The Kumarakom Lake Resort is a Uber luxurious property set alongside the banks of the mighty Lake Vembanad in the Kottayam district of Kerala.
I had the utter pleasure of being hosted by the resort during my media tour which was organised as a run up to the Kerala Travel Mart KTM2018 held in Cochin, Kerala, India from Sep 28th-30th, 2018.
We arrived at the resort late noon after our earlier houseboat cruise with Rainbow cruises.
Come and experience the lavish hospitality and aesthetic splendor of the Kumarakom Lake Resort and follow me as I trail through its meandering landscape.
About the Kumarakom Lake Resort –
The Kumarakom Lake Resort is a 5 star heritage luxury retreat and has been the recipient of many an award. The multiple accolades that it has won, include the prestigious ‘India’s Leading Resort 2011 – 12’
Its name board states that it is perhaps the only paradise on earth. Well it is in God’s own country after all 😀
Spread across a sprawling 25 acres of manicured greenery interspersed with waterways, paved paths, bridges and a scenic view of the backwaters, this resort is a popular destination for both Indian and International guests.
With its easy amalgamation of the traditional and the luxurious, it provides the discerning guest with indulgences and comforts that make for lasting memories.
The lobby itself is a work of art with a tiny sunken courtyard laid with pebbles and a giant uruli bearing fresh flowers.
Traditional iron lamps hang suspended from the ceiling as does an ancient wooden swing where one can wedge their toddlers into while completing the check in process 😀
Guests are greeted in this lobby with sweet tender coconut water from their own palm trees.
Staying options –
The rooms are spread across both sides of the entrance building with a total of 42 options that include presidential suites, heritage lake villas with private pool, meandering pool villas, luxury pavilion rooms and even houseboats. The rooms are a a gentle mix of the traditional and modern, resulting in an aesthetically luxurious and comfortable setting. Every room is a reconstruction of Kerala’s ancient traditional houses called Tharavadus, with most of the material actually having been transported from original sites and refitted and replanted on the property.
Lying back in the comfort of the large bed, one gazes at rich wooden beamed ceilings and inbuilt skylights. Large murals depicting Kerala culture, guard every bedstead and terracotta tiles offer an earthy sensory feeling underfoot.
While checking into the room, I was extremely impressed with the ‘bed art’ that had the logo of the place which is a Stork, perched over a ‘Welcome’ message, all painstakingly and neatly arrayed out using the local grass. I actually did not have the heart to disturb the arrangement 😀
Glass bottles filled with purified water, do their bit to decrease the plastic load on the environment and are provided in every room.
Sometimes when you think you are stepping out, you are actually stepping in … and that is how I feel like describing the bathrooms in the cottages. Featuring al fresco bathing, they are set in spacious open air courtyards and afford total privacy by way of high walls.
Meandering Pool villas –
As mentioned, these villas are mainly built with material transported from actual ancient homes, complete with ornate wooden doors, large metal latches, wooden windowside seats and wooden beamed ceilings. Large metal keys continue to perform the task of locking and unlocking the doors with a noisy clanking that is so real and endearing, unlike their modern counterparts that noiselessly use electronic cards.
Every villa has direct access to the common pool that snakes its way through, in a serpentine stream of green.
Heritage lake villas with private pool –
The heritage villas have their own private plunge pools and are present in rows of independent structures.
Luxury pavilion rooms –
This is a cluster of rooms that are larger than the meandering pool villas and have a Jacuzzi to make up for the lack of the pool. Not a bad consolation I must say 😀
Presidential suites –
There are 2 of these suites that are regally fitted with carved doors and equipped with private garden, private infinity pool, open air washrooms with bath tub, beds fit for kings and queens, gigantic panels of bright hued murals and antique furniture to gape covetously at !!!
And when suites are designed for royalty, then that is exactly what they will get 😀 The 2 Presidential suites had their royal visitors in the form of HRH Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall who were the guests of the resort along with their 30 room strong entourage.
The Prince chose this destination to celebrate his 65th birthday in November 2013 and the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were the names thereafter bestowed on the Presidential suites.
Dining options –
The resort offers 3 locations to dine at. The Ettukettu restaurant is the multi cuisine restaurant that overlooks the garden and can seat 115 guests.
