A few months back a friend and I had an idea – why don’t we go on a girls’ trip, just the two of us, and bring our toddlers along! We started looking at Chikmagalur and Ooty, but then we decided we didn’t want to spend 4+ hours in the car. After a bit of searching, we came across a property that is only a 1-hour drive from Bangalore – Angana the Courtyard. The pictures looked promising with private cottages amidst shaded green gardens and a swimming pool that replicated the royal pushkaranis of Hampi. The pool is what decided it for us, so we packed our things and headed out, just mamas and babies.
Here are some of the things that made Angana a perfect kid-friendly stay for a relaxed weekend a stone’s throw from Bangalore.
Angana has a private cottage which has 2 separate rooms complete with their own bathrooms. The rooms were spacious, kept clean and comfortable, but not overly elaborate. Overall, the rooms are very toddler and kid-friendly, with just a few steps leading to the grassy gardens, perfect for playing.
We chose a package that included breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. Everything is cooked on-site with fresh ingredients and local recipes. Being two mamas traveling alone with small children that go to bed early, the staff prepared early and kid-friendly dinners. They also brought us our meals directly to our room on request when we couldn’t step out to the dining area while the kids were sleeping. The food was tasty, but you may have to take extra measures while explaining any dietary requirements to the staff. I had a hard time getting them to understand my son and I don’t have any dairy products. We ended up being served buttermilk, curd, and food cooked with butter and ghee at every meal despite the constant reminders.
Vine Pro Tip: Make sure you have clearly and repeatedly shared your dietary requirements to the staff so that they can prepare the food accordingly.
The property is complete with a playground for kids with swings and a slide. The common outdoor areas also have tetherballs and bow and arrow. Always equipped, our kids enjoyed more just sitting on the grass on a playmat and playing with their puzzles and toy cars or running through the sprinklers.
The pool was a great escape, especially around the noon when the April heat got to us. The “baby pool” was partly shaded by that time and it was a hit with our kids. The water in the kiddy pool came to our toddlers’ knees and the larger pool was about 5 feet deep. However beautiful the pool was, it could’ve used a deep cleaning as the waters had become a bit grimy from the tree debris and bugs falling into the pool daily.
SOME OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP:
Mosquitos! Being amidst nature has a slight advantage; the blood-sucking mosquitoes were out by 6 PM mosquitos came out and stuck around until early morning. We hadn’t come equipped with proper mosquito repellent, so we ended up having early dinner and turning in at the same time our kids did just to avoid the nuisance.
No A/Cs. None of the rooms have air conditioning units, but they can provide air coolers. I personally didn’t have an issue with the heat of the room as long as the ceiling fan was on full blast, but my friend was a bit uncomfortable from the heat.
No baby cots are available. If you’re traveling with a younger child who is used to a crib, you’ll have to bring your own travel cot.
No alcohol allowed. The rules explicitly state alcohol is prohibited, however, we noticed quite a few people had done BYOB, including ourselves, and no one seemed to mind.
Overall, we had a great stay. The property, albeit clean and well maintained, borders more on the rustic side than luxurious, but we were happy to find a place close to Bangalore that was family-friendly. Personally, I would recommend Angana, just don’t forget the mosquito repellent!