Tucked between a quieter part of Cherai beach and its backwaters, and an hour's drive out of Kochi, the charming Les 3 Elephants has eco-friendly cottages all facing the backwaters; the beach is across the road. Each thatched-roof cottage has an outdoor bathroom; front and rear sitouts (patios); handy amenities such as a safe, and classical Kerala furnishings. Tastefully designed and managed by a lovely young French couple, this quiet resort is the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature. Another compelling excuse to head out here for a day or two is to get the feel of Kerala's backwaters, if you don't plan to head to the main Kuttanad (backwaters belt) in central Kerala. The restaurant serves both French and local fare.