God’s own country has, quite fittingly, some truly divine hotels. Here is our pick of the best.
With a stellar view of Cochin Harbour, located on the tranquil Wilingdon Island away from the bustle of Ernakulam, the Taj Malabar is ideal for the stop-and-go businessmen and leisure honeymooners alike. The heritage wing (b: 1935) is an ode to Kochi’s colonial past, just as the modern tower-wing shows off a happy contemporary decor. State-of-the-art technology and lip-smacking cuisines in its restaurants complete the picture in this versatile landmark.
Imagine a 16th century Kerala village recreated on the lush banks of Verbanad Lake, with age-old grace and hospitality oozing out of all its 25 acres. Uber-luxury rooms, swimming pools aplenty, the delightful Ayurmana Spa with its soothing, mystical Ayurvedic treatments, health clubs and best of all, restaurants ladling out mouth-watering authentic Kerala cuisine, these are just some of the attractions of this World Travel Award winner for 4 years.
This 5-star Resort and Spa truly, also on the banks of Lake Vembanad, exemplifies Kerala’s reputation of a heavenly paradise on Earth. This is the place to lose yourself and be pampered rotten, amidst 18 acres of the verdant and luxuriant backwaters. The menu of therapies available in the spa straddle the best of the west and east, and there is simply no better location for a relaxing yoga session as Body Temple, situated on a little island in the middle of the lake.
This will get you your own, private section of beach, a pool and an open-air bathroom, all set in and against an authentic heritage Kerala abode, kissed by the warm waters of the southern Arabian Sea. This is for lovers of quiet and seclusion, as the warm days of swimming, spas and lounging segue to cool nights of tranquil walks, cocktails, and world-class cuisine by the sea-shore. A hotel that feels like home, if home was a palatial cottage with the best of Kerala packed into it.
No resort does justice to the picturesque beauty of the Kovalam coast as the Leela, perched as it is atop a steep cliff with acres of green around it. Imagine staring out at the infinite ocean as you bask in either of its two infinity pools. In fact, everything from its superb restaurants to its 4 spas showcases the soothing vista of the magnificent Arabian Sea. Wi-Fi serves every corner of the hotel, indoors and outdoors, making this the nicest spot in South India to work from.