Excellent place if you are looking for peace and tranquility. Good accommodation and food. The service is also very good, especially enjoyed the trek inside the heavily wooded coffee estate. Birders paradise but clicking them is a challenge due to lack of sunlight and thick canopy.
Enjoyed my stay and would recommend it to nature lovers.
Note: Though great location, neat and clean, Cost is 5 star, but few basic things I feel needs improvement, hence 3 star.
Very good location near Baba budana giri hills with great view and deep inside the coffee plantation.The bungalow is built during British period and opposite to the bungalow is the Coffee drying and processing place with a huge cemented ground for drying coffee beans.
Great place to relax and spend time watching birds and flowers in the garden. The library room has very old books which British people used to read. The food is great, very homely food.
They have the generator as a power backup option and they switch on when there is no power.(frequent power cuts were there). The geyser takes a while for heating and hence you need to wait a while to take bath. Hot water is not available at all times, you end up waiting.
There is a badminton court (cemented) opposite to the bungalow, but if it is windy then you may not be able to play. They have a fire place on the side of the bungalow near the fig tree.
The heritage room is slightly bigger than other rooms. Beds and Toilets were clean.
Cost wise, this accommodation is very high on cost, Breakfast is complimentary. There is no kettle and tea/coffee sachets provided in rooms. Towels are replaced on request.
Staff are very friendly and courteous. There is a common hall where there is a TV, sofa and chairs for relaxing and reading books. This common hall has the attached library room and a common toilet inside library room.
We could go for a trekking inside the coffee plantation which was like 7Kms up and down. This was really great and cool. We enjoyed the trekking. Kumar and Perumal from the bungalow accompanied us in this trekking.
Mobile signals are weak and no wifi. None of the rooms have good privacy as they all are opening to a common hall or dining hall or something.
This is an excellent property for an outing with family/ friends. We all (almost senior citizens) enjoyed our three nights stay at this property and were fully rejuvenated. We had an option of staying at a 5 star property in the area with private pool. After visiting this 5 star property, we all realized that the natural surroundings of this Arbidacool Bungalow far outweighed the advantages of the 5 star hotel property.
It is around 275 kms from Bengaluru airport and about 15 kms from Chikmagalur town. It is situated on a small hill. To locate the property on google map one has to type AREBIDACOOR ESTAE, KARNATAKA. The property is located around 4 kms from the main road and last 3 kms is up the hill.
The charms/ advantages of this property are:
(a) Colonial Bungalow with 4 large size rooms with equally large en suite bathrooms, and
(b) The garden and various other facilities surrounding the bungalow.
As mentioned on the website, this colonial bungalow was built in 1914. The same has been refurbished with modern facilities and amenities.
It consist of:
4 rooms with en suite bathrooms,
Living room with fire place with 1 sofa, 2 sofa chairs and more chairs to accommodate more guests,
Dining room with a dining table to seat 8 persons,
Next to the living room is a library and carom board room,
Laundry area, and
Open Verandah (entrance lobby) with cane furniture to seat 8 persons.
In front of the bungalow is a huge garden with a bench and a garden tea table with 4 seats and a good flower bed.
Adjacent to the garden is a ground/ court to play volley ball.
This entire area is surrounded by coffee plantation & processing area and forest.
As the property is located on a hill, there is a good view of the surrounding hills, forests, sunrise from the property.
All the four rooms are large in size and the two Heritage rooms (one adjacent to the living area & second room adjacent to the dining area) are almost 400 plus square feet in size. All the en suite bathrooms are also large in size with shower area as well as bath-tub.
Out of 4 rooms, 3 rooms have a double bed and a single bed. Thus, these three rooms can accommodate 3 persons. The decor in the rooms matches well with its colonial style.
Each room is equipped with LED TV. There is no DVD player available.
The bungalow has large kitchen with 2 refrigerators and other gadgets (except microwave/oven).
For any hospitality property, the chef is one of the most important person. During our stay, the chef Madhu did an excellent job of preparing different varieties of dishes during breakfast and all meals. As we were vegetarian, he served good varieties of south Indian dishes and all in our group sincerely compliment him for the delicious food served.
Each afternoon, he served different types of snacks with the afternoon tea/ coffee.
The property does not serve alcohol, but guests can carry their own. Madhu served different varieties of starters with our drinks, besides what we had carried.
