Fondly dubbed as ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala is where the magic of India unfurls in the most beguiling manner. A harmonious blend of cultural heritage and natural beauty, Kerala woos travelers from all around the globe with its serene beaches, aromatic spice gardens, ethereal hill stations, and, of course, the enchanting backwaters. Threaded by a network of lagoons, canals, and lakes, the backwaters are the heart and soul of Kerala. And amidst this aqua-green paradise, are nestled the most prestigious backwater resorts in Kerala.
An embodiment of luxury and tranquility, these backwater resorts in Kerala offer an intimate rendezvous with nature, allowing you to immerse in Kerala’s awe-inspiring beauty, right from the comfort of your room. So, loosen up, kick back, and allow us to take you on a virtual tour of some of the finest backwater resorts in Kerala.
This beguiling southern belle of India, donning a richly embroidered cloak of history and culture, strikes a coy pose on the southwest coast of the subcontinent. A mesmerizing siren call in shades of green and blue, Kerala invites you to immerse yourself in the magic of its backwaters – an enchanting watery labyrinth that weaves tales of time gone by.
From the leafy canopy of the Western Ghats (not to be confused with the ghats of Varanasi) to the tranquil, palm-fringed beaches along the Arabian Sea, the state is a visual poetry painted with a masterstroke. But the pièce de résistance? Kerala’s backwaters – a charming water network of rivers, lakes, lagoons, and canals stretching a mind-boggling 900 kilometers. Kerala’s backwaters also act as the state’s economic lifeblood. Beyond being a tourist magnet, they’re a throbbing vein of local commerce, with goods and people being ferried across distances, not to mention the fertile grounds they provide for activities like farming, fishing, and duck rearing.
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Geography Of The Backwaters
In a display of geographical showmanship, Kerala’s backwaters snake their way from one end of the state to the other, interconnecting coastal and inland areas with the finesse of a master seamstress. From Kochi in the north to Kollam in the south, it’s a seamless watery highway that brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘go with the flow’.
Geographically speaking, these brackish lagoons or ‘Kayals’ are a result of the cusp of land meeting sea, giving birth to a tantalizing blend of salty seawater and fresh river water. You could say it’s nature’s own mocktail, a unique concoction that makes for a rich ecosystem and supports a plethora of flora and fauna. From the elusive Asian otters to kingfishers and egrets, you’re likely to spot a cast of characters that could rival any wildlife documentary.
The Concept Of Backwater Resorts In Kerala
The luxurious backwater resorts in Kerala feel like living on your own private island, but instead of being surrounded by sea, you’re ensconced in a placid waterway, sharing your morning coffee with playful otters and colorful kingfishers. All the bustle of life, distilled down to the gentle lapping of water against your boat and the call of a distant cuckoo. Quite the Insta-worthy moment, isn’t it?
But, let’s not let our imaginations run away from us. Backwater resorts in Kerala aren’t just about Insta-bragging rights or playing castaway. They are about stepping into a world where luxury coexists with tradition and nature. It’s like a gourmet chef decided to experiment and came up with a dish that tickles your taste buds just right. A hearty stew of comfort, culture, and a dash of elegance – served with a side of spectacular views.
These backwater resorts in Kerala offer a plethora of experiences for the discerning traveler. Want to relax? How about a rejuvenating Ayurvedic spa treatment under the dappled sunlight? Craving some exploration? Take a village walk or a canoe ride and uncover the rural heart of Kerala…
Best Time To Visit Kerala’s Backwaters
Kerala, basking in its equatorial glory, experiences a tropical climate, which means it basically has three seasons – hot, hotter, and “Oh boy, I didn’t know I could sweat from there!”
Jokes aside, the period from September to March, when the weather shifts from pleasantly cool to moderately warm, is widely considered the best time to visit. The monsoons have just retreated, leaving in their wake a verdant landscape that could give the Garden of Eden a serious complex. The backwaters are at their majestic best, mirroring the blue skies and fluffy clouds, perfect for those postcard-perfect shots.
