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Fresh Green Dew in Coffee County

September 2, 2017 Headline News, Reviews No Comments Email Email

Ibnii Coorg Eco-luxe Resort and Spa in the lush green coffee growing district has best of comforts while tenderly caring for its blessed environs. The first hospitality project in India with the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) Platinum certification adds warm local Kodava hospitality to offer a refreshing holiday amidst UNESO Natural World Heritage site.

Location

Ibnii Coorg is located on Mysore to Mangalore Highway and is nestled in 120 acres of hilly plantation.  Dr Sherry Sebastian, director, Ibnii Coorg informs that no pesticides have been used on the property since 60 years. Aptly, the pollution-free nature is away from the hustle and bustle of modern lifestyle. Essential urban supplies and services are available at nearest Madikeri town 4.5 kilometres away. Closest airport at Mangalore is at 3 hours drive along picturesque hills and planes. Bengaluru international airport is 5 hours away on a good highway.

Ibnii pool villa room

Welcome

The eco-zone of Ibnii begins at Kaadu, the reception area where you leave your car and any plastic bags (things from those are transferred to handmade paper bags) to enter the green resort. A few steps away, a walk onto the canti-levered bridge above the treetops opens a mesmerizing view of the dew drenched forest alongside the canopy. It ends at the unique lobby that has views of natural springs flowing down the hills covered with thick forest of 100 year old trees, a lake and the bridge in the beautiful valley down below.  Welcome drink of hot chiku coffee (traditional black coffee with ginger and jaggery) brings you back into reality as a resort staff introduces the property pointing to barely visible restaurant and banquet halls next to the cascading swimming pool and villas nested under the trees far away. Check-in is quick and you walk back on the canopy bridge to the waiting battery operated buggy, which will be the mode of transport inside the vast resort.

Nerve centre of Ibnii

Accommodation

30 luxury villas, each with a private pool and a Jacuzzi, have a spacious living room with an attached powder room, a passageway along a wardrobe, Jacuzzi and a bathroom with a separate shower. The spacious bedroom opens onto the vast pool. Rooms have air conditioners for both cool and hot air.  12 cosy, wooden cottages made of kiln dried wood are built overlooking the lake. A premium suite, also a pool villa with a shower next to the cascading stream and a butler service, has an electric car at the guest’s disposal to move around the property. All villas have modern amenities, tea and filter coffee maker, WIFI that’s handy in a no-network zone and an iPod docking station.

Table in the woods

Food & Beverage service

Pattole Palome, the name reflecting a collection of local Kodava folklore, is the nerve centre of Ibnii. Grey coloured building has incorporated existing trees to form little gardens within and has open views of the woods and the serene water body. It houses the three restaurants, library, boardroom, indoor games area and the office block.   Multi cuisine restaurant, The Fig is the buzzing area with buffet spreads of breakfast, lunch or dinner with bird calls and natural sounds for music. Balelle (‘banana leaf’) on the lower level serves vegetarian fare prepared with locally available seasonal vegetables, many of which are grown at in-house organic garden. Traditional meal (thali) here has endless varieties of tasty dishes served on copper plate lined with banana leaf. Pandi (pork) with rice roti is a local staple worth trying. Masi Kande, just above, is a romantic barbecue place under the canopy of stars. Enjoying succulent seafood, meat, and mushrooms roast with local spices amidst cool breeze makes for a fond memory.

Chef Manager Ranjan Samal welcomes guests to the kitchen to learn a local dish or two or just to watch what is cooking. They don’t use any preservatives or chemical additives and make their own masalas, preserves, pickles, mouth fresheners, digestives and other accompaniments. Many vegetables are sourced from in house organic garden. For others, they source only from vendors who have the same sensitivity towards environment.

Way to villa at Ibnii

Green measures

A morning prayer by all staff involving a pledge of care for nature heralds the commitment towards protecting the environment.

Few trees felled during construction are being recompensed by planting more trees that are endemic to the region. All remaining land, as part of the founder’s vision, is restored to natural process of afforestation.

TIECOP -The Ibnii Environment Conservation Program aims for a self-sustainable model in multiple areas in next 4 years to serve as a model for corporate governance in responsible tourism.

The resort has a robust waste segregation system where the organic waste is used in a vermicompost to generate high-yield, organic manure which in turn is used in the green house to grow fresh organic vegetables and fruits.

Menu on Ipad at all restaurants reduce use of paper. In-house tailoring facility recycles damaged linen, steel fruit and vegetable crates are used instead of plastic ones in kitchens. Drop pops are used in place of finger bowls at restaurants for washing hands.

Nearly five million litres of water is collected through rainwater harvesting at three large water catchment areas every year. State-of-the-art sewage treatment plant helps use treated water in landscaping and other utilities.

The resort is also in the process of getting its LEED (Leaders in Energy & Environmental Design) certification.

Kaldee Kophee-Coffee House at Ibnii Resort

Experiences

Morning walk along the woods with an in-house naturalist ushers in a breath of pure air and awakening of senses with natural calls of earthy creatures. Facts about plants and trees create a fresh bonding with nature. The walk ends at the yoga hut at the lakefront. The rainwater harvested lake has many ducks quacking around.

Tibetan monastery and Golden temple at Bylakuppe in nearby Kushalnagar is a pleasant tourist spot to be visited.

Karnataka has highest number of elephants and naturally rich, Madikeri district is home to many of those. Guests can bathe with elephants or just enjoy actions of the friendly giants at the State run Dubare elephant camp situated 20 minute’s drive away.

Spa offers Indian, oriental as well as European treatments.

Kaldee Kophee

Kaldee Kophee, the coffee house at Ibnii is a cosy place tucked at the green foothills and a guide makes the walk of few yards interesting with coffee stories. Kaldee a Sufi goatherd, who noticed enhanced energy in his goats after they nibbled on some red beans, took some beans and showed to village elders, who rubbished them and threw into the campfire. Kaldee picked beans from fire and immediately put them into water to douse fire. Drinking infused water had a psycho active effect and eventually became popular. Popular story says that an Indian Sufi traveller to Ethiopia had stealthily brought back a few coffee beans to start cultivation at Coorg in India. Arabia and Robusta type of plants can be identified, along with intercropping trees of jackfruit, cashew, cardamom, cloves, pepper and others.

Guests can easily spend a few hours at the coffeehouse, learning about coffee beans, roasting and making, hands on cookie and chocolate making, reading, chatting, or lazing inside or by the beautiful pond outside. Can buy freshly ground, bio-natural, Ibnii coffee and cookies for that fragrant memory with morning cuppa back home.

Verdict: Sensitive luxury of Ibnii makes for a satisfying holiday. It sure is the destination for the growing eco-conscious clan across the globe.

Written by Anand & Madhura Katti

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