Far from the din of city life, snuggled amidst the coffee plantation is a little oasis of tranquility where the day starts and ends with coffee…. join us on a journey through Malnad.
If you have seen our Instagram feed, you might have already got a clue. This post is all about coffee, coffee, and more coffee…
Last week, I got an opportunity to be part of an Experiential Bloggers retreat organized by Skreem at The Serai, Chikmagalur. It was one helluva trip with 9 other bloggers.
( Ps: If you’re a blogger, do download the Skreem App. They have some amazing campaigns in the works )
Chikmagalur – Home to the first coffee plantation in India and is 250 km from Bangalore. It took us around 4-5 hours to reach the resort. As soon as we arrived, we were welcomed by the waft of brewed coffee and garlands of jasmine flowers.
The staff guided us to the sky lounge for a welcome drink and the refreshment that was waiting for us. Introduction and briefing about the resort followed quickly. Post that we were all ushered to our villa.
ABOUT THE SERAI CHIKMAGALUR
The Serai Chikmagalur is set amidst 70 acres of coffee plantation and is owned by Cafe Coffee Day group. The other properties owned by The Serai are at Kabini, Bandipur, and Andamans. The Serai Chikmagalur goes by the tagline – “Inspired By Coffee“.
The roots of coffee’s history in India began with Baba Budan who smuggled seven beans from Yemen and planted on the hills of Chikmagalur which is renamed as Baba Budan hills. He introduced coffee beans in India. Chikmagalur ideal coffee- growing condition was a boon and it became the home to the first coffee plantation in India. The main variety of coffee that is grown in Chikmagalur is Arabica, which is grown in shade. Cafe Coffee Day is one of the major exporters from India.
Karnataka is one of the major exporter of Coffee to other countries, which is more than 70% of the total coffee produced in the country. #itsallaboutcoffee.
With the weather just about perfect, The Serai, Chikmagalur is an ideal destination to escape to a blissful solitude in the lap of nature and rejuvenate. A perfect retreat to soak in all the greenness, whilst your time in your own private pool or jacuzzi, grab a cup of homegrown coffee and settle down with a long-pending book.
The resort has in total of 29 Villas – Estate Villa with Jacuzzi, Estate Villa with Pool, Estate Terrace, and The Residence.
The villas are crafted ideally for R&R and to wipe all your maddening stress with a refreshing coffee whiff as your wake-up call. We stayed at Estate Villa with Pool.
All villas are extravagantly furnished in a soothing palette of beige, cream and brown. Moreover, tropical garden flatteringly hugs the villas and has access to a private pool/ jacuzzi with outdoor showers. The Villas cater not only to couples but to families too. Each villa has a range of amenities from LED TVs, minibar, coffee maker, hairdryer to name a few. Bathrooms are quite dope too.
At Jacuzzi Villa, the private pool is replaced by Jacuzzi. Rest everything stays the same.
Odyssey – The restaurant overlooks the villa and offers mesmerizing views. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner is served here. There are also live counters where the Chef dishes out lip-smacking Malnad and South Indian delicacies.
Blue Sky Lounge –
Order a drink and immerse yourself in the beauty that surrounds you at the lounge bar.
Other Activities & Facilities
With ample space and multiple facilities, the resort is perfect for couples, families, and friends. Gym, Gift Shop, Library, Recreation room with indoor games like Table Tennis and Snooker are some of the highlights of the property.
Stay at The Serai is more about experiences that are gonna be etched in your mind for a lifetime. We’ve listed some of the experiences you can’t afford to miss.
– Experiences to Savor –
– Devour Malnad Cuisines –
Sampling local food is one of the best things about travel and devouring Malnad delicacies is a treat for your taste buds. Prior to this trip, I had no clue about Malnad Cuisine and how it is different from Malabar or other regional cuisines.
Served on a banana leaf, Malnad delicacies are highly influenced by the culture and geography and is quite a unique mishmash. We were served a multitude of dishes, ranging from the traditional Kudubu to Hurlisaru.
If you are wondering what are the names of all the delicacies in the above pic, we’ve listed down all the lip-smacking dishes we had –
Harlikai Gojju – Made from the local Pomelos marinated.
Kosumbari – Soaked Urad Dal with fresh cucumber and coconut tempered in South Indian style.
Kalule Palya – Made from a locally procured fresh Bamboo shoot.
