This was our first time, staying in home stay, we were very excited.
Victory home stay is in a very good location, surrounded by the coffee estate, it’s about 4 km from the town.
It is a beautiful house, with good ventilation, surrounded by a nice garden; the room was clean with fresh bedding.
The owners Mr. & Mrs. Ponnappa are very nice, kind and knowledgeable people, they will give you all the details on the Coorg travelling.
We loved the breakfast prepared by Mrs. Kaveri ( Palputtu and Dosas).
We stayed for 2 nights and we had a great experience staying in VICTORY Home Stay and I would recommend/ stay again at this property.
First we're amazed with the scenic beauty on the way from Madikeri to this place (via NH27). ‘Google Maps’ doesn’t show real location so beware and call the Homestay to get help (before starting). Tired with whole day adventure with 4 year old kid (visited Abby Falls, Fort, Raja’s Seat and Omkareshwar Temple in the day). When we reached there (after 1 km full green ranch-off main road), we got a warm welcome by our hosts. Truly amazing people. Got very nice tea and coffee and then, dinner with 3-4 dishes on the table with desert. After dinner, Recipe discussion round, what all mixed and what all is home grown. About Room: Comfortable bed, enough lightings, clean and well maintained washroom and all other necessary facilities were there. Next morning when we get out of bungalow, We felt nature’s charm at the best, Multicolored Roses with dew on them, Lotuses were still trying to open, Yellow, Orange, Red, Purple and white-So many beautiful colors were all around. Kid liked the place to run on pathways and grass, ride on rocking chair and follow cat and butterflies. You will see, Awesome collection of great ‘Copper’ and ‘Bronze’ works in all corners of the house. We stayed next day too and took tour of farm places, Coffee plantation, Pepper seeds, Palm trees, Supari trees and so on. The same day, we went to Tala Cauvery- Super place, spent whole day and back to ‘home away from home’. Enjoyed our stay, perfect place for kids very safe and secure. Hosts are also very helping, kind and knowledgeable (Army background) couple (Can engage you on any topic). You can go to Coorg and don’t go for any sightseeing, Stay in this homestay, it will provide you perfect place to spent 1-2 days in calm and serenity. We left next morning to visit Dubare, Nisargdham (supper place), Golden Temple (perfect tourist attraction) and left to Bangalore (Real home). Definitely, Will go Coorg again and stay at same place.
Going by the number of positive reviews here on TripAdvisor, we were really looking forward to our stay at Victory Home. The house itself is beautiful - a wooden structure, surrounded by coffee plantation and vibrant flowering trees and shrubs, with a certain old world charm. If you're going for a relaxing, no-sightseeing holiday, then this is a good option.
However, having stayed at other homestays in Gokarna, Chikmagalur, etc., I do feel the homestay experience was not up to the mark. For one, the location - Victory homestay is in Pollibetta, which is at a minimum of 45 km from anywhere in the Kodagu district. Unless you stay cooped up all day, any time you step out, you feel all you're doing is driving. It goes without saying, that with the heat and humidity, it can get tiring. In fact, it can get tiring even if you stay up in your room all day.
The food options are limited, and here again, I have to bring in the comparison with other homestays - generally, the price is inclusive of breakfast and dinner. Over here, you pay INR 3000 per person per day: breakfast is included, lunch is not offered and dinner is INR 400 per person, which is a little on the higher side if you think about it, given that you're kinda in the middle of nowhere. If you consider going out, you're back on the road, driving miles and miles because there are no other (good) food options nearby. As for the food, all I will say is, tastebuds vary. We were a large group - a few of us liked it, the rest of us did not.
While I cannot say that I had an issue with our hostess' friendliness or hospitality - she was a great hostess - this is the first time that I felt I was intruding. I cannot pinpoint to why this happened, but of all the homestays I have stayed at, this is the one which gave me that nagging feeling at the back of my neck. To say I/we felt "unwelcome" is a bit harsh, and that is not what I mean - just a little uncomfortable. Like we're trespassing. But maybe that was just something our group felt. Could be a different experience for you.
What I liked were the lovely surroundings, the flowers and the plantation. We did not get a chance to take a tour, but I suppose that's something to try. There's a small play area for kids. There could be some mosquitoes during the night, but the house is fully proofed against them (so do not leave doors/windows open).
I'd recommend the rooms on the top floor over the one on the ground floor. This homestay is good for families/groups, or even if you're travelling solo, but probably not for couples or sightseers (by this, I mean, if your plan is to see Coorg - Madikeri would be a better option if this is the case). Also, I think it would be better if you have your own vehicle/cab; autos aren't allowed on the property and I'm not sure if it's easy to get a cab around here.
The first view of the House is stunning. Surrounded by thousands of flowers –types and colours, exquisitely maintained in flower beds on all sides !!
After a refreshing shower, we traipsed around The House to admire the construction and layout. Apart from the wooden floor, panelling and carved sections on the side walls of the living and dining room, there is a lovely collection of photo frames of Joe and Kavery’s lineage, from Rai Bahadur to the present generation in a wooden ‘mandap’ on the left side of the Living room- dining room passage. On the right is a similar ‘mandap’ with brass images of the pantheon of Hindu deities, so beautifully lit up !!
