Kahani Paradise: Luxury Villa in Gokarna - A review
Perched on a hilltop overlooking the endless sea in south Gokarna (north Karnataka state, India), right where the Western Ghats plummet into the Arabian Sea, lies a magnificent luxury villa named Kahani Paradise. Built on a remote and unexplored location, Kahani Paradise is a boutique luxury villa hidden amongst lush green vegetation in the vast expanse of coconut, banana and palm trees. This 20-acre estate is most likely the only luxury villa between Goa and Mangalore, which is a 350-kilometre stretch. Finding such a property in the land of beaches and temples, often frequented by pilgrims and backpackers, was a pleasant surprise. We wrote about the hippie town of Gokarna and the places to visit there in our previous article and we mentioned Kahani Paradise as a recommended place to stay in Gokarna. In this article, we review this beautiful property and will convince you why this is the best place to stay in Gokarna.
Location of Kahani Paradise, Gokarna
Kahani Paradise is located at the end of a winding dirt track in Gokarna. It is literally located in the middle of nowhere. In a way, it is located directly above the Paradise beach but still hidden in an oasis of nature and tranquillity. The last 15-minute stretch of road to reach Kahani Paradise is narrow, bumpy and deep into the hills. We were driving by ourselves and would have got lost in the never-ending trails in the hills, had they not sent a person to pick us up in the market. But once we reached Kahani Paradise, we exactly felt like having entered a paradise.
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Tip: Ask them to arrange for pick-up from the airport or railway station if you are arriving by one of those ways. Finding Kahani Paradise in those endless twisting roads is tricky. If you are driving by yourselves, ask them to send someone towards the market to guide you. Do not trust Google maps, it will take you to a different route altogether. If you want to use Google maps, choose the option of walking to see the correct route to Kahani Paradise (Not the option of driving).
Upon arrival, we were greeted traditionally with refreshing fragrant face towels and a flower band. Our luggage was taken care of by the staff. As we settled in the seating area of Kahani Paradise, sipping the fresh fruit juice, we were awestruck by the 360-degree views of the lush green tropical forest with the Arabian Sea in the distance. We felt like entering a fairytale castle when our host and manager of the property, Vicky, was taking us down to our suite.
Layout of Kahani Paradise, Gokarna
We were extremely impressed by the layout of Kahani Paradise. Entering the main gate, we drove through the paved pathway surrounded by beautifully landscaped vast gardens that gave way to an orchard of coconut, betelnut, palm and banana trees. The walkway was lined with pebbles surrounded by beautiful exotic shrubs and flowering plants. We could hear the forest coming alive with the chirping birds and blooming flowers.
We first arrived at the open seating area through an antique Rajasthani door and were welcomed by the breath-taking view where the land meets the sea at a distance; just out of a picture postcard. The seating area at Kahani Paradise is dotted with a hanging antique swing decorated with candles, a huge Naga boat coffee table, plenty of vintage knick-knacks, comfortable sofas and lots of books and magazines. The seating area overlooked a natural-rock infinity pool that further overlooked the forest scape and the Arabian sea in distance. The pool was surrounded by comfortable canopied sunbeds. An open-air massage and spa were located at one of the quietest spots below the infinity pool.
The pan-Asian style villa has three buildings in total. In the centre is the seating area with 3 suites - Blue suite depicting ocean on the left, Green suite depicting forest on the right, and Master suite providing a panoramic view of the forest and ocean on the top of the seating area. All these 3 suites have a stunning view of the land meeting the sea.
The second building towards the left of the central seating area houses 2 suites for wildlife lovers (Peacock suite and Elephant suite). These 2 suites had a common patio providing an amazing view of the jungle and ocean and is ideal for families.
The third building towards the right of the central seating area houses the luxurious Queen suite. Above the Palace suite is the open dining area with an enormous 12-seater Teak wood dining table. The dining area also accommodated an antique pair of wooden horse sculptures that were intricately carved.
The entire outer structure of Kahani Paradise is made up of local red laterite rocks which gives a castle-like appearance to the villa. The interiors housed limited furniture, beautiful artefacts, soft and subtle colours, and lots of natural light and space. Though all the 6 suites are different, they share the same aesthetics. Uniquely, each suite at Kahani Paradise has a huge antique door sourced from different parts of India. And each suite is so spacious that they can easily take an extra bed for a family to stay comfortably.