Halsinkai – Raw jackfruit
Bendekai Gojju – Fried tender Okra Gravy
Hurlisaru – Horse gram reduction
Kaima Unde – Mutton balls
Eery Fry – Mutton liver
Kesa – Colocasia leaves
Holige & Thupa – Pancakes served with ghee
Kudubu – Rice dumplings served with a local chicken
Gangalada Dosa – Local “Oul” river fish served with tawa roasted local dosa.
Mavinhanina Gojju – Mini mangoes dipped in a sweet yogurt masala with tadka
Steamed Rice with Rasam
Halagana Hittu – Sweet made with milk and flour
Kuskus Payasa – Roasted Poppy seeds, grounded and slowly simmered in a sweetened milky concoction.
Quite a drool-worthy experience to give a miss, I must say!!!
– Coffee Talk –
Behind every cup of coffee is a story….On this trip, we had a tete-a-tete with none other than the man behind the perfect cup of coffee at Cafe Coffee Day — Dr. Pradeep Kenjige. We talked at length about coffee – Everything from the cheapest instant coffees to one of the world’s most expensive coffees – Kopi Luwak – made with civet’s poop.
We got an insight into the homegrown coffee, how it is grown in India, varieties, about various plantations in India and the world, how to distinguish and above all drinking coffee the right way.
( Trivia: 4 shots of caffeine is good for health and no one flavor should outweigh another )
– Factory Visit –
For all coffee lovers, factory visit is another experience you don’t want to skip whilst your stay at the resort. You’ll get an insight into the entire process in the journey of the coffee from seed to cup — Starting from harvesting the seeds, to processing and packaging. The seeds picked from the plantation are brought to the factory, where it is segregated and the finer ones are roasted to desired color and temperature. Once the roasting is done, they are grounded and packed accordingly.
On this trip, we got a chance to visit the research lab which was quite an experience in itself. I used to hang out a lot at CCD ( that’s what we used to refer Cafe Coffee Day ) with my friends during school and engineering days. So looking at the old cups was quite a trip down the memory lane.
At the lab, we also got an opportunity to taste different types of tea & coffee that Cafe Coffee day exports – Black coffee, vending machine lemon tea, Pomegranate dry fruits, Peppermint green tea, Chamomile lemon honey & Blue Butterfly plee flower.
– Detox at Oma Spa –
Rejuvenate your senses and detox yourself by opting for their signature therapy – Coffee Cure. A generous amount of grounded coffee is massaged and scrubbed from top to toe which will leave your body feeling relaxed and soothe any aching muscles.
– Soak in the Beauty / Nature Walks –
You are bound to fall in love walking or biking around the beautiful property – a treasure trove of splendid beauty. As you step out in the silence for a while, you’ll find twittering of birds for the company, whiff of fresh air brushing against your skin and soothing your inner soul.
– Plantation Walk –
Don your trekking shoes, slather yourself with mosquito repellent and head for a plantation walk at the resort. You’ll get a much clearer understanding of the journey of the coffee processing steps from the seeds to the final product. 🙂
On the last day of our stay, we snaked our way through the plantation, Pavan shared with us a plethora of knowledge about the estate and various trees planted and their significance. It was an amazing experience!
– Romantic Dinner –
On a special request, beautiful romantic set up can be done under a canopy of a Banyan tree for a sumptuous meal too.
– Heritage Trail –
Make sure to delve into the glorious history of Hoysala dynasty. Book yourself a half day trip to Belur and Halebidu and get awed by the splendid architecture that speaks volumes about the rich history of the bygone era.
If you want R&R away from the mundane city life, you can’t go wrong with a couple of days at this beautiful property. Nestled away in the lap of a picturesque plantation it is a haven of peace and tranquility. For coffee aficionados, you get to satisfy your coffee craving direct from the source.
The message is clear here – soak in the beauty, breathe in some fresh air, rejuvenate, detox and get inspired by Coffee.
– Places to Visit/ Things to Do in Chikmagalur –
Trek to Kudremukh
Falls – Hebbe Falls, Kalhatti Falls
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary
Kudremukh National Park
HOW TO REACH THERE
The Serai Chikmagalur is just 250 km away from Bangalore. From the airport, it takes around 4-5 hours to reach the resort. You can also opt for a helicopter ride to reach the resort.
Nearest Airport: Bangalore, Mangalore
( Pic Credits: Skreem, Candid Theory )
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Thanks a ton 🙂
Nicely put. Loved the pics, I’m sure you had a great time there.
Yes, we had a great time at the resort 🙂
What a fun blogger retreat! I love coffee and would love to learn more about how it is grown – looks like this is a fantastic place to relax for a few days!
Sound like you had a fabulous trip! I love reading stories like that! The snacks looks fabulous! I love that villa as well! I had ones pool in my room and I know how amazing it feels like :D. Great photos!
