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The IBNII, in the beautiful land of Coorg, is like your favourite song in a play-list. It excites you and calms you and makes you want to go back to it over and over again.
As I made my way from Bangalore airport to IBNII, I prepared myself for a tiresome 6 hour drive. I also kicked myself mentally for not booking tickets to Mangalore instead, which is only a three hour drive to the 7-star resort. Armed with anti-nausea tablets and a travel bag, I stepped into the cab with my driver John. My fears were baseless. The roads to Coorg are beautiful and the journey, breath-taking. We reached the IBNII with my stomach and its contents intact. (Phew!)
Entering IBNII is like being thrust into lush greenery, hearing a traditional birdsong and getting a sense of petrichor – all at once! It’s also really easy to experience all these things because you lose all mobile network as soon as you enter the property.
I step out of the car to be welcomed by the smiling face of Babita wearing a beautiful, green Coorgi saree and she escorts me into the Kaadu which means forest. I’m then served chukka kaapi – which is essentially tea sweetened by jaggery. I want to take the time out to appreciate this amazing rendition of tea. I hate tea and yet I would gladly drink a gallon of this.
1. The Wooden Cottage
I’m taken to my room in an electric buggy and I can feel my excitement mounting already. I step into my room and I’m instantly surrounded by the warmth of the place. The yellow lights bouncing off the dark browns, the sharp contrast of the white bed and the pop of the fruit bowl is nothing compared to the view from my room!
My room (built on stilts) lies 20 feet above a lake and a distant wooden bridge nestled amidst the greenest set of trees you can imagine! In the mornings, you can see ducks swimming across the lake and boy, is it a lovely sight to behold.
Cost for a wooden cottage – INR 9,000 plus taxes per night
2. The Villa
I was upgraded to a bigger room two days into my stay. The Villa comes with a private swimming pool! When I say big, I mean huge. It gets just a little lonely for a single person – especially in the nights when the property is dimly lit and you can hear a hundred insects.
Cost for a villa with swimming pool – INR 19,000 plus taxes per night
3. The Presidential Suite
I did get a chance to look at the Presidential Suite as well. I couldn’t afford to stay in it, but it does make for a lovely honeymoon destination. This villa (of sorts) comes with a butler on call, a servants quarter and a huge swimming pool. It’s a little cut off from the rest of IBNII ensuring complete privacy. There have been rumours of celebrities staying at this grand place.
There is good service and there is great service. The staff at IBNII belongs to the latter. I spoke to a lot of the staff when I stayed at the resort – one of the benefits of solo travels. Most of the staff are localites or have come from the surrounding areas in Karnataka. These guys are always smiling and are always ready to make polite conversation, without over-stepping boundaries or intruding into your personal space. My favourite was a guy who came in early morning to collect my laundry. He was wearing the brightest and most colourful socks under his beige uniform. When I pointed it out, he offered to let me know where he gets them.
Aaah, now comes my favourite part. I spent most of my three days inside the resort itself. Don’t judge! I had 120 acres to explore and that takes time! I ended up eating a lot within the resort so it’s a good thing that there were 4 restaurants to choose from.
1. The Fig
The Fig has a buffet set-up and over-looks the greenest part of the property. I would rush to the windows and simply breathe in the fresh air intermingled with the flavours of the food. Most of the food is organically grown within the property itself. The freshness of the ingredients reflect in the food. The star dishes for me were the jackfruit curry, the Coorgi prawn curry, the home-made kiwi jam and the idlis. There is a spread of North-Indian cuisine as well and although it’s not bad, we strongly suggest trying the South-Indian meals.
A pretty place indeed, I didn’t get a chance to explore this set-up. IBNII hasn’t got an alcohol license as yet and so this bar is more a show-piece – a very pretty one! I loved the colourful little bottle men at the entrance of Elevate.
Baalelle translates to Banana Leaf in Kodwa language. A purely vegetarian restaurant, one of my best meals at the IBNII has been in this restaurant. Most of the vegetables have been grown on the property itself and like I’ve said before – these guys know how to cook a delicious South-Indian meal.
4. Masi Kande – The BBQ Place
This was probably the only disappointing place among the 4 restaurants. Most of the meat had dried out and I really wish the service was a little faster. There was plenty of notice for my arrival and I still had to wait about 20 minutes for my meal to start. The space between two dishes was also quite a lot which made me lose my appetite. A shout-out to the pesto cheese roasted mushrooms though that were exceptional!
The IBNII prides itself on being an eco-luxe resort and it’s visible in every bit of the property. Plastic bottles are not allowed on the property. The IBNII prides itself on being the first resort in India to be IGBC Platinum certified. Almost everything on the property is recycled. The IBNII is ideal for honey-mooners and families. It is an excellent de-stresser and I’d highly recommend it for nature lovers as well. The spa at the IBNII is a beautiful experience and a must-visit.
The IBNII is spread across 120 acres with a limited number of buggies. While it is great for long, romantic walks, it’s not the best place for older people or those with health problems. I also noticed during my stay that their service is a little slow post 10pm. In case of medical emergencies, this could be a tad bit of an issue. There is no option of in-room dining which is just a little disappointing, considering the prices.
Address: The IBNII Coorg, 123 Ibnivalavadi Village, Boikeri, Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka, India.
Contact: +91 88849 90000
Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
To book your stay, click here!
Curly Tales Rating: 4/5
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