Author: C.C.

Mountain Club Resort – India’s First Class Mountain Resort

Mountain Club, Munnar is the best and finest luxury resort in the evergreen mountains of Munnar, Kerala, and India. It is located on a quite hillside in a small hamlet called Chinnakanal. From the early days of the 18th century, Munnar has been the favorite holiday destination of the erstwhile royal families, celebrities and nobles from India and abroad. The mesmerizing natural beauty and the weather is really unique. Mountain Club, Munnar is a real tribute to a typical type of architecture which is prevalent in the hill stations of Kerala. The exterior walls made from pure stone and the typical Kerala roof tiles provides the rustic look. Surrounding the resort are acres of extensive tea gardens and mountains with nature trails.

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Exclusive Food and Beverage outlets, conference halls, meeting rooms and a host of recreational facilities matching first class standards is available to make your holiday a truly amazing experience. Mountain Club, Munnar has many firsts to its credit. Each of its cottages contains a cozy and spacious living room and a bedroom. For those who are traveling with families and friends, we have two bedroom cottages, which have a living room as well. Every cottage is equipped with a fire place. Needless to mention, we have provided all amenities in our cottages. Take a dip and laze around the one and only swimming pool in Munnar. The resort has the largest conferencing facilities in Munnar.

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Lakes and Lagoons: The Most Charming Holidays Right On a Boat

The charm of holidaying on a boat is truly special. You close proximity to a lake or a river… watching the world slip past as you gently, effortlessly float away…encountering the local communities as they go about their daily life… These vignettes need treasuring surely…? Ever since Lakes and Lagoons became operation in 1997 it has just not looked back… The delights of living on their traditional Kerala houseboats — Kettuvalloms (rice boats) was an enduring allurement for tourists passing their way in the rivers and backwaters of Alappuzha, Kollam and Kottayam districts in Kerala State.

They pioneered the air-conditioned houseboat back in the day…though now people take these things for granted. What a lift that must have been for business. The Kerala Governments stamp of approval is framed in the GOLD STAR classification of their beautifully appointed houseboats. Part of their well-oiled operations comes from adhering to the guidelines of the Tourism Department and the registration of all the houseboats and all the crews with the DTPC Alleppey, with the requisite Certificates. Its 26 houseboats fall under two categories— Deluxe and Premium with a choice of 1 to 4 bedrooms—very convenient for guests.

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Each one comes with sundeck, private balcony with comfortable chairs, kitchen and toilet with WC. In addition there is also separate rest room for the crew. Traditional lanterns are used as lights. There are single bedroom houseboats for two people and two bedroom houseboats for four people. Lake Royale is the premium brand of houseboats. The cuisine is traditional Kerala with the local specialties.

The hospitality firm has recently launched a resort of its own near Marari Beach. This spanking new property—EL OCEANO BEACH VILLAS, offers 14 rooms. It’s also the GSA in Kerala state for Palma Laguna— the 5-bedroom luxury serviced villa located on the backwaters of Vembanad at Ponnad, in Alleppey, as well as for the Blue Jelly Cruise— a recently launched ultra-luxe houseboat. It has an extensive network with tour operators country-wide and the popularity of its products and services are richly endorsed with plenty of repeat business.

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The Hindustan Beach Retreat: Meeting Your Need For Fun By The Sea

The charms of Varkala, amongst one of Keralas leading holiday destinations today, are best explored at the Hindustan Beach Retreat launched by Hindustan Textiles Group, based in Kannur as leading exporters since 1935. The success of their business interests ranging from the US to Europe has provided an excellent base for their understanding of a traveller’s needs… not just from home but abroad as well —and this is amply reflected in the running of the hotel— in the quality of amenities and personalized service— and the demand for whose rooms continue apace with a slew of prestigious clients.

Each of the 27 guestrooms at the beautifully designed Hindustan Beach Retreat, atop a spur overlooking Papanasham Beach, surrounds you in an ambience of comfort-giving luxury— allowing you to enjoy the spectacle of Varkala’s gorgeous natural environs and serenity at your leisure. A popular gathering place for the guests here is the poolside— from where you get superb views of the Arabian Sea while enjoying a couple of lazy laps around the pool.

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Barbeque evenings are loads of fun, while you watch the sunk disappear in the purpling sea and the stars come out to play on a velvety black sky. The Poolside Restaurant, marked by its glorious wood work and picture windows with sea views, serves up an array of Indian, Chinese and Continental specialties. Delicious meals await too at the Rooftop Restaurant from where also you can enjoy wonderful views of the sunsets and sunrises. Tuck into their great array of fresh seafood delicacies, both ethnic and Continental.

