Imagine a resort where less is really more. No
air-conditioning or television or nightclubs. Just a mirror, held up to
an age old culture and a living harmony. This is the tribal village,
reborn for the modern traveller.
Wait for a clear, clear day.
Then, wherever you might be in God's own country, just look high to the
east, above and beyond the paddy fields and the palm tops. Pitched and
standing like pavilions against the horizon will be rows of faint blue
smudges, fading into the sky.
These are the highlands of Kerala, and they are another world.
A few hours inland from the coast are places of cool mists and
sun-dappled, silent valleys, home to vast plantations of teak, cardamom,
tea, rubber and coffee.
Home also, to an astonishing biodiversity, preserved today in some fine
For centuries, tribal cultures built their own unique habitats in these
mountains. Empires ebbed and flowed across the plains, but they left the
Mannans and the Ooralies untouched. Here continued an ancient wisdom, a
way of living that sustained itself from nature, yet respected it and
left it uncorrupted.
Spice Village Resort is our
tip of the hat to this wisdom. A timeless experience in ecological
living, recreated for the modern traveler.
Mealtimes at Spice Village
are an unhurried affair. In fact, we urge you to dawdle. Eat too
quickly, and you miss the subtle nuances that spices take on when
they're absolutely fresh. Rush through your meal and you give yourself
no chance to enjoy the amiable atmosphere that's common to all our
There are three of these.
Choose from the rustic wooden tables in the dining hall proper, or take
a heaped plate out to the long
enjoy your meal al fresco, watching the kingfishers flit around the
Besides these. literally, is the historic Tiffin
where light snacks are served all day. The rosewood chairs and tables
here are restored antiques, from a 100-year old restaurant in the next
valley that sadly closed its doors in 1995. Spice Village's popular
cookery classes for guests are also conducted here, most evenings, and
you can pick up some tips while chef Velayuthan unveils a few (but only
a few) of his secrets.
Pack a picnic lunch at the hotel, take one of our naturalists in tow,
and you're ready for an adventurous and instructive day at the Periyar
We've got treks, ranging from a leisurely half-day stroll, to an
overnight jungle halt where you can experience the rain forest up close
You can visit a tribal village, for a first-hand experience of a way of
life that's fast vanishing from the modern world. Today, these
indigenous peoples still carry on their age old practices of herding and
bee-keeping in perfect harmony with the environment.
A Spice,Tea plantation is a pleasant days outing from the hotel, to
learn how spices cultivated and Tea bushes picked.
Depending on the season, there are other adventures activities like
fishing and river rafting too.
Please mail us before you come for details on these.
As with all the cgh properties, Spice offers a holiday for the inner you
as well. With healing and rejuvenation therapies combining ayurvedic
massage and yoga.
We've got qualified ayurvedic doctors who'll guide you through a regimen
of massages and herbal baths guaranteed to give you new verve and vigour.
Curling around a misty ridge 2,000 ft high in the Periyar fastness, we
found an arborarium, one man's personal forest, with fruit trees, rare
herbs and a profusion of flowering plants.
And here, we set out to build a resort. A village, produced whole, using
mountain spirit and tribal wisdom as building material.
Your cottage is brick and log, the roof thatched with the same elephant
grass used in tribal huts, woven in the same traditional techniques.
Of course, the comforts of a modern hotel exist, but they never intrude.
Modern plumbing, comfortable beds and hot showers find their place, but
in a setting stripped down to its natural essence.
Hewn stone replaces shag carpets. Birdsong takes the place of
Air-conditioning? Unnecessary anyway in the fine mountain climate, and
what would it do but mask the heady scents of spice forests?
... Room View ...