Honey Pot Homes is a delightful homestay surrounded by the coffee plantations of Coorg, in southern Karnataka. The homestay aims to provide guests with modern facilities and comforts amidst a jungle setting, and it certainly doesn't disappoint.
Location and Setting
For coffee lovers, it doesn't get much better than this! Honey Pot Homes homestay is set right in the middle of a 225 acre coffee estate in Coorg. The homestay is situated a 5-10 minute drive from the region's main town of Madikeri and its surrounding attractions, and it is best if you have your own transport.
Coorg, also known as Kodagu, is a leafy and lush mountainous area that stretches for over 4,000 kilometers (1,600 miles) along the Western Ghats of Karnataka, and is separated from Kerala by the Brahmagiri range. It's most easily reached from nearby Mysore or Bangalore. The area is renowned for its coffee plantations, which contribute around 60% of India's coffee production.
Honey Pot Homes, and the coffee and spice estate that it's located on, is owned and operated by a very welcoming and warm-hearted joint family -- Shamveel Nizam, his brother Faisal Siddique, and their wives Ruhi and Taranum. They are highly regarded and active in the local community, and have a long history with the coffee plantation. It's been in their family for more than 150 years.
Even if you're not a fan of coffee, Honey Pot Homes still has much to offer. Its serene setting is dominated by the soothing sounds of nature -- the eager chirping of crickets, melodious bird songs, and the enveloping patter of rain on the roof during the monsoon season. This makes the homestay a desirable destination for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Honey Pot Homes has three architecturally designed cottages, which were built in 2007. The cottages are set in a small cluster, a short distance away from the hosts' residence.
The hosts told me that they have permission for five cottages on their property, but would like to gain some hospitality experience first. I'm sure that it won't be long before the remaining cottages are built. I found the homestay to be very professionally run. It's obviously popular too, as all cottages were occupied during the time I was there.
Each of the cottages has an undercover front porch, which guests can sit out on. In addition, there's a paved communal patio in front of the cottages, which is attractively furnished with tables, chairs and large umbrellas. I really enjoyed unwinding and reading my book there.
The coffee plants are so close that they almost brush the sides of the cottages and overhang the communal patio.
Inside, the spacious and modern cottages are decorated in warm, rich colors. The framed miniature replicas of the swords carried by the Kodavas (the tribal people of the region) are a thoughtful feature, and hint of the region's interesting history.
However, the defining feature of the cottages is their loft -- a sun drenched area, which sleeps an additional two people, reachable by a small interior staircase. This makes Honey Pot Homes an excellent choice for families or friends traveling together, who would like to stay in the same room but still maintain their privacy.
Rates are 4,000 rupees per night for two people in a cottage, including breakfast.
Meals and Food
The food at Honey Pot Homes is fresh, tasty, and made to order. Both Indian and continental food is served, depending on what guests prefer. Fresh coffee from the estate completes the spread.
One of the really enticing things about Honey Pot Homes is that guests are offered a wide choice of dining locations. The options include in their cottage, under an umbrella on the communal patio, in the hosts' home, or in the tree house that's nestled in the plantation. This undoubtedly gives Honey Pot Homes wide appeal. Children will appreciate dining in the tree house just as much as a romantic couple will.
The hosts filled me in on the unique birthday surprises that they'd prepared for their guests, so any special occasion at Honey Pot Homes is sure to be memorable.
Since I was traveling alone, I chose to eat with the hosts in their home. Not only did they make me feel like a part of their family, they also went out of they way to cook some of my favorite foods -- beef (which I rarely get to eat in India), and fish curry. They also served me a delicious cheese pasta bake with an Indian touch. It had to be the best pasta bake I'd ever eaten!
Amenities and Activities
The modern amenities available at Honey Pot Homes include wireless Internet (in the hosts' home and surrounding area) and satellite television. Cottages are equipped with a tea and coffee maker, 24 hour hot water, and back-up generator for when the power supply is interrupted (a common occurrence around monsoon time).
The hosts have a beautiful landscaped garden in front of their home, which can be enjoyed by guests. There's also a small playground for kids, and the hosts' young children are always on the lookout for new playmates.
The hosts give a tour of the coffee plantation every afternoon at 3.30 p.m. Participants are taken on a guided walk though the estate. Those staying at Honey Pot Homes during the coffee harvesting season (November to February) will also have the opportunity to take part in the harvest. This is a particularly fun activity for children, who are rewarded with chocolates for their contribution.
During winter, guests can enjoy warming themselves around a bonfire at night.
If guests feel like venturing further afield for sightseeing, that can easily be arranged too. There are a number of attractions in the area including Raja's Seat lookout, Abbey Falls, Mercara Fort, and the Nyingmapa Tibetan Monastery. Its Golden Temple is simply magnificent.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.