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Discovery

Kerala Backwaters, India

Eco-friendly houseboat with contemporary design and silent electric motors for exploring the quieter backwaters (sleeps 2-4)

The success of Keralan backwater cruises in recent years has seen a huge increase in pollution, with hundreds of diesel-powered boats plying through these fragile ecosystems. Malabar Escapes, provider of stylish hideaways like Malabar House, Serenity, Privacy, Purity and Trinity, wanted to create a pollution-free and energy-conscious houseboat, without sacrificing any of their renowned flair and craftsmanship.

They took a traditional kettuvallam (stitched hull) and added a well-insulated aluminium-plywood superstructure, an energy-efficient LPG engine and two silent electric motors (front and back). A battery bank allows these to be charged during the day and is used for light and power at night. And, as the boat is narrower, it can slip through the backwater hinterland away from the standard (and now crowded) Alleppey cruise. Inside, it's stylishly decorated and surprisingly roomy for such a slim boat - the perfect setting to relax in after dark, with a friend or partner.


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Reviewed by Dan Wedgwood

Highs

  • This is an eco-friendly houseboat with all mod cons, including air conditioning
  • The design is simple and classy
  • It cruises undiscovered parts of the increasingly busy backwaters to ensure tranquility and privacy
  • You'll find excellent staff and service
  • There's lots to see en route: temples, dance displays, farms, bustling markets...

Lows

  • You have to start (or end) at Privacy on Vembanad Lake, as it shuttles between there and Alleppey
  • It's not as pretty as the traditional riceboats

More environmentally friendly than traditional vessels...        

Telegraph TravelDiscovery:  Read more press reviews
Save to favouritesPrintMailDiscoveryThe success of Keralan backwater cruises in recent years has seen a huge increase in pollution, with hundreds of diesel-powered boats plying through these fragile ecosystems. Malabar Escapes, provider of stylish hideaways like [h:IS012:Malabar House], [h:IS032:Serenity], [h:IS031:Privacy], [h:IS108:Purity] and [h:IS011:Trinity], wanted to create a pollution-free and energy-conscious houseboat, without sacrificing any of their renowned flair and craftsmanship. They took a traditional kettuvallam (stitched hull) and added a well-insulated aluminium-plywood superstructure, an energy-efficient LPG engine and two silent electric motors (front and back). A battery bank allows these to be charged during the day and is used for light and power at night. And, as the boat is narrower, it can slip through the backwater hinterland away from the standard (and now crowded) Alleppey cruise. [i!http://www.i-escape.com/hotel.php?section=eating&hotel_key=IS013!Inside], it's stylishly decorated and surprisingly roomy for such a slim boat - the perfect setting to relax in after dark, with a friend or partner.

Book this hotelfrom 325EUR

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