“Luxurious cliff-top, beach-side resort with heritage cottages, an Ayurvedic spa, restaurants and a stunning infinity pool”
Starting with the Rock Garden Rooms, the cottages get progressively bigger and closer to the sea until you reach the cliff-front Octagon (built from traditional stone) and the Banyan Tree Bungalow (tailored for honeymooners, with an outdoor tub in the garden). All are beautifully designed with traditional Keralan wood and blend in seamlessly with the gardens.
Harmonious lines and raised ceilings give a wonderful feeling of space. Beds are kingsize and doors and shutters feature solid ornate brass bolts. Each room has cleverly hidden air-conditioning and soundproofing; other pampering touches include organic cotton bathrobes and top-of-the-range Forest Essentials toiletries.
We stayed in a lovely Heritage Premium Cottage with a gauze-curtained four-poster, rich purple silks, crisp white cottons and graceful wall art. Our writing desk and the veranda with its planter chairs faced the sea, while our bathroom was a walled garden, half undercover, with indoor and alfresco showers and an open-air tub - just blissful.
The food at Café Samsara is outstanding, the chef’s a pro and it’s a real step up from your standard local home-cooking fare. The menu is a mix of Keralan specialities, pan-Indian dishes and European flavours; we enjoyed outstanding pepper squid, Malabar curries and spicy prawns. The downside is that service is disorganised, but go with a relaxed frame of mind and you’ll be just fine.
Essence is a more formal thatched Thai restaurant where you can watch your meal being prepared, marinated and flamed (dinner only, book ahead). Or, enjoy a romantic private dinner anywhere you like – perhaps the beach or cliff-edge yoga platform. All ingredients are fresh and local and the majority are organic; the management boasts that the only food to come from the deep freeze is the ice cream, which is, of course, homemade.
For drinks, there's Madira, the small poolside cocktail bar, and a second bar down on the beach (daytime only).
Breakfast consists of a light and healthy continental spread, with freshly squeezed fruit juice, fruit platters, yoghurt and perfectly poached eggs - a rarity in Indian boutique hotels.
Although a romantic's paradise, this resort is also very child-friendly; there’s enough space to cater for both. Parents will be glad of the lifeguards manning both the beach and the pool.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
The Heritage Premium Cottage and Octagon can each take up to 2 adults and 2 children; the latter is larger and has a garden. Most rooms have space for an extra bed or cot.
Available by arrangement.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
There's nothing specific on offer for families, but you can get food throughout the day (including in-room dining and early evening snacks). There are cafés and restaurants within walking distance.
The sea is rough and generally not suitable for children or weak swimmers. Pay close attention to the beach flags before letting kids near the water: a green flag means it's safe to swim, a red flag indicates danger. There are some unguarded drops around the hotel.