which turned out to be the most rejuvenating, relaxing and revitalizing. The traditionally designed courtyard house and exquisite wood work, creates the perfect ambiance to relax, revive and rejuvenate your body, soul and mind. I was amazed when the therapists started the healing with a prayer, followed by the head and shoulder massage and then real scrubbing on different body parts. The semi lit room with the traditional instrumental music was way too soothing to indulge in the luxury of Ayurvedic treatment at Vaidyashala.

Plantation walk

The plantation walk is all about Coffee, its history, origin and the fascinating tales attached to it. It was kind of eye-opener for me since I was unaware of the story of coffee. As I started walking with the Naturalist Amjith, I was introduced to the new world of flora around the resort. He patiently explained the medicinal importance of those trees which otherwise have never got noticed. The walk basically starts from the resort and ends at the plantation. What really hooked me during the walk was the way you are introduced to the world of coffee with the pictures, coffee beans and coffee powder.

I was absolutely surprised when I got to know that Coffee originated in Yemen. Though no one knows how coffee was discovered, however, there are many legends about its origins. I was fascinated to know how the Indian Sufi saint, Baba Budan smuggled seven seeds of coffee from Mecca to India and planted them in his backyard in Chikmagalur, known as the birth place of Coffee in India. Later the coffee plantation thrived during the British Raj and now Karnataka is reputed for producing the best quality coffee in the world.

The walk also makes you learn the difference between Arabica and Robusta coffee and the process of coffee-making. From 7 coffee seeds to 75% of coffee is now produced in the state of Karnataka, and out of which 40% of coffee is produced in Coorg itself and due to which Coorg is also called “Coffee Cup of India”.

The tour ended with the finest filter coffee served in metal tumblers at Plantain Leaf Restaurant.

Worker’s Trail

If you are wondering about the plantation worker’s daily life at work, you must experience the worker’s trail at Evolve Back Resort. Riding in a farm tractor and wearing worker’s uniform, you can join the workers at the farm in picking coffee, pepper, mulching or any daily activities.

I had a great time experiencing the worker’s life firsthand by meeting some of the female workers at the coffee plantation on a rainy day. While observing their daily life, I was told about their hanging lunch bags on the trees in which contains black coffee that energizes them if they feel cold on a rainy day to get their strength back. It not just introduces you to their work life, but also makes you realize the worth of your coffee cup which we generally take for granted.

Eco Tour

Before I start mentioning about commendable initiatives for responsible tourism and practices for improving Eco System, I must tell you that the Evolve Back Resorts is awarded with the prestigious “World Legacy Awards” by the National Geographic for their cutting edge leadership in environment friendly practices, green technology, energy and water conservation initiatives. They are the only resort to claim this crown in India.

They not only promote or promise, but are actually practicing responsible tourism by introducing the policy of ZERO WASTAGE. From zero uses of plastic, recycling of glass and metals, sustainable developmental practices, they have been doing it all. The resort treats its waste water, purifies it through various filtration and uses it for horticulture needs on-site. Food & kitchen waste are used to fuel bio gas plant that helps in their main kitchen. The compost from the food waste is used for the organic farm on the resort premises that produce organic fruits and vegetables. The use of minimum lighting to avoid disturbance in the ecosystem and the electric buggy for inside transportation make a huge difference. The resort employs 50% of their staff from the local villages. They have adopted a school in the village where they supply nutritious meals, uniforms and other necessary requirement including teachers to teach English & Computer. The resort is also involved in many social activities like spreading awareness, cleaning the village, etc.

What makes Evolve Back Coorg Resort a finest luxury yet exceptional property is their conscious efforts to giving back to nature and the way they celebrate the spirit of the land with rich cultural heritage. Living a few precious moments amidst the 300 acres of coffee plantation and getting the unique  experience of the plantation life is surely rewarding here.


Note: I was invited on a Press Trip to Evolve Back Coorg Resort

For More Information, kindly visit https://www.evolveback.com/


Disclaimer :

The photographs are owned by the writer and are copyright protected. The  reproduction of any of the content, including the photographs without prior consent/permission of the writer, is strictly prohibited and a violation of the same will attract legal action.

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22 Comments

  1. evening desert safari dubai

    A great article like this requires readers to think as they read. I took my time when going through the points made in this article. I agree with much of this information.

