A forest resort in Wayanad, Kerala
In Kerala's Wayanad, set amidst jungles is this resort hidden in a 16-acre plantation that is more forest than farm. Like its name suggests, the resort is all about the sense of rejuvenation that we typically feel after a spell of refreshing rain!
The plantation-forest grows coffee, pepper, nutmeg, cocoa and numerous fruits amidst other native trees. The handful of villas that make up the property are secluded in the wilderness. Each villa offers spectacular views of the surrounding jungles and the hills beyond. The villas that fall under two categories are all about understated luxury. Each type of villa varies in size but all have large verandahs or private sit-outs and some have their own private gardens. The Lilikoi Villa, set on a slope overlooking the Mundakai and Vellarimala mountains of the Western Ghats and surrounded by fruit trees and pepper vines, offers some of the best views. Unsurprisingly, this is the resort's honeymooners villa but anyone wishing for great views and privacy can opt for it.
The whole plantation is beautiful and filled with walking trails, so walking within the 16-acre grounds is a great nature experience. The highlight of this beautiful property is the fresh water reserve within it, where guests can fish. The chef will cook your catch the way you like it!
Speaking of chefs and cooking, the on-site restaurant serves delectable Keralan delicacies, along with international dishes – all cooked with local ingredients. The local dishes, from Kallappam with chicken ishtew to kuttanadan kozhi peralan, are obviously the must-tries. On clear days a barbeque is organised. The fact that much of the ingredients, from vegetables, fruits and spices to milk, eggs and even honey, comes from the resort's own farms makes the food all the more delicious. Even the coffee is made from the resort's coffee beans and the tea is brewed from tea leaves sourced from nearby tea gardens.
Eating is not the only activity on the agenda! Guests can go mountain biking in the many winding trails in the surrounding villages set amidst forests and go on plantation walks.
Two experiences stand out. One is the trek led by local and part-time forest guard, Ramu, who belongs to thePaniya tribe. Guests can choose to trek in a sprawling tea estate planted by the British or tour the Kadachikunnu-Valathoor villages to discover the life, landscape and rhythm of the areas.
Or guests can choose to spend a few hours with Paul, who is behind all the agricultural activities at the resort. The 'Day with Paul' is an exclusive farming activity where guests are encouraged to step into the footsteps of a farmer and work in the plantation for a short period of time. Guests can observe how honey is taken from the comb, pluck pepper corns and discover the transformation of coffee from bean to cup.
Price: Rs 7,080; includes breakfast and taxes.
Read more: www.aftertherains.in
During the construction at After the Rains, no trees, crop or valuable plant life was affected. Only natural fertlisers and compost are used in the resort grounds. Local trees have been planted in the resort to sustain biodiversity. The resort follows rain water harvesting methods. Most of the 16-acre land of the resort is set aside for agriculture, which is entire organic and is more forest than farm. Drinking water is served in glass bottles and the resort avoids all use of plastic. About 70% of the staff is local. All the workers in the plantation are from various tribes in the neighbourhood. To promote local craftsmanship, the resort has used products like Bamboo light fittings and dustbins made of dried palm leaves in all the rooms. The resort promotes local culture, cuisine and ecology in all its activities.