11 of the most luxurious places to stay in Kerala

luxurious-kerala-resorts

Note: KeralaBlogExpress is an initiative by Kerala Tourism which invites international bloggers to experience the best of Kerala. Our stays at each hotel were complimentary, including our food (but not our drinks). 

One of the things that amazed me about Kerala was how well they did luxury. Often tucked away from the public past the dirt tracks and in forests; the resorts all had their own personalities.

It’s no wonder that so many celebrities graced these gems dotted around Kerala’s landscape.

Throughout the trip, we were honestly treated like royalty with entertainment entourages greeting us and women placing bindis on our foreheads with a friendly “namaskaram”.

If you have the dosh, why not go posh? Here’s the lowdown on 11 of the places we stayed in on our Kerala adventure:


Xandari Harbour

Xandari Harbour at Fort Kochi was the first resort that we stayed in. The small waterfront compound means that it has perfect access to the pool, restaurant, and Kochi itself.  I’d highly recommend ordering the Malabar calamari (it’s divine!). Historically the harbour was important for merchants and traders of spices with the Bazar Road just outside the front door. It’s the perfect hub for navigating around Kochi.

xandari-harbour-fort-kochi

I’d highly recommend ordering the Malabar calamari and the watermelon and basil soda concoction (they’re divine!). Historically the harbour was important for merchants and traders of spices with the Bazar Road just outside the front door. It’s the perfect hub for navigating around Kochi.


Kochi Marriott

Right next to the famous Lulu Mall, Kochi Marriott oozes luxury. From the moment we arrived, we knew that we were in good hands.

Perfect for the business traveller or those who would prefer a feeling of familiarity when they’re abroad, the Marriott knows who to treat guests and offers them world-class experience. We ate at their Cassava Restaurant offering the best of Kerala’s dishes headed up by Saji P. Alex, the Chef de Cuisine.

kochi-marriott-breakfast-kerala


Kumarakom Lake Resort

This was probably, I felt, the most luxurious of places on our trip. Our room was decorated with dark wood and our bathroom and shower were outside in a small private enclosure. Not only that but there was also a private pool and jacuzzi for us to laze in!

Kumarakom-Resort-Kerala-Luxury

Weaving in and out of the resort it felt like one of those places that were a little town all in itself.

https://vimeo.com/212522831


The River Retreat Ayurvedic Resort

The former summer palace of the Maharajas of Cochin now houses The River Retreat – a 4 star Heritage Ayurvedic Resort. Here we stayed in an apartment complete with two bedrooms, living room and a kitchen! Minutes from the pool, the whole resort felt quite exclusive, almost as if we were hanging around some celebrity’s home!

river-retreat-resort-kerala

Here we stayed in an apartment complete with two bedrooms, living room and a kitchen! Minutes from the pool, the whole resort felt quite exclusive, almost as if we were hanging around some celebrity’s home!


KTDC Tea County

Surrounded by the lush greens of the tea plantations, this hotel retains the charm of a colonial past. We didn’t even need air-conditioning because it was so cool in the evenings and the town was so close by. We got to wander in, enjoy the markets and visit temples and meet real Keralites.

You can read about how I loved Munnar here.


Spice Village

I wish we had more time to spend here. As a hippy at heart, this place spoke to me on so many levels. Spice Village is the essence of a mountain tribal village but reimagined for the modern traveller. Everything was 100% eco-friendly.

spice-village-kumily-kerala

There were spice plants and fruit trees dotted around the grounds, monkeys casually hanging around and you could even make your own paper. Our roofs were made of thatched grass, and you could smell the spices in the air. It was wonderful!


Lakes and Lagoons Houseboats

A different kind of luxury, hopping onto a houseboat in the Alleppey Backwaters is a must-do if you visit Kerala. The boats measure up to 120 ft in length and come with your own room (or shared depending) and have chefs on board. You could watch the chefs cook too and join in if you wanted to.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BTZoPsYFyEp/?taken-by=beforemymamdies

The houseboats generally have one, two and three bedrooms, which can sleep, 1-6 people. Watching the world go by in silence as the wind offers gentle relief from the heat is just magical.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BR717SnjznA/?taken-by=beforemymamdies


Vythiri Village 

A beautiful getaway in Wayanad surrounded by lush rainforest, Vythiri Village is like something out of a fantasy story. It’s a natural wonderland with flowering plants in every direction and staff that are eager to please.

One of my favourite memories is in Vythiri Village (Thanks, Indra!) and it will always have a place in my heart.

I had an entire room all to myself and for the first time on our trip, I got to have a bath instead of a shower. On the top floor of the resort with a view of the restaurant, my room was HUGE.


