All our Kerala collections:
Owing to its geography, bordered on one side by the Western Ghats and on the other by the Arabian Sea, Kerala was never colonized to the same extent as other Indian states. Its rich heritage, iconized in the form of Kathakali dance, is still practised today and many Keralans still call the traditional kettuvallam houseboats home. The best places to stay in Kerala range from modern beach resorts to traditional properties that have been in the same family for generations.
Known as ‘God’s own Country’ Kerala is one of India’s most popular tourist destinations. From the peaceful Backwaters to the cultural melting pot of Cochin and the tea plantations, nature reserves and wellness retreats in between. Or what about the wildlife and spice plantations in Thekkady or pristine beaches surrounding Thiruvananthapuram? In short this state has it all and our comprehensive list of the best places to stay in Kerala will not leave you wanting.
A visit to Kerala takes things down a gear and for many is a welcome alternative to the freneticism of the rest of India.
Meaning “the land of coconuts” (they are everywhere), these bountiful fruits play an integral part in local folklore.
From the spice trade, which has influenced everything from the landscape to its kitchen cupboards to the Chinese fishing nets (which have become a mandatory photo opportunity), Kerala boasts a colourful culinary scene and plenty of unmissable dining experiences. From traditional dishes with a twist at Malabar House to atmospheric waterfront dining at Ginger House you can make your way around this state table to table. Or try your hand at a cooking course to take home some of those famous South Indian flavours.
Our selection of the best places to stay in Kerala range from chic, boutique properties with appealing price tags to blow the budget all out luxury stays.
A visit to Kerala is synonymous with a night on a houseboat. Both the following are ideal for a waterborne stay
There are plenty of world-class options to stay in Kerala but our favourites are evocative of the region whilst providing indulgent accommodation -
With so many different experiences to be had in Kerala there are some truly immersive and unforgettable stays.
Each have their own idiosyncrasies that make them a one of a kind place to stay.
Although you can find almost all the big name hotel chains in Kerala we believe that some of its best properties are the smaller, family run options.
Kerala is the home of Ayurveda, traditional Indian homeopathic medicine and a haven for yoga and meditation retreats. There are countless resorts and retreats but our favourites would have to be:
Not decided yet? Browse though our list of all the best places to stay in Kerala or feel free to call or email one of our gurus for advice.
Near Thekkady, Idukki, Kerala
Sustainable tourism in the truest sense: experience an organic eco farm in the heart of the luscious Keralan countryside. From poultry and livestock, fruits, vegetables and herbs you can immerse yourself in all elements of farm life. Home cooked produce and comfortable rooms complete the stay.
A lovely family-run boutique property in a great location in the historical town of Fort Kochi. Quiet, full of character and excellent value
A collection of 11 ornately carved Keralan cottages this property provides an authentic stay right on the banks of the backwaters. Rooms are simple yet stylishly decorated with large beds and bathrooms, private terraces and river views. South Indian cuisine is served and massages are available.
Varkala (South Cliff)
Soul and Surf is a family run haven overlooking the ocean on the southern cliffs of Varkala. Rooms are light, airy and comfortable - A real community for those yoga, massage and surfing lovers. A beginner or an old-timer: surfing is the shared passion. Relax by the ocean, become part of the family.
A clifftop boutique hotel in one of Kerala’s most scenic regions. Phenomenal views, clean, comfortable rooms and stunning surroundings
Providing all the facilities you would expect from a such a renowned global chain, relax knowing that you are in good hands. Located in the heart of the city with easy access to both tourist spots and the business district. Modern rooms enjoy an Indian twist as does the cuisine. A sensible choice.
Properties of such aesthetic delight are rare. Inspired by the Kettivallam houseboats this luxurious Taj hotel provides stunning interiors with a private terrace as standard and some with private pool. There is an indulgent Ayurvedic spa, huge pool and al fresco dining. A simply superb stay.
A homely southern India stay providing guests with an authentic slice of boutique beach life. Each of the ten rooms are of an excellent size, filled with antiques and feature ornate four posters, rich fabrics and original art. There are daily yoga classes and a traditional spa. A welcome break.
A charming cardamom estate with far reaching views across the Western Ghats. Wooden beams and floorboards; check curtains and open fireplaces give this property more of a Scottish Highlands feel. There are daily nature trails, yoga classes and a restaurant serving fresh local and continental meals.
In a quiet corner of Dutch Cochin lies this 18th century property. Decor is chic and spacious on the inside yet true to its roots with period artwork, antique pieces and an overriding nautical theme. Rooms enjoy private balconies and cavernous baths. East Indies serves up tasty South Asian cuisine.
Overlooking the picturesque Vembanad Lake this property enjoys an enviable position. Eighteen verdant acres are connected by shady walkways, gullies and streams whilst colourful cottages are decorated in a Portuguese style. Plus there's the JIVA spa, and Regional and International cuisine.
A holistic hideaway nestled in Panangode's verdant hills provides guests with 'Spa. Nature. Silence'. Choose from yogic, meditation or Ayurvedic retreats for a truly revitalising experience. Rooms are of a good size but simple and there are tranquil outdoor areas to relax. There is also a pool.
A contemporary property with unobstructed views of Cochin's famous harbour. Rooms are light and spacious all featuring separate lounge areas, some with private balconies and huge egg shaped baths. Restaurant 51 serves a fusion menu of Malabar and Mediterranean. The infinity pool has enviable views.
