It is safe to say that the palm-fringed backwaters are an unmissable experience in Kerala. The extensive network of canals and glistening backwaters snake around uninterrupted through the entire length of Kerala. It is not without reason that God’s Own Country has been listed as one of the ’50 Places of a Lifetime’ according to National Geographic Traveller.
A stay at a backwater resort on a houseboat is special because it means you get to wake up to the exquisite charm and breathtaking views of silent backwaters and lush green paddy fields. You could be part of a fun village walk and do some fishing before you sit back and enjoy the setting sun over the waters. Houseboat cruises are an absolute must-do activity in Alleppey and Kumarakom – 2 most charming backwater destinations and home to the best backwater resorts in Kerala. Take in a sweeping view of the soothing surroundings while you meander among the gentle lapping of waves on a kettuvallam (the tastefully converted traditional rice barges).
Discover the rustic charm of placid backwaters and indulge all your senses with all the alluring amenities offered at each of these fantastic, sumptuous backwater resorts in Kerala:
PUNNAMADA BACKWATER RESORT
Overlooking the waters of pristine Vembanad Lake, this luxury backwater resort in Alleppey is an idyllic retreat indeed. Only few yards a from the starting point of Nehru Trophy Snake Boat Race, Punnamada’s cruises take you to corners of the lake with visits to isolated churches, small villages, coir making units, picturesque neighbourhoods of Alleppey and Kumarakom and the lighthouse on Munroe Island.
Go here for: An invigorating Ayurveda massage, chilled beer on a sunset cruise, local delicacies on houseboat
VASUNDARA SAROVAR PREMIERE
Revel in the charming ambiance at this popular backwater resort in Kerala. The wonderful views of the lush paddy fields from your luxury houseboat at Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere are spectacular. You could opt for a sunset cruise on a houseboat, a paddle boat, motor boat, or row boat. Take your pick, because the resort offers them all. Sample traditional toddy and homemade delicacies at waterside eateries, or pick up fresh shellfish from fishermen that the chef on board can cook for you with those delicious Kerala spices.
Go here for: Lounging on the sun deck of your houseboat, for the Infinity Pool, fishing deck, fishing tours, water sports, night cruises
A quaint retreat in God’s Own Country, Backwater Ripples is a backwater holiday home set against Vembanad Lake and it offers you many types of accommodation: deluxe cottages, duplex cottages, lake view cottages, executive rooms. Tastefully appointed, the luxuries of your time at Backwater Ripples guarantee a splendid trip!
Go here for: the thrill of cycling (offered as a service) along the paddy fields, mangrove forests and coconut groves of Vembanad Lake, country boats, spice & handicraft memoirs from the shop
KUMARAKOM LAKE RESORT
A paradise untouched by time, Kumarakom Lake Resort has been featured by BBC as ‘one of the most Luxurious Holiday Destinations’, attested to by the fact that Prince Charles chose to celebrate his 65th birthday with Duchess Camilla here. The royal couple set off to unwind at the backwaters of Kumarakom.
Go here for: meandering pool villas, sunset cruise, Ayurveda beauty treatments, speedboat and banana boat rides
LEMON TREE VEMBANAD LAKE RESORT
All the rooms here face the backwaters, so you know you can expect a spectacular close up. You can take a cruise along the backwaters on the resort’s private houseboat which is equipped with an upper-deck jacuzzi. Retire to your room peacefully after a relaxing dip in the outdoor swimming pool and wake up to some mind-blowing views of the lake.
Go here for: the Jacuzzi in the upper deck of the Cruising Villa (the air-conditioned houseboat anchored at the resort’s private jetty), the swimming pool for views of endless horizon.
FRAGRANT NATURE BACKWATER RESORT & AYURVEDA SPA
The 8-acre setting of this tranquil backwater resort is perfect for a memorable honeymoon getaway. Take a cruise around the village of Kollam on a traditional or punt boat, or you could to choose to stay in your own stunning haven, because at this beautiful hotel, the backwaters are best witnessed from the privacy and comfort of the tastefully done luxuriant rooms; boutique décor is prominent. Step on to the private balcony with your partner with a glass of wine and delight in the view.
Go here for: trying your hand at angling, indulgences at the Prana Wellness Spa, curling up with a book (from the library at the resort) on a hammock by the waters
PURITY AT LAKE VEMBANAD
With just 14 bedrooms and suites, the intimate Italian-style villa-turned-hotel of Purity has a unique charm for sure. It has been described as an oasis. Get past the bumpy dirt leading up to here and find that you have disembarked into pure calm. Each of the rooms, of course, overlook the lake. They are decorated in a light and airy style, with splashes of vibrant color to create a relaxing atmosphere. Ask for a guide to boat around the backwaters or borrow the hotel’s traditional punt. Just sit back, relax and soak up the atmosphere in the famous backwaters.
Go here for: bike rides to explore the village of Muhama, traditional Keralan delicacies in a sheltered courtyard, wonderful patchwork atmosphere, pampering Kama Ayurveda spa
Spread across 30 acres of verdant landscapes, Coconut Lagoon treats you the essence of Malabar culture. The shimmering waters of the canals and Vembanad criss-cross the property elegantly and the heritage of the old fuedal villages of Malabar is unmistakeable. Go on a most pleasant sunset cruise with a charming flute accompaniment. A private plunge pool, an antique shop, Ayurveda centre, and a myriad fun activities are what one can expect here
Go here for: glimpses from the backwaters of people commuting to the market, a traditional Kalari match early morning, the butterfly garden, canoeing in the canals or out on the lake.
THE ZURI KUMARAKOM
Studded with many luxurious amenities, The Zuri Kumarakom is a paradise for most. This markedly sumptuous lake and backwater resort is spread across a magnificent 18 acres in the lush shores of Vembanad Lake.
Go here for: a dip in your private plunge pool, rejuvenating spa therapy at Maya Spa.
LAKE PALACE RESORT
Lake Palace Resort in Alleppey is absolutely perfect for a short trip with family. Its ideal location among the backwaters and excellent service ensure that you’ll want to be back here again. The restaurant provides delicious meals as well.
Go here for: paddle boat ride, bird watching, nature walk, safari