When you wake up for your morning coffee you’ll feel the invigorating fresh air and hear the sound of birds chirping over the paddy fields…
Evolve Back in Coorg was my family’s first property built in 1994. Until then we were all coffee planters. Back in the day we were very cut off from civilisation. If you needed to make a call you had to place one with the local telephone exchange and wait for 45 minutes before connecting – and that was on a good day. Now it’s totally different and I’m proud to say we have 300 acres of century-old coffee plantation and a high-end resort that’s world-renowned.
We have a total of 63 thatched roof rooms all built in traditional Coorgi style using local red stone and wood sourced from the estate crafted by our team of carpenters. Our signature villas are the Heritage Pool Villas – they’re huge (4,400 square feet) – and the Lily Pool Villas that feature a beautiful pool set within a lily pond. My uncle, the architect, has always believed in keeping everything very open so when you wake up for your morning coffee you’ll feel the fresh air and hear the sound of birds chirping over the paddy fields. It’s a wild feeling.
We’re all about the experiences. One of them takes you in a 4×4 right into the middle of the coffee plantation for a picnic. The coffee bushes are around my height and I’m about 5’9. Then we have the Worker’s Trail where you can literally join the workers doing everything from coffee picking and fertilizing to weighing the sacks of leaves. We also offer rides on the circular coracle boats used originally for fishing locally as transport for the villagers. It’s a lovely 35- minute ride to the village tea shop down the Kaveri River, the largest in Southern India.
We have some stunning locations for private dining like our traditional Machan – resembling the local thatched watchtowers you find in the paddy fields to keep the birds and elephants away. We have one overlooking the lake where you can enjoy a private lunch or dinner with a private chef. One of my favourite dishes is the pandi curry which is pork (a firm local favourite) with a slight sour twist to it and you eat it with rice balls.
Local employment is just one way that we support the local community. In 2018 we built our own lovely school that offers totally free and excellent education. We’re all very passionate about it. For example you know how kids love to draw on the walls and we keep telling them not to? We put 3-4ft black boards throughout the entire school so they can draw freely. Anybody who comes has to pay a visit.