Beyond the Taj Mahal and the tiger safaris, India’s southern coast is alive with endless emerald rice paddies and spice fields, rural groves of palms, quaint fishing communities and thousands of migratory birds. This is God’s Own Country – Kerala, the coastal state in southwestern India. Named as one of the “Ten Paradises of the World” and “Top 50 Places of a Lifetime” by National Geographic Traveler, Kerala embodies a refreshing tropical paradise far from the country’s busier cities. Take a tour of Kerala’s crystalline marsh and watery web on Glimpses of Kerala, Ker & Downey’s latest tour. Experiential travel in India gets a makeover with our featured collection of luxurious properties and unique experiences.
Historically a region known as a hotbed of commerce and splendor during the golden days of spice trades, the peaceful beaches, nature preserves and intriguing luxury resorts contribute to Kerala’s glowing modern reputation. The nautical past of Kerala comes to life at the Brunton Boatyard Hotel, a Victorian-era shipyard turned luxury hotel. Rich woods and crisp linens accent the rooms, reminiscent of the sails and planks of ships long gone, with beautiful views of the harbor and Arabian Sea beyond outside each room. With a menu and decor as culturally rich as the trade routes of old, the Brunton Boatyard Hotel is an excellent introduction to the history of Kerala.
Spice Village Resort
Next, trade the mists of the sea for those of the mountains as you head to the secluded village of Periyar. Built at the site of a grand arboretum, the Spice Village Resort blends the tranquility of a rural mountain village with the convenience of a modern resort. Individual thatched-roof dwellings have been crafted in tribal-style from brick, wood, stone and elephant grass, mingling to create authentic and eco-friendly accommodations. From Spice Village tour the local spice farms and rubber plantations or set out closer to the resort with one of the naturalists on staff for bird watching in the thick teak forest.
Kumarakom Lake Resort
Visitors are hard-pressed to find a more ideal location from which to explore Kerala than the picturesque “backwaters” area. The backwater is home to the Kumarakom Lake Resort, an enchanting collection of historic villas nestled amidst coconut groves on the edge of Lake Vembanad. Named as one of Asia’s Top 25 Resorts by Travel + Leisure, Kumarakom Lake Resort is just a short drive from the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary where both permanent and seasonal denizens are a constant fixture. Panoramic views of the lotus-strewn canals, lush foliage and the still waters of Lake Vembanad are enjoyed through unobstructed panes of floor-to-ceiling glass and each of the villas is inclusive of a private terrace, pool and Jacuzzi.
The Indulge Houseboat
On your final night in Kerala, take a romantic cruise aboard Indulge, Injourni’s signature luxury houseboat. A completely private and opulent experience, a private staff will attend to you as you float. Indulge’s spacious private cabin is designed for couples but suitable for small parties and families. The master bedroom features full-panel windows of reflective glass, providing both stunning panoramic views and complete privacy for the guests inside.
Book-ended by stays in Mumbai and Hyderabad, Glimpses of Kerala will show you southern India like you’ve never imagined. Contact us for more information about luxury travel to India, and look for the Fall issue of Ker & Downey’s Bespoke magazine, featuring more unexpected destinations in India!