However, if you’re the sort who prefers a good bout of rain to a sunny day (yes, we exist!), consider visiting during the monsoons, between June and August. Kerala’s monsoons are a spectacle in themselves, transforming the landscape into various shades of green. The rains breathing life into the countryside is a sight to behold. Plus, it’s considered the ideal time for Ayurvedic treatments, and you might find fewer tourists around, making it a win-win!
15 Best Backwater Resorts In Kerala
Now that we covered some basics, let’s get to the most important part of this article; the best backwater resorts in Kerala, starting with…
Kumarakom Lake Resort
If you ever wanted to know what it feels like to live in a postcard, here’s your answer. Nestled on the shores of the mesmerizing Vembanad Lake, this resort is so quintessentially Kerala that you half expect it to greet you with a “Namaskaram” as you walk in.
Imagine a place where the principles of Vaastu Shastra meet the plush comforts of modernity, where history and luxury shake hands, and the result? A resort that’s fit for royalty. Don’t just take my word for it, ask Prince Charles himself – who celebrated his 65th birthday here. Yes, you read that right. You could be sleeping in the same bed as the Prince of Wales, minus the stiff upper lip.
Now, let’s talk about the heart of the resort, the villas. Traditional Kerala tharavads (ancestral homes) that were doomed to be forgotten were given a fairy godmother-esque transformation to become the opulent villas of Kumarakom Lake Resort. Antique wooden doorways, ornate gabled roofs, and a private courtyard echo tales of a rich cultural past, while luxurious bathrooms, plush furnishings, and personal pools whisper sweet comforts into your ear.
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The Zuri Kumarakom Kerala Resort & Spa
This list of the best backwater resorts in Kerala couldn’t be complete without Zuri Kumarakom Kerala Resort & Spa; an oasis that seems like it’s been directly plucked out of a fairy tale, only the fairies here wear chef hats and offer rejuvenating spa treatments. Sitting pretty on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, the resort boasts a charm that can make even the most jaded city dweller stop and smell the hibiscus.
Their rooms are like luxurious cocoons of comfort that wrap you in elegance. They’re so opulent, you’d half expect to find a peacock serving you your morning coffee! And speaking of elegance, the Presidential Pool Villas are the stuff of legend; they have a private garden, their own swimming pool, an open-air garden shower, and peacocks roaming around the garden.
Situated in the heart of the Kerala backwaters, this resort is more than just a destination; it’s a time machine that transports you to a simpler era. With the tranquil Vembanad Lake as its front yard and swaying coconut palms for neighbors, this resort doesn’t just have a location, it has a locale that could make the Greek gods green with envy.
With a collection of traditional tharavadu houses, you’re not just checking into a room, but into a slice of history. Beautifully restored with carved wooden arches, verandas that open to the lake, and open-roofed bathrooms, the cottages offer the charm of the old-world cocooned in modern comforts. It’s like eating your grandmother’s pie but on fine china with silver cutlery.
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The Leela Kovalam
This is the resort equivalent of James Bond – classy, glamorous, and knows how to leave an impression. Perched on a cliff overlooking the cerulean Arabian Sea, The Leela isn’t just a resort, it’s an experience that’s akin to sliding into a plush pair of silk pajamas. With panoramic vistas of the sun-kissed beaches of Kovalam, the resort exudes a charm that can make even a sunflower turn its head.
The rooms are so well-appointed, you’ll half expect to find a butler named Jeeves ready to draw your bath. Designed with a blend of traditional Kerala and Balinese influences, each room whispers the perfect blend of elegance and comfort. And those private sundecks? They offer views that can compel even the most chronic snooze-button hitter to become a morning person.
Marari Beach Resort
Speaking of backwater resorts in Kerala, we can’t forget about the Marari Beach Resort. Tucked away in the idyllic fishing village of Mararikulam, the resort paints a perfect picture of coastal Kerala. From thatched-roof villas that echo the local architecture to pathways that wind through organic vegetable gardens, the Marari Beach Resort isn’t just a place to stay, it’s a way of life.
With garden and pool villas spread over 55 acres, this isn’t just a place to crash after a day at the beach; it’s a tropical haven. Imagine rustic luxury, where antique-filled rooms meet open-air bathrooms, where comfort is defined not by the thread count of your linen but by the symphony of crashing waves lulling you to sleep.
