Firstly - excellent experience while booking, we got details on recommended places to stop enroute (road trip from Bangalore to Kerehaklu). We were very impressed with the personal touch. On arriving - we just fell in love with our cottage and the overall peace and quiet and chirping birds....Very comfortable room and facilities. The food was fantastic local cuisine and delicious - both the vegetarian as well as the meat options. We did - the jeep tour across the estate, the walk tour with our host (5th gen planter) - and it was an excellent nature walk...Pranoy also had a coffee grinding/brewing session in the sleepy afternoons we spent there - and it totally woke us up. Over all I recommend this place for a romantic getaway for couples - who want a chilled out weekend. Bring a book to read, have your favorite playlists ready, and of course if you are a netflix addict - download your favorite shows on your device to watch while you breathe in fresh air and drink your several pots of coffee...
Kerehaklu was the perfect getaway for the following reasons:
- Ajoy the owner is really kind, hospitable and loves the land.
- It's easy enough to get to from Chikmagalur city (only 45 min drive)
- The property is rustic and the cabins are nestled in harmony with the surrounding trees.
- The cabins are aesthetically warm, cozy and very clean. The beds were modest, clean and comfortable. The bathrooms are big and very clean. So important!
- You get a little folder about the hiking trails you can go on on your own. Plus ways how to save energy in your own home. I think this is a good effort to educate guests on how to be more conscious about our consumption patterns. It shows that Ajoy really cares about the planet.
- The food is homely, local and very tasty. Best sambar I've had.
- The open jeep tour that Ajoy takes you on is informative, and the hike is easy enough for a relatively fit person.
- Ajoy will give you rain boots to keep the leeches at bay during your hike on the property! You saved me Ajoy! Thanks!
- There are no leeches where the cabins are.
- There's a tiny bonfire every evening on the outdoor patio bar area. (You need to BYOB)
- I think their coffee is good and you can buy their beans and powder. (Although I'm not a coffee connoisseur)
- The staff are respectful, diligent and quiet. Other than the staff asking if you need your room cleaned, things just get done without you noticing. So you are left to focus on nature.
- It's peaceful and the many sounds you will hear will be that of the forest birds...
- As someone who enjoys bird watching, I got to see at least 6 different birds without binoculars. Blyths reed warbler, common hill myna, yellow-throated fulvetta, scarlet minivet, yellow wagtail, asian green bee-eater and some more... They were so pretty.
- I traveled solo but met some lovely guests there. There were playing cards, taboo and other games that we used. And that was really nice.
- Ajoy was kind enough to let me stay 2 hours past check-out which I really appreciated.
The few things that could be improved:
- The water heater in the very clean bathroom, didn't heat the water much.
- Setting up a google pay or paytm option to pay for coffee powder. Currently, you can pay in cash or bank transfer.
- The extra pillows int he cupboard were moldy. But living in the area, I know that its impossible to deal with during heavy rains. Mold gets on everything!
- No shampoo was provided, only soap. I didn't mind because I brought my own.
We had booked two rooms in advance. My sister showed interest in joining us hence, we booked third room two days prior to arrival at Kerehaklu. Unfortunately, she cancelled her trip. We could neither use the extra room neither did we discuss about it with the owner, Ajoy Thipaiah. Surprisingly, on the last day Ajoy returned the advance amount of the third room and said his conscious doesn’t permit him to keep the money! Very rarely do we find such people.
Coming to Kerehaklu, it is a very simple coffee estate of around 280 acres of coffee and pepper plantation, four or five cottages and a small dining hall. What adds life to it is the strong connection which Ajoy Thipaiah shares with the plantation. When Ajoy narrates a huge bison of over a ton jumping upon fence of a meter high or a parade of elephants relishing the jackfruits and the pith of fishtail palms we were all ears. Ajoy backs up his narrations with solid proof. The interesting one being, the imprint of a tiger paw which he has preserved since last year. The plantation has several varieties of fig trees. One among them is a 400 years old fig tree.
The rooms were wooden cabins which were warm, spacious, and clean. Fortunately, there was no power cut and no phone service. Airtel worked outside the cottages. Food was okay. Still, we missed the Malenad’s homely stay at Kerehaklu. On the whole, it was a peaceful calm get-away.
Great experience staying here. Ajoy takes the guests on estate tour and coffee processing plant that he owns. Food is also good with limited varieties but divine home food so no complaints. Staff at resort are very helpful and take good care of requests. The resort just has 4 rooms which can accommodate 4 family of 2 and 1 or 2 kids. Not sure if Ajoy entertains additional adults in a room so no idea. Ajoy also took us on a trek to nearby peak which is a trail of about 5kms from resort to peak and back. Nice rejuvenating walk early in the morning. Don't miss coffee in this place and blend that Ajoy serves is from his mom.Divine taste for coffee lovers. Taste still dangles in my mouth being an avid coffee lover myself. Overall, great experience staying there. BTW, no mobile signals other than Airtel,BSNL and Reliance Jio that too only near entrance of resort. Vodafone signal is on/off and not reliable. Carry your best books to read and relax in this place. You will surely love this place if your intention is to relax,eat and sleep with little bit of troll or trek around the property
Kerehaklu offers a very nice stay in a jungle resort. Since there are only 4 cottages, it's never going to be crowded. The trails are a great idea, although we weren't equipped (physically & logistically) for the orange and red ones. Not too many animals to spot though, a few birds (peacocks, mynas, bulbuls etc.) were seen.
The food is kept simple and yet tasty. There's no 7 course meal on offer but the dishes are prepared very well to suit various palates, especially if there're kids in the group or adults who don't like spicy food.
The rooms are generally good and clean although one room seemed to attract more spiders than others :)
If you're of the device-bound type, beware that there's no wifi or cable TV, which isn't a bad thing in itself, for there's no point going to a jungle resort if you're going to be looking at your device or TV all the time :)
A few suggestions:
Some people may want to bail out from the trails. So perhaps provide similar coloured markers going in the reverse direction.