During the Last monsoon season, I visited Coorg and stayed at 3 properties during my 8-day trip – the first of which was Island Homestay. After an 8-hour drive from Goa to Coorg, I was looking forward to a couple of days soaking in the silence, and this little Airbnb, which is situated in Napoklu, ticked all the boxes. Incidentally, this work-cation in Coorg was my first getaway since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.
ABOUT ISLAND HOMESTAY
If you haven’t been to Coorg before (it was my first time, too), you may not know that here, accommodation is all about homestays. There are 400 registered homestays in Coorg (and thousands of unregistered ones), along with a dozen or so hotels. Staying in a homestay or an Airbnb in Coorg is not only value for money, but gives travellers a chance to experience Kodava hospitality, try authentic Kodava cuisine and live like a local, surrounded by coffee plantations.
The Island Homestay guesthouse is a quaint little space located along the banks of the river Kaveri. The property retains a very organic and simple look to offer you the real feel of living in Coorg. It introduces guests to an exclusive experience of living in nature’s company. Tucked away in a quiet corner, the serene homestay is an ideal location if you are looking to indulge in a basic and simple living experience. The hosts go out of their way to make you feel comfortable, which is always such a heartwarming part of staying at homestays like these.
HOW TO REACH
The Island Homestay in Coorg is about 50 km from the Kannur Airport and you can easily find your way there via a cab, although it is best to travel via a self-drive car in Coorg. It is about 22 km from Madikeri – which is the city centre, and the road leading towards the homestay tapers into one riddled with potholes, so you truly feel like you’re going off-grid.
What sets the Island Homestay Guest House apart is its location – on an island, away from any urban or modern distractions. The island is surrounded on all sides by the river, except for one portion where your vehicle enters. You can go kayaking in the folds of the majestic Kaveri, swimming in the river, or hiking on the island.
ABOUT THE PROPERTY
If you are looking for a rustic escape from your fast-paced city life or a holiday on a budget, you’d like this property in Napoklu, Coorg. Most of the property is covered by forests and you will always have water a few meters away.
For guests, a simple BBQ area by the river offers space to sit out in the open, weather permitting. Adjacent to the two bedrooms on the property is a small lounge area that holds a table, a TV, and a few pieces of decor. This is where you’ll have your meals, converse, work, watch TV, play games – and generally spend all your time. The stay is best suited to backpackers, nature lovers, bachelors, and young adults travelling in a group. Whether you’d like to party all night, play music or watch a movie, you have the place to yourself to do what you enjoy.
There are only 2 rooms at The Island Homestay and even if you are one or two travellers who wish to occupy only one room, they block both rooms so that you can truly enjoy your privacy on the property. The rooms are pretty bare – with only a bed on one side and a mattress on the floor on the other side. Replacing the mattress on the floor with something more functional such as a cupboard, work table or couch would make the room much homier.
THINGS TO DO ON THE PROPERTY
While I’ve already touched upon the fact that you can go kayaking and swimming during your stay at Island Homestay, there’s a bit more you can plan to do. The owner takes guests on a short jeep ride through the jungles and coffee plantation to another part of the island, from where you can sit on the river banks. If the sky is clear, you can enjoy hours sitting on the banks of the Kaveri, basking in the beauty of nature. The bliss of disconnecting from work and focusing on your own needs is incomparable. Listen to the sound of birds, feel the water touch your toes or just let the cold breeze invigorate you as you relax with a book.
For those who work when they travel, I should caution that the network here is not the best. During my stay, the phone network (both mobile network and data) would mysteriously turn off every day at 10 PM due to an issue with the mobile tower nearby. There is Wi-Fi on the property which works fairly well during the day, and there are also certain spots on the property where you can be assured of a phone signal to make or receive work calls.
We were well taken care of by Santosh (the caretaker) and his wife (the cook) who ensured we were fed well from breakfast through to dinner. From chai and dosas to biryani, and from evening snacks to Coorg’s famous Pandi Curry and Baimbale (Bamboo Shoot Vegetable), we enjoyed our homely meals cooked on the property. Being a homestay, you will need to inform the caretaker of what you would like for your next meal in advance and you will have your meals cooked to your tastes.
By Jade Dsa | Images by Jade Dsa