Your hotel looks posh! and i love how they serve food in a traditional way. love it! especially the coffee tasting!
This place looks just amazing! How lucky you are to get an invite, it looks like a tropical oasis. I know nothing about India, but this resort is something I will bookmark. I also love coffee, and your photos look so tempting. That private pool isn’t bad either!
absolutely stunning photos. It looks like it was an amazing experience, and such a rich and fascinating story behind the coffee. That curry looked amazing too.
Everything looks amazing here, the rooms, the pool the bath…but most of all I would like to visit and try the coffee, since I am addicted to this warm beverage.
I love the green surrounding of the resort. Sounds like you had the time of your life! I would like to try the food too 😉
I have always wanted to visit India and the Serai Chikmagalur looks like a lovely retreat. It’s always nice to meet up with other bloggers too. And for a coffee lover – the location looks like heaven. Great pics!
I love the story about smuggling in the coffee beans! That would have definitely been me as I can’t live without my coffee ? Gorgeous pics as well and the villa ( bath goals! ) and the food looks so amazing!
I like the video even though it was short. It showed a good coverage of this resort. I like the food selections a lot. They look well-prepared and presented. I would like to eat my food on a banana leaf too. They probably taste better than serving on a plate.
I never really associate India with Coffee, just tea. I’m a HUGE coffee person. I’m currently in Central America, it’s my coffee spirit home haha. Now I’m going to have to add in a coffee tour when I visit India as well as a tea tour. Your images are stunning and this place looks so luxurious!
We went to Coorg a couple of years ago and loved out coffee experiences there as well…the Taj surely took care of us very very well. I am sure the Serai would have been awesome…I love rooms with a huge tub and a plunge pool! I would love to try loads of coffee flavoured desserts as well..the chef seems to know his stuff well and I am sure there would be some yummy treats at the dessert counter!
The property looks stunning. I had been to coorg and chikmagalur couple of years back. Loved the nature there and obviously the coffee plantations but didn’t stay at this property. Would love to explore it and their coffee flavoured desserts. Looks yummy.
Wow, this place looks amazing! It puts together all things I like the most: travel, culture, relax and coffee 🙂
It is so nice to see they are looking after the surroundings and educating guests about the plantations and the culture. Definetly a place I would like to go.
Your photos look so good too!
Wow, the malnad food looks delicious and so interesting! Interesting history on the first coffee plantation in India. Also I’m glad you got to experience the weather at its best 🙂
Nice coverage of Chikmagalur and its surrounding places. The propert of Serai looks luxurious and a nice hideout from hustle and bustle of the citylife. Completed relaxing and full of nature. Malnad delicacies is having lots of varieties and those coffee flavored desserts looks tastier.
The resort seems wonderful! Was the welcome drink also coffee-based? I would love to taste the different coffees & teas! And all that Indian food, so yummy!! 🙂
I love love coffee. I’m one of those people who can’t function without having my morning sip. And that resort looks very relaxing, the perfect place to have a retreat.
This is my kind of place ? I live for coffee and this place looks so relaxing and luxurious. You’ve taken some lovely photos!
Serai Chikmagalur sounds like a great getaway from Bangalore. An abode of luxury and comfort amidst the lush green surroundings and the tranquil atmosphere is definitely something we look for as a break from the chaotic city. The Malnad delicacies look delicious and tempting. Looks like you guys had a great time.
I have never stayed at a resort before and this would be right up my alley. That pink drink sealed the deal. How awesome is it that you were able to go on a retreat with bloggers? It looks like I need to put India on my bucket list since I actually adore Indian food.
Now this is a place I could chill out in. The accommodation looks comfy, the pool looks refreshing and the food looks divine. I would consider staying here when I get to Bangalore one day 🙂
Love this blog post! Everything looks so perfect, the food looks amazing, the hotel gorgeous and relaxing. Ummm…and the coffee yum! I am passing this blog on to the hubby who loves him some coffee!
The Serai, Chikmagalur looks like the perfect place to stay. You’ve photographed the resort beautifully. The food options look amazing as do the on site facilities. I can only imagine how good the coffee smell is out there!
This resort looks stunning and anything to do with coffee is good for us! love the relaxing vibe of this place. In fact the pictures have come out really well.
As a huge coffee fan, The Serai looks like a perfect place to stay. I like the interesting history about the seeds smuggled from Yemen. You photographed the resort wonderfully. I will also check out that Skreem app!
