Kerala is a renowned land of art, culture and architectural monuments visited by a large number of people to explore the history and gather the knowledge. The ancient houses in Kerala are the momentous examples of Kerala architectural brilliance and beauty. The privileged class used the luxurious antique designs and techniques to build the houses and given importance to natural energy at all possible ways. Nalukettu – a rectangular structure where four halls are joined with a central courtyard and Ettukettu – a rectangular structure where eight halls are joined with two central courtyards and Pathinarukettu – a rectangular structure where sixteen halls are joined with four central courtyards are the important Kerala architectural building styles. The central courtyard used to be open to sky which brought natural air and light inside. Many of the old homes and buildings are conserved as heritage resorts in Kerala so that people can stay and experience the nature. Kadavu Resort, Banasura Hill Resort, Punnamada Resort, Kumarakom Lake Resort, Coconut Lagoon, The Travancore Heritage, Taj Vivanta Kumarakom Hotel and Kayaloram Heritage Resorts are the renowned Kerala Heritage Hotels.
Kadavu (The Raviz Resort and Spa) is located at Azhinjillam (1km from the town) at Calicut district in Kerala state. The resort is 28km from the nearest Calicut international airport. This five star resort is spread across 9 acres of land along the backwater side laced with palm groves. The amenities include three restaurants (Ootupura, Maikhana and Uru), swimming pool, Fitness & Ayurveda centre, Amphi theatre, Yoga centre and Curio shop. Malabar cuisine with a blend of Arab flavour is the highlight in the restaurants. Malabar and Hindu styles is mixed in constructing the rooms and the resort has seventeen independent cottages and around one hundred rooms or suites. The balconies of the cottages are open to the backwaters and guests can enjoy the scenic beauty of the river and the movements of Kettu vallams and small roving boats. Mural paintings and artworks decorate the walls. Big antique brass lamps in different styles and measurements are displayed that add charm to the ancient architecture. The walls of Yoga centre are painted with different postures practised in Yoga. The exterior of the rooms and passages are kept as row brick works which provides an antique and elegant look to the whole atmosphere. The resort premise has many watery ponds and stone pavements are used all over to present a natural feel.
Banasura Hill Resort
Banasura Hill resort is the only ‘earth’ (mud made) resort in India and is located in Wayanad. The resort is situated at a height of 3500 feet above the sea level and is constructed using mud excavated from the same site. It gives a rustic look to the rooms and luxurious interiors provide a comfortable stay to the guests. The resort is surrounded by huge woods, small streams and natural waterfalls. The rooms are categorised as Earth room, Suite room, Log Hut, Family suite and Twin Villa. Log Hut is a tree house structure and ideal for honeymooners. The rooms are built using mud and it keeps the coolness inside the rooms which is a speciality in the Banasura Hill Resort. The resort is spread across 35 acres of land and offers visits to nearby Coffee plantations and hills. ‘GuaDua’ restaurant at the resort offers variety of unique healthy dishes and it opens to the panoramic view of verdant landscape. Wildlife tours, Trekking, History and Tribal tours, waterfall visits are some of the main activities conducted here. Ayurveda Spa is available in the resort for guests.
Punnamada Resort is the best natural and eco friendly resort in Alleppey district in Kerala state. The resort is 90km from the nearest Cochin airport and 4 km from the main Alleppey town. The resort is constructed in authentic Kerala architecture and the reception area is a renovated Nalukettu structure. Natural light and wind passes through the open courtyard and has a small manmade pond in the centre. The rooms are classified into four categories and wood & cane are used in the rooms to adorn. Open roof bathrooms with optional cane curtains are the speciality of Punnamada Resort. The resort has several streams conserved in the premises and a Chinese fishing net is installed in one of them. Punnamada Resort has a large collection of antique craft items, lamps, shades and wooden chairs and mural paintings. Brass utensils and sculptures are displayed and used in the resort for decorations. Brick and stone are used to in the natural pavement and steps. Brass benches and tables are used in the lawn in front of the restaurant facing the lake. A curio shop is functioning in the resort with handicrafts, jewellery, local pickles & sweets and fancy items.
Kayaloram Heritage Lake Resort
Kayaloram Lake Resort is a heritage resort located at Punnamada in Alleppey. The resort is 90km from the nearest Cochin airport and 7 km from the main Alleppey town. The resort is built in Kerala traditional style and two categories of rooms are available in Lake and Garden View. The resort is equipped with an Ayurvedic Spa/Sauna, Gym and swimming pool. The multi cuisine restaurant offers salt water fish items as specialities and Fried Spot fish is the chef’s master piece. All normal vegetarian and non vegetarian food is available in the restaurant on demand. The Kerala cottages and Villas are surrounded by coconut trees and hammocks are placed for relaxing in the garden. Stone pavements are available all over the resort. Extensive view of the lake is offered in the Lake view rooms.
Kumarakom Lake Resort
Kumarakom Lake Resort is located at Kumarakom in Kottayam district. Cochin is the nearest airport at a distance of 70 km. The resort is constructed by reassembling the ancient homesteads (manas). Ettukettu, the multi cuisine restaurant is a speciality of the resort with a seating capacity of 115 people at a time. For accommodation Presidential suites, Heritage Lake View with private pool, Heritage Villa with private pool, Luxury Pavilion Rooms and Meandering Pool Villas are arranged here. The swimming pool shares its boundary with the natural lake. Mural paintings decorate the walls and antique sculptures and utensils are used to do up the passage and reception area. The rooms, villas and suites are built in Kerala traditional style and offer the luxurious and modern comforts.
Coconut Lagoon is located at Kumarakom in Kottayam district. Old country houses are reused here to construct the beautiful resort on the bank of the Vembanad Lake. Cochin is the nearest airport at a distance of 70 km. Carved balustrade, ornate railing, brass locks are the main attractions here that portray the Kerala traditional architecture. The premises host a mystic space known as ’Sacred Groves’ which is a form of culture worshipping the micro organisms in the nature by keeping the serenity of the forest intact. These groves provide shelter to many rare species of birds and animals and protect the natural habitat. The resort has pool villas, private pool villas and heritage mansions assembled by the architectures. A curiosity shop has an ample collection of ancient handicrafts, jewellery, local dresses and fancy items for the guests.
Travancore resort is located at Chowara, south of Kovalam beach near Trivandrum. The seaside resort is spread across 15 acres of land. The resort has Nalukettu structures and timber houses that stay close to the nature in the construction and live in unity to the natural habitat. The rooms are divided as private pool mansions, heritage categories and beach grove. The ‘open house’ is a multi cuisine restaurant and serves 80 people at a time. They have another beach side restaurant called ‘Ocean grill’ and serves all kind of seafood delicacies.
Taj Vivanta Kumarakom
Taj Vivanta Kumarakom is a 150 year old bungalow built by the English missionary and is popularly known as the little jewel of Kumarakom. This glamorous hotel is 12 km from the Thazhathangady Juma Masjid mosque and 17 km from the Pathiramanal island bird sanctuary. The room categories are built around a central lagoon and range from the heritage villas, charming cottages, the luxury villas, the refurbished Temptation pool villas. They have the best heritage suits in Kerala and all are airy and have balconies. High ceiling, wooden floor, open bathroom and some private pool villas are the main attractions in Taj Vivanta Kumarakom. Ayurvedic spa, fitness centre, sea food restaurant, casual eatery, cocktail bar and outdoor swimming pool are the main amenities.