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Backwaters (4)

View of Chittoor Kottaram
Chittoor Kottaram, Kochi
Kochi
INTRODUCTION “Once upon a time there was a king…” Now you can be part of that story as the royal family of Cochin has opened one of their homes to guests. Long ago, another powerful king stopped the Raja of Cochin from visiting the famed Guruvayoor temple. The Raja vowed to have a better Krishna temple in his own kingdom and hence the Cheranalloor Krishna temple was built. The Chittoor Kottaram was created as a royal retreat near it. Today it accommodates only one group at a time so that it remains a majestic experience. The hour-long journey over water from Fort Kochi in a private motorboat to this amazing Kochi villa is a great way to start the experience. ROOMS The Kottaram (meaning palace) is maintained so well that it is hard to believe that it is 400 years old. It is a lovely and large Kochi villa with extensive wooden verandahs serving as communal spaces. The one in front looks over the lagoon while the one at the back looks over the inner courtyard and lawn. Though it is built over a large area, this Kochi villa  has only three bedrooms. The two smaller ones are on the ground floor while the royal bedroom on the first floor has a separate living area and a bedroom. One of the bedrooms downstairs is a double while other two have the original twin four poster beds. The en-suite bathrooms are modern and one even has a selection of books in it. The royal pond with a long row of covered steps leading to it is soon to become the swimming pool. There is a private Ayurveda massage area in the grounds and two complimentary massages are available to guests. Every evening, a performance of traditional art is staged in the garden. It is quite magical to experience a private Kathakali or Mohiniattam performance at close quarters. SERVICE The kitchen and dining area are next to each other and guests are welcome to watch preparation of food. Traditional Kerala food is served on banana leaves for lunch and North Indian food for dinner. Ideally guests should stay for 2 nights to ensure that they have tasted the best of Kerala vegetarian cuisine. Guests are also invited to join the morning market visit for fresh vegetables and fruits. A sunset boat ride with tea and snacks is part of the experience too.  The manager and the staff here at this Kochi villa are tireless in ensuring that the guests relax and enjoy the royal experience.Royal retreat of the Raja of Cochin, this magnificent vintage villa provides grandeur on the backwaters.
Royal retreat of the Raja of Cochin, this magnificent vintage villa provides grandeur on the backwaters.
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Price:
Luxury
Type:
Villa
Rooms:
3
Season:
All year
Food:
All meals incl

Living and dining space in a houseboat
Houseboat Experiences, Alleppey
Alleppey
INTRODUCTION Kerala has many experiences to offer but perhaps the most unique one is watching life on the backwaters at close quarters from a “houseboat”. It’s a wonderful way of slipping into relaxation, surrounded by water and emerald-green lush scenery. The view never remains constant. At times, it is a vast expanse of water and at other times a waterside village with interconnected canals. While sailing past houses, it is fascinating to see their ingenuity in growing vegetables and livestock on narrow strips of reclaimed land. The houseboat is a modified kettuvallom, an enormous boat originally used to transport goods on the waterways. In those days, it had a small makeshift shelter for the crew and the rest of the boat was open. Today, the houseboat is like a small house with living and sleeping quarters at the front and the kitchen with crew quarters at the back. The remarkable thing about the houseboat is that no nails are used in its construction. The weathered timber is bound together using strong coir ropes. The upper structure is built using natural materials like palm leaves and bamboo. Once in three years, the entire upper structure is rebuilt. SERVICE The crew of these Allepppey houseboats usually has a captain, a cook and a helper. The meals are freshly prepared on the boat and feature Kerala delicacies. Karimeen, the piscine pearl of the lagoon is usually served at lunch. During the day the boats leisurely cruise through the canals and do not stop anywhere. By government order, all Alleppey houseboats moor at 6 pm at the riverbank. Cruising begins at 6 am next morning and ends at 10 am. The crew is trained to be non-intrusive and careful of guests’ privacy in the small space. The main activity on any of these Alleppey houseboats is relaxing on the cushioned chairs on the deck and soaking in the sights with all your senses. There are a variety of birds that can be spotted such as kingfisher, cormorant, tern and snakebird. Children love waving out to houseboats and asking for souvenirs like pens. When early evening sets in, young boys often sit at the edge of their gardens fishing for the evening meal. ROOMS An experience tailored for tourists, travellers can choose his kind from a variety of Alleppey houseboats, routes and also the number of days on the boat. A day is just about enough as it is typically 22 hours from start to finish. Two days is great and more than that is recommended only if you have a specific agenda as the routes do not vary even if it is a longer stay. Boats range from basic single bedroom to multi bedroom with Jacuzzi. Some have an upper deck for uninterrupted view and sunbathing though it can get pretty hot out on the lake. A few Alleppey houseboats have air conditioning in the living area too while most have it only in the bedrooms. The bathrooms are small and clean with just a shower and WC.Kerala's most unforgettable experience is a holiday on a wooden houseboat with onboard service.
