Distance from Cochin
There are so many facets to the Coconut Lagoon experience.
The heritage of the old fuedal villages of Malabar. The vast frolic of the
Vembanad lake. The shimmering waters of the canals that criss-cross the
property. Together, they become an experment in ecological living that
remains startlingly different.
Water and history are the defining elements at
Water surges in clockwork rhythms on its shores, through its canals and
pools. And history stands watch from the grounds above. . From the
centuries-old beams of the heritage mansion to the carved woods of the
reception, the past comes alive as liquid reflections, mirrored in ripples
and shards wherever you look.
The great Vembanad lake, an inland sea that stretches clear across central
Kerala, forms a breeze-laden watery highway. Your coach transfer happens via
a generously clunky wooden boat with a little inboard motor (so as not to
disturb the fishes). And the lobby, when you arrive, turns out to be a
reconstructed 19th century mansion with a stone jetty attached. Your boat
putters sedately through a narrow canal, its banks covered with flowers.
Tiled-roof bungalows peer through the foliage. And with a reviving coconut
cocktail in one hand, you step off the boat and up to the reception desk,
all ready to check in.
Conde´ Nast Traveller once described Coconut Lagoon as one of the 25 best
destinations in the world. Our guests tell us that the journey inward is an
experience to match.
Fuedal Kerala was a jigsaw of
tiny states, principalities and landholdings, creating a unique culture,
architecture and way of living.
It is this heritage that echoes in Coconut Lagoons dark timbers.
Until a few years ago, the old 'therawads' or family homes of the area were
running to seed, the landed families scattered, the craftmen unable to make
We wanted not only to perpetuate this slowly vanishing world, but to bring
it alive for the contemporary traveller. Village craftspeople were invited
to restore the work of their forefathers, to transport an ancient way of
life to the shores of the Vembanad, and create an experience of ecological
living that was shot through with the spirit of ancient Malabar.
We've tried our best to ensure
that this spirit reflects in every structure. From the carved woods of the
ceilings, to the brasswork on the doors, it's all faithful to a forgotten
graciousness. Those with an eye for detail will find much to delight in.
Sunlight filtering through the intricate fretwork of a roof shade. A
gleaming of brass, a slash of cast iron, a preternaturally gleaming,
polished wooden pillar...
Activities & inactivities
One of the best ways to enjoy
the lake is to take our sunset cruise, an hour-long idyll with flute
The half-day cruise (extendable at will - time has a strange meaning around
here) along the backwater canals is a fine way to experience village life ,
unfolding in vignettes along grassy banks shaded by tropical canopies, the
village houses at mere handshaking distance.
Those who like a bit of a walk
can amble along to Philip Kutty's Farm, through lush paddy fields spotted
with coconut groves. At the end of it all, you can get up close with organic
farming, done the old-fashioned way.Or try a glass of refreshing palm toddy,
a mildly alcoholic local tipple that should fortify you nicely for the walk
Water lovers might enjoy taking an oar- or
punt-boat out on to the lake. Within minutes, you're in a watery
universe, so quiet, you can hear your own blood pumping around your
The terminally sedate can borrow a rod and bait from the reception and
spend their time just fishing in the canal, right outside their cottage.
Or take up that time-honoured activity beloved of our guests: get a book
from the bar library, then let it slip gently out of your hands as your
hammock lulls you into dreamland.
Coconut Lagoon also plays host to some of the finest dancers, musicians and
performers of traditional Keralan art forms (sorry, there's not a movie or a
disco in sight, thank goodness). So you should try to catch an evening's
show of Kathakali, Mohiniattam or Carnatic music.
You may find the rhythms unusual, the scales unfamiliar. But give it a few
minutes, use your heart rather than your head, and you may be in for a
The spirit of old Kerala is alive and well in our cuisines. Coconut Lagoon's
the place to sample some authentic Malabari food, with the accent, of
course, on fresh fish from the lake and the sea. Sample some giant
freshwater prawns, along with a plate of nourishing red rice. Or try the
local delicacy, Karimeen (Pearl Spot fish) a dish beloved of its
connoisseurs, who will argue for hours over the proper method of cooking it
(we've adopted them all).
Our Ayurvedic Centre is the place to experience the gentle, yet deep healing
of an Ayurvedic massage in its authentic form. Ayurveda, of course, is
India's ancient science of healing, combining medicine, therapy and massage
to produce wellness in the mind, body and spirit without the slightest side
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