For our Kerala holiday, the focus was entirely on exploring the coastal side of the state. So we decided to skip the popular hill regions of Thekkady and Munar, and aimed for a road trip from Kochi to Kanyakumari and back, making pit stops along the way. While we had chosen Kumarakom for getting a taste of the backwaters, giving the famous Alleppey a miss altogether just didn’t seem right. We decided to book an overnight stay at the Lake Palace Resort here, even though it is hardly an hour’s drive from Kumarakom, before continuing our onward journey to Trivandrum. It turned out to be the most blissfully relaxing experience in an otherwise hectic trip where we spent a large chunk of our time on the road.
Arriving at the Lake Palace Resort, Alleppey
Situated on the banks of the Vembanad Lake, the Lake Palace Resort is a tad obscure in its location. We went around in circles traversing the same roads and crossing by the same narrow canals crisscrossing the city several times over but could not find our way. A little help from the locals put us in the right direction but as we reached a deserted stretch of road, Google Maps did what it does best – misled down some village road and then ended the navigation, declaring what seemed like a paddy field as our destination. Tired, frustrated and crankier than the toddler in tow who was giving us a hard time all along, we phoned the resort help desk, expecting they would help us with directions. The staff there was thoughtful enough to send a car to lead us to the property.
The Traditional Welcome at Lake Palace Resort, Alleppey
We were in for a pleasant surprise as we walked into the reception area of the Lake Palace Resort. There was a group of young girls dressed in yellow sarees, with thalis in their hands, waiting to receive us. They placed cute little flower garlands around our necks and applied the traditional sandalwood tilak on our foreheads. Servers stood behind them, waiting to serve us our welcome drinks, and light traditional music played in the background. We sipped on our drinks as we waited for the check-in formalities to be completed. The sweet gesture was enough to dissipate all our exhaustion and set the mood right for 24 hours of unspoiled luxury that awaited us.
The Expansive Property is Designed to Bowl You Over
As we hopped on the golf cart to be driven to our cottages, we were bowled by the lush green environs, the unbridled tranquillity and beauty of the Lake Palace Resort. Immaculate laws, well-maintained trees, earthenware statues and figurines tastefully laid out across the property, topiary and flowers everywhere, and a huge artificial lake right at the heart of it all. Our cottages, like most others, sat on the periphery of this small lake. With towering trees in the distance and grey waters beneath our feet, these certainly were rooms with a view. As you stepped on the wooden deck surrounding the cottages, you could see little fish swimming about and birds hovering over in the hope of catching a prey.
We spent the afternoon lazying around in our room, enjoying some chatter over tea, as we waited for our lunch to arrive. A blissful siesta was the natural order after a sumptuous meal.
Speedboat Ride, Splashing in the Pool and Pottery Making
From Ayurvedic massages to houseboat rides, speedboats, swimming pool and even a special class in potter making, there was just so much to do in one evening. We eliminated the Ayurvedic massage and houseboats, having savoured these experiences just a day before at Kumarakom. The speedboat ride on the Vembanad Lake by the Lake Palace Resort was an exhilarating experience, giving us some energising adrenaline rush. The cool breeze in our hair, water forming ripples underneath and tiny droplets escaping to land on our faces, the brief ride was as refreshing as it gets. The serendipity of the experience certainly added to the charm.
Back from our speedboat ride, we headed straight for the pool where we spent a better part of the evening splashing about and playing ball.
The Lake Palace Resort also run a pottery workshop for its guests and I reserved a spot for myself for early next morning. Starting off the day trying to mould the clay into fine designs and failing miserably was therapeutic in its own right. I watched like an awestruck child as the skilled potters shaped lumps of wet clay into pots and decor items with intricate shapes and designs.
Dining Amid the Patter of Raindrop
By the time returned to our rooms and freshened up, an unexpected spell of rain had descended upon the place. We requested for our dinner to be arranged in our room and the room service staff went a step further to arrange a nice table on the wooden deck of our cottage. The quiet candlelit dinner with the constant patter of raindrops and a pleasant breeze for a company was the perfect way to round off this perfect day.
All Set to Hit the Road Again
Just like that, it was a wrap on our brief yet memorable stay at the Lake Palace Resort. We prepared to head out but not before we had helped ourselves to the varied spread at the breakfast buffet. From English to South Indian and North Indian breakfast on the menu, it certainly did make for a lavish spread. Spoilt for choice, we all headed for our preferred cuisines. Sausages, muffins, scrambled eggs, idli, uttapam and sambhar, aloo parantha, chhole bhature, we came back with a table full of assorted delicacies, each done to perfection. A round of filter coffee to add that finishing touch to a sumptuous breakfast and we were ready to hit the road again with full tummies and full hearts.
This quiet comfort and luxury of the Lake Palace Resort stay with you for a long time. If you are planning a trip to Alleppey, I totally recommend booking yourself a stay here.