On our trip to Kerala, we stayed at ITC’s Raviz Ayurvedic Resort & Spa at Kollam. A beautiful property located on the southern edge of Ashtamudi Lake. A lake that is still virgin in the overtly touristy Kerala.
ITC’s Raviz Ayurvedic Resort & Spa at Kollam
Now as an ITC property, you expect impeccable service and sustainable luxury and you get it. You get all that you expect in a resort that is a destination in itself like various sporting facilities and evening performances. The location in the middle of backwaters is like an icing on the cake. Being in Kerala, it also presents the local flavor in every possible way. Like a boat filled with spices in the lobby, the temple wall murals in the rooms, Kathakali dolls at the entrance. So let me tell you what stands out over and above these expectations.
Original traditional Travancore cottages
Two old but original cottages built in the wood have been ported within the precincts of this resort. They are being maintained in their original style. They are called Anchal and Erattupeta based on the villages that they originally belonged to. About 300 and 200 years old relatively. You enter them through a wooden courtyard with wooden chairs to relax in. The interiors are dark. And except small alterations like Television and coffee makers the look and feel make you feel as if you are in a different era and truly in Kerala. The washrooms are outside and must be approached through a narrow door. I felt this might be a bit scary at night. But then this is the way houses used to be a few centuries back.
The concept of attached toilets belongs to our generation. Carved wooden ceilings continue to intrigue you while you are there. The huge shining brass locks make you wonder if they would have attracted the thieves and then try to keep them away.
Ranthal – Floating Restaurant
Floating Restaurant made out of traditional Kerala Kettuvallam takes you on a ride on the Ashtamudi Lake. From the southern tentacle of this lake that has eight such tentacles, we went to the center of the lake, where you can see many edges jetting out in all directions. Along the path, you see many small houses, and a lot of Chinese fishing net spread out to catch the fish. We were told that in Kerala all the water bodies belong to the tourism industry during the day. At night they belong to the local fishermen. So you need to take rides while the sun is out. They also have a floating fort – a party boat that can take up to 70 people on board.
A spa on the top floor of the property overlooking the backwaters that make you feel serene both inside and outside. The spotless premises and friendly staff are what you expect and get. But it is the view that makes it special. The corner room meant for couple spa with a couple’s jacuzzi is a treat. The soft-spoken resident doctor took me around the spa before giving me some Ayurveda tips for the travelers.
This is a combination of invention & discovery by the chefs of the resort. The local fish from the Ashtamudi Lake cooked with lots of chilly in it beside many other spices has been adopted by the resort and given the name Ashtamudi fish. I am a vegetarian but my husband, who is at his fussiest best when it comes to food, loved the fish. It was spicy so you can take only so much at a time. But from the looks of all those who ate it – it looked delicious. The interesting fact about this preparation is that it does not contain the most expected ingredient – coconut in any form.
An infinity pool that lets you feel as if you are swimming in backwaters with coconut trees looming above with a waterfall not too far.
Recommend you to read following travel blog on Places to visit in Kerala.