Coconut lagoon is located upon the Vembanad lake, one of India’s largest inland lakes with its own distinctive ecology that supports a plethora of natural life. There’s only one way to get to Coconut Lagoon: over the water. From our private jetty about a kilometer upstream, the boat ride over the lake’s gentle swells, past lazy coconut palms and houses, to the resort sets the tone of your holiday to come – exciting and novel, yet relaxed and nurturing! If you are a bird lover then Coconut Lagoon will give you many days of happy bird spotting. It will not be far fetched to say that the guest cottages at the coconut lagoon are individual works of art. They were built from the remnants of old mansions – tharavads, that were once the family homes of the nobility of the land. They were brought here in sections and painstakingly reassembled by skilled craftspeople so that you could experience first hand what it is to live in these ancient and celebrated houses of yore. In homage to the environment that supports and sustains us all, we have our very own sacred grove in the property. It is a piece of pristine ‘forest’ dedicated to nature, while keeping with a time honoured tradition.
Spice village for us is a work of nature as much as it is a lofty expression of the imagination. We conceived the resort as a village and approached its building the way you would a village – with local materials, native artisans, mountain spirit and traditional wisdom in its creation. Though traditional in its conception, this is a ‘village’ that offers you all the comforts of a city minus the noise, pollution and other urban ills that you can do without. Our interaction with the ecology of these hills is symbiotic, influenced by the native people of these parts who have lived in harmony with their surroundings for generations. They taught us about self-sustaining systems and also steward our organic gardens that put fresh vegetables, fruits and spices on your tables every day.
Brunton Boatyard This restored period building that is our hotel sits well with its colonial-era surroundings and counterparts – the great trading houses of British India when pepper from Kerala was considered as precious as gold. Like the cultures they celebrate and display, Brunton Boatyard is a five star hotel whose interiors reflect an eclectic but tasteful blend of English, Portuguese and Dutch influences as seen in its high ceilings, hanging fans and a plethora of artifacts and curios from a great mercantile age known for its pomp and glamour. The scent of colonial history is all around you as you take a tour of the historic Fort Cochin area where the hotel stands. Though little remains of the fort itself there are legacies of its proud history to be seen everywhere.
The Eight bastion Unknown to many the Dutch East India Company, or the VOC, was one of the earliest global business undertakings. The Seven Bastions (from which we derived our unique name) referred to a type of layout peculiar to VOC Forts, a tradition they followed from Surat to the straits of Sumatra where they had their presence.
The model of the ship that you will see as you walk into our reception area is a reminder of the VOCs heyday attesting to their prominence in trade. The relic is that of the ‘Batavia’, a legendary merchantman that ended its successful career when shipwrecked off the Australian coast. Down the road from us lies a little slice of frozen time. It is hard to imagine, as one wanders around the tranquil pathways of the old Dutch cemetery, that this region – the Malabar – was once a battleground for Europe’s prominent seafaring nations that fought over spices and trade routes for 300 years.The Eight bastion conjures up these visions from the past, connecting many dots on the map of time for you to reflect upon and wonder at.
Chittoor Kottaram Resting on the banks of the quaint backwaters of Kerala, the heritage mansion is witness to over three centuries of history. Take a short boat-ride from mainland Kochi to arrive at a destination that has been home to ancient cultures. Soak in the understated grandeur of a structure with wooden roofs on which time slipped on, and magnificent architecture designed to transport you to a bygone era.
Way back in the eighteenth century, an enlightened monarch discovered that power is not about cavalries, splendour is not about gold, and true sovereignty is the freedom to surrender to the divine. That’s when the Rajah of Cochin built a temple for his family deity in the quiet hamlet of Chittoor. A fervent devotee, he soon realized that he could not stay away from the temple. So he built himself a manor just fifty yards away from the temple. Simple, elegant and regal, it housed an entourage that would cater to him when he visited the temple. And thus came into being Chittoor Kottaram. A king’s residence sprawling with true-blooded majesty, without all the glitz. Today, Chittoor Kottaram stands testimony to the legacy of a long-lost kingdom. An ideal destination for couples looking for an intimate getaway. Right from the moment you arrive on a boat, you get transported to a timeless era. At the entrance, your personal entourage extends a traditional welcome. There are no other guests, the entire staff is dedicated to serve just you.
Marari beach The fisherfolk of Mararikulam and their gentle ways of life have been the inspiration for Marari beach. Everything, from our thatched cottages to the upkeep of our property, echoes the simplicity, beauty and harmony that underlie Malabar’s coastal cultures. Nature and wellness are omnipresent at Marari and oversee all your experiences. The bracing but gentle sun here will touch and tone your skin, holding you in its warm and invigorating embrace as you stroll, swim or sit by the sea.
For nature lovers of every shade, know that Marari is a rare showcase of diversity. Our naturalists will tell you about the complex ecosystems that define the unique ecology of the Malabar coasts. We have cataloged 97 species of butterflies, 350 species of endemic plants, 3 varieties of turtles, 10 types of frogs and around 80 species of birds that you will encounter depending on the season.
Wayanad Wild Situated in the heart of the rainforest, with rooms peeking out of the treetops and an infinity pool tipping over into foliage, Wayanad Wild brings you closer to nature. While we can provide you with information on Jeep safaris, the wilderness offers the most exciting experiences when explored on foot. You can identify interesting plants and small animals on guided tours with a naturalist and if bird watching is your thing, the canopy offers up rare migratory birds for spotting. A Wayanad Wild holiday is family-friendly. Your children can discover their love for the great outdoors through various hands-on activities. You can engage in light treks into the woods, hiking to neighbouring hillocks, cycling, and an engaging tour of the neighbouring tea factory. Zip lining and bamboo rafting in the river can be arranged outside the resort on request. The recreation centre with indoor games ensures that your children are well entertained even in the evening hours while views of star-filled skies await them at night. For a uniquely immersive experience into nature, this all-new destination from CGH Earth offers an ideal luxury vacation for the entire family.
Quiet by the River The adventure begins as soon as you start the journey to the river lodge – a 30-minute drive up a rugged path through the forest. Look carefully and you may just spot an elephant on the way up. Once you reach the embarkation point, a country canoe picks you up to help you traverse the last part of the journey. The rhythmic sound of the bamboo oars in water, the pleasant sound of the gurgling Periyar river and the chirping of birds welcome you to a world that is a far cry from the sights and sounds of city life. Feel the stress melting away as you take a deep breath and watch the beauty of nature unfold. One of Malayattoor’s best kept secrets, Quiet by the River is located on a 47-acre island that allows you to pause and experience the wonder of nature, one unhurried moment at a time.