Mr. Kumar was in charge of the property and he all through ensured that:
(a) The rooms, the bathrooms and the entire property is kept neat and clean,
(b) Food is properly served on dining table and during drink sessions.
He also arranged a bon-fire even though it was monsoon season.
He was well assisted by Natesh and one maid.
Activities within the property:
There is a big tree right in front of the bungalow and every morning (between 6 to 7.30 a.m.) hundreds of birds flock on this tree and their chirping creates an excellent musical orchestra. Guests can enjoy the same sitting in the open verandah (lobby). Besides, all through the day, birds, mainly different varieties of sparrows, fly around in the garden.
Besides, the best out-door activity is taking walks through the Estate, the coffee plantations and various other plantation trails.
This atmosphere makes the visit mesmerizing.
Activities outside the property are well stated on the propertys website and elsewhere.
Though badminton rackets are available, due to wind we could not play this game.
Fortunately, we had carried Frisbee and it was fun playing with the same.
We feel that the following can add more charm and advantage to this otherwise fabulous property:
1. Microwave / conventional oven in the kitchen,
2. Bicycles for guests for out-door activity,
3. One 2 or 3 seater swing (jhoola) for adults in the garden,
4. DVD player with DVDs on natural, wildlife, birds, temples of the region,
5. Coffee table books on similar subjects,
6. A small kids play area so that the kids can play and enjoy in their own manner,
7. A kettle for warm water in each room.
The best room is the room adjoining the living room and the next best room is room adjoining the dining room. There is third room where the door open onto verandah (lobby), but this room has a disadvantage that the window also opens onto verandah and therefore, there is no privacy if the window is kept open. The fourth room is big in size but the en suite bathroom is smaller in size compared with other bathrooms. It would be better if the lay-out of the rooms is displayed on the website for guests to make a selection.
Fantastic stay at the royal suite, pick if this one's available as this one's the biggest among the other four rooms. Its a Tata Coffee company maintained property where you can enjoy a walk in the coffee estate and endure the greens everywhere. Road to this estate is adventurous (narrow), but driveable . And ones you reach you love to spend time within the boundary than venturing out back on the highway.
I traveled with my wife last month to the Arabidacool Bungalow at Chikamagalur. We had booked the Heritage room. The drive to the resort once you get off the main road is an experience in itself. The 3km dirt road winds through thick coffee planations and is more suited to an off roader or a car who's suspension you dont mind ruining. However the nature around you makes up for that misery.
There are 4 rooms at the bungalow. One has access through the living room, one through the verandah, one through the dining room and one almost through the kitchen. Needless to say that there is no privacy in any of the rooms. You can be sitting in your room and have a bunch of complete strangers take dinner right outside your door. This would not be an issue if you had all families and like minded people around. But in the event you went with your spouse or parents and had a bunch of guys in the other rooms, this would quickly become very uncomfortable. Or if you got the verandah room and the other guests decided to chit chat until late night in the verandah while you want to get some sleep. Its almost like living in a 3 BHK apartment with the three bedrooms occupied by unknown guests. Also, when you book a room you dont know who you are going to be sharing the bungalow with, so its like picking a lottery ticket. Not my cup of tea. Some might like it, but I prefer my privacy.
Also, the innermost room which is almost next to the kitchen is best left alone and not recommended at all. It has no view and is basically one step away from the kitchen sink and laundry area with the worst privacy possible,
The rooms are typical colonial rooms with sparse furniture and huge windows. Our room never got hot water and we had to ask for hot water in a bucket to have a bath. Not cool especially when its raining and cold outside.
The staff at the bungalow is friendly and pleasant to deal with. The food options are limited to their menu. However when i ordered a dish, I was told that they didnt have the ingredients and I needed to pick and a different one. This reduces the choice of food drastically and its not like its cheap. We paid 1200 bucks for one dinner and one snacks + tea in the evening for two people. I had to leave early morning and asked them to serve breakfast a little earlier at 7am and they refused saying that breakfast starts at 8am. They offered to pack sandwiches to which I agreed. Next morning when it was time to leave at 7:30am the cook was still asleep and sandwiches were all but a dream. The care taker obliged and made a cup of tea for us. The cook is brilliant but he needs to be a little more accommodating in terms of timings.
To put it simply, the bungalow and the setting are beautiful. However, the choice of food, privacy and service tend to be show spoilers especially if you are expecting value for the money you spend.