Kumarakom, Kerala, Indiaf
The Coconut Lagoon Resort is a virtual paradise on earth—in the middle of Kerala, India. Located in a lush, green tropical setting in Kumarakom, this nature-lovers' resort is reachable only by water. Shades of red, gold, and purpose color the tranquil waters of the Vembanad Lake that surround the resort grounds. The red tile roofs of Coconut Lagoon complement the green palm trees and lush vegetation. In addition, the resort buildings are living pieces of Kerala history. The mansion that houses the reception dates back to 1860 and was carefully transplanted from the nearby village of Vaikom in 1993. This historic and picturesque resort has even attracted celebrities such as Sir Paul McCartney.
Step outside your room at the Coconut Lagoon and you will be immersed in nature. The resort grounds are home to the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, a colorful butterfly garden, and numerous species of trees and ayurvedic and medicinal plants. The folks at the Coconut Lagoon go to great lengths to protect their beautiful, natural surroundings. From compost to recycling to waste and water management, respect for the environment is a priority for the Coconut Lagoon.
The Heritage Bungalows at the Coconut Lagoon are compact independent cottages, set in lush, green lawns along the canals. A closer look at the accommodations reveals that no two bungalows are the same. Each is distinguished by subtle architectural details, such as a trellis pattern here, a row of tiny brass knobs, or a carving of a deity on a 200 year old column. These old world touches add charm to the accommodations while modern amenities provide comfort.
The bungalows are equipped with most standard modern comforts such as air-conditioning, telephones, and hot and cold water. However, there is one notable exception. In keeping with the quiet and natural setting of the hotel, there are no TVs in the guestrooms. (CNN addicts need not despair; there is a TV in the recreation room). In addition, even the bathrooms are designed to echo the natural beauty of the hotel's surroundings. The en suite bathrooms are open-roofed, allowing you to shower in privacy under the beautiful blue or starry skies.
Fort Cochin is Coconut Lagoon's specialty seafood restaurant. A variety of shellfish, and sea and river fish are served in local and international styles. The extensive buffet also includes delicious poultry dishes and vegetarian spreads, ranging from local classics (avial and kottu) to the exotic (drumstick and basil soup). As in all good food, freshness is the first rule. Fish jumps practically straight from the lagoon to the frying pan. Even the red rice that is served with every meal is fresh—it comes from the Coconut Lagoon's very own organic paddy fields.
The menu also features Ayurvedic drinks and foods that have specific restorative and/or digestive qualities. In addition to its impressive menu, Fort Cochin also brims with history. Built in the old 'ettukettu' style, the restaurant is the hotel's oldest structure. Its two roomy courtyards and dozens of slender supporting pillars are specially designed to maximize the gentle tropical breezes
With activities for the body, mind, and spirit, leisure time at the Coconut Lagoon is in keeping with the hotel's holistic philosophy of wellness. If you're the active type, you can take a canoe out into the backwaters, go fishing with simple bamboo poles, take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool or take a crack at water skiing. Luckily, expert ayurvedic masseurs are on hand to alleviate any aching muscles. Afterwards, give your body a rest as you exercise your mind at the onsite library.