The resort’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its architecture. From an in-house water bottling plant to a butterfly garden, the Marari Beach Resort wears its Green Leaf certification with pride.
Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere
Nestled in the verdant lap of Vayalar, this resort is so chic, you’d think it stepped right off the pages of a glossy travel magazine. This 5-star resort is spread across 7.4 acres of sheer serenity, with a lagoon so tranquil it could put a Zen master to shame. If you’re looking for an escape from the hustle-bustle, this is your ticket to your very own Shangri-La, sans the elusive Himalayan trek.
Every room is a mix of contemporary charm and traditional elegance. They’re so spacious and well-appointed, you could play a game of hide-and-seek and get lost. Their floating cottages? More like luxury houseboats that offer front-row seats to the ever-changing theatre of nature.
Perched on the verdant banks of the Vembanad Lake, Punnamada Resort is more than just a destination. It’s a snapshot of Kerala’s heritage and natural beauty, wrapped up in an elegantly laid-back atmosphere. From here, the famed Nehru Trophy Boat Race is not just an event, it’s a spectacle that unfolds right at your doorstep. So close, you can practically feel the oarsmen’s energy ripple through the waters.
With traditional Kerala architecture, each villa is a delicate balance of rustic charm and modern luxury. If walls could talk, these might break into an enchanting folk tale. The lake view villas? They’ve got the best seats in the house, offering panoramic views of the ever-dancing backwaters. Waking up here isn’t just about opening your eyes, it’s about opening your senses to the whispering winds and the melody of the lake.
Located in unspoiled Northern Kerala, this heavenly hideaway has eschewed the glitz and glamour for a simple, unadulterated communion with nature. In fact, it’s so in tune with the surrounding environment, it’s almost like an exotic bird, perfectly camouflaged in its lush, tropical habitat.
With traditional Keralan cottages, or ‘kottages’ as they whimsically call them, your stay at Neeleshwar is akin to living in an enchanting Indian fairytale. Nestled amid luxuriant gardens, these cottages blend seamlessly with the environment. They’re so eco-friendly; you’d half expect Mother Nature to send a thank-you note!
The resort’s pièce de résistance is the Ananda Spa, a sanctuary of wellness that harnesses the ancient science of Ayurveda. Here, the treatments are so rejuvenating, they’re like Ctrl+Alt+Del for your stress. If relaxation had a headquarters, it would undoubtedly be here.
The Raviz Resort & Spa, Ashtamudi
Spread over 7 acres, this 5-star resort embodies Kerala’s rich culture and architectural heritage, while maintaining an air of modern elegance. It’s like a bridge between the past and the present, and trust me, the view is gorgeous from up here.
Step inside the rooms, and you’ll find the perfect marriage of traditional aesthetics and contemporary comforts. Think carved wooden details, plush bedding, and a view so serene, it could be the muse for a soulful Rumi poem. Their villas? Let’s just say, they’ve got more charm than a rom-com marathon.
No luxury retreat in Kerala would be complete without an Ayurveda spa, and the Raviz Resort & Spa doesn’t disappoint. ‘Zara’, their in-house spa, is like an oasis of rejuvenation, where skilled therapists weave magic with their healing touch. After a session here, you’ll feel so refreshed, even your aura will have a glow.
Sterling Lake Palace Resort
Spread across 14 acres of lush landscapes, this 5-star resort is a refreshing cocktail of beauty and elegance, served with a dash of Keralan charm. If serenity had a home address, it would surely be here. The interiors blend traditional Kerala architecture with modern comforts, creating spaces that are as homely as they are stylish. As for their floating cottages, they are an experience in themselves, offering front-row seats to the serene ballet of the backwaters.
Wellness is a top priority at the Lake Palace Resort, and their Ayurveda center is a testament to that. This is where time-honored therapies meet skilled therapists, resulting in an experience that’s as healing as it is relaxing. A session here, and you’d feel as fresh as a dew-kissed morning. But what truly sets this resort apart is the range of experiences it offers. From village walks and bird-watching tours to sunset cruises and traditional art performances, the resort leaves no stone unturned to ensure you truly experience Kerala.
