From exclusive views of the lush tea estate in Munnar to taking a dip into Kochi’s art scene or relaxing within the sleepy backwaters of Alappuzha, Kerala is an exotic mix of different landscapes and experiences.
Blessed with some prestigious lodges that enhance the natural beauty of this state, hospitality here comes with a gracious smile and impeccable service. From a 300-year-old royal residence now an elegantly restored ‘single key hotel’, a sprawling tea estate bungalow exuding colonial charm to a quaint houseboat overlooking the languid network of lagoons, they offer an intimate and curated holiday that you won’t find anywhere else.
What’s special? All these stays are booked exclusively for you and your travel companions. They are the perfect embodiment of privacy, with warm and comfortable rooms, staff dedicated to cater your needs and plenty of time to spend with no one else around, except you and your loved ones.
As you sink into these exclusive properties, a range of private experiences await you. A culinary session with a chef to savour the traditional cuisine, lavish cultural performances and art forms to fragrant spice trails, this journey to Kerala is a tropical and sensory fiesta with luxurious adventures created just for you.
This is your opportunity to explore a fascinating fusion of old and new, as you uplift your mind within the enchanting beauty of the God’s Own Country.
Welcome to Kochi (formerly known as Cochin), also known as Ernakulam, the commercial capital of Kerala. The word Ernakulam was derived from a Tamil word “Erayanarkulam” which means “Lord Shiva’s abode.”
Upon arrival at the Kochi airport, our representative will meet and greet you at the airport and help you with the transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure as you to settle into your new space.
Your stay in Kochi, Chittoor Kottaram is a magnificent mansion and a ‘single key hotel’ which means, there are no other guests but you. A 300-year-old royal residence of the Rajah of Cochin is now elegantly restored into a splendid retreat. The warm and friendly staff is dedicated to give you an experience of bespoke luxury, exclusivity and calmness as you breathe in the crisp air of the quaint backwaters of Kerala.
As you welcome a new morning in Kochi, we’ll discover this eclectic city by taking a tuk-tuk through Willington Island and the historic part of old Kochi (Fort Cochin and Mattancherry) dotted with tiled roofs and pastel-coloured buildings. Kochi has the best natural harbour in the country. It is set amidst picturesque lagoons and backwaters famous across the world. Enjoy the breeze passing through the romantic backdrop of swaying coconut and palm trees.
Catch a glimpse of the fascinating Chinese fishing nets, and participate in Kochi’s main enterprise, commerce, by stopping at any of numerous shops selling tea, jute, chilies, turmeric, cashew, ginger, cardamom and pepper.
The tour includes the Dutch Palace, Jewish Synagogue built in 1568 and St Francis Church – the oldest church built by Europeans in India.
In the evening enjoy 'Kalaripayattu' the traditional martial art of Kerala, which is specifically used for defence and resistance. This martial art helps to maintain our body physical energy and releases emotional stress. It provides relaxation, gives new energy and improves mental awareness.
This morning is at leisure.
Optional Activity: Kochi by cycle
Cycling through the picturesque seaside town of Fort Kochi, and witness the city start to wake up and stir. Join the locals for a hot brimming cup of tea as they start with their day, where you get a peek into the varied and diverse communities from faraway lands who have made Fort Kochi their home. Cycle through the different neighbourhoods of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry and discover how 39 communities’ live shoulder to shoulder in absolute harmony. Ride along to catch all the action with the hustle-bustle in the local markets.
Optional Activity: Café Crawl
Fort Kochi is known for its cafes, from the old traditional bakery style cafes to the trendy modern café that offer you a cuppa. We take you to a bunch of handpicked cafes where you don’t just get to meet the people behind the cafes but also get to see glimpses of the past and understand why they are so popular with the locals. Try a wide selection of coffees and teas and get to know the backstory of the age-old commodity trade in Kochi. It's a tour we promise you will not fall asleep, we have caffeine for company!
Optional Activity: Spice Trail Adventure
Discover the story of Kochi and Kerala through the story of the Spice Trade and how it influenced world history. Perceive how trade has influenced not just the culture of this place but also the local cuisine. All this and more in what is possibly one of the most interesting port towns in the East. Stop at local cafe which was once a bustling pepper godown for a glass of ice tea and understand what went behind the restoration of this heritage building.