    Reply
  2. Nijaguna Bandipur

    After Coorg Visit Bandipur this is National Sanctuary and age old Tiger Reserve from the Wodeyars Of Mysore (Maharajas of Mysore)

    Reply
  3. Hunza Cultural Festivals 2019

    I want to visit Coorg too during my summer holidays, it’s really a peaceful and comfortable place. thank for sharing these beautiful memories.

    Reply
  4. Subbu

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I have read this article. your information is really amazing.
    Thanks for sharing information.
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  5. budget hotel in andaman

    Great article like this require readers to think as they read. I took my time when going through the points made in this article. I agree with much this information.

    Reply
  6. Margaret Wilson

    Green tea is a type of tea that is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process used to make oolong teas and black teas

    Reply
  7. Suraj

    Its a really nice post. It looks like a great place to relax. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  8. bollywood gyanni

    The place looks really good and it’s really nice post. Great work.

    Reply
  9. Swan Tours

    Over the years Orange County (evolve back) has been a brand synonymous with luxury and hospitality ,and on a recent visit there we understood what makes them really different and why it’s worth visiting . Each and everybody right from the receptionist to the manager strive to make you smile . The smallest of things that most other properties would take for granted are thought of . Though luxurious what one must really go for is that connect to nature and the human touch that people in today’s fast-paced life sorely miss . We stayed in a lily pool bungalow with its own pool ,completely private and ideally suited for small families . When the staff got to know that it was my parents anniversary they went to great extents to make the occasion truly memorable . We felt we were part of a family and that was really gratifying . The food was at par with the best and the service extraordinary . Would really encourage people to visit them once and experience pure unadulterated hospitality .

    Reply
  10. allchatroom

    its really nice post thanks to author of this post

    Reply
  11. Nicole Anderson | Camping for Women

    This looks like a fantastic place to take a break and relax. That massage sounds amazing and I would be up for that. I also like that you can see a coffee plantation, very unusual. I love a good cup of coffee.

    Reply
  12. Paul

    I’m impressed, Evolve Back looks like a fantastic restort to relax and unwind in. I love how they have seamlessly incorporated nature into their design. It looks breathtaking. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  13. Mrs Sham

    wonderful article. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
  14. Yukti

    Evolve Back really looks like a rejuvenating resort which is surrounded with nature and full of culinary delights. I loved the room interiors all in wooden and also they have kept those fruit bars there in the room. All the restaurants, especially the Kodava cuisine one is interesting and I would love to try those cuisines. Walking along the plantations of coffee and seeing actual workers must be an interesting trail.

    Reply
  15. Amar singh

    I would love to visit coorg some day and is on y list to visit when I am INDIA next. The coffees aroma in south is amazing. Love the pool in the hotel look s so refreshing. Would live to relax at vidyashala. What s beautifuplave and thanks for sharing these great tips.

    Reply
  16. Lauren Pears

    I always associated the monsoon with constant rain and a ruined trip, but this has made me think that actually, the lush green landscape may be worth it! This resort looks absolutely beautiful – definitely going to book a stay when I visit Coorg!

    Reply
  17. Lisa

    What a beautiful resort and in such an idyllic place too. The Evolve Back Coorg Resort is so unique as I’ve never heard of a resort within a coffee plantation before! I like the sound of sipping hot coffee and watching the rain, it’s quite romantic!

    Reply
  18. Neha

    Hey I just visited coorg too during monsoon, it was so green. We were told that orange county name has not been changed. Loved the details you shared . We stayed at Club Mahindra Madikeri .

    Reply
  19. Sinjana Ghosh

    Wow this resort looks amazing! I love Coorg, and I have been there twice- and I still feel like going there, as there is so much more left to see.

    Reply
  20. Clarice/ Camping for Women

    This is really nice. It looks like a great place to relax and unwind. It gives me a certain homey vibe similar to my grandmother’s house where we spend our summers. Would love to visit this place someday. Thank you for sharing. It brought me really good memories.

    Reply
  21. Sandy N Vyjay

    Evolve Back looks like a beautiful resort. An idyllic getaway in the pristine environs of Coorg. What I really love about this place is that it seems so seamlessly integrated with the environment in a harmonious way. It is a laudable endeavour by the resort to sustain local environment and culture.

    Reply
  22. Anindya Sundar Basu

    Coorg has always been in my bucket list but after reading this I want to go there at the earliest. I hope the place is kids friendly too ?

    Reply

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