The highest point at Kahani Paradise, also popular as ‘Secret Place’, is towards the backside of the villa overlooking the Paradise beach. You will have to walk on the pebbled pathway surrounded by tall tress to reach Secret Place. It is beautifully created sunset spot along with a smaller infinity pool and a stylish shack. It certainly is a secret spot as every time we went there, we found no sign of human existence. The staff can arrange for a small cocktail party near the pool where you can just sit, relax, sip the drinks and watch the sun melt in the sea.
The Queen suite at Kahani Paradise, Gokarna
We stayed in the Queen suite at Kahani Paradise. As we unchained the padlock of the huge Rajasthani door, we were welcomed inside the gigantic suite with large floor-to-ceiling windows, tall arches and exceptionally stylish décor. The marble-floored suite was spacious and had a king-size bed with plenty of comfortable pillows, a pair of antique bedside lamps, two wooden closets, a sofa, a work table, a full-size antique mirror and various other ancient treasures. The en-suite bathroom was enormous with a big marble bathtub, a rain shower with 24-hour hot and cold-water supply and a separate toilet area. The yellow lights provided a romantic appeal to the suite and owing to the large windows we were blessed to have lots of natural light as well.
A personal note written to us explained how the air-conditioning and Wi-fi worked and detailed out the whereabouts of other amenities like hair-dryer, bath-robes, safes, tea/ coffee maker, mini-refrigerator stocked with beverages, and the complimentary products like chemical-free toiletries (of Ayca brand - which we totally loved) and disposable slippers. Every single detail in our suite, right from the contemporary décor, curated spaces, authentic Indian textile, and the colour palettes, was thought with precision and created with love. The suite also had a Bluetooth enabled Bose speaker so that we could play our desired music. Books and magazines all over the place turned out to be a great evening time reads. Television is intentionally left out to keep the daily world away. Overall, the suite seemed like an ancient royal palace with modern luxuries.
Kahani behind Kahani Paradise, Gokarna:
Just when we were discussing and debating over who would have planned to construct such a luxurious villa in this remote area of south Gokarna, we were fortunate to meet Mr. Leric Reeches, the managing director of Kahani Paradise, who told us the story behind this project. The owner of Kahani Paradise, a British family, were looking for a holiday home in India. They handed the task of searching for a suitable place to build their home to Leric. In 2005, Leric came across this isolated piece of agricultural land and within months it was bought. All the antiques were picked and sourced from different parts of the world by the owners in the initial few years. But the project was delayed due to various reasons and the construction of the villa started only in 2015, 10 years later. Philip Syborn, a British architect, assisted in designing the villa. His wife, Sarah Syborn, did the gardens and landscaping. Saloni Sharma from Delhi curated the furniture and textiles. No compromises were made in the villa’s creation and no detail has been overlooked. And it was combined hard work and efforts put by several passionate people, that this villa, with 6 suites, was ready in October 2017. The luxury villa was named ‘Kahani Paradise’ by the owners and it remains true to its name. Kahani Paradise opened its doors to its first guests in January 2018. Every year, the British family visit their Indian home during the Christmas holidays. Today, the luxurious villa can be booked by guests in its entirety or room-by-room.
Kahani Paradise, Gokarna – An eco-friendly luxurious villa:
The British family put up a great deal of thought and money to make Kahani Paradise an eco-friendly villa. Below the 3 buildings of Kahani Paradise is a water tank with a capacity of 1 million litres. The roof of all the buildings is connected to pipes, that lead the rainwater to eventually get stored in this underground tank. The water is filtered through various technologies and then used for different other purposes making Kahani Paradise the only self-sufficient property in Gokarna.
Food at Kahani Paradise, Gokarna:
We were treated with delicious local and international cuisines at the restaurant of Kahani Paradise. The food at Kahani Paradise is freshly made with all the ingredients sourced from the local market. The seafood is bought fresh each day from the local fishermen. There is a set menu but the chef is anytime happy to cook anything based on the guest’s preferences. The menu includes Indian, Continental, Italian and local Gokarna cuisines and everything that they made tasted yummy. They also have a wonderful selection of drinks. The breakfast included exotic fruits, fresh juices, teas, coffees, an Indian dish or an English breakfast to choose from. The chef recommended his signature dishes during lunch and dinner and they were incredible and never went wrong. The staff at the restaurant were humble and polite and stood on their toes to cater to any of our requirements.
