13th March 2014
Kerala, a destination known across the world as a top travel destination has arguably been endowed with natural diversity and character unlike any other destination in India. The tag of being called God’s Own Country stands justified to everyone who has had the chance of having visited this land that very recently was described as ‘One of the ten paradises in the world’ by National Geographic Traveller.
What really makes this beautiful region standout is the unrivalled standard of hospitality that they offer as a host. Pioneers in India at realizing the value of the treasure trove that they were fortunate to call home and making Kerala into a leading holiday destination, the Kerala Tourism Department and the many individual hotels and resorts that have sprouted over the years across the state are constantly redefining and improving what can only be described as the Kerala Experience!
Being someone who chooses to travel as a backpacker, the overwhelming hospitality extended by four of Thiruvananthapuram’s top resorts over a span of two days was an experience that I wouldn’t mind every now and then. From viewing the sunset from the balcony of an uber luxury property to rejuvenating yourself with a traditional Ayurvedic massage, the options for one to feel special and pampered are far too many.
Visiting the Estuary Island Resort, the Poovar Island Resort, the Leela Kovalam and the Somatheeram & Manaltheeram Ayurveda Resorts as one of the Kerala Blog Express travel bloggers gave me a glimpse into four very special and unique getaways for the weary traveller.
ESTUARY ISLAND, POOVAR
Our hosts for the first couple of days, Estuary Island stood out for its scenic location and the view of the Arabian Sea. The short fifteen minute boat rides with coconut palms and a variety of birds for company, the time spent relaxing in the pool, the prompt service and the amicable disposition of the staff and the time spent in the evening sitting next to the water sipping on chilled beer and chatting with fellow travel bloggers; time spent at the resort was more than enjoyable.
POOVAR ISLAND RESORT, POOVAR
Invited by the resort for lunch, I only spent a few hours at the Poovar Island Resort. Within that time, a couple of things at the resort stood out noticeably. The floating guest rooms with undiluted views of the sea and the serene ambience of the Ayurveda Centre seemed to be the features that would get me to visit this resort again.
Pioneers and present day world leaders in the Ayurveda resort segment, Somatheeram and Manaltheeram Ayurveda have been providing traditional healthcare and wellness treatments to guests since 1985. Built on hilly terrain with the boundary on one side resting on the edge of a cliff, the rustic vernacular architecture and the panoramic view of the sea available to the rooms probably help in the process of rejuvenation.
THE LEELA, KOVALAM
The plan was to visit the hotel and view the famed sunset of the west coast. Now the honest fact was that I had seen beautiful sunsets every day since the Kerala Blog Express began and I wasn’t too excited about another hotel and yet another sunset! But this turned out to be very different. The fact that we had the most beautiful and luxurious seats in the house made everything feel better. The dying light of the setting sun shimmering on the surface of the infinity pool, the long dramatic shadows cast onto the texture stone architecture and the Mediterranean themed verandahs; the setting was perfect and so was the evening. Every frame had magically transformed into a breathtaking surreal painting.