Kumarakom is a tiny hamlet on the banks of a lagoon formed by the Vembanadu lake. It is a picturesque world of backwaters, thatched houseboats, Cormorants, Chinese fishing nets and swaying palms. An ideal getaway if there ever was one.
Calm, emerald backwaters reflect hundreds of thousands of gently swaying palms. And engulf this seemingly rustic, 14 acre settlement of ivory cottages with high ceilings and sloping rooftops. A habitat that could inspire romantic novellas by the dozen. The Taj Garden Retreat, Kumarakom (Area: 30 sq kms Population: 7000 Climate: Tropical rainy Rainfall: 2700 mm Languages: Malayalam, English).
The Hotel, originally known as Baker's Bungalow, comprises of a set of completely refurbished colonial bungalows on the banks of the Vembanad Lake. The picturesque lake and sylvan bird sanctuary nearby make you feel one with nature. Taj Garden Retreat is 20 km from Kottayam railway station. Originally built by an English missionary 123 years ago, Baker's Bungalow, as it was then called, housed four generations of the Baker family. Set in rustic surroundings on the edge of the picturesque Vembanad Lake, the hotel has 22 rooms including rooms in cottages and in houseboats anchored in the lake.
Where choices abound, even in terms of getting there. It's a picturesque 3.5 hour drive down from Thekkady. A 2.5 hour drive south from Cochin International Airport. Or a 1.5 hour ride by speedboat from the Taj Malabar or the Taj Residency, Ernakulam.. Then, once you're here, you can continue to pick 'n' choose starting with your accommodations. A room in the main colonial style building. A private cottage, with full length picture-window bathrooms. Or a cozy room aboard the Kettuvallam ( house boat ) docked in our exclusive Aqua Lagoon. Or how about tying the traditional Kettuvallam along the Vembanad Lake? Next, you get to select your favored mode of transportation for a jaunt down the backwaters. A speedboat for a swift excursion across Vembanad Lake. Where, if you're lucky, you'll bump into local fishermen catching fish and shrimp with their bare hands! Or, you could plan an all out romantic Kettuvallam cruise, to watch a fiery sun melt into calm backwaters. And if neither suits your style, we also have row boats, paddle boats, banana boats and kayaks.
But, if these Venetian-like waterways don't tempt you long enough, you could always take a dip in our freshwater pool. Or, amble down the lush pathways of the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary right next door and have your sweetheart serenaded by an exotically feathered crooner.
Maybe do a little fishing and have the chef cook whatever you catch for supper. Prawn Mappas if you get lucky ( A succulent and spicy curry tempered with coconut milk and spiked with raw mangoes ). With rest and relaxation the only agenda here, you could always schedule an escapade with the nimble fingers of our masseurs next (at our Ayurvedic oil therapy centre). And have every last bit of tension expertly kneaded from your body. By using 2000 year-old techniques and fragrant herbal oils, our in-house doctor has cured many a creaking bone. And, over a course of a day (or a maximum of 14), you too can experience the holistic treatments offered by the Ayurvedic Sciences, Meditation and Yoga.
Cruise Through The Backwaters With The Taj
The Backwaters of Kerala - endless miles of snaking waterways flanked on either side by emerald palms. Tranquil and alluring, they offer you the experience of a lifetime.
An experience that can be had only at the Taj Garden Retreat, Kumarakom. A 119-year old colonial retreat set on the banks of the serene Vembanad Lake. From here, you can embark on a day-long journey through the exquisite waterways in a 'Kettuvallam', an authentic Kerala houseboat.
Luxuriously appointed with a comfortable living area, spacious bedroom, a dining area a bathroom and a sun deck to ensure you experience God's Own Country in all its glory. There is also a fully equipped kitchenette on board. Our expert chef will accompany you and treat you to some authentic Kerala cuisine, or you can opt to cook for yourself.
You will also get an insight into the life of the locals, which revolves around the intricate waterways and their rich bounty.
In the evening, stop for a moment to witness one of nature's most spectacular sights - the smoldering crimson sun softly melting into the placid emerald waters. Then, as darkness falls, return to the Taj for a hearty Dinner and a good night's rest.