The true joy of exploring Kerala resides in local experiences, and these travelling sisters got a taste of it on their recent holiday there. Text by Shereen Sikka; Photographs by Anand A N and Aghil Menon
Last week, we [Shereen and her sister, Trishala] took a short flight from Mumbai to Kerala. The last time I visited God’s Own Country, I was probably eight or nine years old. Back then, I was too young to remember the beauty of the state. This time, Luxury Escapes curated a four-day experience for us at two different Relais & Châteaux properties in Kerala.
The airport exudes the vibes of a beach resort. The blogger in me tries to capture its tropical aesthetic, not failing to pose for an ‘airport look’ photograph for the ‘gram. After a short drive and a 10-minute ferry ride away, we reach the Malabar House. The copper Relais & Châteaux plate at the entrance assure us that we were in good hands.
The property is a beautiful amalgamation of understated luxury. Each room is done up in different colours and architecture. The walls display a host of artworks—along with artist information for guests keen on making a purchase. My favourite spot, however, is by the poolside where just the right amount of sunshine filters through lush thickets while chirruping birds keep you company.
Luxury Escapes organised bespoke experiences for us, which includes a visit to see the Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi, cycling through the fort’s lanes, and enjoying a live cooking session with the hotel’s chef; we get introduced to the most delicious local flavours and ingredients. Every meal is a magical experience here!
After spending two relaxing days at Malabar House, we drive another 45 minutes to reach Vembanad Lake in Alleppey. The drive is indeed a picturesque one — the roads are dotted with an endless expanse of greenery, lotus ponds, Chinese fishing nets and more. A sight so serene that it washed away all our worries.
Upon reaching, we are left spellbound. Purity, another property by Relais & Châteaux, sits at the widest point of the lake. We stand at the edge of the property overlooking the lake, and a sense of tranquillity engulf us. Not to mention, the sunrise and sunsets here are picture-perfect.
Our lake view villa is seated at the outermost edge of the property; it has a really unique earthy yet artsy vibe. The best part? An attached spa room, which means a relaxing Ayurvedic massage is just a few steps away from our bed!
I’ll never forget our first meal at Purity. Served on a traditional banana leaf plate, it is the most soulful dining experience I’ve ever had. Mouth-watering pickles, chutneys and irresistible spices are neatly placed on the leaf, and the meal is to be devoured by hands.
The next morning, I wake up at 06:00 am to see the lake basking in morning glory as it shimmers in hues of gold. We practice rejuvenating yoga and sun salutations here—another bespoke experience curated by Luxury Escapes. At sunset, we take a canoe ride with a local fisherman around the lake to enjoy its picturesque views and soak in its magic.
Luxury Escapes knows how to curate a luxurious trip yet make you feel at home. These four days truly rejuvenated our minds and souls. From the serene sounds of nature to the comfort food and warm hospitality, our experience in Kerala was nothing short of magical.