Staff at Kahani Paradise, Gokarna:
The staff at Kahani Paradise was warm and welcoming and catered to all our needs and requirements with a smile. Each one of them was knowledgeable and friendly. They worked hard to make us feel at home and always greeted us when we met. They went out of their way when we asked one of them to accompany us for a property tour and to explore the nearby village and Paradise beach. Most of the staff were local but still were very well trained and spoke fluent English. Their service was brilliant and the staff provided us with our personal space, they were never too obtrusive nor inattentive. Special mention to Vicky, Sandhya, Ganesh and Devender to make our stay a memorable one.
Our experience at Kahani Paradise, Gokarna:
We visited Kahani Paradise during the end of monsoon and unfortunately, we weren’t able to venture out much due to continuous downpour. But we treasured every minute we spent at the villa. We loved our suite and spent our time listening to our favourite peaceful music (using their Bluetooth Bose speakers) or reading books and magazines. We were grateful that the rooms were not equipped with any television and we got an opportunity to spend ample time with each other. The strong Wi-Fi signals kept us connected to the outside world – not that we needed it! We spent most of our time in the seating area of the villa, either indulged in reading or admiring the spellbinding views. We never enjoyed the rain as much as at Kahani Paradise; we saw nature become lively and lush green. We ate the delicious meals prepared by the chef to our heart’s content. We caught up on our sleep, thanks to the peaceful silence, and woke up to the pleasant chirping of birds. We spent a lot of time at their secret hideout with a hope that clouds would clear and we shall be greeted with a wonderful sunset (but it did not happen). However, to our surprise, we did see little bit of sunrise on one of the days! We also visited the Paradise beach and went on a stroll to Belekan village to interact with the locals. We went photographing the rare birds in the surrounding jungle and were lucky to spot a Hornbill couple.
We went for a relaxing dip in the infinity pool and watched the ferries making trips in the sea and the sun setting down behind the clouds. We also took a walk in the villa’s tropical gardens and sprawling surroundings and appreciated the beauty of nature in the beautiful flora and fauna that had come alive because of rain. We walked down to the villa’s meditation ground to catch up on some peaceful time and sat around the big pool specially made for harvesting and storing water.
We also had an option to rent Kahani Paradise's own Royal Enfield motorbike or a vintage jeep and visit the nearby beaches, temples or Gokarna market, but it was raining all the while and we did not feel like leaving this piece of paradise to roam around in Gokarna. Other things that we would have loved to do but did not because of rain is playing outdoor sports such as badminton, table tennis or cricket with other guests or locals in their open grounds, or calling a yoga expert on request to try yoga and meditation besides the pool or in one of the gardens. We felt so relaxed while at the luxurious villa that we did not require any holistic treatment to be at ease, but their open-air massage centre overlooking the green landscapes surely piqued our interest. During the evening time, the villa lits up with romantic lighting and that used to be our favourite time of the day. We let ourselves be pampered by the luxury and the impeccable service of the staff. All in all, we had a marvellous time at Kahani Paradise and a 2-night stay left us with a feeling of attachment to the people and aura of the place. Nonetheless, we were rejuvenated to return to our old life.
Kahani Paradise is highly recommended for people looking for peace and privacy; away from the noise, crowd and hustle-bustle of the city. It is ideal for solo travellers, couples and families who want to spend quality time. It is not a place for friends looking for a destination to party as tranquillity is the USP of this place. Do not expect a resort-level service. Kahani Paradise is more of a homestay with luxurious amenities. The staff will pamper you and arrange for whatever you ask for within reach. It is certainly a paradise and the owners will certainly like to keep it like that way.
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Kahani Paradise is one of the most beautiful properties we have stayed at. You can book a suite for yourself or the family through booking.com or by directly contacting them. Here’s a link to Kahani Paradise’s website. How did you like our review of the luxury villa? Would you like to stay here? Do let us know in the comment section below.
All opinions expressed above are our own based on our experience and are not influenced by Kahani Paradise's management.