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Vivanta by Taj – Madikeri is a strong contender for the best hotel in the Coorg (otherwise known as Kodagu) region of Karnataka.
Sitting in the middle of 180 acres of prime rainforest 4,000ft above sea level, the hotel has 63 rooms, suites and villas in total, designed to resemble traditional Coorg architecture, and with the five 3,300 sq ft Luxury Bliss Villas having their own indoor pools and retractable sunroofs. For something even more bling, the Presidential Nirvana Suite (they like an OTT name here) comes in at 9,000 sq ft, with three bedrooms, dining room, kitchen, swimming pool, pavilion, Jacuzzi and even a private courtyard. At the other end of the spectrum, even the lead in Superior Charm Rooms are 800 sq ft with floor to ceiling windows framing the beautiful hillside views.
Guests can also appreciate the views from several restaurants at the hotel, including Nellaki for regional Coorg cuisine, Fern Tree for international cuisine, Dew for healthier dishes and a self-explanatory Poolside Grill. The Hive Bar buzzes (sorry) come evening as guests sample the excellent cocktails.
More on-site indulgence is available at the Jiva Grande Spa, with its eight treatment rooms where guests can enjoy pampering massages and other therapies, as well as a Gudda bath - a traditional Karnatakan wood-fired bath in its own private pavilion. Guests can also laze the day away on the spa's relaxation deck or at the wellness café. Other activities on offer include rainforest walks, bird watching, zip lining and, of course, visits to Coorg itself, just five miles away.
Influenced by traditional Coorg design, the hotel lobby took inspiration from one Coorg's most famous temples, the Iguthappa, while the swimming pool resembles the step well at Coorg's Omkareshwara temple.
Frances, Original Traveller