From October to March, Kerala is an idyllic beachside destination. It’s sunny but not too hot and offers bags of history and therapeutic treatments if you want to venture beyond the pool and beach.
After April, Kerala can get too hot, and from late June, the monsoon season takes place which carries on until early September. Kerala remains beautiful even in the rain showers during July to September, and this time is considered the ideal time to take Ayurvedic treatments.
If you’re flying into Kerala, Kochi (Cochin) and Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) are the main airports. We have helped you pick the ideal boutique hotel by picking the 5 best in Kerala below.
1. Neeleshwar Hermitage
The beautiful boutique Neeleshwar Hermitage hotel is situated on the unspoiled coast of Malabar in Northern Kerala.
Neeleshwar Hermitage is a beautiful hybrid of a boutique hotel and an Ayurvedic wellness center. It’s the only boutique hotel on the unspoiled coast of Malabar in Northern Kerala.
This stylish and relaxed retreat offers a blend of traditional style combined with modern comforts. Set within a 12-acre palm grove, along the edge of a pristine and tranquil beach that stretches for miles, the Hermitage provides an extremely peaceful atmosphere for its guests.
This award-winning hotel has been featured in the ‘Hot List’ by Conde Nast Traveller and was voted one of the best 101 hotels in the world by Tatler Travel Guide!
The sophisticated accommodation comprises 18 sea view, private pool, and garden view cottages, each with its own unique character. As an example, the Garden View Cottage has been modeled on a traditional fishermen’s hut with teak floors, high ceilings, locally handmade wooden furniture as well as air-conditioning, ceiling fan, safe, and hairdryer. Each cottage is named after a traditional yogic virtue and is positioned amidst the verdant green foliage to offer guests a sense of peace and privacy.
Inside feels light and airy with teak floors, high ceilings, locally handmade wooden furniture, and antique and contemporary objects d’art from Kerala, giving each room its own special charm. A welcome modern touch is the iPod and docking station, so guests can use their own devices. All rooms benefit from their own attached garden bathroom fashioned in granite and wood with state-of-the-art fittings.
The hotel features a stunning infinity pool; the Annapurna vegetarian restaurant; the Meenekshi beachside fish restaurant; Priya, the Ayurvedic spa; the Saraswati library and lecture hall; a shop; as well as yoga and meditation classes.
A unique feature of this hotel is its program of evening talks on Indian culture by an ex-British Museum expert. Cookery classes are also available, as well as local sightseeing to markets, temples and ashrams, and forest treks and cruises through the unvisited backwaters. Bicycles are freely available for guests to use on trips out and about.
This beautiful boutique hotel is an oasis of eco-friendly practice: natural waste is recycled, kitchen waste provides biogas for cooking, and only local materials and traditional designs were used in the stunningly crafted buildings. The hotel has a ‘no plastic’ policy so all water is purified on-site by the most modern method of ‘reverse osmosis’ to avoid using plastic bottles. Maximum use has been made of local materials and artisan skill in the buildings, while the staff mainly come from the local community.
The hotel is also active in promoting local ecological concerns, such as the preservation of the endangered Olive Ridley Turtle.
2. Le Colonial
Le Colonial is located by the Chinese fishing nets in Kerala. This house, Asia’s oldest colonial house, was once the residence for the Governors of yesteryear and can be found right next to Saint Francis Church.
An exceptional collection of individually styled rooms and suites capture the history of the building with dark wood floors and beamed ceilings. Outside a petite decked area surrounds the azure pool. Here you can relax on a deckchair or take a dip.
3. Old Harbour Hotel
Old Harbour Hotel is 300-year-old property with a verdant garden heart of ancient Fort Cochin, Kerala. It exudes history and culture, is the ‘Old Harbour Hotel’.
The hotel is a heritage monument of the town and it was refurbished to reopen as a boutique hotel. Built in the Dutch style of architecture with hints of Portuguese influences, it was the first hotel of old Cochin.
4. The Malabar House
The Malabar House combines the old and new. 17 rooms & suites blend tradition and contemporary design. The feel is small, cozy and personal, a heaven amidst this vibrant yet historical harbor city.
Its history dates back to 1755, when Jan Herman Clausing, a Dutch man bought the property from Mathew Henrich Beyls. Subsequently owned by spice traders, tea traders & bankers, in 1997, it became Fort Cochin’s first boutique heritage hotel.
5. Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra
Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra is based in Kovalam, a calm fishing village in Kerala, surrounded by crescent beaches and blissfully swaying palm trees.
Grab the opportunity to soak in the remarkable history and culture, and experience a private tour of the local fish market or ride the famed backwaters of Poovar.
Kovalam beach retreat, perched on a dramatic cliff edge flanked by secluded beaches, celebrates its natural surroundings. This Relais & Châteaux property is dotted with traditional Keralite heritage cottages that nestle in the shade of breezy coconut palms.
Whether by the pool or at the restaurants, guests staying at this retreat in Kovalam can savor spectacular views of the Arabian Sea at one of South India’s most pristine locations. The retreat houses ten dedicated Ayurveda Rooms offering holistic treatments, combining best practices of Ayurveda.
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