1st June 2015
When you think of Kerala, India, you’d probably expect basic, dirty hotels with an occasional hostel thrown in where various creatures crawl, like in a biology lab. Guess what – it can’t be further from truth!
I stayed in more than 10 hotels during my trip to Kerala and some were nicer than others but they were all fine and I fortunately didn’t get to meet any local cockroaches or other uninvited visitors.
Here I’ll show you the most awesome hotels that I fully recommend! I myself would like to stay at these again one day.
The Branton Boatyard, Calvetty Road, Near Aspine Wall , Calvetty, Kochi, Kerala 682001, India
Closest airport: Kochi (Cochin)
My all-time favorite deserves the first spot on this list. This luxury boutique hotel, conveniently positioned near Fort Cochin, was a real paradise on Earth. The rooms were beautifully decorated in marine style and the high beds conveyed a clear meaning of luxury. Oh, how comfortable my bed was!
Even though I’m not too much into hotel pools, I fell for the pool at Branton Boatyard. The water temperature was very pleasing, and I had a great view of the Arabian Sea from there. It’s especially awesome at dusk, unfortunately not just for humans, but mosquitos too.
Branton includes quite a few activities for their hotel guests – you can even take a 1-hour sunset cruise. Yoga and mediation classes are a must.
This was one of a very few hotels in India where one chooses a breakfast from the menu, rather than just being overwhelmed by buffet choices. I had fried eggs and they were incredible! The French toast didn’t impress me that much, but it was edible.
Branton Boatyard is a bit pricy but once you see it with your own eyes, you’ll know that it’s worth it! It needs to be noted that the hotel belongs to CGH Earth Experience chain of hotels, which take pride in providing immersive and environment-friendly accommodation.
Welcomhotel Raviz Ashtamudi Resort & Ayurveda Spa, Thevally, Mathilil PO, Kollam 691601, Kerala, India
Closest airport: Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum)
Although a little tucked away, Raviz is one of the rare hotels worth travelling to. Just wait until you enter the stunning lobby and you’ll be convinced right away.
The rooms are beautiful and feature even a work desk, which is very useful if you’re a blogger or a freelancer on the road. To relax after some nailing a few work tasks, you can relax in a hydro-massage bathtub!
The lake by Raviz hotel is incredibly beautiful and you can go for a boat trip or even try your hand at canoeing. Sunsets above the lake are breathtaking and so are sunrises if you can manage to get up from their super comfy bed at such an early hour. 🙂
You might not be thrilled to swim in the lake and that is perfectly fine, as Raviz has an awesome pool.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to experience the Ayurveda at Raviz, but the spa rooms looked impressive. Especially the one for couple massages, with scattered rose petals, overlooking the lake. I guess honeymoons here must be pretty special!
The Zuri Kumarakom, Kerala Resort & Spa, V 235 A1 to A54, Karottukayal, Kumarakom, Kottayam, Kerala, 686 563 India
Closest airport: Cochin
Zuri apparently means ‘far beyond expectations’ in Swahili (this hotel had their first resort in Africa) and I must say I was pretty impressed. You’ve probably already got the feeling that this blog is not about the ultimate in luxury travelling, so I don’t often stay in places like the Zuri hotel.
The hotel’s layout is quite unique – which consisted of little ‘cabins’ positioned around a big manmade lake in the middle. It must take more than 30 minutes to walk the whole perimeter!
If you have a room far from the reception area or the restaurant, all is not lost, because you can take advantage of electric golf carts. On your way from the entrance, you’ll just hop on one that’s always ready by the reception. For the opposite direction, you just go ahead and call one from your room.
The rooms were impressive. Mine, belonging to the category ‘Zuri Cottage’, featured a cuteoutdoor rain shower, which was completely private. Some of my Kerala Blog Express friends had presidential villas with private pools and jacuzzi! Those were insane in my opinion… utmost luxury!
Zuri’s big spa is true relaxation for the body. I had my first ayurvedic massage in Zuri and it was so special that I might write a post about it 😉
The dining options in Lime Tree were akin to a top-notch restaurant and had a very creative touch. Combine it with extremely nice waiters and you really do feel like a princess/prince. Just don’t walk in there in your pajamas – they wouldn’t appreciate that.
Early morning yoga sessions, on a little ‘island’ on the lake, are a great way to stretch the body and get it ready for exploring the surroundings. Apparently, you can even do paddle boating, rafting or fishing on the lake, but I didn’t have time to try all that.
CGH Earth Spice Village, Kumily Road, Thekkady, Kumily, Kerala 685536, India
Nearest airport: Madurai
Proudly belonging to the CGH Earth Experience group of hotels, this hotel really does look like abeautiful tribal village! I was stunned at how sustainability permeates everything in Spice Village – from pool filtration, organic garden, dry grass roofs of the standalone rooms, to solar-generated electricity. Oh, and they even wrap little “goodies” in your hotel room in homemade paper! You can go have a look at how paper is made and try it yourself. It makes for great scrapbook material, if you’re into that sort of thing 😉
Spice Village is a wide compound full of little houses that are supposed to be modeled after the local tribal way of living. The rooms are simple, yet lack nothing, and are a great choice for anyone who doesn’t need outright luxury.
We had a chance to enjoy some local performances, as they often organize music for dinners and there are dancing performances too. They were really good, no fake hotel fluff. 🙂
The whole village feel of Spice Village is amplified by guinea fowls wandering around. They are fun and might get a little noisy at times, but luckily just in the morning!
Vythiri Village – a luxury Ayurveda spa resort, NH – 212, Vythiri.P.O., Wayanad – 673576, Kerala, India
Closest airport: Calicut
Vythiri Village was partially under reconstruction when I spent 3 nights there. However, the whole site was still very charming. It helped that there were cheeky monkeys around!
The rooms were nice and spacious. I struggled with the internet a little, but that could always be solved by hanging out in the reception area.
In fact, I had one of my best Ayurveda massages in Vythiri Village and still can’t stop thinking about the experience!
I really wanted to try the zip line they have there, unfortunately on the day when I hoped to, there was a state-wide strike and the zip line workers couldn’t make it to work. Everything else was flawless, though.
The whole Village is very green and is full of diverse trees. You can just walk around and check the nametags, if you’re interested in botany. One thing that was very unique about the compound is that there’s a manmade waterfall there! An impressive chain bridge leads to it. And if you’d like to have a lunch on a houseboat, there’s a new one on a small artificial lake (even though it’s far from a real houseboat)
Once their big swimming pool is fully operational again, you won’t even need to get out of the Village to have an awesome vacation 🙂
So there you go, plenty of inspiration for staying at some really nice accommodations in Kerala, India. I’m sure there are loads of backpacking options too, especially at Varkala area. I haven’t actually been in Varkala myself, and as a result of being on the Kerala Blog Express trip, I stayed mostly in rather nice hotels.
Kerala is an incredible state in India and it does deserve attention from us travellers! If you’re still not convinced, read my reasons why I totally fell for Kerala.
Have you been to Kerala yet? If not, is this the first time you’ve heard about it? Did you fall in love with one of the hotels?