Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu isn’t one of those top tourist destinations that travel enthusiasts aspire to explore. It is a hidden gem tucked away in the slopes of Palani Hills that you chance upon unwittingly and in that experience lies the real beauty of this place. While the hill station is a popular retreat for people living in nearby cities, it remains largely unknown to the rest of the country. Our chance encounter with Kodaikanal led us to another soul-satisfying discovery – the Vue Kodaikanal, a farm stay offering by Ecorganic Stay.
Arriving at Vue Kodaikanal
It was during a destination wedding in Ooty that we heard the some of the locals gushing about this serene hill town not so far away and decided to add it to your bucket list. As the curtains came down on the wedding festivities, we decided to use the weekend ahead of us for exploring Kodaikanal since most of the local sight-seeing had already been done at the cost missing out on some wedding rituals over the past three days. A cab at our disposal and our bags packed, we headed to unwind in the lap of nature at Kodaikanal.
The 250 km stretch between the two hill stations traverses through lush green slopes, with mist-laden air adding to the charm of the drive. The myriad patches of unadulterated nature along the way make you give in to the urge of rolling down your windows and sticking your head out for a brush with pristine, clean air. Seven hours of being on the road with constant chatter, music and several pit stops for chai later, we finally rolled into Kodaikanal. The navigation was pretty accurate on this one, and we reached our destination, Vue Kodaikanal, located between Coakers Walk and the Kodaikanal Lake, easily.
Stay at Vue Kodaikanal
We were in luck to have found a spot at this eco-organic stay for our desired dates at the last minute, as the property is usually booked for months ahead. There could not have been a better place to experience the unbridled serenity of Kodaikanal than here. Set in a colonial condo, the property exudes an infectious sense of calm and peace that has been blended in with all the conceivable modern-day comfort you can crave on a holiday. As you walk through the imposing gates and over the sprawling lawns stretching ahead of this farm stay resort, there is a sudden disconnect with the hectic urban way of life. It almost seems as if the time has slowed down around you.
Entering inside the condo, you are greeted by a spacious living room complete with a snooker table and a bar counter in the corner, promising a mix of rejuvenation and relaxation. The property, which is a unit of Ecorganic Farmstays, is run and managed by a staff of five, complete with a butler and all. Our attendant ushered us into the room on the first floor of this building. As we drew open the curtains, we were greeted by a breathtaking view of the hill slopes merging into a wide expanse of plains that stretched as far as the eye could see. The lush greens contrasting against the clear blue skies, save for a lone cloud hanging about, made for a treat the eyes could not get enough of.
We order our coffees to be delivered to our rooms and enjoyed our steaming hot cuppa out on the balcony, with a cool breeze flirting with our hair. We settled for a light South Indian lunch of sambhar and dosa before a nice, long siesta.
On the recommendation of the staff, we ventured out for an evening stroll at the Kodai Lake, which is in every sense of the word the lifeline of this town. One thing led to another, and we ended up taking a boat ride followed by cycling around the lake’s periphery, spending the entire evening by the lake. By the time we walked back into our resort, the sun had nearly set and the chef was waiting to take our order for dinner. On his recommendation, we settled for Chettinad chicken, a special lamb curry and steamed rice. While our dinner was being prepared, we decided to put the time at hand to good use with a few beers and a game of snooker. Considering we were a party of novices, the gaming session turned out to be more of a laugh riot with practically no balls potted, not the right ones anyway.
The dinner blew our minds. The classic over-the-top fiery Chettinad Chicken and the intricate balance of flavours in the lamb curry kept us going back for more long after our appetites had been duly satiated. That meal was soul food and it called for eating to our hearts’ content. The fact that the ingredients are grown organically on the property definitely enhanced the flavours of these regional delicacies. With full stomachs and fuller hearts, we retired to our rooms for the night.
Since we had only one day to spend at Kodaikanal, we decided to start early and began with a morning stroll on Coakers Walk, which is bustling with locals getting their daily dose of fitness. Our attendant had recommended a hike to the Dolphin’s Nose but we were in no mood for muscle flexing, so we settled for taking in the view of this important landmark from the end point of the Coakers Walk, where we sat for a long time chattering about.
As the sun began to climb up, we began our descent to the farm stay, where a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausages, toast, and filter coffee awaited us. We had decided to spend the rest of the morning lounging about when the thoughtful staff at Vue Kodaikanal decided to put together a nice high tea for us out on the lawns. By now, the sky was fairly overcast and it made the perfect setting to indulge in this colonial extravaganza.
In the evening, we decided to head out to explore the bazaars of this sleepy hill town and returned with bags full of exotic chocolates and spices that Kodaikanal is famous for. The rest of the evening was spent lazying about in the living room, as we waited for the chefs to spin up yet another toothsome meal.
Kodaikanal checks all the boxes of a quintessential hill town with a laidback vibe that helps you tone down and unwind. The real highlight of our stay was the time spent at the Vue Kodaikanal farm stay. The property is so tastefully done up that all the modern day luxuries blend in seamlessly with a rustic charm, creating the perfect recipe for a relaxing stay. We loved the warmth and hospitality so much that stepping out for touristic explorations seemed unnecessary. If you are looking for some calm and quiet to help you rejuvenate with an extra helping of luxurious pampering, Vue Kodaikanal is the haven you seek. You stay here may draw to a close but a piece of Vue Kodaikanal will stay with you forever.