In the winter of 2019 I had the chance to visit and stay at on of India’s most luxurious resorts, Evolve Back Kabini. In this blog I will be sharing with you guys my experience and impressions of the resort during my 3 days here
The resort is nestled perfectly between Bandipur Tiger reserve and Nagarhole National Park. The resort is spread across fifteen acres of precious land in the middle of such a protected area . It sits perfectly on the banks of the Kabini reservoir. It gives the vibe of literally being in the middle of a wild forest because of this setting. The entire resort stands majestically facing this big water body, which is home to more than 250 different birds species. The closest airport is in Bangalore and during my drive from the airport, I realized this wilderness is just 5 hours away from hustle and bustle of Bangalore metropolitan. It is just the perfect base if you want to explore the national parks nearby or just want to be in the lap of luxury while still being in the middle of the forest.
The resort’s main philosophy is what they like to call as sustainable tourism. They believe in renewable energy, no use of plastics and minimal water wastage. Believe me when i say this, they don’t even have plastic pens on the entire property. There are no plastic bottles and the entire resort is managed in a completely eco-friendly manner, which is so difficult to find these days. They also integrate the local community into the smooth functioning of the resort so that everyone can benefit from this tourism model. They also run and sponsor a local school in the nearby village. They are literally giving back to society which I think is very essential in our country. They have designed and placed the resort in such a way that it proves to be the perfect base if you want to explore animal and bird life. The above mentioned national parks are home to animals like Tigers, Leopards, Black Panthers, Elephants, Spotted dear and many more. The vibe of a jungle and yet luxury can be felt in small touches like the tiger printed napkins or the elephant tusk shaped glasses. They have integrated and literally camouflaged the resort so well to fit perfectly in its surroundings.
The resort has 3 different kinds of villas. Each one different from the other based on space, amenities and cost. We stayed at the Pool Hut which was simply breathtaking. With 2400 square feet of area in the villa, there is just so much space around. Once you enter you are greeted with a big private swimming pool, which is perfect for enjoying a quite drink on a cool summer evening. On the left you have a large living room which has work area, a dining table, fresh supply of fruits and sweets which are refilled twice a day and from time to time. Also in the living room you have a comprehensive coffee setup with french press and assorted coffees. Below the coffee maker you have a small fridge which has your supplies of soft drinks and sodas which are again refilled two times a day. All of this is included in the cost of the room so no need to worry when you open the fridge. Next to that is nice modern TV with all your HD channels so that you can still enjoy a nice football match in the evening after you have come back from a safari. The highlight of the living room is the giant attached balcony/patio which overlooks the Kabini reservoir. The balcony has two big recliners with a coffee table which makes it the perfect place to enjoy sunsets. The villa is made with am open to air concept which allows the rain to fall into the villa which I think is superb. Since the villas is literally in the forest you can always hear sound of birds in the distance and at times birds actually roam around the veranda peacefully even your presence. Going further in to the villas is this beautiful bedroom which has windows facing a dense forest. The attention to detail is just impeccable. They would ask us how we wanted our room to be decorated for any special occasions. They literally take care of all their guest personally. They had a menu for the pillow so that you can choose the kind of pillow that suits you. The bathroom which is attached is perfect for warm showers and baths after a long day of animal safari in the jungle. There is also an entrance to the pool directly from the bathroom, now that is something that i’m sure everyone wants.
The resort basically has two restaurants, the honeycomb and the Karuba Grill. Apart from this you have two other dining options. You can have a private dinner literally by the Kabini or you could chose to dine on a boat in the middle of the Kabini reservoir. Talk about romance and luxury. This is at its highest. The honeycomb is basically a buffet restaurant and the food is just so delicious. I would keep waiting for each and every meal because the food is just so good. They have an amazing wine collection as well and i’m sure you will not be disappointed. The karuba grill is basically like local food spread across 5 course in sort of like a tasting menu. You can literally personalize any dish that you want in the restaurant. All your wishes are fulfilled with a smiling face and the staff is extremely caring and thoughtful.
There are tons of things that you can do in and around this beautiful resort. We felt that even 3 whole days were less to completely explore and enjoy each activity to the fullest. So i can guarantee for sure that you will definitely not get bored here.
The main reason why people come here is for the Safari into in the Nagarhole and Bandipur national parks. You can take two routes into these reserves. You could either chose to do a boat safari or chose a more traditional vehicle safari . I felt that the chances of spotting the predators (Tiger, Leopard, Panther) are higher when you do a vehicle safari. But the boat safari is an experience is unparalleled to anything in India. When you are on a boat in big reservoir and see elephants majestically grazing on the banks is a sight that you will never forget for the rest of your life. There are more than 250 different kinds of birds and the naturalist that accompanies you are so thorough that they can identify birds and animals just by their call.
Other than these there are tons of other activities like the morning nature walk, coracle ride, night trail, local tribal dance and documentary show at the arrival lounge every alternate day. They have definitely taken advantage of the surroundings and you can see how well they integrate these natural factors in the smooth functioning of the resort.
Once you are tired from all the activities, the resort has plenty of ways you can cool down. The best way I think was the Ayurvedic centre called as the Vaidyashala. They treatments and therapies they offer there are so comprehensive. They have certified masseur who are very well trained. We selected the massage called as the Abhyanga, where the both masseur massage you simultaneously in sync to give you the ultimate relaxation experience. It was so relaxing that I almost slept on the massage table. If you guys are coming here, you should not miss out on this experience.
Later you can to go and visit the reading lounge. It was by far my favorite part of the resort. It is basically a sanctuary for readers. They have big armchairs with panoramic views of the massive water body with unlimited supply of fresh filter coffee. I felt i could spend a number of hours here.
Next you must head to the infinity pool which literally merges into Kabini reservoir. Behind the infinity pool there is a lounge with Wi-Fi and the drinks available for those who want to sip away their drinks into the sunset. Next to the Infinity pool there is a lawn where every evening they serve high tea and it is by far the best place in the resort to enjoy the sunset as there is an unobstructed view from this place.
For children there is an activity center with a small water slide , indoor sports like Table tennis, carom, chess and many more. Also at the activity center you can take cycles for riding around the reservoir.
I hope you guys liked this blog, If you did share it with friends and family who would be interested in a place like this. For a more visual experience, check out my YouTube channel where I have a complete video experience of my three days here. Below I have attached a small trailer of that video. Check it out !!!.
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Until next time, keep on traveling !