The welcome at Kumarakom Lake resort is warm and hearty and the reception staffs have ready smiles which instantly creates a rapport which lasts throughout our period of stay. The surrounds luxurious but earthly, Kerala at its best.
On the edge of Vembanad Lake, vast expanse of water, amongst rolling green lawns and winding streams with coconuts palms waving in the breeze, lie Kumarakom Lake Resort, not far from Kottayam. Not only has this outstanding resort set the pace in redefining heritage luxury in harmony with its architecturally rich Kerala traditional element, but has defined all aspects of hospitality.
We were a group of youngsters from US. We were shown to our Meandering Pool Villa, which is only three steps away from Kumarakom Lake Resort renowned and much photographed, 200 meter meandering pool. We refreshed in the inviting pool water. Along its curvy edges heritage villas are dotted amongst palms, shrubs and perfect lawns. Our traditional villa is charming. The décor typical of grand old Kerala homes, and at a glance the thought and effort which went into making it authentic, is evident. Beautifully carved antique armoires and typical period murals adorn The inside is a solid wood door leads to the open-air bathroom which is nothing less than a treat and unsurpassed in creating a feeling of personal freedom-showering under the stars is about as good as it gets!
Lunch is served in the aptly named Ettukettu. Its airy and elegant and the atmosphere quietly convivial. The food is truly delicious – a great compliment is coming from a choosy eater like me.
The afternoon soon passes and tea is served on the lawn a Kerala mode, which means guests are in for a treat by the brew master, pouring his jugs of china with skillful ceremony from one to the other. This is served with Kerala banana fritters after which the complimentary sunset cruise on the lake commences. Our two friends continue sunning themselves in the dotted afternoon shade at the main infinity pool overlooking the lake, while the rest of us make for the waters of the lake.
The setting sun does not let the guests down and fill the sky with picture pretty hues of orange and pinks , the only sound comes from the clicking of cameras while birds fly in unison to root for the night and a few fisherman put our their nets for the harvest of the next morning. Vembanad Lake is the longest lake in India and the largest in Kerala and fed by no less than ten rivers. The pearl spotted karimeen comes from its waters and is a most delicious treat, especially served with piping hot appam from the kitchen at Kumarakom Lake Resort. As the gentle notes of the traditional music on board start to fade and twilight gently reminds us that its time for a lazy sundowner. Overlooking the water is the Seafood Restaurant where we had a peaceful candlelit dinner. They have prepared a signature dish for us and was duly served the most appetizing lobster cooked in a coconut curry sauce, pure epicurean delight!
Bedtime and we fall asleep instantly. We joined the yoga and meditation class at the Pool Pavilion. The locale for Ayurveda treatments is a superb 200 year old home which was converted in to a place of healing and rejuvenation and return guests testify to its benefits. Pure unadulterated relaxation!
The small fleet of houseboats is luxurious and well designed and adds to the definitive edge of the entire Kumarakom Lake Resort experience.