Review: Affordable luxury at Tea Nest, Coonoor and Tea Nest Nightingale, Kotagiri
It was in February that we got a chance to visit Kurumba Village Resort in Coonoor which is a property of Nature Resorts. We were glad to visit Coonoor and Kotagiri again in November and in both the places, our home for a few days were Nature Resort properties – Tea Nest Coonoor and Tea Nest Nightingale 😃 . I shall be sharing about my experiences about staying in these places and a few pics that will make you book your next trip there!
Tea Nest Coonoor
Tea Nest Coonoor has been around for a long time and they have been expanding by adding more rooms in the vicinity. The directions for Tea Nest was very well marked along the path and google does a good job of showing us the right directions too. As soon as we enter the property, we are greeted by a colourful pop of flowers blooming in every corner. A quiet resting area outside the main building impressed me and I quickly noted a spot in the far corner as my evening tea space!
While we were finishing up the check in process, my son was occupied with toys in the play area. So much so that, we had to wait until he was done playing and then we had to check in to our room.
There is a reception, play area, 4 rooms and a dining hall in the main building of Tea Nest. Outside this main building, in the middle of small tea plantations, is another mansion with 4 more rooms – here is where we stayed for a day. Lemon grass was our room name and it has a big balcony, veranda, two rooms – one main and another small one with double bed, preferably for kids.
After relaxing, we opted for a tea tasting session and were enlightened about the different types of tea and we tasted all types too! The session was very informative and I was really surprised to know how expensive or cheap can tea be and how they are classified depending on its processing method!
In the dinner, we had an interesting ‘Tea Menu’ option, where every dish in the course was made from tea! The concept was exciting and we weren’t disappointed with it 😃 Here is a picture of the food in tea menu.
Next morning, we went for a walk outside Tea Nest property into the Singaara Tea plantations. The area is not very crowded yet not secluded. We encountered vehicles occasionally, otherwise, it was just us and the tea gardens!
After a light breakfast, we checked out of Tea Nest as we had our booking for the day at Tea Nest Annexe which was just one kilometer away from the Tea Nest property.
Tea Nest Annexe
Tea Nest Annexe is a relatively new property when compared to Tea Nest. This property is nestled uphill, in between the tea gardens. As it is located slightly on a higher altitude, it offers beautiful views with tea plantations in the foreground while the Bakasura Mountain loom in the far distance.
There are just 2 rooms in Tea Nest Annexe – a cosy and warm hiding place with great views when the evening dew of Coonoor sets in. This place is perfect for a family of 4 or 6, so that we can have the place all for ourselves and enjoy a sweet family vacation in a lovely spot. The manger also told me that many couples prefer this place and why not? It’s so serene and beautiful!
There is also a small play area which shares the space with a cosy dining hall. There is also an outdoor dining setup where can eat the delicious food prepared by the chef with a spectacular view. Taking about food, a special mention about the quality and taste of food in the Nature Resort properties needs a special mention here. Be it Kurumba Village resort or Tea Nest or Tea Nest annexe or Tea Nest Nightingale (about which I’ve written further down in this article) – the food is absolutely lip smacking and smashingly delicious. I wasn’t disappointed even once – every single item served in the three days of our vacation was just perfect!
Rinith, my son is a very fussy eater. He always sticks to his comfort foods and never tries new things nor eats spicy food. So, we always request something different for him. Every request of ours was accommodated and was served in minutes which was very impressive! Happy child = Happy mother!
In the evening, we went out for a short ‘Nature walk’ and spotted many Indian Guar/Bisons. Rinith was so excited to see them in their natural habitat! So much so that he started telling the whole story of ‘How we spotted the Bison’ when he peeped into my laptop screen while I was writing this! 😂
Tea Nest Nightingale
Well well, this place blew my mind away! It was after a long journey from Bangalore (7 hours), we reached Kotagiri, which is approx. 35-40 km away from Ooty and Coonoor. And as soon as we entered the premises of Tea Nest Nightingale, we loved the place so much that we didn’t check in to our room immediately. We spent some time in the garden, watching endless tea plantations that laid out a beautiful show in front of us and huge chain of mountains that stood in the far distance. A mild drizzle drove us to shelter. Then is when we got into our room and a surprise was waiting for us there too!
