Kerala Backwater Retreat
Backwater Cruise, Festivals and Fairs
A backwater retreat is the best way to explore the backwaters to its fullest.
There are lots of resorts, homestays and heritage homes with real Kerala character. These places will give you much keener sense of daily life in backwater regions of Kerala than you gain from a houseboat.
Some of Kerala's most fascinating accommodation lies hidden away in the backwaters around Vembanad lake. Most of them are renovated ancestral houses.
You can relax your afternoons watching traffic in backwaters from the comfort of a shaded veranda. Hosts often arrange canoe or fishing trips along canals unreachable by larger vessels. And of course, they serve local cuisine.
Almost everyone has some kind of tie-ups with houseboat operators. It is good to deal with your accommodation provider than you directly deal with the operators.
Beautiful Kerala Backwater Retreats
Ashtamudi Backwaters, Kollam (Quilon)
Fragrant Nature Retreat and Resort
Tel: +91 474 2518020
A new resort with 5 rooms and 5 villas and swimming pool. The resort offers boat trips.
Shantigiri Ayurveda Centre
Tel: +91 474 2763104
An attractive option for those do not want to pay fancy rates for Ayurvedic treatments.
Tel: +91 474 2512410-17
It has 28 cottages with elegant interiors, each on a little island of its own, connected by canals.
Valiyavila Family Estate
Tel: +91 9847132449
Good accommodation with temple visits, village tours and fishing trips. They also offer Ayurveda and yoga facilities.
Club Mahindra Backwater Retreat
Tel: +91 476 2882655
Among the best hotels in the district.
Palm Lagoon Backwater Resorts
Tel: +91 474 2547214
11 rooms, swimming pool and Ayurveda.
Sarovaram Backwater Resort and Ayurvedic Spa
Tel: +91 474 2704686
A lakeside Ayurveda spa.
Cambay Palm Lagoon
Tel: +91 474 254950
A full fledged resort complex.
Vembanad Backwater Retreat, Alleppey
Palm Grove Lake Resort Punnamada Kayal
Tel: +91 477 3256238
A perfect, tranquil spot from which to watch the backwaters.
Tel: +91 477 2235211
An elegant old Kerala home.
Tel: +91 477 2364480
Twelve antique Kerala wood tharavadukal. Excellent location with uninterrupted views across the water.
Tel: +91 477 2231468
Perfectly placed to see the backwaters.
On Punnamada Lake
Tel: +91 477 2233690
Lake facing five star resort.
Casa del Fauno
Tel: +91 478 2860862
The fusion architecture, given a face-lift by the Malabar House chain.
Tel: +91 478 2861275
Small campus of five traditional rooms in a converted tharavad.
Tel: +91 478 2861970
A luxury resort right on the lakeshore.
Privacy at Sanctuary Bay
Tel: +91 478 2216666
Run by the Malabar House chain.
Tel: +91 477 2762345
One of the true heritage hotels in the backwaters.
Tel: +91 9995821015
Australian-owned backpackers lodge.
Tel: +91 9847323875
Eighteenth-century Portuguese-styled residence of Syrian Christians on the Pamba River.
Tel: +91 477 2703899
The real deal- an authentic 150 year old tharavadu.
Tel: +91 477 4028308
Small, modern resort hotel in the backs of river.
Tel: +91 477 2736223
Lovely little mid-priced homestay right on the river bank.
Tel: +91 477 2212245
One of the oldest backwater homestay surrounded by water and coconut trees.
Tel: +91 477 2202336
Beautiful three-bed roomed teak nalukettu house.
Tel: +91 477 2522255
Olavipe, roughly midway between Kochi and Alleppey. Ranks among the Kerala's old-established heritage homestays. It's still one of the very best.
Tel: +91 477 2762034
A pretty and hospitable homestay. This mansion is a typically Syrian-Christian home.
Tel: +91 477 2724263
A relative newcomer that promises to be among the best-value.
VJ's Rice Garden
Tel: +91 477 2702566
If you'd like to be in the backwaters but can't afford any of the heritage properties, try this guesthouse.
Kumarkom Backwater Retreats
Tel: +91 481 2524491
The original and still the most stylish of the grand-scale luxury resorts in this area.
Illikkalam Lake Resort
Tel: +91 481 2523282
A nice little mid-priced option.
Kumarakom Lake Resort
Tel: +91 481 2524900
One of India's top spa resort.
Philip Kutty's Resort
Near Ambika Market
Tel: +91 481 276529
Luxury homestay on a working island farm in the remote backwaters of Vemband lake.
Vivanta by Taj-Kumarkom
Tel: +91 481 2524377
The "History House" of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things. This Edwardian mansion of the Baker family is the centre of this resort.
The Zuri Kumarakom Kerala Resort and Spa
Tel: +91 481 2527272
Newest mega resort in this area, an ideal backwater retreat.