Kerala's most unforgettable experience is a holiday on a wooden houseboat with onboard service.
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Price:
Luxury
Type:
House Boat
Rooms:
1 - 4
Season:
All Year
Food:
All meals incl

Twilight view of the farm
Tranquil Island Villas, Kumarakom
Kumarakom
INTRODUCTION A pioneer in Kerala heritage home tourism, Tranquil Island Villas near Kottayam is the brainchild of Vinod Mathew. At a time when agricultural revenue was waning, he decided to showcase the very facets of his farm that made it a difficult proposition and conceived this beautiful island villa resort in Kerala. The fifty acre farm which grows spices and coconuts is on an island built on reclaimed land within the Vembanad Lake.  Typical of reclaimed backwater areas, it is 2 meters lower than the level of the lake and has a retaining wall all around the island. It is surrounded by water and accessible only by country boat. And this is the part that guests love. The serenity, the view of the lake and its inaccessibility combine to give a “Robinson Crusoe with comforts” holiday.  Sadly, Vinod passed away a few years ago at a young age. His energetic wife Anu and mother Aniamma run the farm now. ROOMS This island villa resort in Kerala is the perfect place to finish the book that you have been working on for the last decade. There are six cottages built in the traditional Kerala style with tiny courtyards facing the lakefront. Each cottage including the bathroom has an abundance of wooden fittings and is furnished beautifully with antiques. There are minor differences between the cottages but clearly the focus at this island villa resort in Kerala is on privacy and quietness. Instead of air conditioners, there are ceiling fans in all rooms. A common path runs in front of the villas though it does not disturb the privacy of the cottages. A wooden pavilion with a large dining table for communal meals is in close proximity. It also has bookcases and small tables with chairs for guests to use. SERVICE Mealtimes are undoubtedly the highlight of the day with the table groaning under the weight of the traditional Kerala feasts cooked by Aniamma. She is an outstanding cook who focuses on specialties from the backwaters. Gourmet magazines from Europe have featured her and now group lunches too are organized at the farm. The family owns a plot of land on the mainland where cars can be parked safely, overnight . Their private country boat is available to ferry guests on their trips to the mainland and back. Book your stay at this island villa resort in Kerala - write to reservations@goseekandhide.comLake-view cottages in a spice and coconut farm on an island in the Vembanad Lake.
Lake-view cottages in a spice and coconut farm on an island in the Vembanad Lake.
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Price:
Mid-range
Type:
Villa
Rooms:
6
Season:
All year
Food:
All meals incl.

