The Serai Resorts holds a special place in my heart. It is at The Serai Chikmagalur that I got married to my long time beau. Given a chance to be part of Experiential Bloggers Retreat organized by Skreem in association with The Serai , I acknowledged the invite immediately. It was a three days retreat at The Serai kabini resort accompanied by bloggers from all over India.
Kabini is at a distance of 215 kms from Bangalore and the lush green landscape surrounding backwaters of the Kabini reservoir are very rich in wildlife. It is one of the best Wildlife National Parks in Karnataka, famous for its spectacular wildlife and spotting of more than 300 species of birds throughout the year.
• Getting to Kabini •
I reached CCD square at 6am in the morning curious to meet other bloggers who would be part of this 3 day retreat. And to my surprise everyone were on time and as excited as I was to begin the journey from Bangalore. First two hours of the drive was all about introducing each other and our blogs – getting to know each other before we stopped for breakfast. There are many popular breakfast joints on the Bangalore-Mysore highway. To name a few, Kamat Loka Ruchi, Malgudi Vatika, Bidadi Thata Idli are the most popular ones.
We continued our journey for a few more hours, exchanging stories and around 12.30pm we approached Serai Resort. By now I was convinced that I am going to have a crazy time with this amazing bunch of fun loving bloggers and photographers.
Smiling faces and the aarthi greeted us at Serai Resort Kabini followed by a short briefing by the manager, Nixon furtado about Kabini, the resort and the facilities. Sounded like we were up for an adventure.
Distance by road Bangalore – Serai Kabini: 230 km Mysore – Serai Kabini: 70km
Nearest Airport: Bangalore International Airport(BLR)
• Accommodation •
This property in total has 20 rooms scattered leisurely all over the property facing the river and there are 3 options to choose from.
WATERFRONT VERANDAH : The waterfront verandas are twin cottages with a common sit out, a living cum bedroom with the most comfiest bed and an open sky shower with a glass roof. These cottages overlook the river, separated by a lovely patch of green where you can swing on the Hammock. I stayed in WATERFRONT VERANDAH sharing the room with Carolyn, a yogini and a food writer.
WATERFRONT VILLA : The Villas are independent cottages with wooden floors and tiled roofs. It comes with a private sit out, living cum bedroom & a spacious bathroom.
THE RESIDENCE : Serai Kabini flaunts their prime villa, ‘The Residence’. The highlight of ‘The Residence’ is the private Jacuzzi in the backyard offering a view of the river. Additionaly It has two private verandas, a spacious living room, and a large bedroom
• Dining •
As much as I love to travel, I live to eat and drink. All 3 days I quenched my thirst at the watering hole, ‘The Outpost Bar’ while an elaborate buffet at ‘The Wild Grass’ served with some delectable desserts kept me asking for more.
Wild Grass: Multi-cuisine Restaurant offers a plethora of authentic and modern dishes. It serves daily a sumptuous breakfast, Lunch, Tea Snacks and Dinner. Timing – Breakfast: 07:30 – 10:30 – Lunch – 12:30 – 02:30 – Dinner – 07:30 – 10:30
Outpost Bar: Sip a drink and linger in the open-air bar, The Outpost under the starlight. Bonfire in the evening is an everyday ritual here to cuddle up your soul. Timing – 09:00 am to 10:00 pm
• Waterfront Resort •
The Serai resorts are inspired by the destinations such as jungle, coffee, water and the Andamans. Serai Kabini is a waterfront inspired property with all the rooms facing the lake and activities like kayaking, coracle ride & boat ride. It’s no secret that I am a water person and watching the sunset is my most favorite pastime. My heart melted while I indulged in kayaking along a gorgeous sunset in the backdrop with flocks of birds flying above. The next morning, It was a blissful moment drifting slowly in a coracle with the morning sun coming out to kiss me.
• Safari •
Before the trip I was told “When you are at Kabini don’t miss the safari. Keep your eyes open and have a camera ready!“. I took this seriously and was looking forward to experience both fear and beauty in the deep forest.
Surprisingly the first activity offered to us on reaching Serai was Jungle & Boat safari. With fingers crossed we set out to get the glimpse of the Black Panther. By the end of 3 hours we managed to spot elephants bathing in river, sambar and countless deer. You might be the lucky one, unlike me, to spot tigers, leopards, herds of elephants and the rare black Panther. I would recommend you to go experience the wilderness.
Morning safari timing: 06:00 am – 09:00 am Afternoon safari timing: 03:00 pm – 06:00 pm
Did You Know? Kabini was once a private hunting lodge of the kings of Mysore. It was also a popular hunting place for British Viceroys and Indian royalty.
You might want to read→ Postcard Perfect Santorini in 30 Pictures
• Other Activities & Facilities •
Swimming Pool: Plunge into the swimming pool or lounge on the sun beds like we did. Note that it’s not an infinity pool, like the ones at other Serai resorts.
Cycling: Guests of every age will love pedalling here to explore the sprawling resort or reminisce their childhood.
Om Spa: With so many activities followed by a three hour long safari a good spa treatment seemed to be the need of the hour. There are two couple rooms at Om Spa. I treated myself with their signature coffee scrub.
Bonfire: They have a bonfire every evening from 08:00 pm – 10:30 pm near the reception. We spent our evenings around the bonfire, sipping cocktails and star gazing over random conversations with other bloggers.
Huddle: Airconditioned Conference Hall
Library: Provides a unique reading experience to book lovers with a wide range of books. Enhance your knowledge and get familiar with the nature and wildlife surrounding Kabini
Turquoise: A small souvenir and a gift shop. Why not buy something that will forever remind you of the wonderful time spent here.
Gym: Houses a small, no fancy gym with basic equipment serving the purpose of maintaining your fitness during a holiday.
Romantic dinner(On request): The staff at the Serai can enthral you by setting up a romantic dinner facing the river or a candle light dinner under a gazebo. Don’t forget to ask, if you need one.
Games: Shuttle, Archery, Carrom and board games.
Sit back with your favorite book at the banks of the river, go kayaking as the water calm your senses, treat your eyes with the sighting of colorful birds, jog alongside nature and experience the wildlife in Kabini. Serai Kabini is a great place to rejuvenate along with some adventure filled activities.
Photo credits: Sunil Sachi , TheNextCheckIn
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