How could I forget this trip with my family to Coorg for a home stay? Alas!! It took this long for me to write a recommendation/review.
I had done little research and had picked few destinations: Jaipur/Rajasthan, Srilanka, Coorg or Chickmaglur for my holidays. And then I remember my Dad’s words few years back talking to my friend. He says in an innocent voice, “I love hill stations; I always love to go there.” So I shortened the destinations to the nearest hill stations around Mangalore.
Coorg or Chickmaglur? These were the two options I gave my Dad when I was about to plan my holidays. He says, Coorg. Though I’ve visited Coorg lot of times, distance being just 4 hours from Mangalore, during School/College trips, this time I planned this trip for my family. I planned for a Home stay at Coorg!
I researched a lot over the Web, and I found one place which had no negative remarks. It’s the Bellari Mote Estate, Bel Home at Madapura. Also, two more home stay’s Faith Cinchona Estate which Mr. Prabhu takes care and Polaycad Bungalow at Ammathi which Mr. and Mrs. Cariappa’s host. We were lucky enough to get a cottage room booked at Bel Home. Above all, at the last minute, my sister and her kids plan to join us! Now what! I called Ms. Ramolla to find if there’s any option at their place. Yes they did have the Swiss tents. And I went ahead and booked the Swiss tents too.
Vijai and Romolla the hosts, they were in touch with me regarding our stay from then on. Even before I booked the place for stay they were worried about how would we commute from Mangalore? The Mangalore-Mercara roads would be closed for 3 months on road widening and it was of no use getting our own vehicle. Mr. Vijai then asked me to check with KSRTC if there would be any direct bus. And we find there would be shuttle services from Sampaje, Puttur.
The day we travelled Coorg, since we did not have a definite time when we would reach I had asked Ms. Ramolla that we will arrange vehicle on our own when we reach Mercara. When we reached Mercara, we couldn’t get any taxi or they charged very high. When I called Ms. Ramolla at the 11th hour, she was to arrange for a vehicle.
It was an Ambassador car, after ages I got to travel in an Ambassador; Anthony rode us to the gates of heaven “Bel Home”. Its 45 minutes to 1 hour from the Mercara bus stop. We had to pass through few other coffee estates before we reached Bel Home. Roads for around 1 or 2 Kms would be little tedious with mud roads for around 1 Kms. But then, you get to see the heaven on top. Two cottages with two lovely couple waiting to welcome you along with their two dogs Tiger and Patch, they are ready to play with you anytime.
The guest cottage consists two spacious double bed rooms, a common hall, a porch overlooking garden and coffee estate where you also have you breakfast, lunch and dinner. Couple of easy chair is placed in the porch to sit and relax while you read your favorite novel or sip a wine during the cold nights of winter. The rooms were kept so neat, flower vase on all tables even in the bath rooms, they get the hot water ready whenever you wish to. There’s no television and that’s when you enjoy the serenity and somehow for the network was available in the cottage room. It may not be the same for you, so you might be lucky.
The Swiss tents are adventurous and not a bad idea at all. We were tentative about the idea of sleeping in the tent. When our host Vijai accompanied us towards the tents itself, he assured us not to worry about the safety. We were rest assured, though Mom and Dad didn’t let myself and sis to sleep in the tents instead they did. However their pets Tiger and Patch will be wide awake at night. The Swiss tent had a foundation with the tent on top. A spacious room, bathroom and a porch with an Armchair. The tent is put-up in the Vanilla garden few meters away from the main cottage. You hardly get a feeling it’s a tent.
They are a lovely couple. My parents liked them a loved for their respecting nature, their simplicity, hospitality, their extremely friendly nature, they give you privacy at the same time they are approachable anytime you need. My Dad liked speaking to Vijai and Dad about the coffee estates, about Coorg or on any topic. Vijai also arranged for a Taxi of a Mangalorean fellow so that my parents feel comfortable while we are out on sightseeing. Ms.Ramolla was curious to know who slept at the night and she gives me a “You made your parents sleep in the tent” look when I said who slept on the tent. And then she reminds me my words, she didn’t want her parents to sleep in the tent when she initially booked the cottage. 😛 In other words, the Deviah’s are so caring couple.
Awesome Coorg cuisine. My mouth is still watering when I think about those cuisines. Both Veg and Non-Veg are delicious and they would keep your mouth savoring with the taste for months.
It’s great if you have your own vehicle. Else, Mr. and Mrs.Deviah’s would arrange for one.
You don’t have to worry about the security when you are around Bel Home. I used to sit out on the porch late till midnight, several times at night either Tiger or Patch would come around the cottage for their rounds.
They are one among the people who contribute in keeping the standards of Bel Home. They help in preparing awesome food, keeping the place tidy, etc. On our first day at Bel Home, after dinner my Mom went to wash her hands. They keep a bucket full of water to wash hands. The water was cold. There was a care taker called Sathish, he noticed that Mom didn’t want cold water. Immediately he got a bucket full of warm water. At Bel Home, you don’t have to ask for anything. They’ll sense your requirements.
Only thing what I regret, I couldn’t spend more time at Bel Home and enjoy the natures calmness. Anyone who plans for a Home stay, please do not plan to visit anywhere towards city. Just be there, relax and enjoy the serenity. The hosts also arrange trekking activities to nearby peaks.
The two days we stayed at this heaven and we felt were at home. We did not feel like getting back home.
Rooms Bed & Breakfast – Rs.3000/per couple (During season)
Extra Bed – Rs.1000
Non-veg – Rs.225 per meal
Veg – Rs.175 per meal
Vijai Deviah – +91 94488 – 73543
Ramolla Deviah – 08276 – 204477
+91 93410 – 80586
I would really visit Bel Home next time. I also want to explore South Coorg and want to stay at Faith Cinchona Estate which Mr.Prabhu and Mrs.Maya look after.
Make sure to read all the reviews and check with friends/blogs to find a best place to stay. In my opinion Bel Home is worth the price. To view more pictures of Bel Home, please visit: https://picasaweb.google.com/SeemaKotian/BelHome#