Kumarakom Lake Resort | A Luxury Kerala Retreat
Kerala - popularly known as ‘God’s own country’ was on my
bucket list for years. The state is world-renowned for its
tranquil backwaters, ethnic houseboats, splendid
beaches, Ayurveda, coconut trees and banana chips. The
coastal paradise is home to some of the world’s best
tea/coffee and spice plantations. I wanted to experience the
impeccable blend of Kerala’s heritage and culture in a
limited time. I chose Kumarakom Lake Resort for its
exquisite luxury surrounded by the captivating lull of
nature with world-class amenities.
I convinced my husband to be my designated plus one on the
trip and it gave us a little time to unplug from our busy
lives. It was my first time visiting Kerala and was
extremely excited about my trip.
How to reach Kumarakom Lake Resort?
Kumarakom Lake Resort is around 45 miles from Cochin
International Airport. The Trivandrum International Airport
is 106 miles. The nearest railroad and bus terminal is at
Kottayam, which is around 8 miles from the resort. The
resort provides airport transfers on a charge. You can also
take a taxi from the airport.
We flew to Cochin International Airport and it took us 2
hours to reach the resort.
Nestled on the splendid banks of Lake Vembanad, Kumarakom
Lake Resort is one of India’s luxury holiday destinations in
Kerala. This 5-star luxury heritage property belongs to The
Paul Resorts and Hotels and owned by Paul P John. The 25
acres resort was built in 2000 and took almost half a decade
to construct. Themed on Kerala’s age-old architecture, the
resort has been reconstructed using materials sourced from
100 years-old traditional homesteads purchased from over a
hundred ancestral homes across Kerala.
Kumarakom Lake Resort has won many accolades in the past few
years, including India’s Green Resort by the World Travel
Awards. The resort has been featured as one of the most
luxurious destinations in the world by the BBC.
My first impression
Serenity - Kumarakom Lake Resort is overloaded with serenity
everywhere you look!
A warm welcome
On arrival, we were greeted by two lovely ladies. One of
them put sandalwood ‘tilak’ — a mark on our foreheads and
garlands in our neck. The ritual is one of the magnificent
ways to welcome guests in Indian culture based on the
philosophy of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ which means 'The guest is
As we stepped inside the lobby, we were instantly amazed by
the serene interiors, wooden ceilings, and phenomenal
details at every corner.
Before the check-in, we were given hand towels to wipe our
hands/face and refreshing coconut water. It was pure bliss
after 2 hours ride from the airport. I was also amazed to
see the coconut water on a stand as had never seen anything
like this before.
The check-in & lobby
We reached the resort around 10:00 AM and our room wasn’t
ready for check-in. The receptionist asked us to have
breakfast while our room gets ready. After having our
breakfast, we got plenty of time to explore the property and
we were blown away by the interiors of the resort.
From Thooku-vilakku (hanging lamps) and traditional
vintage Urli (vessel) filled with flowers to Oonjal (wooden
swing in South Indian homes), the decor of the lobby was
showcasing the perfect glimpse of Kerala’s heritage.
Oonjal - the wooden swings were one of the main highlights
of the lobby and popular among the guests staying at the
resort. I saw many guests lounging at oonial and taking
The impressive details on doors
While strolling inside the lobby on the way to a restaurant,
I was astounded to see the details on the doors. The
intrinsic brass carvings on the door with such fine wooden
work were a remarkable piece of art. Kudos to Kumarakom Lake
Resort for restoring and preserving this old cultural
I was very impressed to see the door locks throughout the
entire resort. The door lock or Manichithrathazhu is ornated
in the traditional manner, mainly to embellish the front
doors of mansions in Kerala. These locks are made up of
Brass. The Manichithrathazhu is derived from three words -
'Mani', 'Chitra' and 'Thazu'. 'Mani' means
bell, 'Chithra' means the embellishments or creative artwork
on it and 'Thazu' means the lock. These locks are usually
preferred for split doors to get a traditional look and can
be made in any shape or size according to the door designs
of the mansion.
Can you believe that no two-door lock designs are the same
throughout the property? You really need to spend some time
admiring the Manichithrathazhu throughout the resort during
Our Meandering Pool Villa
From the resort’s secluded royal Presidential suits to
Heritage Lake Villas with private pool to Meandering Pool
Villas and rooms, Kumarakom Lake Resort offers luxury
accommodation to all its guests depending upon their needs.
Did you guys know that the resort has hosted the
royal Prince Charles and his wife a few years ago when the
Prince of Wales celebrated his 65th birthday?
