Back from a very adventurous and exhausting road trip, we were yearning for a do-nothing vacation. A vacation where we would be pampered, eat like royalty and just put up our feet and do…nothing. But not the luxury hotel, spa kind of vacation. We had been through some rather dangerous terrain, but were still hankering for a few days out in the countryside. Once bitten twice shy: we had just walked away from a disastrous experience, so we went to the experts, Linger Leisure. A quick call to Sameer about our favourite holiday destination, Balur, revealed that the estate was battling crazy rains, but their new property, Golden Wood at Harley Estate in Sakleshpur was doing better.
Sameer promised us an idyllic stay in a brick cottage in the middle of a plantation. Sure enough, the Linger property at Harley Estate is deep inside the plantation. A leisurely four hour drive from Bangalore (we don’t believe in racing on our vacations), we reached the Estate around lunch time, guided by the excellent directions provided by the wonderful folks at Linger Leisure.
A short wait outside the Estate manager’s house, we climbed into a jeep and were driven deep into the plantation to our accommodation, a charming brick cottage!
The cottage, furnished to accommodate 4 people was enveloped in the divine smell of a wood fire. A curious glance into the bathroom revealed that our bath water was being heated just behind the cottage on a wood fire! The pièce de résistance? The bathroom was constructed around a tree! I could already feel the stress evaporating!
After dumping our stuff and a quick wash, we walked out to see a lavish spread set up outside the room. Meal times with Linger Leisure are a delight for the gourmand! Simple, home cooked meals packed with local flavours, I’ve had some of my most memorable meals at Linger properties.
Eat like royalty. Check.
The Harley Estate experience was just what we were craving. Rustic and simple, but in no way impoverished or inadequate. The caretaker Ravi and Vijay, one of the staff members, ensured our stay was perfect, with their courteous service. Having walked through the estate at Balur several times, we thought we knew what to expect from a plantation. Boy, were we in for a surprise! I am as urban as it gets, so walking through the dense plantation was akin to a randonnée in the jungle!
Vijay led us through the plantation, pointing out the coffee plants and various trees. We walked under the tall towering trees providing shade to the lush green coffee plants…jumped over and ducked under trees felled by lightning till we reached the river.
A delightful picnic spot, we spent a few quiet moments there soaking in the serenity of the place. And then Vijay said waterfall! Off we went, crossing the river beyond the pretty little cottage which houses the electricity generating pump house to the cascade.
Soak in the countryside. Check.
Back at the cottage, we lounged on the easy chairs outside the room sipping coffee and catching up on reading, fanned by a gentle breeze and enveloped by the sounds and smells of the plantation, till sun down when Vijay and Ravi set up the bonfire for us!
Yes, we were lucky enough to get a clear evening and got to stretch out our legs in front of the crackling fire and watch fireflies darting amidst the plants, despite it being the monsoon season!
Relax, do nothing. Check.
Needless to say, we left Golden Wood with that now familiar feeling of rested content that accompanies a Linger Leisure holiday, rejuvenated and ready to take on the big bad world. Thank you Linger Leisure for being the most wonderful hosts!