Optional Activity: The Toddy Trail
Explores the local alcoholic drink from the coconut tree - Toddy and the traditional craft of its production - Toddy Tapping. Visit a coconut grove and meet the toddy tapper who will show you the indigenous tools used for this activity. Watch him in action as he demonstrates how the toddy from the coconut tree is tapped, chopped and extracted. Try some freshly tapped toddy straight from the tree to the cup.
This afternoon, participate in a cooking class with Nimmy Paul to learn about the delectable traditional Kerala cuisine. Know the age-old recipes passed down through generations and cooked with wholesome local ingredients.
Today we head to the alluring hills of Munnar. The journey through winding shaded roads from sea level to 6,000 ft takes you through a fantastic range of Kerala's lush landscapes. Feast your eyes with views of the plantations of coconuts, pineapples, rubber, coffee, pepper, cardamom and vanilla to eventually emerge into an endless vista of verdant tea gardens. Munnar, literally meaning 'three rivers', situated at the confluence of three mountain streams, is the perfect setting of absolute solitude and enjoying moments away from the bustling city life.
Located in the famous Kanan Devan Hills, Ama Stays & Trails Tea Estate Bungalows offers an experience like no other. Breathtaking landscapes, lakes and vast expanses of tea gardens enveloped with mist, make it a picture-perfect postcard stay. The beautifully restored bungalows, each have their own unique history.
Savour the delicious Kerala cuisine made from fresh produce, elegant and comfortable rooms, warm and friendly staff and views to soothe your mindl, Ama Stays & Trails Tea Estate Bungalows brings alive the magic of the rolling hills.
Today will acquaint you with the local tea plantation workers, their stories and how the business has changed hands over the years, over a warm cup of tea of course.
Walk around the Munnar village, breathe in the fresh air of the meadows and relax. This is your time to unwind with nature!
Later visit a Tea Factory where you can learn the about the cultivation and processing of tea. Meet the team and enjoy a lovely tea tasting. Also visit the Tea Museum to witness the journey history of tea in India.
Buckle up to head for a trekking experience at the peak of the magnificent Lakshmi Hills. Rocky mountain terrains, grasslands, tea plantations with patches of Shola forest, spice gardens and various birds are all ready to welcome you. If we are lucky and the weather is clear we could view Anaimudi (the highest peak in South India) and the waters of Idukki Dam which is listed as the highest arch dams in Asia and 3rd tallest dam in India.
This afternoon is free for independent activity.
Optional Activity: Cooking with Chef Guests can also cook with our Bungalow Chefs and discover authentic culinary traditions of the region.
Optional Activity: Golfing Golfing at two exclusive 9-hole golf courses, at a nominal fee.
Optional Activity: Trout Fishing Trout fishing, the traditional way, at the nearby Sita Devi Lake.
This morning, drive to Alappuzha, a prominent ancient trade centre built on strips of land along a magical network of rivers, lakes and lagoons.
This afternoon, board on a private cruise starts from Puthenangadi boat jetty. Journey across Vembanad Lake, to Chithira church, Venattukadu and reach Moonattinmugham, the place where the three rivers meet. Later continue to Chambakkulam via Pullangadi, where you can visit the church, market and the local village.
This evening anchor at Thakazhi for the night.
Embark on your private luxurious houseboat, with all comforts of a cosy bedroom, living room, air-conditioning, and en-suite bathrooms. Built without a single nail, the planks of these shallow barges are tied together with strong coir rope. A stay here will reward you with a surreal sunset over the horizon and some delicious traditional Kerala cuisine.
Morning start your day with breakfast on board. Enroute the cruise, visit the ancient Buddha statue 'Karumadykuttan' and Ambalapuzha Sree Krishna swami Temple.
If you enjoy cycling or would want to indulge in a village walk, it can be arranged.
Later return to the boat and have lunch as you cruise through Pallathuruthy, Kainakary Chennamkary, Punnamuda, Kuttithodu.
This evening anchor at Chithira for the night.
After breakfast and a cruise across Vembanad Lake, end your cruise experience at Puthenangadi boat jetty.
Later drive to Kochi airport for your international flight back home.
We wish you safe travels back home and we look forward to welcoming you back and continue exploring Incredible India in the near future.