From the invigorating, mountainous terrain in the eastern highlands and the rolling green hills in the central midlands to the serene coastal plains in the western lowlands – Kerala is a sheer paradise for nature lovers. The backwaters of the state are its key offering to tourists and the houseboats or ketuvalloms are the most famous of Kerala’s icons. These luxurious, comfortable and relaxed houseboats offer an unparalleled experience. And they come with all the modern amenities required for a memorable stay. Here, we feature some of the most popular houseboats in Kerala. By Karan Kaushik
The Oberoi Vrinda Luxury Kerala Cruiser offers tastefully-furnished, comfortable cabins that make for perfect spaces to relax and unwind. The cabins feature cosy king-size beds, a vari pressure shower, and a sofa from where you can enjoy the serenity outside. Their all-day dining space offers international and local cuisine. Enjoy a cup of cardamom tea or south Indian coffee at the adjoining terrace. They host traditional dance and musical performances on the jetty every evening, followed by a lavish dinner at the restaurant.
Where: The Oberoi Vrinda, Luxury Kerala Cruiser, Lake Vembanad, Kerala
Spice Coast Cruises by CGH Earth have taken old kettuvalloms and converted them into stately floating homes to cruise the pristine Vembanad lake. The houseboat is made from natural materials and powered with solar energy. The crew on board are simple fisherfolk. Their bedroom cabins are comfy spaces that promise a restful time. These cabins will keep you close to nature while still protecting you from insects and reptiles. Dining at Spice Coast Cruises is something to look forward to. Even though their menu is sparse, it’s distinctive and prepared with a lot of love by the local boatmen. Their flavourful food is loaded with tangy spices and coconut, with fish being the mainstay of the menu.
Where: P.O, Puthenangady, Muhamma, Kerala
Rainbow Cruises operates a fleet of 25 houseboats, which have been given a gold star rating by the government. Their traditional houseboats are equipped with state-of-the-art luxuries and safety measures. A typical houseboat is 100 feet long and comes with luxurious furniture. Their houseboats are divided into three categories – Luxury, Premium, and Deluxe. These have one, two, three, or four attached baths respectively, an open lounge, deck, and kitchenette. Their crew includes a multilingual guide, who will show you around the backwaters.
Where: Mamood Junction, Avalookunnu P.O. Alleppey, Kerala
Trust Soma Houseboats for a soothing backwater voyage. Run and managed by the Somatheeram Ayurveda Group, these heritage luxury houseboats are manned by an efficient crew. Their latest houseboat Soma Jyothi offers an unparalleled experience in the backwaters. The houseboats come with thatched roof covers over a wooden hull, bamboo furniture, coir mats, and oil lanterns. Soma Houseboats is committed to ecology and do its best to preserve the incredible nature that surrounds its boats. Their one-night cruises on the Aleppey-Kumarakom route are divided into Deluxe and Premium categories.
Where: Nehru Trophy Boat Race Finishing Point Stadium, Thathampally P.O, Alappuzha, Kerala
Aqua Houseboats has been a pioneer in eco-friendly houseboat tourism in Kerala since 2005. They operate a fleet of boats in Kumarakom and Alleppey backwaters. Their houseboats are made from natural materials like bamboo and palm leaves. They even make sure that sewage and waste are not discharged directly into the lake. The boats feature beautiful interiors and offer all the mod cons required for a restful stay. Their well-trained staff comprises two captains cum guide, a professional chef, and life boys. They also have air tubes for your safety. For the best experience, book their luxury houseboat, Aqua Castle.
Where: Near Kumarakom Government Boat Jetty, Kumarakom, Kerala
Whether you are looking to enjoy your honeymoon in a luxurious houseboat or you are up for a trip with your corporate colleagues, Indigo cruise offers houseboats for all. Their Honeymoon Houseboat and Corporate Houseboat are quite popular. Indigo Cruise offers houseboats, motorboats, canoe boats, and shikara boats. Their impressive range of houseboats starts with one-bedroom houseboats and goes up to 7-bedroom houseboats. Divided into Deluxe, Premium, and Luxury categories, their houseboats come with attached bathrooms, living areas, upper decks, kitchen, and conference rooms. As far as the meals are concerned, they serve lip-smacking traditional delicacies of Kerala.
Where: Houseboat Alapuzha, Punnamada, Starting Point, Alappuzha, Kerala
And last but certainly not least on our list of houseboats in Kerala is Cruiseland Houseboats. The company offers a wide range of luxurious houseboats. These include their one to three-bedroom deluxe and premium houseboats. Their fully-airconditioned houseboats feature sliding windows, dining tables, LCD TVs, and other modern amenities. A stay at one of their houseboats is a perfect blend of traditional and modern luxury. Cruiseland Houseboats also offer packages for honeymooners and families.
Where: St Thomas Church Building, Church Road, Pallathuruthy, Kainakary, Kerala
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