Our Meandering Pool Villa was a slice of paradise in itself
as it had direct access to the pool with all the modern
amenities blended perfectly with traditional charm and
The details on Manichithrathazhu or the brass door lock were
incredible pieces of art. Call me insane but I loved
touching them every time I was opening or closing the door
thinking how much history they would have witnessed!
As soon as we stepped inside the villa, I was delighted to
see my name written on the bed. It was a very sweet gesture
from the resort. The wooden interiors of the villa had a
perfect blend of Kerala’s traditional architectural
elegance, charm and luxury. There were antique-styled
furniture, ancient light switches, dim lights, antique
lampshades, red-tiled roofs and terracotta floors in a
lovely setting. Our bedroom was spreading a warm sense of
There was a beautiful hand-painted mural on the wall
depicting a story from Ramayana. I was told by our hostess
Anita that every bedroom in the resort had a unique
hand-painted mural depicting the stories either from
Ramayana or Mahabharat. Isn’t that fascinating?
There were complimentary welcome snacks kept on the table
along with the option of purchasing in-room snacks and
drinks. A minibar was also fully stocked with drinks and
We came to know about the wonderful initiative by the resort
to protect the environment by sourcing rain and groundwater.
Then stringently purifying the water with micro-filters and
reverse osmosis serving their pure bottled water throughout
One of the biggest perks of staying at our Meandering Pool
Villa was the direct access to the pool with such a serene
view of the Lake Vembanad. It was an overwhelming experience
getting up every morning with a coffee in hand and toes in
I’d also like to mention that our villa had traditional
power sockets that weren’t compatible with our US electronic
devices. However, just by making a call to the reception, a
universal adapter plug was delivered within 5 minutes to our
Our open-air bathroom
Our open-air bathroom was one of the main highlights of the
Meandering Pool Villa that exemplifies the natural feel of
the bathing areas in ancient homes where the detached
bathroom had been a mere structure of 4 walls and no roof.
The bathroom had all the modern amenities. The toiletries
were from Inana - a luxurious natural and organic brand in
sufficient quantity. There were two bathing robes, shower
slippers and bamboo slippers were also kept inside the
The housekeeping team of the resort was phenomenal and
cleaning the villa twice a day during our entire stay. What
I loved most was sweet notes and their towel masterpieces
every time they cleaned our villa. Below baby elephant was
one of my favorites!
Nothing can beat the feeling of taking a shower in an
open-air watching the swaying coconut trees and sky!
Food & Drinks
Kumarakom Lake Resort has two restaurants to choose from:
Ettukettu is an incredible example of Kerala’s regal
architecture with its palatial 8-sided mansion and 2 central
courtyards. It was commissioned over 200 years ago by King
Marthanda Varma. Later the king gifted the property to his
tutor Edamana Kellamthat Gurukkal who dedicated it to a
martial art. Ettuketti has been dismantled from its original
location and reassembled in all its glory. Today, it is the
multi-cuisine fare that serves tantalizing Kerala delicacies
along with a delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Some popular dishes at Ettukettu that you should try during
your stay are Tandoori Meat Kebab, Chicken Biriyani, Koon
Ulli Theeyal and Alleppey Fish Curry to delight your taste
Vembanad is a seafood restaurant and bar by the lakeside
with some of the best views of the entire property. The
restaurant is amazing for a candlelight dinner or watching
glorious sunset while sipping your drink.
I got a chance to meet head chef Deepak who is responsible
for all-the-behind actions inside the kitchen of Kumarakom
Lake Resort. Chef Deepak showed me some of the best sea-food
delicacies of Vembanad such as Karimeen Pollichathu, Konju
Roast, Prawn Mappas and Neimeen Fry.
Did I mention the drinks yet? Take a glimpse and enjoy the
iii) Thattukada – Traditional tea shop
The resort also has a traditional tea shop
called Thattukada at the lawn that serves piping hot
tea/coffee along with fresh local snacks from 4:00 PM to
5:30 PM every day.
If you’ve never tasted an Indian tea before,do
try Thattukada’s Cardamom tea during your visit and you’ll
The resort also hosts cultural evenings on selective nights
at Ettukettu restaurant promoting the talent of local
artists. I watched Bharatnatyam — one of the classical
dances of India during one of the nights and the performance
by the artist was absolutely phenomenal.
Another cultural night during our stay was folk music and we
absolutely enjoyed the artists playing old Bollywood hits
along with classical music.
