Tourism industry is making a difference when you start seeing luxury as well as boutique spas and resorts in rural India. Driving along the Arabian Sea in coastal Karnataka we took a de-tour towards the small village of Beloor near Kundapura in Udupi district. We passed by a small bird sanctuary where we were told you find many peacocks when it rains. Driving on the narrow streets dissecting the fields, we reached this mansion like place that was to be our home for next one day.
Balkatmane Heritage Spa is a sister resort of Sai Vishram Beach Resort that I had earlier reviewed. We were given a traditional welcome. After which I took a spa treatment and was hoping to be relaxed after a day of hectic water sports. It was nice but was it the best I ever had – definitely not. The spa team comes from Bangalore and is not resident, but I assume they will have a resident team and a resident doctor once the resort picks up some traction.
The food at Balkatmane was something to die for. Authentic South Canara food cooked in an open kitchen that the guests can look at as they eat is served with lot of affection and that adds to the taste of the food. All the three meals that we had at Balkatmane had us wanting for more than our stomachs could hold. The food was authentic and that also meant it was damn spicy, but then that is how the locals eat. Biscuit Ambat – a Managlore version of traditional south Indian wada is something to die for. Kori Roti kept me wondering how the hell they make it so thin, so uniformally crisp and of course tasty.
I loved the property. It is small resort with 8 rooms with all modern facilities including an Internet that works. The layout of the property creates an ambience of living in a rich family home of yesteryears. All the windows have a distinct character, which is rooted, in the local architecture. The flooring comes from Tamil Nadu. A lovely swing stands in the courtyard and a giant bowl with floating flowers provides serenity to the environment. Paintings and artifacts on the walls are worth taking a look and if you can cross the language barrier convince a staff member to tell you the back-stories.
I have a huge bias for properties that have a library, and this one has a lovely library on the 1st floor and thankfully I was staying right next to this library. They have a good collection of coffee table books and actually it is a perfect place to sit back, relax and read while being served great food. Walking around the property you can spot a lot of birds.
Balkatmane heritage spa is perfect for those looking for a quite and relaxed holiday in the midst of nature with good food.