I am a very frequent traveller and at times stayed in bed and breakfast arrangements in Germany , Belgium and UK. Only last month we were in Zagreb, Croatia and stayed in an Art apartment.
But this visit to Souland Estate was unique. Staying with the hosts, sharing their home, their living room, dining room and more especially their warmth and food was no doubt a very special experience.
Jayprakash and his wife Prava were always there to take care of you. Even the two daughters who were there took special care. We never felt we were away from home.
The tiny Tejas (4 yrs old) was also a great company to our Rio(4 yrs) and Anayka (3 yrs).
We stayed in the Main house where we had 3 bedrooms. All comfortable.
The food was no doubt good , prepared with all the warmth and love.
It is a nice property set amidst a coffee estate.
The estate has some more accommodation outside the main building.
There is a nice cosy apartment called Cloud 9 on a terrace which has a private garden too.
Another exclusive apartment , called the Granary is a wooden structure , which is cosy, overlooking the forest.
A new one called the Loft is almost ready with its hanging bed and grand estate view.
The quiet atmosphere , where you can hear the chirp of each bird so distinctly provides a different charm.
My entire family spent 4 nights here and we all enjoyed our stay. Thanks to Jayprakash and his family.
The perfect hosts one can imagine for their holiday homestay. We were a family of 8 adults, and had booked this homestay for 2 days over the weekend. We all had so much fun watching the rains, the greenery and flowers all around, along with so many birds chirping all the time. This property is spacious, and you share the place with the hosts family. The host has a rare collection of old books, art from all around the world and the entire place gives a feeling of an ancestral house that is very well maintained.
Food - The best south Indian food I have eaten in a long time. The host serves the food himself during every meal, and takes our requests on favourites for the next meal. The South Indian curries we ate were mouth watering, and they serve you food till you are full and satisfied.
Property - 3 large rooms that can easily accommodate 10 adults. Spacious and clean bathrooms. The property also has a tree-house for 2 adults that is breathtakingly beautiful. There are coffee plantations around the entire property along with many spices and vegetables grown. Lots of vegetables we ate were grown in the property. There are beautiful flowers all around, with lots of birds chirping.
Location - I recommend to take a personal vehicle with you, if deciding to stay at this place in Coorg as it's in between Kushalnagar and Madikeri with no easy public transport around.
I would recommend you to not think twice and book this place for your next vacation to Coorg.
The estate was easy enough to locate with Google maps. Of course, the hosts, Mr. Jayaprakash and his family were always available and willing to help with anything at all that we needed. We, a family of 5 adults and 3 kids aged between 1 year and 6 years, spent 2 nights at their home in December, right around the Christmas time in 2017. The kids had fun, we were comfortable and able to visit a couple of local spots in Coorg, prior to our onward journey. I thought the hosts were polite and professional.
A short 150m driveway down from the Sidapur - Kushalanagara road leads you to a house seeped in an old world charm. Flowers of various shades adorn the outsides and a wide variety of ornamental plants adorn the inside periphery of the sit out. The flowers and the plants add a dash of elegance to this charming little house in the midst of a coffee estate. This is the first look of the house and you instantly know - this is the house in the woods you are looking for.
But there is something even more impressive about Souland homestay. It is one of the very few places in India which has been true to the concept of a homestay. Most homestays are just a house on rent for a few days. Homestays aren't supposed to be that. Homestays are places where you go in as family and experience and share warmth. It is a place where the hosts and guests share their experiences, figure out the similarities and differences of their varied experiences and come out richer from these interactions.
And one couldn't ask for better hosts than Jayprakash & Prabha to be running this place. They are extremely helpful and exude a warmth that makes you instantly comfortable. This warmth is contagious across the family. Their daughters (Jyotsana & Jyoti) who are around sometimes are an extension to the sane warmth and hospitality. Jayprakash can feed you with very interesting anecdotes about life in Coorg through stories and Prabha will actually feed you delicious cuisine from Coorg and around. Jyoti is pursuing a PhD and had just submitted a doctoral thesis on the Politics of cultural identity in Coorg as part of her coursework. A conversation with her can be very informative for a more detailed understanding of Coorgi culture.
Souland Homestay is perfectly located for your Coorg vacation. Kushalanagara is 25 minutes, Sidapura is 20 minutes and Madikeri is a 40 minute drive away. A lot of other places of tourist interest are around an hours drive away. Dubare elephant camp is just 5 minutes away. If you are feeling lazy and you are extremely lucky, you don't even have to go 5 minutes to pay the elephants a visit. The elephants have on very rare occasions paid a visit to the estate. They chomp on the banana trees planted near the boundaries of the estate and leave. Thankfully they are unaware of the hospitality and warmth of the Jayprakash family and the delicious food Prabha serves.
I spent three days here and had a wonderful time. There is however one sore point. Jayprakash and Prabhas granddaughter Tejas. She is 4 to 5 years old (her words, not mine) and lures you into playing games that she has conceptualised. I was winning most of the games but at the last minute she changes the system of awarding points and declares herself the winner. This is something you need to be prepared for.
I came across the Souland estates home stay two years ago and was impressed by the reviews and prompt responses from the host Jyothi Jayaprakash . Two years down the line we made it to their home in Coorg . After a comfortable four hour drive from Mangalore we had to be rescued by Mr Jayaprakash , the former engineer and owner of the lovely estate Bungalow as our GPS was not responding
We were privileged to share their estate home over three days in Sep 2017 .The large bungalow set amidst 20 acre coffee and pepper plantation is just the right place to unwind from the bustle of the city life A walk around the estate is soothing and an escorted trip by both Jyothi and her father added to the nature walk
One need not necessarily have a packed touristy agenda ,though there is enough things to do nearby or Just sit in the spacious veranda and read a book or stare at the calmness and the beauty around .Have a drink maybe in the evening -Mr Jayaprakash offered us some lemonade flavoured local brew which I would highly recommend
As the hosts themselves mention this is a home and not a hotel or a resort, comparisons with hotels would not be apt . Rooms are very large comfortable and functionally furnished with attached modern bathrooms . Guests have a free run of the house including the large lounge stacked with family memorablia and of course the spacious veranda. The meals were delicious and wholesome and we had no reason to make any special requests though the hosts very kindly offered. Mrs Jayaprakash the gracious hostess turned out a varied menu each day and i particularly loved the local dishes . My vegetarian wife also did full justice to the vegetarian delights
This was my first time at a home stay and we were without doubt overwhelmed by the warmth and company of the host family and of course the overall ambience Wishing Mr and Mrs Jayaprakash , Jyothi and their lively little grand daughter Tejas all the very best and hope to see them again soon