Kid Friendly Meter – 4/5
Vegetarian Friendly Meter – 4.5/5
Value for Money – 4.5/5
Kumarakom is a cozy little island in India’s favourite tourist destination – Kerala. Situated about 85 Kms from Kochi airport, Kumarakom has been listed by National Geographic Traveler as ‘one of fifty paradises on earth’.
And for good reason! Hopping across Kerala, having already enjoyed the beauty of a resort next to the sea in Cherrai; having shopped for silk sarees in Kochi; and having enjoyed the lovely scenery, the lovelier weather and the tea plantations on the hill-station of Munnar; we were not expecting to be blown away. But we were oh so wrong!
As we entered Kumarakom, we saw several hotels, more big names than we had seen in any of the other cities. As we checked into Kumarakom Lake Resort and took a short walk around the premises, I knew we were in for something special. And I was absolutely right. Over the next 3 days, I understood why Kerala is called ‘God’s own country‘.
Kumarakom Lake Resort is built on the serene backwaters of Kerala and is nothing short of paradise. The natural beauty and tranquility of the place is simply breathtaking.
The luxurious villas, the pristine grounds, the infinity pool that seems to meet the lake, the helpful and courteous staff, and the outstanding service levels all add to the experience.
The architecture of the resort deserves a special mention too. The rooms and villas have been reconstructed from 16th century traditional homesteads of Kerala by transplanting them from their original locations and painstakingly reassembling them on site. The result is a stunning resort that blends Kerala’s traditional architectural charm with luxurious, modern comforts.
We stayed in the Meandering Pool Villas, and each villa has direct access to the 250-meter long meandering pool, so good luck trying to keep the kids out of water. My kids (and their dad) spent hours splashing around while I lazed on the recliners in the alcove. The villas are arrayed on both sides of the pool, but they have been landscaped carefully, with enough plantation along the pool, to ensure that each villa has its privacy. The interiors are tastefully furnished and the open-roofed bathrooms are set in small courtyards and equipped with modern rain showers.
The resort offers 6 different types of rooms and villas, including Houseboats and a Presidential Suite that literally has the royal seal of approval. No, I’m not exaggerating – Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla spent Prince Charles’s 65th birthday at Kumarakom Lake Resort, in 2013. Well, if it’s good enough for royalty, it’s good enough for me!
We spent a day and night on Kumarakom Lake Resort’s 2-Bedroom Houseboat. Floating over the backwaters of Kerala was sheer bliss – an experience not to missed. Very highly recommended!
I spent almost the entire day just sitting at the front of the boat, watching the trees and the small villages just go by. Evening brought with it lots of mosquitoes though, so we grudgingly had to go inside. The interiors, although small compared to the spacious villas, are well equipped, so we weren’t in want of anything.
The staff and service aboard the boat were great and we were all fans of the chef by nightfall – all meals were simply outstanding.
For the 3 days that we were there, we had all our meals within the resort – chances of anyone wanting to step out would be close to zero. We breakfasted every morning at Ettukettu, and the buffet was a large spread with both local and western food, with plenty of vegetarian options – more items than anyone could possibly even taste. Most of the food tasted beyond good, regardless of cuisine.
The restaurant has an extensive menu serving Continental, Chinese, North Indian and traditional Kerala cuisine – the local cuisine wins hands down. But I can confidently say this – whatever the cuisine, even vegetarians will be spoilt for choice.
The resort also has a seafood restaurant and a traditional tea shop, which is the perfect place to soak in the resort’s ambience in the evening, over a cup of tea.
The most popular activity seemed to be just admiring the natural beauty of the resort, and trying to capture it on camera. Besides that, there are a few water activities that the resort offers – Backwater Cruise, Sunset Cruise, Water Sports, Speedboat and Banana Boat rides – we were just too busy “doing nothing”, to partake in any of these. However, the kids did try their hand at Pottery making, and the grown-ups played a few rounds of billiards.
For those looking to pamper themselves, the resort has a wonderful luxurious Ayurvedic Spa that offers a plethora of massages and beauty treatments – so you can choose how best to spoil yourself.
Tiger Air and SilkAir offer direct flights from Singapore to Kochi. The flight is approximately 4.5 hrs. Kumarakom Lake Resort is a 1.5-hour drive from Kochi International Airport.