Inside the pool villa at the backwater resort
Backwaters Paradise, Kumarakom
Kumarakom
INTRODUCTION If your dream holiday is to be surrounded by well-being, peace and contentment, your search ends here. Backwaters Paradisewith its picturesque setting on Vembanad Lake is a world away from the city with its daily stress and hectic pace. This backwater resort invites you to switch off your mobile and come on board for a much needed slow paced holiday where watching the lake from your porch qualifies as an activity. This Kerala  backwater resort can’t be reached by road. Your holiday starts when you step into the Vembanad Coach, the resort’s private motorboat. A short ride through the gorgeous backwaters and then you sail in through a small canal to the elegant reception building. The reception area is actually an antique wooden homestead carefully reassembled here. And there they are, the extremely hospitable staff of the resort welcoming you with the lilting tune of the flute and the traditional welcome drink of coconut water. That’s when you really feel that you are in God’s own country. Having completed the check in formalities, it is time to explore the picture perfect backwater resort. The most charming part is the bridges over small canals that run throughout the property. The painstakingly restored old structures, the carefully nurtured gardens including organic vegetables and medicinal herbs, the butterfly garden, the swimming pool with a view of the lake, the attempt to conserve the almost extinct Vechoor cows and the commitment of the management to eco-friendly practices – each and everything exudes the charm of the Kerala life of yore combined with all the comforts of modern life. Each building here has a story, a story that is old and charming. The cottages are over a century old, with a few dating back to the early 1700’s. Each of them had been dismantled and brought to the location from different parts of Kerala. Then they were reassembled piece by piece following the ancient rules of ‘vastu’ and aesthetics. ROOMS You have a choice of three kinds of holiday villas at this beautiful backwater resort. The Heritage Bungalow is a cozy independent cottage set in the lush lawns along the canals. It has a bedroom with comfortable chairs and a writing desk as well as a tiny porch outside. The Heritage Mansions are larger, with the living area on the ground floor and the bedroom on the upper storey defined by distinctive wooden ribs that resemble the sides of a boat. Most of the Heritage mansions have a lake view. The third kind of holiday villa in the resort is the Pool Villa on a secluded section of the lakefront. The Pool Villa has three sections, the bedroom, the living area and a private pool. Each villa also has a hammock tied up front looking out to the lake. No two houses are exactly the same at the Backwaters Paradise. Each cottage has its unique architectural details. Amongst the first to restart using terracotta tiles, this backwater resort has helped to revive the traditional terracotta industry in Kerala. This is just one of the examples of their passionate commitment towards restoring what is old and beautiful. The only common thing between all the holiday villas is that old-world charm comes bundled with new age conveniences. Each villa is equipped with air-conditioning, telephone, hot water, coffee makers, mini-bar and everything else needed for a comfortable stay. The open to sky bathrooms reminiscent of the old Kerala traditions is yet another perfect semblance of the old and the contemporary. All the holiday villas have open to sky bathrooms and a porch though the size of these amenities varies according to the category. SERVICE AND FACILITIES Despite the fact that there is no room service or personal butler except for housekeeping, service is impeccable at this Kerala backwater resort. The staff makes a genuine effort to remember customer tastes and requests so that guests feel at home. Meals are served in the restaurant that is known as much for its superb Kerala cuisine as for the setting. It is the oldest heritage structure within the premises, a transplanted 400-year-old traditional Kerala ‘tharavad’. In season, there is also a specialty seafood restaurant that serves the day’s fresh catch prepared as per your taste. As for a rejuvenated body and soul, yoga sessions are held every morning within the resort premises. The resort has its own Ayurveda treatment center with trained doctors and masseurs so you don’t need to step out to experience the healing benefits of Kerala Ayurveda. There’s a range of non-chargeable activities that could keep you occupied during your stay like cooking demo, sunset cruise, the butterfly and dragonfly garden tour accompanied by a naturalist and indoor games room. For a complete list of activities, click on the Activities link below.One of a kind resort on the backwaters with an intimate ambiance and heritage wood cottages refashioned to incorporate modern comforts.
One of a kind resort on the backwaters with an intimate ambiance and heritage wood cottages refashioned to incorporate modern comforts.
Read more...
Price:
Luxury
Type:
Villa
Rooms:
50
Season:
All year
Food:
MAP - Breakfast & Dinner , AP - All meals
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