Located in the picturesque island village of Kumarakom, perched on the coconut palm-fringed banks of Vembanad, the largest lake in the state of Kerala in southwestern India, the boutique resort opened on 1 September 2013 and will operate under Karma Royal Group’s Chakra Resorts brand. It brings the group’s total number of resorts across Southeast Asia, India, Australia and Europe to 23.
John Spence, Karma Royal Group Chairman and CEO, said: “Chakra Resorts has always been about delivering compelling experiences and fun is always high on the agenda. With Vembanad Lake, the gateway to the famed backwaters of Kerala, one of the world’s fastest growing tourist destinations, as its backdrop, Coconut Grove, Kerala will undoubtedly appeal to the adventurous leisure traveller who prefers immersion in authentic local culture and exploration of the unexpected, in a luxurious, relaxed environment, without compromising on service or quality.”
An exotic, tropical welcome greets guests upon arriving at Coconut Grove, Kerala as they traverse a suspended pathway over water to reach the resort’s spacious reception lounge, open on all sides to capitalize on cool breezes and 360-degree views of the lake and its lush banks. Sprawling over nearly one and a half hectares of beautifully landscaped gardens and verdant coconut groves, Coconut Grove, Kerala is partially built over the lake whilst completely harmonious with its natural surroundings and its myriad flora and fauna, straddling a private lagoon with its own private inlet and jetty for mooring of boats and with wooden bridges and pathways connecting various parts of the resort.
Coconut Grove, Kerala offers exclusivity with a bijou collection of 24 guest rooms, all with spacious outdoor balconies with sweeping views of the lake. Furnished in understated opulence and luxury with traditional Keralan accents, the 45-square metre guest rooms are optimised for rest and relaxation with flat-screen televisions, tea and coffee making facilities, mini bars and ensuite bathrooms.
Highlighting Keralan specialities, classic Indian dishes and Western favourites crafted by Raphael Barras, Karma Royal Group’s resident French chef in India, the resort’s restaurant has seating for 52 people, including an outdoor garden terrace. Lakeside garden barbecues and open-air traditional Keralan cooking under the coconut groves will be signature attractions, as will be live local cultural and musical performances. A cozy and intimate bar specializing in tropical fruit cocktails and featuring a full-size snooker table, creates an ideal gathering place for pre-and-post dinner drinks and socializing.
Guests at Coconut Grove, Kerala can bask in a 21-metre outdoor infinity pool overlooking the lake, participate in lakeside morning yoga or exercise in a fully equipped gymnasium. The resort will also offer massage services based on traditional Keralan Ayurvedic principles and occasional wellness retreats by visiting specialists in authentic Ayurvedic healing and wellness practices.
Two thatched-roof traditional wooden Keralan backwaters houseboats, known as kettuvallam, provide unique highlights of a stay at Coconut Grove, Kerala, perfectly positioning the resort as a strategic base for exploring the lake, backwaters and surrounding villages. Measuring 21 metres by 4.8 metres and equipped with two-bedroom cabins and contemporary bathrooms, each houseboat can comfortably accommodate four adults and comes accompanied with experienced, capable resort staff who are highly knowledgeable about Vembanad lake and its backwaters.
Ideal for day trips and overnight excursions, with the houseboats, guests can go fishing, toddy tapping or coir making, or simply, cruise leisurely along palm-fringed canals and watch local folk going about their daily lives at lakeside villages and paddy fields. In the evening, the houseboats halt so guests may experience an overnight stay of serenity and seclusion, with nothing but the sound of distant wildlife and the waters of the lake gently lapping against the boat.