Zuri Kumarakom

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Date of travel

Oct, 2011

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Personal / family celebration

The backwaters of Kumarakom in Kerala (nearest airport Kochi) have several resorts, spas, houseboats and homestays. Some are traditional and very beautiful but a bit daunting for visitors used to certain home comforts. The Zuri goes traditional in decor but is ultra modern in every other sense. There are packages available which are outstanding value for money because they do pamper you silly. You are whisked there on a speed boat with champagne and neck massages on board to help you recover from the flight. The rooms are individual cottages, some with private pools. You have a personal housekeeper who, with the rest of the staff, takes hospitality to an extreme. When your back is turned your towels are folded into swans, elephants or lobsters and your bath is already run for you with scented candles and rosepetals. Every day you have a little treat laid out for you when you return to the room..usually some kind of dessert. There is an indoor bath and a separate shower area open to the sky. If you are so inclined you can go for a yoga or meditation session in a pavilion in the middle of a lake, or arrange for a nature walk at the crack of dawn in the bird sanctuary near by. The food is outstanding. Since I come from these parts, I can vouch for it being absolutely authentic with the fish and scampi from the backwaters being the stars of the menu. Speak to the affable Chef Michael about your preferences. We were stuffed to the gills by the end of our stay. The backwater cruise on a fabulous two storied houseboat was memorable and we even had someone to serenade us throughout . Their Maya spa is world class with excellent ayurvedic treatments , though I personally vouch for their Balinese massage, chromatherapy and Cloud Nine treatments. While we were there they had arranged a special Kerala night with martial arts and Kathakali demonstrations (explained at every step). We could try our hand at a potter's wheel, weave coir rope, have our fortunes told.. By the end of five days we were literally killed with kindness and quite prepared to return to the real world. You might have to book in advance because word seems to have got around and the Zuri is justifiably a hot favourite in these parts. If all this relaxation gets you restless, they can arrange a car for Kottayam or Kochi, the nearest towns, to shop or sight see.


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