Kavery has a lovely collection of brass idols of Hindu Gods & Godesses of all sizes, a Buddha, a fabulous looking Ganesha, a lovely setting of gleaming –polished brass.
There is a quaint little wooden staircase upto the 2 bedrooms on the first floor. On the landing on the way to the upper floor, Kavery has a beautiful collection of gleaming brass & bronze vessels of all shapes and sizes.
Awesome artistic collection of brass, bronze, carved wood and depiction of Family History and the Deities.
The guest rooms on the first floor are the ultimate in comfort, tastefully done up with quality drapes, richly adorned bed covers, pillows and , yes, carved furniture chest, even a carved wastepaper bin. Of course each bedroom overlooks a separate view of the garden , the flower beds et al.
The House has a plethora of carefully spaced skylights which warmly light up the room during day and give a glimpse of the galaxy of stars in the sky, by night !!
At dusk we got to see another side of Kavery. She did up the flower arrangement in the ancestral and deity mandaps, and in front of images of Lord Ganesha and the Buddha. Even the dining table had a floral arrangement. Then she chanted shlokas while doing aarti of the Deities, lit up diyas . A solemn and totally enchanting welcome to the dusk and night.
We then settled down in the living room and recounted our experience at Nisargadhama and Little Tibet, Golden Temple & Monastery !! Both Joe and Kavery vividly recounted their respective lineage and the influence of their respective parents on their own lives , which had inspired them to build, equip and adorn the rich exteriors of the garden and the house inside !!
Dinner was a multi course meal, with all the spices of Coorg and the tummy tickling fragrance of delicious food on the dinner table. There was evidence of the pride in quality and detail in the culinary spread, as to why Kavery would cook over a charcoal fire in the outhouse and cart the steaming hot dishes to the table, while there was a designer kitchen right next to the dining room !!
After a sumptuous dinner, we settled down to a sound sleep in the comfort of the bedroom, that follows a wonderfully cooked, served and hospitality drenched dinner !!
Over breakfast, we actually saw the vapours wafting from the lovely breakfast !! Joe also called his neighbour about the bulky guest (elephant) who had,in the wee hours, strode across the exterior of The House, visit was to bless their lives . Goes without saying that we had missed the 4 legged guest, but the house help had not; but had discreetly kept out of the elephant’s way !!
We then strode out in the taxi for our tour of Madikeri, Dubare, Tala Cauvery and other spots, but only after Kavery ensured that our driver had a warm meal too!!
We returned in the late afternoon to a lovely cup of tea on the porch and another session of feasting our eyes on the beautiful flower gardens all around the house.
Kavery’s bustling routine, to and fro inside and outside the house, reflected the pride, care and effort that was put in to keep up the magnificient setting of the House, cleanliness and warmth of The House inside - as also the careful tending of the riot of flower beds inside !! She would chide the house help to give it their best and yet enquire caringly about the health of their family etc.
Next morning we were allowed to leave only after a tour of the plantation and a quick brief on the Coffee crop etc. The fragrance of the white coffee flowers in full bloom, the serenity and greenery of the plantation, the pepper vine led up to grow on the betel nut trees and the plantain trees on the boundary of the plantation, and the layout and rhythm of the plantation was a revelation of God’s gift to Joe-Kavery and fleetingly to guests like us !!
Joe was to host the ‘Coffee Cup’ Golf tournament and had left before we even woke up.
The 2 days at Brig Joe and Mrs Kavery Ponappa’s ‘The House’ home stay at Goni Koppal made us feel that we ought to have had at least a 3-4 day extended stay with them !! The richness of the hospitality, the ‘being with nature’ , House décor, the care and concern for every detail in comfort, cuisine, the class of the experience and the fragrance and warmth of the genuine ‘feel good’ ambience, was
overwhelming.The ambience of nature in Goni Koppal and the sheer hospitality of our hosts, made us feel they were easily head and shoulders above any hospitality that we had experienced elsewhere in India or even our 3 year stay in SE Asia or the US !!
.So what are you waiting for ? Do really experience the memorable best of Coorg !
Go to this place if you want to:
1. Get a local experience and learn about Kodava culture.
2. Eat delicious food that will make you want to keep eating for hours!
3. Learn a lot about gardening.
4. Stay in a huge property! (100 acres of coffee estate)
5. Stay in a very nice room that is clean, perfectly color matched, has beautiful roof windows for early morning light :)
6. Get to know and soon get very attached to aunty :)
In all seriousness, homestays are supposed to be places where the owner also stays with the guests. Most of the homestays unfortunately are just hotels where you don't really get to stay in the home of the owner. But Victory Home is a homestay where you get to live in the same home where the owners of the estate live. You get to learn and absorb the culture and eat the same food that they eat. I would advice anyone going for a relaxing time to go here and enjoy the beautiful home, gardens and the coffee estate. There is no need to see anything outside because the Coorg nature is right there around you!
We look forward to visiting aunty again and enjoy the awesome food she makes with a wide spread of variety dishes :)