This groundbreaking and much-imitated Vembanad Lake resort put Kerala's backwaters on the map. Its serenity and charm contribute to making a stay here a top Kerala experience. It's accessible only by boat. The grounds, bordered by the lake and the backwaters on three sides and crisscrossed with canals and footbridges, are dotted with white bungalows and two-story houses that are a mixture of rustic and modern but exceedingly comfortable. The newer houses have their own plunge pools, and the open-air restaurant, like all of the hotel's accommodation, is painstakingly reassembled from parts of an approximately 300-year-old Kerala tharawad (traditional house). The ayurvedic center is excellent, and the property also has its own kalari, a school for martial arts. And every afternoon you have an opportunity to learn to cook a delicious Kerala dish or two. Book well in advance.
Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom, Kerala, 686563, India