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Best places to stay around Vembanad Lake
The placid waters of Vembanad Lake are a wonderful place to enjoy a couple of days during your time in Kerala. There are some delightful boutique offerings allowing guests to spend their nights on terra firma, and our pick of the best places to stay around Vembanad Lake provide the best in eco and boutique accommodation.
The state’s largest lake, it welcomes an impressive variety of birdlife from the fluorescent kingfisher to India’s third largest population of waterfowl. Head out on the lake’s waters aboard one of Kerala’s traditional kettuvallam boats for an authentic experience.
Visit during the famous Onam festival when a spectacular water regatta - the snake boat races – takes place. Look on as heavily decorated boats, at least one hundred oarsmen to each, slice across the lake’s usually tranquil waters, propelled by their own strength and rhythmic songs.
The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, located on the eastern waters of the lake is host to an incredible array of birdlife. Budding twitchers pack your binoculars; you are in for a treat.
Our pick of the best places to stay around Vembanad Lake all provide an authentically Keralan stay.
Best places to stay around Vembanad Lake
For boutique lovers
- A labour of love for its Italian owner, completed in 2003, Purity provides modern meets traditional accommodation. Muted tones juxtaposed with pop colours create a chic feel whilst the hotel’s spa, offering tailor made packages, makes it a truly indulgent stay.
For families and foodies
- Philipkutty's Farm is a charming homestay on a farm-island on the eastern shores of the lake. Food is one of the main draws here (alongside the warm welcome and charming accommodation) - it's even been endorsed by no less than Rick Stein
- Coconut Lagoon is a former coconut planation accessed by a small canal. Private cottages are scattered amongst its luscious grounds, making it ideal for both families and couples. Famed for its home-cooked Keralan cuisine guests can enjoy private cooking classes with the chef.#
- With plenty of on site activities and ways to tire themselves out, the little ones will be well looked after at Vivanta by Taj Kumarakom. Add to this two bedroom villas with private pools and children's menu, plus fine dining and a spa for the grownups, there is something for all the family.
For a spa break
- Boasting one of the largest spas in South India, The Zuri Kumarakom is the perfect stay for those interested in a wellness retreat. Including traditional Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western treatments and private yoga classes it is the place to come to truly unwind.
Still not sure which to book? From eco to foodie browse through our list of the best places to stay around Vembanad Lake to start to plan your trip. Alternatively check out all our Kerala recommendations, or contact one of our friendly gurus for advice.
Coconut Lagoon 52 rooms from £219Kottayam (Kerala)
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.Cooking classes - Coconut Lagoon is famed for its cuisine - learn their secrets with a private lesson from the chef.Kayaking - Right on the edge of the Vembanad Lake you can hop straight into a kayak and hit the water.Fishing - Head out on the hotel boat and catch a fish supper.Sights nearby - Cochin is a 45km drive but well worth a visit.
Purity 10 rooms from £170Muhamma, Kerala
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.Birdwatching - The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary has a variety of local and migratory birds.Cooking classes - Pop in to the kitchen and get a lesson on Indian spices from the chef.Full of characterViews - Great views from hotelRecommended by - I Escape
Philipkutty's Farm 6 rooms from £147Vechoor, Kottayam Dist.
An idyllic homestay on a farm-island in the backwaters of Lake Vembanad. A truly authentic Keralan experience in a magical settingCooking classes - Cookery demonstrations teaching local cuisine secretsBirdwatching - Egrets, Cormorants, snake birds and moreBack to Nature - Best time to visit. October to March.Fishing - Excellent fishing nearby.Recommended by - I Escape
Vivanta by Taj Kumarakom 28 rooms from £84Kottayam (Kerala)
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.Families - With plenty of on site activities, kids club, plus family villas this is a great place to take the little ones.Romantic Break - Secluded villas, some with private pools, make this a great stay for couples.Birdwatching - The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is located just next door to the property.Kids Club - Fully staffed.
The Zuri Kumarakom Kerala Resorts & Spa 72 rooms from £101Kottayam (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.Spa breaks - The Maya spa is one of the largest in South India and includes Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western treatments.Romantic Break - Couples treatment room, pool villas and romantic private boat trips. Ideal for just the two of you.Fishing - Catch yourself a fish (lobster, shrimp or mussel) supper.Birdwatching - The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is just a short drive away.