“Accessible only by boat, silent place for a perfect relaxation and historical houses”, says Shaji P. Mathew about Kerala Palace when I ask him for 3 typical characteristics of the place. It is an Ayurveda Resort north of Allappuzha or Aleppey, the former colonial name, and about 18 Kilometers away from Kochi. Situated at Chempu on the coast of India’s southernmost state of Kerala the compound is a jewel. Manager Mathew welcomed me when I arrived by boat. The resort is located on an island at Vembanad lake.
Truly, I felt like a guest visiting a palace 200 years back. Indeed, the impressive structures are centuries old and have been transported from their original locations and carefully reconstructed here.
I moved in my Suite 208 at Chempulayil House. From the balcony I had a great view over the tropical setting of the resort. And the interior of this eco friendly place was just lovely. Bamboo and Wood furniture make the great colonial atmosphere which you normally know only from the movies. The historical building I stayed in was one among the many buildings on the banks of the Meenachil River in Pala. It was originally built in 1890 at the center of Pala market. Its ground floor was devoted to the warehouse and sales counters for tobacco and other natural produce. The upper storey – where my rooms were located! – housed many offices among which the most prominent was the first ever office of the Indian Communist Party in Meenachil Taluk. This impressive structure became a part of Kerala Palace in 2004.
The afternoon I spent at the pool with the view to the lake and with an one hour Ayurvedic massage followed by a talk with the Ayurveda physician. In the evening I went to the restaurant in a different historical building and enjoyed South Indian cuisine à la carte. Kerala has a cuisine by its own, which is hot and spicy. I loved it!
Kerala Palace belongs to the Somatheeram Group, which supported my stay at the resort. But my opinion is as always my own.