Pet friendliness has a new address – Aurika Coorg by Lemon Tree Hotels. Last week, my husband Sharath and I travelled with our dogs, Raju and Aishu to Aurika Coorg, a luxury pet friendly resort in Coorg, set amidst 45 acres of rainforest and coffee plantations in the Western Ghats. And the dogs were mesmerised by what they saw and experienced. A vast expanse of greenery, plenty of space to run around and plenty of things to sniff at, unlimited treats and toys, delicious food, and comfortable food. If only they could write this review, they would probably gush and mush and woof at so many fascinating experiences, but here is my perspective as a recent pet parent and a traveller about this luxury pet friendly resort in Coorg, which is also one of the best pet friendly resorts near Bangalore. If you are looking to know more about where to stay in Coorg with pets then bookmark this post.
A little backgrounder first about how we became newly minted pet parents. A couple of years ago, when COVID suddenly engulfed our lives and the first lockdown began, my husband and I joined a community of pet lovers to help out with feeding the Indie dogs on the streets. And that is how we found a very cute pack of puppies lost in the park without their mom. They were barely a few weeks old and we took turns feeding them. One of them was a robust and playful pup and he was promptly named Raju by one of our friends as that was his favourite name for every dog.
Raju became naughtier and chubbier by the day and he soon became the happy-go-lucky but strong Alpha of the pack. Unfortunately, tragedy struck and he was apparently beaten up by some hooligans in the middle of the night when he was barely six months old and his spine was broken. Raju the super-spirited boy was semi-paralysed and he was in severe pain – most vets told us to put him down. Finally one of them agreed to do surgery and we brought him home, hoping one day he can walk and run like normal dogs. However two years later, while he can stand and walk a bit, he is still semi-paralysed and has incontinence but he runs with a wheel cart that we got for him. And Raju is a bit of a traveller having been to the beaches and jungles and now he had a wonderful holiday in the hills. His baby sibling, Aishu has always been with him through thick and thin and she started staying with us over the last few months as well and this trip was her first away from home.
Aurika Coorg walks the talk when it comes to pet friendliness. This pet friendly resort in Coorg has over 95 dogs and cats as guests so far including 30 Indies. Most pet-friendly resorts discriminate against Indies and they prefer cute and cuddly breeds. They also have several restrictions. However, Aurika Coorg barely had any of them except that they had to be on a leash when they are outside the rooms and the pet enclosure.
Raju being a paraplegic dog has special needs as well. Although we have taken him to boutique properties in Ooty and Bangalore and other pet-friendly resorts near Bangalore, we were a bit worried about whether he would be comfortable here. But Aurika Coorg ensured that he felt at home right from the beginning. Pets are our guests is their mantra and they wear their pet friendliness on their collars, as you can see on the board, right at the entrance, said the General Manager Sanjay Pandita who had welcomed us. As we sipped our welcome drinks, Raju and Aishu had treats to welcome them. We even registered them as pets during the reservation with specific details.
The rooms came with pet beds, treats, and toys and they loved it. Everything is thoughtfully designed keeping the safety and comfort of the pet in mind. There were bowls to serve them food and water as well. While the meals for the dogs were customised, they can even sit with you in the restaurant at certain designated tables.
The staff treated the pets with so much love that Raju and Aishu felt so comfortable there. They walked and ran with us, rolled on the grass, sunbathed, chased squirrels and ducks, looked out of the balconies into the vast greenery, and curled up and slept, dreaming of more adventures.
But there is more to Aurika Coorg than just being a luxury pet-friendly resort. Spread over 45 acres, the aesthetically designed property treats you to verdant views of the rainforests of the Western Ghats and coffee and spice plantations. Every part of the property tells a story, be it the art installation at the reception or the artistic driftwood used to design some of the furniture. You can do birdwatching, go on nature walks, and plantation tours, and even try your hand at brewing coffee.
Birds literally are everywhere – in the gardens, plantations and also as art in the rooms and corridors. I went for birdwatching with the inhouse naturalist Ganesh, who has been “thebirdmanofCoorg” for over two decades and a great storyteller as well. Ask him to take you on a tour around the property besides a nature walk as well. I did two sessions of relaxed birdwatching in and around the property and we spotted close to 30 species in an hour. It was so therapeutic as well.
There are 55 rooms on the property, of which three are exclusively reserved for pets and pet parents. It is an ideal holiday retreat for families, corporates, and even a wedding destination now. With fine dining and banqueting options, you can choose from the multi-cuisine restaurant Mirasa, an elegant bar, Ariva, a coffee, and wine lounge titled Roast & Red, and even a private cabana deck, Aura.
You can even do some star gazing at the terrace, Au.rion, or head to the spa, Araya for some indulgence. The open swimming pool opens into the mountains and forests, while there are boardrooms and ballrooms for conferences and events.
Located near Madikeri at Galibeedu, the house of winds, the property is easily accessible from Kushalnagar and is barely a five-hour drive from Bangalore, either via Hassan or Mysore. Explore the natural and cultural heritage of Coorg and if you want an itinerary or suggestions, let me know and I will help you with one.
Nowadays as pet parents, our anniversaries and birthdays are also planned to keep them in mind and it was just wonderful celebrating a milestone anniversary with them in this lovely resort. I strongly recommend pet parents to plan a holiday to Aurika Coorg and even if you don’t have a pet, you must go and lose yourself in this luxurious lap of nature. Plan a trip to this wonderful property, an amazing pet friendly resort in Coorg and one of the best pet friendly resorts near Bangalore this winter, Raju and Aishu highly recommend it.