We reached Kottayam on a beautiful misty morning from Thekkady. We visited a popular local church and then proceeded towards Taj Kumarakom. The hotel is set in the backdrop of the Vembanad Lake which is the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala.
Taj Kumarakom is famous for the Victorian two storied bungalow built by Alfred George Baker in the year 1881, on huge pieces of Teak wood rafters packed in mud as a base. This house on the lake at Kumarakom was the house of four generations of the Baker family, for over a hundred years. The bungalow still remains grand but silent reminder of an age and people whose hard work cannot be erased by time. It is also known as the famous "History House" as mentioned in Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things.
Because of its prominent history, natural beauty, and the neighboring bird Sanctuary; the resort which includes the two storied Bungalow built by Mr.A G Baker on the muddy land is a place of interest for tourists from all over the world and we are glad to have chosen the property for our visit to Kumarakom.
On day 1, we stayed in the Superior Charm room facing the beautiful lagoon, which houses a beautiful waterfall and a small island. From the sitout, you can watch birds across the lagoon, catching fish, swimming and nesting on the trees. The resort has many ducks which flock together and walk in front of the rooms quacking away to glory every morning.
Breakfast is served at the "Open" restaurant and is a good spread of Continental, South Indian and north Indian cuisine.
The hotel has loads of activities to keep you occupied, one can learn pottery, play badminton, enjoy fishing & peddle boating at the lagoon, feed rabbits and learn some recipes from the inhouse chefs ! We also took bicycles from the resort and went about exploring the local area. In the evening we enjoyed the complimentary Taj sunset cruise along the backwaters. The 30 minute cruise is the best way to enjoy the calm and tranquil backwaters.
Once you are back from the cruise you can enjoy special tea and snacks on the banks of the lake as you watch the sun go down. As the night falls local women light diyas across the lagoon, which glimmer away through the night casting their reflection on the waters. It is then time to enjoy candle light dinner with local musicians spinning their magic and special dancers performing Mohiniattam. There is no better way to spend a day than enjoying such an amazing hospitality of Taj !
We thought we had already had the best time of the trip until day 2 ! On day 2 we were upgraded to the Luxury Villa facing the lily ponds at Taj. The villa has been built like a traditional Kerala house, with huge four poster beds, open air bathrooms, classic study table and chair and large glass doors that open to a veranda with a chaise lounge. From the beautiful paintings to the traditional furniture, from the brightly colored walls to bathing in the garden every moment spent there was a memorable experience for us (me and my wife).
We enjoyed swimming in the morning and went for a relaxing Head & Shoulder massage in the afternoon. Evening was serene with clear skys and the best sunset of the season ! At night Taj had organised a surprise candlelight dinner for us, with a secluded table decorated with flowers. As we enjoyed the local delicacy of appam and coconut based vegetables, the local musicians and dancers made the evening more special.
We would love to come back to the resort again, and would highly recommend it to all those travelling to Kumarakom!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kumarakom is a popular tourist destination in the Kottayam district of Kerala. Located on the picturesque Vembanad Lake, Vivanta by Taj - Kumarakom, Kerala, is a 30-minute drive from the Kottayam railway station or an hour's drive from Cochin city. Kerala's backwaters surround the 140-year old colonial bungalow which houses this resort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vivanta By Taj - Kumarakom Hotel Kumarakom
- Taj Garden Retreat Hotel Kumarakom
- Kumarakom Taj Garden Retreat
- Vivanta By Taj - Kumarakom Kerala