Fortified by the excellent meals and relaxing ambiance of the retreat set off for a leisurely tour of one of Kerala’s sublime secret destinations. Varkala with its fiery red cliffs, offset by coconut palms and stretch of backwaters and pretty springs, lies just 55km away from state capital Thiruvanathapuram. Explore the golden sands of Papanasham Beach and the black beach of Thiruvambadi, while sampling seafood at the food stalls here—then catch a Kathakali performance at the Varkala Cultural Centre.

Poovar Island Resort – Golden Holidays By The Arabian Sea

The pristine splendour of both Kerala’s backwaters and the Arabian Sea are best enjoyed at the delightful Poovar island Resort— for long a thumping success with travellers from home and abroad. The long golden beach by the resort is a compelling reason too to extend a sojourn amidst its 25 acres of the lush verdure of its coconut groves. The elegant superior rooms, wrapped around the swimming pool set upon a natural lily pond, offer fuel for many joyful holiday memories. But what are even more exciting are the truly unique sea-facing floating villas and cottages with the large bay windows, set upon the backwaters.

Guests have a choice of land cottages, floating cottages and deluxe floating cottages with a separate living area. The resort also offers excellent conferencing facilities for corporate customers. Tiffins, the multi-cuisine restaurant serves both traditional and international cuisine. There is also a floating restaurant with a magnificent backwater view. The ‘Ayurveda Village’ at Poovar Island Resort is one of the few places where the 6000 year old ancient healthcare system is still practiced at its purest form. A team of experienced doctors and masseurs practice this traditional art form in the ideal environment in order to maximize the healing potential.

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The Ayurvedic village has spacious cottages, a specialized restaurant & a free flowing swimming pool to add to the guest experience. The resort also arranges traditional / contemporary cooking classes treks, visits to the local fishing village, crab hunting on the backwaters, yoga, canoe rowing, bird watching and cultural musical nights. Poovar Island Resort can be accessed from Thiruvanathapuram International Airport, a mere 30km away. The last leg of the journey is done by a 10-min boat ride on the river.

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Zuri Kumarakom Resort – The Most Enviable Luxury Destination In Kerala

Nestling on the shores of Lake Vembanad Lake, in Kumarakom, Zuri has positioned itself as one of the most enviable holiday destinations in Kerala. Holidays are not all about sightseeing… they are also about the place you chose to base yourself for your forays. Its comfort-giving range of services invite you to linger over that morning cuppa… listening to the birdsong in the garden… to kick back and enjoy a lazy lap in the pool during elevenses —and in the cocktail hour…it allows you to treasure the moments of the sunset played out on the tranquil lake. Yes, Zuri, spread over 18 acres of primary terra firma around India’s longest lake, is special —and repeat custom is surely witness to this.

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Its captivating vistas are but a part of the success story—an important part no doubt. But there’s more than meets the eye here… There’s the privacy and luxury afforded by the elegantly appointed, serene, lake-facing Presidential villas, which encourage you to slip into the slow lane… to leave the minutiae of arrangements in the capable hands of its well-trained staff. Meals are an event here. Tuck into fresh seafood delicacies the Laguna Bass Specialty Restaurant. Plan a well-deserved authentic spa treatment at one of the country’s finest holistic wellness centres – the Maya Spa, manned by experts in Ayurvedic Therapies.

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Estuary Island Resort: Luxury Vacation With A 5 Stars View

This 5-star resort whose mission is to ‘Share Kerala’s best with the world’ is the state’s only luxury resort to enjoy an estuary -facing location. Positioning itself as a destination in itself, it’s clearly taking advantage of its splendid setting—a magical spot where Nature conspires to bring together a river, a lake, an estuary, a beach and the Arabian Sea. The waters here are home to a substantial community of marine life and are also a magnet for a great avifaunal species. For migratories too, the island offers an ideal resting place, before they take off for their long haul journeys to Canada, the Middleast, Africa, Australia and Europe.

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Spread over 16 acres it celebrates the concept of ‘the un-built’ in architecture. The actual structure of the property comprises just 12% of the total resort area thereby allowing for the setting up gardens of different themes which are colonized by many species of butterflies and avifauna. The backwaters are just 1km away from its boundaries—so the resort appears to float seamlessly into iconic Kerala backwaters landscape and then into the nearby beach and the Arabian Sea.

Keralas leisure experiences take a fresh turn at the resort which offers a choice of 108 stylish rooms. A touch of seamless services is backed by the excellent facilities provided for guests. One can enjoy a range of Ayurveda treatments, enjoy gourmet meals in their restaurant on the water, take a sunset boat cruise, go angling and even savour some beautiful performances when there are evenings of cultural programme.

