Some spaces are sheer poetry, an experience, an emotion. There is something lyrical about it. And I found my happy place in Deja View Villa in Wayanad, one of the most charming luxury villas in Wayanad, managed by Lux Unlock.
Cozying up with a cup of warm ginger tea and sliding into the comfortable recliner on the verandah, I was lost in a sea of white. The mist had crept in secretly and for a moment had wrapped everything in its fold. It seemed weightless and fragile but it drifted effortlessly, shrouding the entire landscape in a translucent curtain. And then in a moment, sheets of rain descended, purging the landscape of the ethereal mirage.
And then I saw it and for a moment I felt like I was gazing at a painting. The verdant hillock with deep thickets and dark woodlands, with countless brooks and restless creeks tumbling down its slopes, looked right into my eyes. The sun gently peeped in as the birds sang an ode to the beautiful day. The rains had painted the lush tones a shade deeper and had given them a dark emerald hue. The rainforests lured me with their hidden secrets but I was content to just sit and lose myself in this magical daydream.
Nestled on a hillock in a 14-acre coffee and cardamom plantation, Deja View Villa is one among six luxury villas in Wayanad and it is part of a private gated community. Six friends came together to create an idyllic world, to recreate communal living in the heart of nature. They created Elamala Estate and built charming villas with their unique and personal touch and taste. There are private trails leading to the other residences which are out of bounds for guests but the little sit-out with a landscaped garden in front of the villa leads to a man-made pool. Standing there and looking out into the zillion shades of green that vary from hues of olive to emerald, lime to pickle, I felt that time literally stood still.
The romantic charm oozed out of every corner. The luxury villa is designed like a home away from home on a plantation, with contemporary design, locally inspired with sustainable materials, and yet is traditional in its own way. The sloping tiled roof and the terracotta tiles are quintessentially Kerala in style while the interiors have been carved out of local wood, bamboo, and other sustainable materials.
Every little space has an intimate and personal touch and an inimitable style. There are two cozy bedrooms, tastefully furnished with luxurious bathrooms but it is the loft that crowns the villa and adds a wonderful perspective to the overall experience of the villa. The very blueprint of the villa is focused on communal living and you can see this depicted in the open layout and the way the spaces flow easily and there is a blend of the exterior and the interior.
Paintings adorn the wall and there is a small bookshelf in the living space. The show stoppers are a pair of carved wooden pillars, which am told was restored after being brought here from a bungalow in the Malabar region. The dining table carved out of mahogany is sandwiched between these tall pillars and it is right at the centre of the living room. A small kitchen at the corner also opens to an outdoor dining area on the verandah. If you are lazy like me to cook, then Sindhu, the local chef serves delicious puttu, idiyappam and other local delicacies.
Large French doors open into the main living room or the master bedroom from the verandah, giving it a seamless sense of space. Verdant gardens surround the villa, be it in the rear or at the front and you feel like you are in a park. The verandah was my favourite part of the villa and I could not choose between the wooden rocking chair and the swing .
For a moment, it felt like nostalgia all over again. Watching the sunrise, reading a book, writing my travel journal, birdwatching, sipping chai and binging on puttu, or playing with Julie and Puchki, the rescue dogs who are part of the community here – this is where I left my heart.
There is something special about a vacation in a villa. To me, it’s more than just luxury. It’s the personal space created by the owners, with their dreams and ideas, the little touches, the charming corners. It’s personal, intimate and safe, and comfortable. I have the entire home to myself or for my friends and family. But mainly, I am living in a home with the personal touch of the owners and their personality seeps through every little detail, be it an artifact or a piece of furniture.
I get delicious local cuisine cooked personally for me or I can cook my own meals. Sindhu is just brilliant by the way . I can work from the villa, chill, explore local villages and neighbourhoods or do nothing . But mostly this is a vibe. You have to stay, touch, feel and experience it. It’s perfect for “me time” and to reconnect with nature, It’s sustainable and helps me be a responsible traveller. And there are stories everywhere.- be it the paintings on the wall, a rocking chair, a stone pillar, a rusty box. The colours and the flavours make it a living, breathing space. Be it to work from a home away from home or just some me-time or a little get-together with friends or just an intimate holiday with your partner or a family vacation, there are many reasons to stay in one of these luxury villas in Wayanad. To me, it was very special.
Located in Wayanad, the villa is barely 20 kms from Sultan Bathery or Sultan Battery and is barely a three-hour drive from Mysore in Karnataka and Calicut (Kozhikode) in Kerala. From Bangalore it would take you about six hours by road. It is located in a gated plantation called Ezhumala or Elumala Estate. This is the only one of the six luxury villas in Wayanad that is available for guests. The rest are private residences.
You are staying at a luxury and private residence and villa which has two bedrooms with attached bathrooms and a loft with a bed. It can comfortably house 4 -5 guests but it is a self-catering villa with no permanent staff. There are daily housekeeping services, a concierge and location manager, and a chef available and you can book their services separately.
You can order food online from some hotels close by or request the cook to make your meals. Tips are recommended. WIFI is available if you would like to work from here. The team at Lux Unlock and your concierge can also help you plan your Wayanad itinerary based on your interests.
Please note that this is a home and not just another hotel and every item on the property has an emotional connection and a personal story behind it. Kindly treat the home with respect and lots of love.
Experiences from Wayanad
Culture, adventure, wildlife, food, doses of ancient history, nature trails, meeting social entrepreuners and slow travel in rural hinterlands – name it and you will get suggestions for a curated itinerary.
Sultan Bathery is a great place to start your trail with visits to the Jain temple that tells you the story on how it got its name. Visit Uravu to see bamboo being crafted into products and visit a fascinating nursery with several species of bamboo plants.
Go on a jeep safari in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary either at Tholpetty or Muthanga. The ancient Edakkal Caves, the old Thirunelly Temple and the Panamaram Jain Temple, and the charming Wayanad Museum are some of the regular haunts in the itinerary.
Plan your adventure and hikes with Muddy Boots and I would strongly recommend a trip to Kuruva Island. If you have a penchant for local lores, then a visit to the Gulikal shrine in the villages is recommended as he is the patron deity of lost and found items.
A visit to Wayanad is never complete if you don’t try the local cuisine and for me, the Sadya at a village on Kuruva Island was all about food coma. There are several local eateries in the neighbouring villages and towns and you just have to ask for suggestions from the hosts.
Deja View is part of the portfolio of private, exclusive and luxury villa experiences managed by Lux Unlock, or Lux as it’s called. Lux Unlock stands for “unlocking access for luxury travellers to private luxury vacations.”
Ashish and Rucha Gupta are a wonderful couple who are passionate about travel and their entrepreneurial journeys are as fascinating as their travel stories. They have now started together @luxunlockprivatevillas and some fabulous villas are going to be managed by them in beautiful destinations like the Nilgiris, Kodaikanal, Pondicherry, Mahabalipuram, Chettinadu, and of course Wayanad.
I love listening to these dreams and inspiring journeys as people always make places for me. You can also check their website and contact them for details regarding booking. I was invited by them to stay in this villa for a couple of nights and it was just so wonderful. You can see my instagram to check some of the beautiful reels and am sharing a couple of them here.