CW Interiors |
Luxe Life | February 2013

Beauty in serenity

The new Vivanta by Taj - Madikeri, inspired by the traditional Coorg architecture and designs, offers breathtaking views of the hill station.

The panoramic views of the Coorg countryside take centre stage at the Vivanta by Taj - Madikeri, the latest addition to the Taj chain of resorts. Nestled amidst green foliage in the pristine hills of Coorg, the resort adopts 'luxury in the rainforest' as the guiding theme for its architecture and design.

The Vivanta by Taj - Madikeri is inspired by resorts in Australia and New Zealand, which use their breathtaking locales to maximum advantage. When the Madikeri project was being conceptualised, Pramod Ranjan, Promoter and Managing Director, Kaveri Retreats and Resorts decided that Coorg, the 'Scotland of India', also deserved to be showcased similarly in the upcoming resort. An in-house architecture and design team was thus set the task of giving shape to his vision.

Tribute to greenery

Madikeri, famous for its coffee and spice plantations, offers a spectacular backdrop for the hotel. With no hills being cut or rocks being displaced during construction, this eco-friendly hotel was planned around the expansive landscape. Located at an altitude of 4,000 feet above sea level, every window in this hotel becomes a frame for the picturesque scenery outside. The rooms, restaurants and the bar have sweeping views of the rainforest. The resort uses natural materials generously. Mud paints, displaced soil and re-cycled wood, tiles and natural river stones all contribute to the seamless layout of the hotel. The floors of the guestrooms are made of wood and the bathroom walls are clad with dark green or chocolate limestone. The common areas feature textured black granite and limestone flooring. Wood has been used for the ceiling throughout the hotel. The furniture of the hotel is minimalistic and functional. Most of the seating is low or deliberately placed in sunken areas so that the furniture does not obstruct the views of the forest. The free-flowing, open spaces and the muted tones of the interiors ensure that the rainforest remains the most dominant feature in the frame at all times.

Traditional designs

Though the interiors of the resort are minimalistic, they have a distinct personality that comes from the infusion of local style. Design elements derived from the design and architecture of Coorg are included as architectural as well as décor elements . The villas' cellars, lobby and banquet façade have been inspired by the walls of the Coorg Fort. The amphitheatre resembles the design of the Omkareswara temple in Madikeri town, with a stage in the middle of the tank where the performances take place. The lobby façade has granite detailing inspired by the famous Igguthappa temple in Coorg. Replicas of traditional Coorg wooden pillars extend along the interior and exterior walls of the hotel lobby.

The interior is spacious, with high ceilings and large skylights and dark chunky rafters forming straight line patterns on the ceiling. The furniture in the lobby is designed around either the chunky thick lines or the wooden slated screens that are commonly used in traditional Coorg houses.

The entrance to the food and beverage lounge area bears a striking resemblance to the Kodava ancestral home - the "Ainemane" (heritage house). The open sky feature along with a small courtyard, with the traditional pillars located in each corner supporting the roof, is also a nod to local design. The speciality Coorg restaurant Nellaki has the traditional flat ceiling with large thick beams crisscrossing each other and forming straight-line patterns.

Going with the flow

Mimicking the rivulets and streams that ripple through Coorg's countryside, the Jiva Grande Spa has a simulated brook flowing through the passage leading to its reception. The waterway has real river rocks which act as stepping stones. The 52 antique pillars lined up against the walls emanate light in the background and breathe a sense of sanctity into this space. The banquet hall, the most elevated location on the property, sits on a ridge overlooking the valleys on either side, offering views that are distractingly beautiful.

The Vivanta by Taj - Madikeri has achieved picture perfection by designing around the real star of the show: the sumptuous greenery, and the hills and vales of Coorg. A round of applause for the designers who have pulled off this balance between luxury, nature and local architecture!

Total Area: 19,934 sq m
Total Cost: Rs 160 crore
Photos: Vivanta by Taj - Hotels & Resorts

CONTACT: Vivanta by Taj - Madikeri, 1st Monnangeri, Galibeedu, Coorg, Karnataka - 571 201. Tel: 0827 - 266 5800 Fax: 0827 - 266 5801

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