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Kumarakom Lake Resort: The Ultimate Freedom Destination

Paeans have been sung to the many marvels of Kerala’s stunning backwaters— and one of the finest places for setting off on a journey along this network of waterways has been the utterly charming Kumarakom Lake Resort. The Kumarakom has been enduring in its glorious setting by Lake Vembanad, its innate hospitality and the comfort levels of its array of top quality facilities. Little wonder it has been acclaimed, four times over, by the prestigious World Travel Awards as India’s Leading Resort. This acknowledgement by the world’s travelling community, who has passed through its elegant portals, has been further endorsed with Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice poll ranking it as Asia’s Top 25 Resorts…And the awards and rewards continue to pour in— and rightly so, for this iconic backwater, hub which has played host to some of the world’s most celebrated figures.

Secluded amidst pastoral expanses, riven by a network of rivulets and streams, the Kumarakom celebrates Kerala’s architectural traditions in its 59 luxurious ethnic guestrooms and heritage villas. You can choose to stay in one of their eight spacious guestrooms, provided with a private Jacuzzi —or plump for one of their 22 luxury villas which serve up splendiferous views of either the lake or of the superb gardens punctuated by a network of gleaming waterways. The villas too come with their own Jacuzzi and—an added luxury— your personal pool.

The 27 ‘pool villas’, wrapped around a verdant stretch by the swimming pool, are a delight, but what are even more enviable are the two Presidential Suites…the very epitome of understated luxury. You can enjoy the seclusion of this regal setting, not just for its personal pool…but also for the fact that you have private viewings of the vivid splendour of Kerala’s most iconic lake.

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Meals at the Kumarakom are aimed at seducing the palate with the finest offerings of the resident chef. Take a leisurely culinary journey of the great delicacies at the multi-cuisine Ettukkettu Restaurant. Seafood aficionados will simply adore the fresh offerings of the resort’s Vembanad Seafood Restaurant. It comes as no surprise this leisurely pace life tempts you into opening the next chapter of delights at the Kumarkom. Pencil in a session at the Ayurmana, where a team of expert doctors and masseurs unravel the annals of Ayurveda wellness traditions…

Emerge from their ministrations with an extreme sense of wellbeing… and get ready to set off on that cruise on the backwaters in a luxuriously appointed modern-day inspiration of Kerala’s traditional kettuvalloms or rice boats. You might like to keep in mind that when you have your next board meeting — you might like to set it up at the Kumarakom Lake Resort. It serves up a pretty comprehensive range of business services and also has a Conference Hall seating over 85 people at a go. It goes without saying that the communications and presentation facilities are state-of-the-art.

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Raviz Hotels & Resort: Luxury Relaxation With Amazing View

Shake off your ethargy and head out for the invigorating environs of Kovalam Beach, Asthamudi Lake and Chaliyar River, where Kerala’s newest hotel chain has set up three alluring properties which define the ultimate in luxury and leisure and eco-friendly practices. Another property is their business hotel in the heart of Calicut. The award-winning Favourite Kerala Ayurveda Spa is available at the Kovalam Beach, Asthamudi Lake and Chaliyar River resorts.

THE LEELA RAVIZ, KOVALAM – Set upon a spur its 182 room offer superb views of the lush landscape punctuating the sprawl of Kovalam’s glorious beaches. It’s the perfect place to host a destination wedding, a residential conference or a romantic holiday.

THE RAVIZ RESORT & SPA, ASTHAMUDI LAKE – Overlooking the tranquil splendour of Asthamudi Lake this 93-room five star deluxe resort offers fabulous views of the famous backwaters of Kerala. It’s already a big hit as a honeymooners delight. With its seamless blend of modern architecture and traditional art of Kerala its quietly emerging as a favoured wedding destination.

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THE RAVIZ RESORT & SPA, KADAVU – Calicut’s only five star resort stands along the embankment of the picturesque Chaliya River. It’s fast getting noticed for its unique blend of traditional architecture and modern facilities with personalized service. All 117 rooms serve up river views and the lovely expanse of swaying coconut palms.

THE RAVIZ CALICUT – Its massive rooms offer guests a great sense of well-being—they are probably the biggest available in any hotel in North Kerala. Each of the 74 guestrooms and suites here epitomise luxury and comfort—starting with the luxury bed, picture windows offering views of the city skyline and beautifully cooked gourmet meal by the resident chef.

