“A beautifully calm and spoiling retreat with a fabulous spa and houseboat on the undeveloped North Keralan coast”
The traditional, thatched cottages are set nicely far apart in 2 tiers, looking out to sea, over the lush gardens, or onto the pool. Some are paired, making them useful for groups; the Private Plunge Pool Cottage is the most luxurious, with a private plunge pool in its walled garden.
A teak veranda fronts each cottage with rustic, wicker furniture coaxing you to sit and daydream. Interiors are light-filled and airy, thanks to large windows dressed with drop-down, opaque blinds and soaring 5m-high ceilings.
Enormous beds have fabulous matresses and snowy white linen, along with plump pillows and bright bolsters. Bedside tables and Planters-style twin chairs were carved by local craftsmen; there are small writing desks as well as cavernous wardrobes.
Out back, bathrooms are huge and partly open to the sky. Some have frangipani trees growing right through them, others look out over a big palm in the private back garden beyond. The solar showers are powerful and refreshing and some rooms have a tub with views. You’ll find a pile of thick towels, bathrobes and slippers for the spa, and a big range of locally-sourced toiletries whilst stylish surface-top sinks have eco-friendly plugs to help save water.
You have a choice of 2 restaurants. Annapurna is dedicated to the goddess of nourishment and sits in the middle of the grounds in a high, pagoda-style structure. Roofed with coconut palms and open on all sides, it's a really exotic spot for a meal and the food is fantastic - a mix of North and South Indian, Middle Eastern and European flavours. Mostly vegetarian, specialities include idli and dosa (spicy savoury rice cakes and pancakes respectively), bathal (similar to bahjis) and Keralan-style fish and chicken dishes.
At the Meenakshi restaurant, close to the pool and just a few metres back from the beach, you dine with your toes in the sand beneath the swaying coconut palms. A light lunch time ‘black board’ menu reflects what’s available from the local market that day whilst in the evenings fresh fish and seafood - delivered to the hotel every morning by local fishermen - take pride of place. Expect dishes like Malabar prawn curry or king fish prepared in banana leaves. The food is excellent, though prices are on the high side. The service can be slow but, hey, you're here to relax so why bother stressing? Poolside drinks are also available.
A continental breakfast is available in either restaurant until 10am, and a complimentary afternoon tea with locally made biscuits is served daily in Meenakshi.
Annapurna is also fully licensed for a range of beers and a small selection of Sula wines: chenin blanc and a sauvignon in white, chardonnay and shiraz in red. Drinks are also available from 10am until 7pm at the pool bar which overlooks a small lagoon and the ocean: it’s a perfect setting for a memorable sundowner.
If you take a cruise on the The Lotus you'll find a bar and modern kitchen plus indoor and alfresco dining areas. A personal chef is part of the crew and we couldn’t find fault with any of the meals we had on the boat. All meals, tea and all day fresh fruit are included in the Rates.
Well-behaved children are welcome and the cottages can take an extra bed each, but this hotel is definitely aimed at adults and there are no real facilities for kids.
Toddlers (1-4 years)
Extra Beds Available
Baby cots can be provided on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking