RAMADA RESORT, KUMBALAM USP: So close to citylights, yet so rural in ambience

At Ramada Resort, just half-an-hour from the hustle and bustle of Kochi, it's serenity, food, and a good swim any time you please. Bordering the Kumbalam Lake, this eight-acre resort has a long pool which is accessible to every waterfront cottage. There are 24 cottages that face the Kumbalam backwaters. In fact, the idea is that every room has its own space in the pool, while across the pool, the lake meanders along, the various islets dotting the lake lending their own charm to the scenic splendour.

Standing on stilts, these cottages have one large air-conditioned bedroom, washroom and a balcony. It's an ideal place to sit and read a book, with the rustling wind in your hair. The décor of the rooms is neat and uncluttered while the curios and wall decorations, some from Thailand, are beautiful, especially the ones with elephant murals in wood. The rooms, restaurants, spa, library and other facilities are linked by walkways which are punctuated by smart wooden flooring. The well-maintained garden and greenery are soothing while the décor is pleasing, mint-fresh earthy colours and offbeat furniture.

Walk into Fennel, the multi-cuisine restaurant, where the chefs will rustle up any kind of food, whether Continental, Indian or Mexican. The other eating place here is the Hotcoals grillroom where you can order grilled delights.

Across the main building is the beautifully designed Royale Club, which can seat 450. There are two small conference rooms that can seat 80 people each, and a smaller one that can hold 40.

The health club is a big one, should everyone in the resort decide to use it, says the management.

The stylish spa is a big draw. There are many rooms for Ayurvedic treatment, aromatherapy, mud therapy and detox programmes.