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The Cultural Wonders That Create A Beautiful Journey

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JAIPUR – Timeless wonders drenched in salmon, Jaipur stands tall in its magnificence. The splendour of the City Palace, the intricate designs of the Hawa Mahal and the history attached to the Amer Fort Palace; the architectural finesse of the buildings of Jaipur stand testament to the great city. The elephant safari, the Jal Mahal, the Jantar Mantar—the city of Jaipur leaves you spoilt for choices with its multiple forts, gardens, wells and temples. Make a trip to Chokhi Dhani to get a taste of an authentic Rajasthani feast complete with food items such as sangri and dal-bati. Jaipur is a 230kms drive from Delhi.

LOHAGARH FORT – Among the numerous forts and palaces of Bharatpur, the Lohagarh Fort, or Iron Fort, is perhaps the most iconic. The fort is believed to be virtually impregnable with deep moats on each side; it stood its ground against the British when they laid a six-week siege on it. Along with the various palaces like the Mahal Khas and the Kamra Palace, the fort also holds a museum, the imposing towers of Jawahar and Fateh Burj, Ganga and Laxman Temples, an art gallery and the Nehru Park. The Bharatpur railway junction is the closest to Lohagarh fort. The nearest airport is Kheria Airport in Agra, 49kms away.

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THAR DESERT – Colourful costumes, music, desert culture and sand as far as the eye can see, the Thar Desert vibrates with its beauty and traditions. Surrounded by the golden (Jaisalmer), pink (Jaipur) and blue (Jodhpur) cities and the city of lakes (Udaipur), the Thar Desert is bustling with activities for all travellers. From desert safaris to dune bashing, parasailing, quad biking to staying at royal palaces and experiencing the desert festivals, the grandeur of the Thar Desert can never fail to amaze. Jaisalmer airport, closest to the desert, has domestic flights coming in from cities like Delhi and Mumbai.

SHEKHAWATI – Nestled in northeast Rajasthan, the historical region of Shekhawati is a favourite for travellers. Visit Sikar to find multiple havelis such as those of Bansidhar Rathi, Kedia and Sawant Ram Chokhani.

The Khatu Shyamji village is known for its temple and the Khatu Shyamji fair. Places like Churu and Dundlod are known for their iconic forts and Fatehpur revels in its 15th century glory. Try the horse safaris or the Heritage on Wheels luxury train and attend some of the vibrant fairs and festivals in the area. The nearest railway station is Jhunjhunu which is connected to cities such as Jaipur, Delhi, Indore and Pune.

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Escaping To Another World: JHARKHAND, KERALA, MAHARASHTRA

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PAINTED HOUSES OF HAZARIBAGH – The tribal peoples of this thickly forested region in northern Jharkhand know a thing or two about decor. The elaborately painted houses of Hazaribagh and Purulia are an ancient, matriarchal tradition—and they are absolutely stunning. Painted on inner walls during the marriage season, the Khovar drawings are for fertility, while the Sohrai type, on outer walls, celebrates cattle and the harvest. The techniques and motifs are fascinating. The women apply an undercoat of black, covered over with white or ‘dhudhiya mitti’. Then the silica is scraped off with brooms, combs and even fingernails to reveal marvellous graffito depictions. Hazaribagh is 96km/2hrs from Ranchi by road.

NETARHAT – Sir Edward Gait, colonial governor of Bihar and Orissa, found the balmy climes and enchanting verdure of this pretty little hill town on the Chhottanagpur Plateau just the perfect retreat from the punishing Indian summer. His ‘court’ followed his entourage like lemmings. Today it is Jharkhand’s most popular hill station with its beautiful walks and glorious sunset and sunrises. Magnolia Point is linked to the ill-fated liaison of a governor’s daughter and a tribal boy. For more sunset views head for Koel View Point or the Palmau Dak Bungalow. The Netarhat Public School set up by Charles Napier is worth a visit. The nearest railway station is Ranchi, which is 154 kms away.

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Tribal Art of Hazaribagh

SARANDA – Once a private game preserve of the Singh Deo royals of Saraikela, the 820 sq km Saranda sanctuary located in West Singhbhum district, offers visitors rewarding wilderness experiences amidst its rich sal forests and botanical wealth. Saranda, which literally means seven hundred hills, falls along the elephant corridor from the nearby forests of Odisha’s Keonjhar district and is still the ancient stamping grounds of the Asiatic elephant, bison and leopard. Sightings have been reported of the elusive tiger. Fed by the Karo and Koina rivers, this pristine sanctuary is a botanist’s delight with an abundance of plant life. The region is also home to the Ho tribesmen. The nearest airports are at Jamshedpur and Ranchi.