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“Nature tourism at its best !!”
Review of Evolve Back, Coorg

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Evolve Back, Coorg
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Siddapura
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 October 2012

Orange County review needed some time as there is so much to write and this is going to be a long one …

It was definitely one of the best resort experiences we have had in recent times … unparalleled when it comes to experiencing nature. Right from the time we got off the plane, we received a call confirming the timely arrival of pick up cab. The personal touch was sincerely appreciated and Suhasini & team gets full credit. After a long drive (6 hrs+), we reached Orange County through narrow, unpaved roads … and it was a delight. A warm welcome and rest before the buggy whooshed us off to the restaurant for lunch (it was 3:15 pm) & then to our rooms. Guinea Fowls roaming all round gave us the hint what to experience … The whole estate is located in an area of 35 acres (in a 350 acre plantation) and lines with coffee, pepper, jackfruit, cheery, oranges and fruit trees of all types !!! It’s just AMAZING…

The room was really nice and perfectly set. We had opted for the Presidential Villa which had a living area and a separate bedroom. The bathroom was a delight and I cannot help but mention this specially. A small balcony / sitting area outside faced the coffee and Jackfruit trees, giving the right amount of privacy. The room had a pull out bed which was very comfortable as well. A stocked mini bar with complimentary cold drinks and coffee / tea area with hand-made cookies. One of the things that I must compliment here is the housekeeping who cleaned up and topped up all essentials twice a day. Never once would you complain that the room is not clean …

“Namaskara” is a word that you will keep hearing throughout the stay with all staff greeting you with smiles and folded hands whenever you meet them. The ladies at the reception take a special mention for their warmth and help. My 4 yr old Daughter could spends hours chatting with them and getting toffees / chocolates in return :-). Same with the restaurant staff who kept her delighted and busy when we were enjoying the food.

There were 3 options for lunch and we mostly ate at Granary restaurant … a multi-cuisine buffet one. Peppercorn was another option which is a more barbeque oriented and has fixed menu for lunch. The 3rd one is a pure veg restaurant which we avoided being ‘pure non vegetarian’. The food at Granary was just amazing – with an excellent variety and taste to match. Options of 2 NV starters, 4-5 NV main courses and all other options incl. pastas etc. The ‘Ethnic Food’ section is a must have with Pondi Curry / Fry (Pork) and other Coorg delights. Peppercorn has a fantastic view of the lake and the plantation beyond … The food here was good but made to order and takes a lil time … not a problem when you are visit this place for sure. We did not try this place for dinner as it usually was for special occasions and has a 200 bucks cover charge per head (which I found a little odd keeping in mind that you are already paying 2K+ for food per head everyday).

The lake is a child magnet with fish food (rice flakes) being given by the restaurant staff for feeding. Scores of beautiful golden & silver fishes jostle for these when fed and I never saw any kid happy with only one lot of rice flakes bag. The smiling staff always were ready with more … The road next to the lake is a naturalists delight - with lizards (and sometime snakes) sun bathing; purple colored dragon flies flying around; birds of all colors and size hunting for food. A walk around the same and you can see amazing birds and insects … all enjoying the abundant food available. One of the really remarkable thing about the resort is that they don’t cut any fruit in the 35 acres and its available only for birds and insects to eat… and the result shows !!

The daily activities sets this place apart from others … with bird watching (6:30 am), nature walk (10am to Dubare Forest), Eco-Trail Walk (10:30 am), paper bag making (11 am), Workers Trail (2:30pm); Plantation Trail (4pm) and cultural activities (7:30 pm) keeping you busy incase you decide not to go out for sightseeing. We took the bird watching session (taken by Murthy) which allowed us to see such amazing species which would have been hidden to naked eyes (including giant centipedes and spiders), . I took the Nature trail as well – following Elephant tracks deep into the forest. They apparently came near the resort the previous evening and you could see they were not very discrete with broken trees, footmarks and dung all over. This was amazing and not for the faint hearted or ‘city folks’… be ready to get scratches, insect bites and dirty your dress in the process and you maybe blessed with a sighting of wild elephants … something we could not see inspite of Murthy’s best effort. The resort’s plantation is HUGE and surrounded by the Dubare Forest so makes an interesting stay anyways.

Every evening at 7:30 you would see different cultural events – dances from the local regions with expert performers coming over only for the 30 min show. The small club house is a nice touch with kid activities thrown near the common swimming pool. There was a separate ‘adults pool’ but we did not time to discover the same.

Nearby attractions are Dubare Elephant Camp& Nisargadhama (feeding deers) - must visit for kids, Tibetian Monastery, Abbey Falls, Raja’s Seat, some temples etc. Madikeri is a great place to shop for local delights like spices, honey and handicrafts.

