This escape is on the secret island of Kakkathuruthu on India’s largest lagoon Lake Vembanad and the only way to get there is by boat. It is literally an ode to the simpler things in life. The retreat aims to promote sustainability, be it the use of recycled products to build the retreat or engaging the island folk.
Guests are welcome to indulge in old Malayalee customs from the luxuries of the retreat. Here you can give into the moment and enjoy life as it were truly meant to be – uncomplicated and free.
The Island Blisshas four plush air conditioned cottages each inspired by local architecture and built out of recycled material. They can fit two adults (with the option of an extra bed) and are equipped with a reading area and writing desk; an ensuite bath garden following an old Malyali tradition; and select art pieces which narrate local history.
The stay includes WiFi (not high-speed), a 30-minute guided village walk, drinking water, welcome drink, tea/coffee/milk/sugar, housekeeping services, and a 30-minute canoe ride. Other activities like toddy-tapping, cycling, a day on a farm, star-gazing on a boat can be arranged at an extra cost.
There is a beautiful landscape garden that reflects the rustic charm of the island with its cashew and tamarind trees, aloe vera shrubs, water lilies in small ponds and of course coconut palms everywhere. A common dining area encourages guests to break bread together as they watch fishermen cast their nets in the lagoon nearby.
Although there is no in-house spa, ayurvedic massages can be booked on request.
While Breakfast is included, lunch and dinner are available at an extra cost. At TheIsland Bliss every meal is a celebration of local Kerala dishes that involve a lot of fresh and local produce. Homegrown Pokkali rice is served along with the best of local sea and river fish, clams and crabs, prawns and pomfret – all this served on a banana leaf of course. Fresh toddy can also be served for those in need of an extra kick! Concoctions of fresh fruits and Ayurvedic plants are available for the health conscious and the island’s special tea is a must have.
Guests can also get a quick lesson on how to make their favourites.
Maneesha’s life was in New York but her heart was in Kerala, her hometown. Ultimately, she left the Big Apple to follow her deep desire to share the stories of her home and established her own experiential travel company. She also set up this boutique island escape in a quest to show people the true charm of the backwaters of Kerala.
The Island Bliss is a perfect blend of uncommon meets unreal, of traditional meets modern. Set in untouched backwaters, this escape allows for an unconventional exploration of India’s biggest lagoon and of oneself.
Those who would like to experience simple village life. For those who would rather unwind than go sightseeing. Best for those seeking solitude, especially writers.
Since the hosts like to keep the stay intimate and exclusive, it is not meant for large groups. Not meant for people who have motion sickness since the only way to get to the island is on rowboats. Also not for those who require high-speed internet (although there is WiFi in all rooms, it doesn’t have a large bandwidth). Families with infants. Not for those who want to stay in/near Kochi.
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