This ground-breaking and much-imitated Vembanad Lake resort put Kerala's backwaters on the map. It's accessible only by boat, from one of two pick-up points along an adjoining river. The grounds are crisscrossed with canals and footbridges and dotted with white bungalows and two-story mansions that are a mixture of rustic and modern; the newer villa accommodations have their own plunge pools, and the open-air restaurant is reassembled from parts of an approximately 300-year-old
Kerala home. The ayurvedic center is excellent, and the property also has its own kalari, a school for martial arts. Book well in advance.
Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom, Kerala, 686563, India