Well this dream hotel actually exists, although it only opened its doors to guests a few years ago. The 4 “Malabar Escapes” is the creation of the German designer and exhibition specialist Jorg Drechsel who has had a great affinity for India, especially Kerala.
All the 4 “Escapes” have certain things in common. They all cater to a few or even a very few guests, offering exclusivity but not isolation. Their design reflects the beauty of Kerala’s landscapes- the villa hotel “Serenity”, for instance, draws its inspiration from the many plantations that have existed between lake Vembanad and the Periyar National Park for hundreds of years. “Serenity” has a laissez faire attitude about most things. You can choose to switch off your cell phone or you can continue to keep in touch with your business partners from the enviably exotic location. You can engage in numerous activities and just spend a quiet day at a 1920 year built plantation villa.
If it hadn't been for my confident auto driver, I would have probably had some trouble finding Villa Serenity. The roads from Kottayam to Thekkady and Periyar run almost entirely through forests and plantations. Plantations include rubber, pepper, cocoa, coffee, nutmeg, a large quantity of pineapples and other exotic fruits and spices. The auto rick turned westwards on a series of smaller lanes roads and past several village settlements. All of a sudden we drove through a wide gate straight through the driveway of the villa hotel.
It's a bright, attractive building in white and brick red built. It has huge rooms with large airy windows opening to the plantations. There are two generously proportioned verandahs on both sides with delectable artefacts so as in the rooms. A signature style of all the “Escapes”.
There are a number of options left for the next day. The most exciting one being spending time with Lakshmi, the resident elephant whom you can bath, play with, ride on, cuddle and feed bananas. For people who have never had such an experience it immediately creates an inexplicable appeal, something like a childhood adventure.
There is a bullock cart village ride. There is a complimentary plantation tour any moment you ask for it. There are cycles to take and cycle around the 40 acre plantation and visit the nearby churches and temples. There’s a scenic pool surrounded by cocoa trees overlooking the forest. There's the drizzle of the monsoon rains and clouds engulfing the villa with endless cups of coffee or wine. For lovers there are candlelight dinners by the pool and for the seekers of serenity there's a lot of it in “Serenity”.
Needless to say the ladies and gentlemen of the house take care of every single need of yours. From fixing defunct spotlights so that you get a better click to making exotic dishes, they are the jack of all traits and master of all as well.
Apart from all these, take some time to admire the beautiful collection of artwork which adorns the entire house, especially curated by Jorg Drechsel.
“Serenity” is indeed serene to say the least.
Address: The Malabar House | 1/268 Parade Road | Fort Cochin 682001 | Kerala | India
Phone: +91 484 2216666
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