“Your boat is ready Sir”!!!
The fairytale started with the onset of these words. The boat in the conversation was the one which was supposed to take me into the premise of Kumarakom’s legendary Coconut Lagoon resort. With the great Vembanad Lake on one side and the backwater canals on the other, boats are the only medium to enter into the resort premise.
And what a 10 minutes ride it was. In no time, the resort gates opened and the backwater stream moved inside the premise and criss-crossed into the reception area. Frankly speaking, this was the most unusual yet beautiful way I had ever made an entry into a resort/hotel..
I could still feel the subtle impact the resort created on me. Walking inside the resort premise was akin to strolling inside a traditional Malabari village. In fact, the entire resort is meticulously planned in such a way that it radiates a feel of a typical heritage village.
I had opted for a Heriage bungalow, which was an independent cottage overlooking the backwater canal. The interiors were all about simplicity and had a traditional feel about it. It felt as if it was all about being up close with the nature, both outside and inside the bungalow.
The interiors had the word ‘antique’ written all over them. The dominance of natural elements like polished timbers and natural cotton was in sync with the overall feel of the resort. According to the resort staff, the room furniture like beds and cupboards have been procured not from the stores, but from the local traditional homes or directly from the local craftsmen!!!
Apart from the Heritage bungalows, one can also opt for Heritage mansions (a double storey structure) or a Private pool villa (overlooking the vats paddy fields).
I am more of an outdoor person. And it would have been criminal to remain indoor at a place this unique. So quite seemingly, I spent the major duration of my stay exploring the resort and being up close with its serene and calm setting..
Walking in the resort premise is a bliss. The sight of the backwater stream criss-crossing the compound is a sight indeed. The small wooden bridges put up to cross over the streams only add to the rustic beauty of the place. Standing on top of one of them, under the shades of those stooping coconut trees, and watching the waters slowly making a move forward..Well..it’s is not only a treat to the eyes, but to the soul as well..
As I walked across the resort, the traditional architecture of the mansions and other structures kept on evoking my thought process. So in order to provide solace to my inquisitive mind, I got hold off a staff passing by. It was fascinating to come to know that some of these mansions were over 150 years old, and were built with the timber transported from the old country houses that had fallen over the course of time!!!
Talk about the efficient re-use of the natural resources….
Another fascinating fact that I came to know was that the present structures were built by the descendants of those very craftsmen who originally constructed these structures in the local villages.
How can I think of missing one of Coconut Lagoon’s biggest highlights..It’s spa, known as the ‘Ayurveda Center’ was really an unforgettable experience. The treatments are divine, and so is its location. Just visualize… a soothing view of lush paddy fields, hot aromatic oil pouring on your back, and the hands of a professionally trained masseur gently stroking away all your tensions and worries..A state of Nirvana, in simple words.
Talking about the paddy fields, the importance given to create a an ambiance of serenity in the resort can be gauged from the fact that out of a total area of 33 acres, around 8 acres are left open for the fields..
On the second morning of my stay, I experienced some of the activities that the resort conducts. The Yoga sessions surely should not be missed. Performing the asans in that kind of a setting was an experience in itself. There was even a Kalaripayattu (an ancient Kerelite martial arts form) class conducted in the wee hours.
To say that my stay at Coconut Lagoon was unforgettable would be an understatement. It was a perfect blend of a traditional setting with all the modern amenities. There was serenity in the air that is difficult to replicate. It is a perfect setting to detach yourself from the outer world and re-energize your inner self. With the woods, water n greenery as your companion, you won’t miss the flashes of the city lights..Even for a moment.
The ever cheerful staff, waving goodbye when you board the boat from the reception, would linger on with you long after you come out through the main gates.
I came out with lifelong memories, and a burning desire to come back to this ‘symphony in the backwaters’!!!!!