There was nothing to complain about the whole stay there … and I wish we had 2 days more to relax. Brilliant place … Amazing staff, thanks to them for making this an unforgettable stay. We will be back again for sure – someday ! Cheers

Room Tip: The Private Pool Villas near the lake are great ... secluded, with great view and wold life
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank WheelsOnOurFeet_JD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,365 - 1,369 of 1,843 reviews

Reviewed 1 October 2012

It is a beautiful place for relaxation; refresh our energy level lovely place for kids for learning about nature, birds, eco friendly etc. The pool in the villa is good. Customer service is good, a food was good, they welcome way is good at the same time welcome drink cold coffee is good.

Room Tip: Private pool villa
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Raja G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2012

We took our short vacation straight to Orange county after a stressful phase of business lifestyle .
It was really worthy.The hospitality we enjoyed ,the food on our platter (especially the candle light dinner at peppercorn) and the other activities are really commendable.this place is an ideal choice for couples and families wanting to spend a calm and peaceful time amidst nature's bounty.
Wanting to spend more time in OC activities next time.Keep up the good work.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank amareswari m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2012

This is a beautiful place, but before you stay there please be aware that it is not as child-friendly as it may seem, and that Customer Service is quite poor, and not of a standard you would expect from another hotel charging similar rates.

We flew into Calicut Airport, and the transfer by car which should have taken 4 hours actually took us 11. This was due to a series of errors for which Orange County were absolutely to blame. We were travelling with a baby so it was not the most pleasant experience and not a great start to a weekend away...

The first driver who came to pick us up at the airport (hired by Orange County resort) set off on the wrong road to the resort. I put through numerous calls at this time to Orange County and at no stage did the staff confirm with the driver that he knew the best way to get to the resort. The driver also did not have a cover for the luggage rack on the car, despite the torrential monsoon rain. As a result my suitcase and that of my husband and all our clothes (and those for our baby) got completely wet.

Approx. 30 mins into our drive from the airport, two guys on a motorbike stopped us to say that the back left tyre on our car was very flat. The driver didn’t seem bothered by this and continued on for another 20 mins or so until we repeatedly insisted he stop and take a look at the tyre. When he did stop he discovered that the fan belt was broken. It doesn’t seem right that not only was the driver not aware of the best way to get to the resort, he obviously didn’t keep his vehicle in proper working order. We then had a 2-hour wait outside a petrol station in the torrential rain with a young baby as we waited for a replacement car.

The second driver sent also did not know his way to the resort, in fact he didn’t know the correct name for it, nor had he ever actually visited it. To add to that, the signs for Orange County along the way do not differentiate between Orange County Coorg and Orange County Kabini, which adds to incredible confusion!! All the signs say are “Orange County Resort”, which is so silly considering both Orange County Coorg and Kabini are in the same area, but actually two hours apart. To cut a long story short it took us almost four times longer to reach the resort than it should have taken. All the while during our journey we were given incorrect or conflicting information over the phone by the staff at Orange County who were incapable of directing their hired driver to their resort. Eventually we gave up trusting the driver and the resort staff and used Google Maps to get us to the correct resort. Unbelievably Orange County tried to charge us for this airport transfer.

In addition, Orange County Coorg is not as child-friendly a resort as you might expect.

1. They don’t have baby cots. In any resort of this standard I would have thought providing cots would not be an issue. Especially when I rang in advance to book one and got an email to confirm this booking. But when we arrived (by that stage v. late at night) we were simply told that the resort didn’t have any cots. The next day we were given a baby’s cradle, which is not a cot and is not suitable for a baby over the age of about 2 months. So for our entire stay there was nowhere safe for our baby to sleep.

2. They don’t offer a babysitting service. We have stayed in quite a few hotels in India and Orange County is the first to not have this facility. All we were looking for is someone to be in our cottage when the baby was asleep allowing myself and my husband to go for dinner together. And of course we would have paid for this service. But I was curtly told that the resort didn’t have this facility and so for the 3 nights we were there we were unable to have dinner together. When I asked if it would be possible to bring the food to the cottage so we could eat together in our living room (it is after all an all-inclusive resort), I was told we would have to pay restaurant prices plus a 50% surcharge for this facility, which I think is just ridiculous.

3. You cannot do a nature walk with a child under the age of 10. The nature walk is something we were very much looking forward to doing, and it should be made clear to people before they book the resort that this is the case (there is no mention of this on their website, nor was I told when I booked, despite me having a conversation with their booking staff about it). We were also not allowed to walk on the Jogger’s Path, for no apparent reason. When we tried to follow it the security guard would not let us through the gate to the plantation, and then staff blatantly lied to us, telling us that no, the Joggers Path did not go this route despite it being clearly signposted.

So we were unable to do a proper walk with our baby, and were unable to go for dinner together, nor was there anywhere safe for our baby to sleep - things anyone would presume would be available to guests staying in this resort. The Orange County resort is so beautiful and it is a shame that these issues prevented us from enjoying the experience as much as we should have.

