If you want to soak in the Kerala experience, head to Kalathil Lake Resort

Kalathil Lake Resort Chemmanakary, Vaikkom

The drive to Kalathil Lake Resort seems endless. We veer off the National Highway to Kottayam, to Chemmanakary, and the road narrows, and then some more; the driver’s cue to ask where the resort is.

The view during the drive is not what you’ll see in the brochures; this is probably what people mean by pristine beauty. Glimpses of life in a Kerala untouched by change, paddy fields punctuated by small dwellings and tiny inlets of the backwaters. This is the kind of place that knows no hurry, there is a general, laidback air — just perfect for some introspection.

Just when the driver and I are convinced we are lost, we see the gates of Kalathil Lake Resort. Once inside, there’s water, water everywhere. A man-made lake flanks the kuchcha road that leads to the reception. Even the reception has an outdoorsy feel, and there’s so much of Nature out there in the resort. The cottages (lake-facing and lagoon-facing) are luxurious; and the deluxe cottages are built on concrete stilts that resemble tree trunks. The cottages overlook the man-made lake — water from the backwaters has been hemmed in to create the lake. Each cottage has a compact verandah too. Those who planned the resort have made sure that the water does not stagnate; water from the Vembanad lake flows in and out, and so do the fish!

If you want to soak in the Kerala experience, this is the place. There is an Ayurvedic centre and a yoga centre. The Chinese fishing net completes the picture.

The swimming pool is stunning — while you swim or just float about, you feel you’re swimming in the Vembanad lake.

If you’re in the mood for fine dining, there are two multi-cuisine restaurants and a tandoori counter too. The tandoori counter is open for dinner only. The seafood there is highly recommended.