I've stayed in a number of outstanding boutique properties around the world, but few come close to matching the surreal beauty of Purity at Lake Vembanad.
It's a bit of a hike to get there- a solid two hours by car from Kochi International Airport (the last 10 minutes of which are through a tiny village that will have you questioning the accuracy of Google Maps) but once you get there you'll realize that it was worth every minute.
The main entrance is relatively simple and unassuming, but leads in to a well appointed reception area, dripping with what I can best describe as Kerala-chic. Once you check-in, you'll be taken through a central courtyard, after which your jaw will drop and your breath will be taken away.
Purity is basically built ON Lake Vembanad. It's called a lake, but for all intents and purposes it's a very large, very calm sea. For some reason it reminded me of the movie Life of Pi.
Coming back to the hotel- the property is beautiful and quirky, offering bright, vivid colors and traditional Kerala art. We had a great room, offering a direct view of the lake and a bathroom larger than most Mumbai apartments.
The beds were comfortable and inviting and the complimentary toiletries were world class.
One thing to watch out for though- being as close to the lake as we were, the property is teeming with dragon flies, wasps, mosquitoes and other assorted insects. So you'll need to keep your doors and windows shut at all times to keep them out. This took us all of 5 minutes to realize and once you do, you're all set.
Given how isolated this property is, you'll probably end up having most of your meals in-house, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Most of the food is really good, though a tad heavy- especially when it comes to the Indian dishes.
The service was outstanding. When we arrived at the hotel, we discovered that our book actually hadn't come through (thanks a lot, Hotels.com!) but the helpful staff took all of 5 minutes to sort this out and showed us to our room in under 5 minutes. They were also more than happy to arrange excursions to the backwaters of Kumarakom and to the bustling streets of Alleppey.
Of special note was the fact that when we checked out, the ENTIRE STAFF of the hotel lined up outside to wave us goodbye. It was a really nice touch and it sent us off with smiles on our faces.
All in all, I'd be back in a heartbeat. Strongly recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Overlooking lake Vembanad at its widest point, purity is 50 km from The Malabar House and 70 km from Cochin International Airport. Accessible by car & boat, it is the starting point of our backwater cruise. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Purity At Lake Vembanad Kerala, India