Coffee, pools, and that romantic dinner spot?!? Sign me up for the next retreat. Looks like you had an amazing relaxing time. I bet it was hard to leave 🙂
What a gorgeous place for a coffee retreat. I could sit by that pool all day long! The pink drink and all the food looks so good, too!
Looks like a super luxurious experience!
Yes, it was an amazing experience dear 🙂
What an incredible luxury experience! Those pools are beautiful and the food looks amazing! Lovely lifestyle shots too!
A great read. Looks like a real fun trip! I also love coffee, so learning more about where it comes from is something I would like to do!
Who knew that a couple of stolen coffee beans from Yemen, would have such an impact on an entire country. Well you definitely have to thank the Baba Budan because the resort is amazing and without him, it would be non-exisistent. I love your pictures, really captures the essence and beauty of the resort!
This is a place where I would love to spend weekends. The pool area is so lovely and well maintained.
Chikmanglur has attracted my attention since long. I have never been there yet. Serai looks amazing, especially that bath tub which opens to garden. I love Malnad delicacies. They have a very distinct flavor.
Wow setting amidst a coffee plantation? That’s a unique setting! The Malnad Cuisine looks interesting and I’d love to try that if I get a chance!!
The food sample display is so pretty! What a beautiful arrangement. I love to grow things and am always fascinated by the chance to see something growing and would really enjoy seeing the coffee plants. What a cool destination!
Such a lovely retreat to spend a few days. I haven’t been to India but this resort looks very enticing. I would particularly like to do the Malnad delicacies tasting!
Wow! The Serai Resort looks absolutely gorgeous! What a special setting and wonderul oppurtunity – I’d love to visit a coffee farm in India! But more importantly, what’s that pink drink you are enjoying at the pool? I hope it’s not pink coffee! Lol
What a beautiful place! I would love to dip into those pools or that tub! I’m a huge coffee lover so I enjoyed reading about this place. I could stay there forever. The closest I have been to plantation was at Hawaii and we didn’t have time to go in. Maybe someday…
Spending time at a place where you are literally serenaded by Coffee must have been an invigorating experience. The seamless integration of the resort with its natural environs makes it all the more endearing. Definitely a soothing getaway for the frayed nerves of the city.
This sounds so interesting, to go around the first plantation and visit the coffee factory. We do take coffee for granted even though it became an important part of everyday life. And coffee aside, how about that resort, it looks so comfortable and cozy, love the restaurant! 🙂
What an idyllic spot to relax. It looks like they take of you from head to toe. I think I would have to schedule the romantic dinner. That looks magical!
What an incredible resort for a calm retreat! The facilities look incredible, and the walk around the plantation sounds very interesting! I love coffee, so I’d love to learn how it is produced on site! Thanks for sharing 🙂
This looks like such a beautiful resort! I would love to spend a week here relaxing. Exploring a coffee factory would be a lot of fun too.
Wow, this really looks like an amazing place! The experiences appear top-notch and something I’d love to take part in. I never realized there was such a rich coffee region here
Lovely property. I have been hearing about this one very frequently of late. While everything is perfect, the Malnad platter is something out of the world. Sadly even when I was living in Bangalore, I could never make it to Chikmagalur! Also, I hadn’t realized that Helabidu and Belur are so nearby.
This is an awesome post about coffee in India. I wish I knew about it when we were in Bengaluru two years ago! My husband loves coffee and would have loved to visit this plantation. Also, I had no idea coffee in India originally came from Yemen!
First of all I LOVE that purple dress! It stands out so well against the lush backdrops. Coffee literally gives me (and I’m sure every other person on the planet) life, so it was really cool to read about it here! This place you stayed seems like the perfect little getaway! Was that welcome drink a coffee cocktail? Looked sooooo good!
This is a pure oasis of relaxation for any coffee lover! I would love to visit this coffee plantation at some point and stay in the resort. The private pool and the rose petal bath are so dreamy, together with the spacious rooms and the delicious food at the restaurants, I bet they make the visit perfect! I would also love to explore the grounds, as a coffee lover. I don’t think I have ever tried Indian coffee, I have never seen it in the UK.
What a wonderful place to be amid nature and all the coffee(I’m a huge coffee buff) Loved all the pictures and the food looks so tempting. The decor & ambience of the restaurant and the rooms & villas I’m sure are a delight to stay in. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post.
The Jacuzzi is so inviting to say the least! Also I have fascination toward hotels which have table tennis in its game room, I just love that indoor game. The food choices both sound and look divine. I can only imagine what an excellent time you must have had at the Serai Chikmaglur!
The pictures too good! Thanks for sharing.