Nestled in the Idukki mountains amidst fragrant cardamom plantations lies this boutique escape. Comprised of just six cottages including chic interiors, modern bathrooms, private terraces and tea and coffee making facilities. There is an Ayurvedic spa and Pan Asian cuisine at Café Samsara.
Foremost a wellness hotel, secondly a beach break. Offering tailor made Ayurvedic packages and large rooms with balconies on which to relax. There is a seven night minimum stay so that guests can get the most out of their treatments. Cuisine is Indian and Chinese with a special Ayurvedic menu.
A tropical hideaway with chic interiors and a whole host of activities. From mini golf to cycling; beach cricket to volleyball. Not to mention the indulgent JIVA spa. Rooms feature polished parquet flooring, ornate upholstery and private balconies whilst Jasmine serves international cuisine.
Kottayam (Athikkalam, Kottayam, Kerala)
The Zuri is all about pampering yourself at the Maya spa. With an extensive wellness menu, fitness centre and detox packages - leave feeling completely rejuvenated. Surrounding a peaceful lagoon there are international dining options and on site activities. Modern rooms enjoy Vembanad Lake views.
Another near perfect, eco friendly offering from Malabar Escapes. Hung tiled cottages with terracotta flooring and colourful silks are divine as is the tailor made cuisine. There is an inviting pool overlooking the Vembanad Lake and plenty of activities on site. The ultimate Indian boutique chic.
An exotic gateway to the verdant Western Ghats Shalimar Spice Garden provides chic interiors to its discerning guests. Cottages are a blend of modern lines, traditional artworks and locally sourced materials and include private terraces with hammocks. There are two restaurants serving fusion dishes.
A truly boutique, three bed offering. Do not be fooled by the colonial exteriors - inside it is a haven of modern tranquility. Rooms are spacious with clean lines and chic interiors, peppered with antique pieces. There is a small plunge pool and guests can use nearby Malabar House's facilities.
Set atop a hillock overlooking the Arabian sea sits Surya Samudra. This modern resort providing guests with a traditional Ayurvedic spa for pampering and a luxurious pool for relaxing. Private cottages include draped four posters and feature outdoor bathrooms. Dining is healthy and largely outdoors.
The first of its kind in North Kerala, Neeleshwar is leading by example. Located on an isolated stretch of beach and comprising nineteen thatched cottages featuring private terraces, outdoor showers and local artwork. A wellness property, there is an Ayurvedic spa, yoga, meditation and a pool.
As with all Neemrana hotels Le Colonial is rich in history and strong on heritage. Packed with antiques and walls covered in original art, rooms are spacious with ornate four posters, bright silks and hand woven rugs. There is a small garden with inviting pool plus it is metres from Kochi's sights.
A collection of cottages with most impressive views of Periyar Lake, its imbibing elephants and other wildlife provides a stay amidst nature. Terracotta hung tiled roofs, private terraces and four poster beds induce a homely feel. All manner of nature trails and outdoor pursuits are available.
Vechoor, Kottayam Dist.
An idyllic homestay on a farm-island in the backwaters of Lake Vembanad. A truly authentic Keralan experience in a magical setting
A fine offering from a firm Indian favourite. Opulent modern interiors with eye-ogling views, its own private beach and infinity pool. Rooms feature balconies and contemporary interiors. Choose from several romantic dining settings from grilled seafood at The Tides or poolside dining at The Terrace.
Dating back to the 1920's this small yet perfectly formed five bedroom property is located on the grounds of a former rubber tree estate. Decorated in a colonial style, creating a resplendent feel, rooms are large and bright. South Indian dishes are cooked with homegrown vegetables and fresh fish.
Built in 2003 by Florentine architect Maria Fernhof this is a modern boutique hotel yet filled with antiques. Modern art covers the walls and relaxing verandahs benefit from garden and lake views. Fresh Keralan dishes are served al-fresco, weather permitting. There is a pleasant pool and spa.
In close proximity to Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary this property offers stylish and unusual treetop accommodation. All rooms are spacious with modern bathrooms, large windows with panoramic views. There is a pool and media room to keep the kids busy. The cosy restaurant serves fusion cuisine.
All 26 rooms enjoy unobstructed harbour views and are decorated with capacious four posters, antique rattan furnishings and white bathroom suites with dark wood shutters. Excellent dining options include The History restaurant, The Terrace and The Armoury Bar as well as high tea at Quadrangle.
This 18th century former Dutch residence has a reputation in town for all the right reasons. Boasting colonial architecture and works of art, rooms are decorated in comforting palettes of yellows and turquoise. The restaurant is famed for its fusion cuisine and the spa for its excellent treatments.
Vembanad Lake, Kerala
Your own private Keralan 'kettuvallom' style boat for exploring the verdant backwaters. With chic, pop colour interiors and an electric motor making for a quieter, more eco friendly stay. There is a large terrace for sunning, reading a good book and where meals are served. Tradition with a twist.
Accessible via a small canal this property is located right on the water. Cottages are scattered around the grounds of this former coconut plantation, each with private terraces, sitting rooms whilst the bungalows and villas have their own pools. There is an indulgent pool and Ayurvedic spa for all.
Kochi (Willingdon Island)
An unusual offering from the Oberoi chain in the form of a luxurious houseboat. The same five star service one would expect and rooms are smartly decorated and feature views across the lake. There is an Indian and Continental restaurant, bar and sun terrace. Experience Kerala's backwaters in style.