The Infinity Pool
Kumarakom Lake Resort’s Infinity Pool is one of the best
spots to relax and unwind with the breathtaking view of the
Lake Vembanad. The tranquil pool presents the vivid illusion
of being a part of the glistening lake. It is one of the
best spots for taking Instagram-worthy shots or sunset
Did I mention the surreal sunset view from the pool? Let the
below picture speaks for itself!
Ayurmana - The Ayurveda Center
Ayurmana is a 200-year-old Ayurveda Center that had been a
home of the Chathamangalathu Mana, a family of renowned
Ayurvedic practitioners. Every beam, every wall of the
Ayurmana pulsates with the historic powers of the oldest of
It has a team of highly qualified Ayurvedic physicians and
masseurs. Ayurmana’s treatments range from intensive
twenty-one-day program to half-hour beauty therapies.
Kumarakom Lake Resort complementary activities
i) Musical Sunset Cruise
The resort offers a complimentary musical sunset cruise
every evening at 5:00 PM through the backwaters of Lake
Vembanad. There are local performers available on the boat
playing music and entertaining the guests. There’s also an
activity coordinator, Kavi present on the boat who is an
excellent photographer. Kavi is fond of taking guest
pictures and he knows some of the best spots in the resort
for ultimate photography. Meet him during your stay and get
your sunset photography done near the pool or on the sunset
You can also experience pottery while staying at Kumarakom
Lake Resort. Arun is extremely talented and he teaches
pottery to guests. The guest can take their own hand-crafted
masterpiece back as a souvenir as well as purchase some
beautiful pieces from Arun’s collection.
Similar to pottery, you can also learn to weave at the
property. The talented Sudha has been with the resort over a
decade and teaches guests how to make a coaster. She also
sells her own hand-crafted beautiful pieces at her shop that
you can purchase.
I’d highly recommend you to experience pottery and weaving
during your stay at Kumarakom Lake Resort. Make sure to
visit for pottery on the first day of your stay as it takes
over 24 hours to dry the clay.
If you love fishing or want to experience it, the resort
provides fishing gear and instructor to all its guests.
The resort’s paid activities
If you want an unforgettable experience sailing in the
backwaters of Kerala, Kumarakom Lake Resort offers a
luxurious fleet of single and double bedrooms houseboats for
an ultimate stay.
The houseboats are equipped with all the amenities,
including modern luxury and air-conditioned bedrooms, dining
rooms, state-of-the-art bathrooms and a well-stocked
kitchen. A personal crew of assistants and your very own
chef will also be on board to serve all your needs. You can
either book a houseboat day cruise, overnight or multiple
ii) Canal Cruise
Canal Cruise was one of my favorite activities while staying
at Kumarakom Lake Resort. It starts early in the morning and
you get a chance to take a glimpse of the village, birds,
gazillion water lilies and culture.
Canal Cruise is one of the perfect activities if you want to
capture some great shots for nature photography. The
picturesque views and serenity are the reasons why Kerala is
world-renowned as 'God's own country'.
iii) Water sports
If you’re fond of water sports, the resort also offers
banana boats and speed boats for an exhilarating adventure.
iv) Activities in the vicinity
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is just a mile away from the
resort. Drift Wood Museum is also in the vicinity.
Sightseeing Trip to Kottayam, Cycling, Village Walk are some
other activities that you can explore. You can also do
Country Boat Cruise or Moonlight Cruise during your stay.
The resort offers yoga and meditation classes every morning
to all its guests. A fully equipped gymnasium, business
center, banquets and snooker are also available on the
property. Do check out the Curio Shop during your stay for
rare Kerala artifacts, handicrafts, jewelry, clothing and
The rustic surroundings of the Kumarakom Lake Resort give a
glimpse of village life in coastal Kerala with its quiet
homes banked on lazy canals with world-class amenities. From
its luxe heritage property with an impeccable blend of
unblemished nature to its incredible hospitality and
ultimate service, my husband and I had an exotic time
staying at Kumarakom Lake Resort. With plenty of activities
available on the property, there’s never a dull moment for
any kind of elite holiday seeker. There’s just so much to
do. Or the freedom, to do nothing at all. I’d highly
recommend Kumarakom Lake Resort to anyone looking for a
luxury getaway in Kerala.
Thanks to the entire team of Kumarakom Lake Resort for
making an unforgettable experience for us!
Perfect for: Luxury getaway, family vacation, honeymoon,
retreat, wedding destination, girlfriends getaway,
conference and events.
Till then, Happy Wandering!Ana.