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Kerala

Overview

A long slip of land covering the most southerly 400 miles of India’s west coast, Kerala offers many opportunities to get back to nature. Visitors can escape the heat in the lush hill stations among the tea and spice plantations of the Western Ghats and explore small villages on the coconut palm-lined backwaters or simply relax on beautiful golden beaches. Kerala’s wildlife sanctuaries also contain wild elephants, an abundance of birdlife and some tigers. The traditional Keralan culture is kept alive in ornately costumed Kathakali dance, aromatic cuisine and the healing power of Ayurveda, widely practiced in Kerala’s resort hotels.Cosmopolitan and atmospheric port town Cochin hosts a variety of Indo-European history and is a local artistic hub. Kerala is not linked by direct flights to London but Cochin and Trivandrum have several international and domestic connections.

 

Cochin

As the cultural capital of Kerala, Cochin has a great deal to offer. The city is spread over several islands with Fort Cochin being the most interesting for visitors. The distinctive architecture reflects its long history as an important sea port and trading post with Portuguese churches, Dutch mansions, British store houses and a synagogue. The Chinese fishing nets were first constructed in the 14th century and are still used today. If you enjoy cooking and would like to learn a few local dishes, we can arrange a half or full day lesson with a renowned local cook at her home. With the international airport nearby, Cochin is likely to be the starting point for most journeys through Kerala.

 

Munnar

A four hour drive from Cochin and Thekkady, Munnar sits at a height of 1,500 metres, making the temperature pleasantly cool and ideal for growing tea – the main industry for over a century. About 14 kilometres from Munnar is Eravikulam National Park where you can explore on foot with a guide, perhaps spotting the elusive native ibex.

 

Thekkady

At the centre of the spice growing region and surrounded by rolling green hills, Thekkady is a bustling town and the only place from where you can access Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary which has a large reservoir at its heart and is home to elephant; buffalo; deer; monkey and kingfisher. You can take a walking tour of one of the nearby spice plantations where you will see pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla and cloves. From Thekkady, you can continue to Madurai, Munnar or the backwaters.

 

Keralan Backwaters & Houseboats

Between the Malabar Coast and the Cardamom Hills is a unique landscape of lakes and canals which form a massive waterway known as the backwaters. Water taxis are still the main form of transport for the local villagers while fishermen go out early with their nets in tiny wooden boats. It is a charming area to explore with churches, simple houses and palm trees lining the banks. We can arrange for you to see some of the smaller canals using traditional wooden canoes complete with local boatman to punt – this hidden hinterland is where villagers grow coconuts and play cricket on thin strips of land. You are sure to find this a relaxing and interesting destination with plenty of local life.

 

Keralan Beaches

When on holiday, it is always enjoyable to take time out, whether at the start, middle or end of a tour and Kerala has a number of great options. Almost all of our selection offer Ayurvedic massage, a more unusual way to relax. We have chosen properties in northern and southern Kerala – our team of experts have experienced all of them and would be delighted to help you plan a tailor-made itinerary that allows enough time to relax and recuperate.

Hotels

Prices on request

Kerala, India
An hour south of Cochin, Marari Beach manages to combine the feel of a village with a resort due to its rustic style cottages scattered through the extensive gardens.

Prices on request

Kerala, India
The only way to arrive at Coconut Lagoon is by boat, either from the nearby village of Kumarakom or from the other side of Lake Vembanad. The friendly staff will greet you and lead the way through mature gardens, past the swimming pool, main restaurant and bar to your cottage.

Prices on request

Kerala, India
Set on the shores of Lake Vembanad, this resort combines the Keralan style of tiled roof wooden cottages with contemporary features like the meandering pool which links a number of the cottages and duplex rooms.

Hotel

Brunton Boatyard, Cochin
Heritage

Prices on request

Kerala, India
This hotel, housed in a converted boatyard occupies a prime location on the tip of Fort Cochin with all bedrooms and bathrooms facing the sea.

Hotel

Old Harbour, Cochin
Heritage

Prices on request

Kerala, India
As a hotel and home, the Old Harbour has been welcoming guests to Fort Cochin for over 300 years. It has been meticulously restored and furnished with antiques and textiles which reflect Kerala’s trading heritage. 

Hotel

Forte Kochi
Heritage

Prices on request

Kerala, India
In the heart of Fort Cochin, this manor house has been carefully renovated to maintain the Dutch and Portuguese colonial heritage style.

Prices on request

Kerala, India
This is a beach hotel with a difference set on a quiet twelve kilometre stretch of beach. There are only 16 traditional thatched cottages, simply but stylishly decorated each with its own private courtyard garden.

Hotel

Kettuvallom Houseboats
Superior

Prices on request

Kerala, India
The original use of this distinctive style of boat was transporting rice paddy through the backwaters. Through a period of design evolution, they have been enlarged to around 25 metres long and become a comfortable and enjoyable way to explore the area.

Hotel

The Leela Kovalam
Superior

Prices on request

Kerala, India
The Leela Kovalam is equidistant from both the airport and the city centre and has a stunning location on the cliff-top between two sweeping beaches. Spread over 44 acres, the hotel comprises of 182 guest rooms, many of which overlook the sea.

Hotel

Taj Malabar
Deluxe

Prices on request

Kerala, India
Set on the tip of Willingdon Island facing Fort Cochin, the bedrooms of this grand hotel all have a view of either the sea or the harbour. 

Hotel

Windermere, Munnar
Deluxe

Prices on request

Kerala, India
A short drive from the centre of Munnar, Windermere overlooks a range of green hills and a river running along the bottom of the valley. There are five bedrooms by the reception building, but for stunning views, one of the cottage rooms with either panoramic windows or a balcony is a must.

Prices on request

Kerala, India
This small boutique hotel has a clifftop location set amongst lush gardens and is the finest beach property in Kerala. The 22 private cottages are dotted amongst coconut plantations and combine traditional Keralan architecture with the comforts of a fine luxury hotel.

Hotel

Spice Village, Thekkady
Superior

Prices on request

Kerala, India
Although Spice Village has a central location in Thekkady, the large garden makes it feel like a rural property particularly since kitchen garden was added recently.

Staff Reviews

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Our reservation consultants travel extensively to our holiday destinations throughout the year. They embark on regular visits to not only our most popular destinations such as Venice and Paris but also to our lesser visited cities and rural hideaways to ensure we have a comprehensive and detailed product knowledge.

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Kerala - Southern India

By Ben Williams, 28 June 2018

For my first visit to India, I eschewed the majestic cities of northern India, preferring the tranquillity of Kerala. My wife and I agreed as we steppedoff the plane in Cochin that this land, frozen…

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Accommodation options in Kerala

Use the map to pin point our accommodation and find the hotel in just the right spot for your short break or tailormade holiday

To make an enquiry please speak to one of our experts on 020 7593 1899, or enquire online

Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.

Praha