Kondai Lip Backwater Heritage Resort
If tranquillity decided to take a vacation, this is where it would unpack its bags. Nestled in the backwaters of Alappuzha, this resort is so serene, even the busiest minds are enticed to hit the pause button and just breathe.
Stepping into the Kondai Lip is like stepping back in time. This eco-friendly resort has been crafted in the style of the ancient homes of Kerala, with the structures featuring laterite stone and wood. Each cottage is a testament to Kerala’s architectural heritage, with its sloping roofs and wooden pillars, telling a tale of the past. If history could have a holiday home, this might be it.
The accommodations here have a rustic charm that’s more infectious than a baby’s laughter. With wooden interiors, antique furnishings, and a private sit-out overlooking the backwaters, the rooms here are as comforting as a grandmother’s lullaby.
Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort & Ayurveda Spa
This 4-star resort, spread over 5 acres, is a green utopia. The resort’s architecture is a nod to Kerala’s traditional charm, with a modern twist. It’s like a beautiful dance of the old and the new, and they’re in perfect rhythm.
Speaking of accommodations, they’re the definition of a ‘room with a view’. Every room, villa, and suite in the Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort offers the quintessential backwater experience, with panoramic views of the azure lake and the lush landscapes. These elegantly appointed spaces offer such sublime tranquillity; you might just forget about your favorite meditation app…
Lakes & Lagoons Tour Company
Lakes & Lagoons have been crafting unique, unforgettable backwater experiences since 1993, earning them the title of the first ISO 9001-2015 certified Houseboat Tour Company in Southern India. They’ve got more experience than a wizened sailor and the curiosity of a backpacker, making them the perfect backwater sherpa.
With a fleet of over 25 houseboats ranging from single-bedroom to four-bedroom vessels, each one is a floating piece of art, a blend of tradition and comfort. The boats are designed like traditional ‘Kettuvallams’ but come with the kind of luxury that makes you feel like royalty. It’s like cruising the backwaters on a floating boutique hotel.
Each houseboat journey with Lakes & Lagoons is not just a tour, it’s a story. A story of drifting through serene waterways, framed by lush palm groves and paddy fields. A story of spotting local fishermen at work and waving at cheerful village kids. A story of savoring authentic Kerala cuisine, cooked fresh on the houseboat, as you watch the sun melt into the horizon. It’s the kind of story that you can’t just narrate, you’ve got to live it.
Poovar Island Resort
This island resort is spread over 25 acres, and if I were to describe it in one word, it would be ‘extraordinary’. Poovar Island Resort offers a unique experience of living in floating cottages that are as charming as a well-written sonnet. Imagine waking up to the gentle lull of backwaters, as a gentle sea breeze carries the songs of local birds. It’s like living in a nature-made lullaby.
Each cottage is a symphony of comfort and luxury, fitted with all modern amenities. The resort has brilliantly intertwined traditional Kerala architectural elements with modern comfort, creating a unique blend that’s as enticing as a bowl of spicy Kerala shrimp curry.
But it’s not all about relaxation. The resort also offers a plethora of activities for those who like their holidays with a side of adventure. From speed boat rides to cultural performances, from village tours to Ayurvedic therapies, Poovar Island Resort ensures you experience Kerala in its entirety.
Deshadan Backwater Resort
Last but not lest, we round up this list of the best backwater resorts in Kerala with Deshadan. Perched on the bank of the Vembanad Lake in Muhamma, Alleppey, this resort is a haven of peace and tranquility, with an undeniable Kerala charm. It’s as soothing as a cup of cardamom-infused masala chai on a monsoon evening.
Now, the Deshadan doesn’t just offer rooms; it offers panoramic views with a side of comfort. Their accommodations are like comfortable viewing decks for the lake. Waking up here is not about groggily reaching for the snooze button; it’s about gazing at a mesmerizing sunrise over the tranquil backwaters, and it’s as enchanting as a Ravi Varma painting.
But the rooms aren’t the only thing that’ll wow you. The architecture is a blend of modern design with traditional influences, creating spaces that feel homely and luxurious at the same time. It’s like the architects were playing matchmaker between comfort and elegance, and boy, did they hit it off!
How did you like. this list of the best backwater resorts in Kerala? Did you ever visit any of them? Which one was your favorite? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
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