The LaLiT Resort & Spa Bekal

Surrounded by river Nombili on three sides in the lap of the Arabian Sea, The LaLiT Resort & Spa Bekal is a serene heaven and incidentally was also the only place where I got to cycle! The resort is spread across 26 acres and while you could walk around it’s actually more fun to cycle.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSVOsbtjzVY/?taken-by=beforemymamdies

The landscaped gardens made it feel like a mini paradise and with such close access to the beach, I felt right at home (I love the sea!). Did I mention we had a jacuzzi in our room?


The Raviz Resort and Spa Kadavu

Close to Calicut city, the 9-acre Raviz Kadavu is on the banks of the Chalivar River. Its grounds were landscaped by the celebrated architect Tony Joseph and like all the resorts we visited, the staff were incredibly professional.

I loved the pool there. There was a moment that the power went off and you could see nothing but the sky. Now some may see this as a downside but it was actually magical even though it lasts seconds. The whole place was dark as we floated in the pool and a jet darted across the sky – the light of the stream the only light in the sky.


Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Resort

UDS is located right next to the sea and beaches of Kovalam. It’s an exclusive 5 Star leisure beach hotel and was the final place I stayed in on the Kerala Blog Express. With pools galore, it was the perfect place to just kick back and do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BSrT1X-DZV7/?taken-by=beforemymamdies

This is also where I had a delightful experience with a shopkeeper in the surrounding area. Read about my experience with Ish here.


Note: KeralaBlogExpress is an initiative by Kerala Tourism which invites international bloggers to experience the best of Kerala. Our stays at each hotel were complimentary, including our food (but not our drinks). Images courtesy of the resorts themselves, Kerala Tourism and some are my own. This post contains affiliate links which means I might get a commission should you book through them.

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Una-Minh

Hello! Úna-Minh is a journalist, social media consultant and virtual assistant who loves (you guessed it) TRAVEL. She also feels a bit strange writing in the third person so she'll stop that now. You can find out more about me and my Mammy in the about section of this blog!

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16 Comments

  1. Claire here from the Curious Explorers, I went to Kerala last year and I totally loved it and their resorts out there are fantastic. I really enjoyed my time and the staff really make you feel welcomed. Your photos of the region really brought back some good memories. 🙂

    1. You’re absolutely right Claire! Just fabulous. I think now anytime I see photos of Kerala, I’ll get super nostalgic!!

  2. Wow, they are some great resorts in Kerala. Never been there but really want to, looks like paradise. Love the pics too. Nice work.

    1. They really treat you like royalty when you’re over there! Thanks Anthony 🙂

  3. wow all those places looks wonderful ! I never heard about Kerala before but now I defiantly need to add it to my list! You did great job with that research, I cant wait to book one of those places.

  4. Seeing Kerala in a new way.. The photographs speak for the beauty and charm. Lovely article

  5. Kerala has been the one place that sets high the standards. a place of beaches and welcoming people. Luxury is for sure the greatest experience when you get a sea side window room, glad to loved to visit this place.

  6. It’s hard to decide what it’s more appealing – those resorts with beautiful swimming pools or those surrounded by lush vegetation! Would be lovely to spend few days in all of them! 😀

  7. All of these places look incredible, The River Retreat really does it for me. I would love to stay there sometime.

    1. I’d recommend splashing out on one of them if possible because ultimately they’re still expensive!

  8. These are all awesome places to stay. They all showcase the beautiful surroundings of Kerala. If I had to choose one, it would be the Kumarakom Lake Resort. I watched the video and it was very convincing that they provide an impeccable hospitality. The pool are is breathtaking. You got so lucky because you experienced relaxing in these places.

  9. Kerala is really seems like a heaven of India. its so much green and those backwater places makes it more beautiful. All these hotels are seems really good loved all of them.

  10. The exclusive feeling you get at luxury resorts is an incredible feeling. I hope you can go to one of the tea farms and pick your own leaves and make tea with it. That would be very cool. It really sounds like you had an excellent pampering experience. Very jealous. However, I now have several names of places to go to when I visit.

  11. Hello 🙂 I’m usually a cheaper kind of traveller, but I was curious about the great accommodations that you picked, I might give luxury travel a chance

    1. Yeah, we had he advantage where everything was paid for us but normally we’re midrange/cheaper 🙂

  12. Oh wow, these places look incredible! I would definitely love to stay there if I can afford it haha
    For some reason, I particularly liked the Spice Village, such a nice place and the fact that is eco-friendly makes it even better!

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