We were allotted ‘Hoopoe’ room and as soon as we entered the room, we were busy pushing the luggage bags inside while Rinith shouted with joy, ‘My own room!’ I turned around and saw him nowhere. That is when I realised that there were stairs that take us to the loft above where there was a whole room laid out for kids!
Honestly, Rinith was so occupied going up and down the stairs that he didn’t bother us with his usual tantrums! He was thrilled with the concept of a room within a room.
It must have been roughly 20 minutes since we arrived and we were told that the lunch was ready! I was happy and surprised at the same time. Happy because I was really hungry and surprised because our order was taken after we arrived and were told that it will take 40 minutes to prepare the lunch as they have to prepare it from the scratch. I was a little down due to bad health but the yum food cheered me up! Was so impressed with the Gobi Manchurian, that we ordered a second serving.
I was excited about the Horse riding activity in the Tea plantations but it was cancelled because that was the first day of monsoon in Kotagiri and the non-stop rains made sure that the land was damp. So, riding a horse that too in tea gardens with a swampy ground was a risky affair and best avoided for well-being of both – the horse and the horse riders! 😂
But, that didn’t stop us from visiting the Tea factory. We were given directions to the Tea factory and the manager there was informed that we would be arriving in a few minutes. The directions were clear enough for us to spot the place. We were given a step wise break-up and a complete tour of how the tea is made – right from sourcing the leaves to the packaging of tea. In this session, we were educated about how different types of tea are made and how every step in tea making is crucial which might make or break the production of every batch of tea produced.
After returning back from the Tea factory, we spent the evening reading some books in the mini library near the reception.
The rain couldn’t dampen our spirits; in fact it romanticized the atmosphere 💖
For dinner, we had a special ‘Spices Menu’ in which every dish in the course was made from spices! Take a look here:
Sun welcomed us into the morning with a bright sunshine and we couldn’t be happier! While the previous day was spent watching the clouds towering over the tea plantations, we spent that day with a clear view of tea gardens stretching far and wide.
The cool hammock in the middle of the lush green tea plants was a very thoughtful idea and was my favourite corner too! There was a constant battle between Rinith and me, as to who occupies the hammock. Neetan was a silent spectator who was torn between the decision – whether to support his wife or son! 😂
Related Reading: Who are we?
There are 4 rooms in Tea Nest Nightingale – 2 with the loft and 2 without. Check out the video at the end of this article to get an idea about the rooms with a loft.
Another interesting thing I noticed here was just near the entrance, there is a display of hats and an umbrella corner. When asked, we were told that these hats are for the guests. Guests are welcome to use those if they’d like to get some pics clicked wearing these hats. Instagram frenzy people, are you listening? 😂
Honestly, if you ask my favourites among these three, I’d say – Tea Nest Annexe and Tea Nest Nightingale. Especially Nightingale – the property is so close to Kotagiri town, yet so close to nature. Its quaint, kind of secluded and a whole bunch of tea gardens are at display in our front yard. As the day changes, we can see vivid colors of nature, and watch in silence as clouds drift away from one mountain to another. It’s truly a value for money and every penny spent is worth for a holiday like this!
Video tour of Tea Nest, Annexe and Nightingale:
How to book?
Visit their website and you can book your favorite room from there!
For Tea Nest Coonoor : http://www.natureresorts.in/teanest/
For Tea Nest Annexe: www.natureresorts.in/teanest-annexe/
For Tea Nest Nightingale : www.natureresorts.in/teanest-nightingale/
We were guests to the kind people at Nature Resorts. Opinions as always are our own.