Rooms inspired by traditional kettuvallam houseboats
Stunning spa for modern and traditional ayurvedic services (a Kerala specialty)
The Kappil River runs through the resort for fishing and boating
Direct access to a hidden beach
What To Know
A 12.5 percent luxury tax and a 7.42 percent service tax per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
The resort is 50 miles from the Mangalore airport, and the drive (through villages and countryside) can sometimes take a few hours?
The By the Bay restaurant is open only when the weather permits (it’s closed during monsoon season)
Parking on site
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Lush retreat between the Kappil River and a private beach, with spacious rooms modeled on traditional houseboats
India-meets-Indonesia at this 26-acre resort, off the tourist trail in northwestern Kerala. The open-air walkways and pavilions, flower-filled courtyards, and alfresco dining areas celebrate the area’s natural beauty, and the low-slung buildings are inspired by local houseboats (many have thatch or curved roofs). The interiors range from traditional (dark woods, jewel tones) to contemporary (monochrome, colored lighting), but most of the action takes place outside: The Kappil River runs through the lush grounds, and there’s direct access to a private beach.
Bed and Bath
The 66 guestrooms vary in size and layout, but they all feature outdoor spaces with a daybed or a swing (some also come with interior courtyards, private plunge pools, fountains, and/or outdoor showers). The exteriors are inspired by traditional kettuvallam houseboats, while inside you’ll find bright, contemporary resort decor accented by fabrics and artwork from Bali as well as India. Amenities in all rooms include interactive flat-screen TVs with surround sound, natural Forest Essential bath products and walk-in showers.
Overlooking the Kappil River, the all-day Latitude restaurant serves regional dishes like fish steamed in banana leaves and multicourse thalis. The BBQ by the Pool is the place for freshly grilled fish and meat, while By the Bay offers local cuisine and sea views. Pair snacks and cocktails (infused with cloves, cardamom and coconut water) at the chic Ivory Bar. For active types there’s a large outdoor pool, a well-equipped fitness center and kayaking along the river. The excellent Jiva Spa, which is large for a resort of this size, offers ayurvedic massages, facials, and wraps using potent natural ingredients.
In the Area
Head to noted local sights such as the 17th-century Bekal Fort, a large complex complete with moats, tunnels and an observatory tower. Or spend a whole day at Thonikadavu, a private nature reserve where you can hike through forest and jungle to waterfalls, learn about the indigenous plant and flower life, and cool off with fresh coconut water. Other activities, such as cruising the backwaters around Valiyaparamba Island on a traditional houseboat, or visiting the local Kappil fishing village’s boisterous morning market, can be arranged through the resort.