Orange County Customer Service is really lacking. Despite the issues above, we were not offered any compensation for our stay (we were a group of 6 in total who stayed 3 nights, so we paid them alot of money in total), and as mentioned they tried to charge us the full amount for the first airport transfer, obviously it was just ridiculous to ask for the full amount in those circumstances. My subsequent request for any kind of compensation has simply been ignored by the management at Orange County.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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6  Thank AnonTraveller2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OrangeCountyResorts, General Manager at Evolve Back, Coorg, responded to this reviewResponded 4 October 2012

Dear Guest,

Greetings to you!

We thank you for your valuable feedback. We have discussed your comments at length internally and have carried out detailed investigations on the issues raised. While we know that no amount of explanation can compensate for your unpleasant experiences, we would like to state our perspective on the important issues.

Travel from airport to resort: We have noted that as per our mail dated Tuesday, July 31, 2012, we have recommended you to fly into Bangalore Airport instead of the Kozhikode Airport that you ultimately chose. While traveling, mechanical hiccups (such as a broken fan belt) are rare yet sometimes inevitable. Instead of sending a replacement vehicle from the resort (A 5 hour journey), we arranged a vehicle locally, hoping to reduce your waiting time. We do agree that this vehicle was hastily arranged from Kozhikode due to the emergency nature of the situation and so the driver was not familiar with our resort. We apologize for the incident. Empathizing with your situation, we waived this transport charge completely. We fully understand the pains you had to go through. However, we assure you that your comfort was our priority while we made all these decisions.

Your request for Baby Cot: To begin with, we mistook Baby Cots for cradles. We do keep a small number of cradles in case of special requests. Frankly, we do not face much demand for cradles or baby cots. As an unusual case, the night you arrived, the cradles were pre-booked so they could be delivered to your room only the next day. We apologize for this mistake. Following your inputs, we have placed an order for baby cots.

Baby Sitting: Regarding the availability of babysitting services, we do not offer the same for infants. We are not equipped, nor do we claim to provide the facility for babysitting children below the age of four years although children aged above 4 years are kept engaged at the activity center for kids. And to the best of our knowledge, there are not too many resorts in India that offer babysitting for infants. It would be of great help if you could send us the names of resorts offering this service to info@orangecounty.in so that we can learn from them.

Room Service: The resort is all inclusive and food charges are part of the package. However, on account of the widespread nature of the resort and the fact the food loses its freshness by the time it is delivered to the room, room service of food is discouraged on purpose (the reason for the surcharge). This was also introduced so that guests venture out of their rooms to take in the sights and sounds of nature en route to our beautifully located restaurants.
Access to areas beyond resort premises: Orange County, Coorg is surrounded on three sides by the Dubare Reserve Forest. Keeping the security of our guests in mind, we have blocked access to this particular area beyond the resort premises because of its proximity to the forest. Guests are allowed access to this area only when accompanied by our guides. There are various other pathways leading out of the resort for our guests to jog or walk on and enjoy by themselves. We do admit that there is an old ‘jogger’s path’ board where you were stopped. Ideally, this should have been removed. Let me assure you that you were not allowed access to this particular area beyond the resort premises for the safety and security of your family.

Once again we reiterate that we fully understand the pain you had to endure on your journey from the airport to the resort. This pain seems to have cascaded into all your experiences at the resort. If I was in your place, my reactions would not have been different.

We request you to give us one more chance and we promise to make it up to you and your family.

Thank you once again for your valuable comments and we assure you that we have taken them in a positive spirit.

Warm Regards,
General Manager - Operations

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2012

We visited Coorg, Kumarakom & Munnar this september and stayed in Orange County, Coorg for a 3night trip. I am overwhelmed to share with you, that we had the time of our vacation here in OC. Right from the welcome, throughout our stay, till we bid adeu we were taken care of immensely.
The Pool villa rooms were beautiful & very comfortable. Very much advisable for COUPLES.
Dining at Granary was amazing. Pampered ourselves with sumptuous meals.
Reading lounge's serenity amongst nature was captivating. The staff was very courteous. Have been to many resorts but have never experienced such a hospitable crew culture.
Kudos to the management :)
Wud look forward to another trip to OC soon ..

Room Tip: Pool Villa
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Saket S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Evolve Back, Coorg

Address: Orange County, Coorg | Orange County, Coorg - Karadigodu Post, Siddapura 571253, India (Formerly Orange County, Coorg)
Phone Number:
Region: India > Karnataka > Kodagu (Coorg) > Siddapura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Siddapura
Price Range: €362 - €608 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Evolve Back, Coorg 4*
Number of rooms: 51
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bordered by the legendary river Cauvery and surrounded by virginal forests,Evolve Back, Coorg or Evolve Back Chikkana Halli Estate, Coorg the new name of Orange County, Coorg is a 300 acre working plantation resort perched at a height of 800 m that gives you the most luxurious introduction yet into the deepest secrets of this mystic mountain. Come, allow the spirit of the land to infuse your very being and coax you gently on a personal voyage of discovery. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Orange County, Coorg Hotel Siddapura
Orange County Hotel
Orange County Kodagu

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