Ettukettu refers to a traditional style of architecture which primarily uses wood for its structure and has inbuilt courtyards. The ettukettu here is actually a royal mansion that was dismantled from its original place and reassembled as the main restaurant of the resort.
We had our meals in the Ettukettu from a buffet that had some local Kerala fare along with the multi cuisine mix. I personally would have preferred a higher percentage of local fare and enhanced spice levels too but the resort caters to a large number of international guests and modifies tastes accordingly. However an exciting array of pickles quite made up for the lacking spice and the tongue was simultaneously tantalized and mollified 😀
A comforting feature here is that they make sure to clearly label every potential allergy causing ingredient on the menu.
The breakfast however was more interesting with a sufficient line up of local fare.
The Vembanad Seafood restaurant and Bar faces the lake and is known for its outstanding seafood and views of the sunset. We did not dine here, since we were at the resort for only one day.
High tea (or local style tea) is served in the garden surrounding a re-creation of a Thattukada which is a typical street side tea stall of Kerala.
Our experience at the Thattukada was very interesting, with the demonstration of the ‘meter’ long chai served from the brass Samovar and also the delectable street style snacks of Onion vadas (fritters), steamed rice balls stuffed with jaggery and coconut and the ubiquitous Pazham pori, which is the batter fried Nendra banana … an indulgence I can never resist.
Facilities, Features and Activities –
The resort offers several facilities like multiple swimming pools, gym and health club, spa and ayurvedic treatments, yoga and meditation, souvenir shop etc.
There are activities like weaving, pottery, fishing, cycling, village walks etc. One can play Indoor games like pool, carrom and chess.
Daily Cultural programs and also a Sunset cruise with live music, are the highlights of the evening.
Swimming pool –
The infinity pool is strategically located so as to appear to blend with the lake in the background, giving an illusion of being a seamless extension of it.
The meandering pool runs adjacent to the pool villas in a delightful greenish hued stream and is truly a marvel to behold. Each of these villas have their individual access to the common pool.
Apart from this, there are private pools in some of the villas.
Ayurveda center –
The resort offers ayurvedic and herbal beauty treatments at Ayurmana, its Ayurvedic hub. This is a 200 year old construction that belonged to a family of well known ayurvedic practitioners and has been entirely transplanted on the premises and reassembled with expertise, retaining both its physical architecture as well as its healing aura.
Gift shop –
There is an impressive looking souvenir shop on the premises which looks like a mini museum, where one can buy items that range from ceremonial hanging metal lamps to large earthenware pots to even actual parts of boats and other such collectibles.
Basket weaving –
Learn to weave from an expert guide who creates several items like baskets, purses, mats etc from local grass.
Get your hands on the wheel and fabricate your own souvenir under the expert guidance of the in house potter Arun.
Cultural programs –
Dinner is accompanied by classical performances like Bharathnatyam where skilled performers entertain the guests with their fluid movements and facial expressions depicting the stories that they are telling.
Sunset cruise –
The sunset cruise with musicians on board, is an exceptional way to spend the evening. One can get a view of not just the entire Kumarakom Lake resort from the water but as the boat cruises along side the shore, the several other resorts of the area also come into view.
Passing houseboats make for great photo ops especially at the hour when the sun infuses them with its mellow golden hues as it loses intensity and prepares to descend into the horizon.
The Indian traditional (and sometimes Bollywood) music keeps the guests entertained.
As the sun enters its final descent, there is a flurry of selfies and photographs that are obligingly and very artistically framed by Kavi Arasan who works with the resort as Activity Coordinator. His work can be viewed on his Instagram account.
Getting there –
The nearest airport is the Cochin International Airport which is 70 km away and approximately an hour and 45 minutes drive by road. The nearest railway station and bus stand is at Kottayam, 14 km away.
The resort can also be accessed by a 10 minute ferry ride from the Muhamma boat jetty.
Booking and contact –
Mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kumarakom North Post – Kottayam 686 563,
Phone – +91 481 2524900
On this trip I was hosted by the Kerala Travel Mart Society and partnering hotels, as a media invitee and I thank them for the hospitality. My narration is based on the inputs I received from various sources as well as my personal experiences.
Sep 22nd-29th, 2018