The floating tea shop represents one of the aspects of life on the backwaters, and is a chance to meet the Tea Lady of the resort, who hails from a village nearby. Photo courtesy: CGH Earth
When you think of Kerala, you conjure up images of coconut groves swaying in the breeze, houseboats drifting across backwaters, vast paddy fields enshrouding verdant villages, and vibrant cultures thriving in colours of the land.
To capture this essence of a state blessed by nature, needs a special kind of place. And Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom has managed to do just that. Shrouded in the lyrical legacy of the destination, it takes you to Kerala of the magical past.
In the 25 years of its existence, Coconut Lagoon has become one with the landscape of the region, assimilating its soul and exuding its spirit. The iconic property is now a quintessential part of travellers’ itineraries who seek to experience Kerala at its intimate best.
Sail into serenity
Coconut Lagoon can only be accessed by water. Drift through the unflustered Vembanad Lake to be welcomed by a gorgeous play of colours, where the skies and the waters mingle on a canvas laid out by nature itself. Serenaded by tranquil streams flanked by lush coconut groves, each moment spent here takes you on a mesmerising journey of Kerala’s wonders.
Live the history
The living spaces here are the centuries-old ‘tharavad’ mansions – rescued from demolishment, painstakingly dismantled, and refurbished piece by piece in Coconut Lagoon. There are three types of accommodation – the Heritage Bungalow, an independent cottage by the canals, the spacious two storied Heritage Mansion and the Lake Front Villa with Private Pool.
The backwater life
Life in Kuttanad follows the languid pace of a ketuvallam floating across Lake Vembanad. The community here derive sustenance from the lake through fishing, agriculture, boat building, handicrafts and tourism. As you traverse along the banks of the waters, lined with traditional cottages, you will get a glimpse of the village folks’ lifestyle. Witness fishermen and shell harvesters at work, farmers harvesting paddy, and toddy-tappers clambering up the coconut trees. Each experience bringing you closer to the authentic backwater life.
Savour the journey
The dishes at Coconut Lagoon are prepared echoing the scents, ingredients and intricacies of an authentic Kerala kitchen. Discover the poetry in cinnamon bark, mingling with jaggery; crayfish roasting in pumpkin leaves; or the fresh catch of the day, grilled with the choicest native spices. Not to be missed is the paddy hut dining experience that immerses you in the romance of Kerala.
An experience to remember
At Coconut Lagoon you will unearth the joys and secrets of Kerala’s culture. Be it the ‘Chaya Chechi’ delivering tea and snacks on her floating tea shop. Or the dazzling performances of Kathakali, Mohiniyattam, Ottanthullal and more. Dive into the bio-diversity of the Kuttanand region with a village expedition and a bird-watching tour with a naturalist. Or indulge in a sunset cruise across the backwaters.
Over 25 years of Sustainability
CGH Earth has always worked with the local community, supported the local ethos and carried out environment-friendly practices. There are no walls between Coconut Lagoon and the surrounding village, physical or otherwise. The people who take care of you during your stay at the resort, hail from the local community, and are brimming with home-grown wisdom and stories. Coconut Lagoon is dedicated to preserving not just the culture, but also the fragile ecosystem. To minimise waste, all the wet waste is converted to biogas for cooking fuel, and vermin-compost for manure. The few paper and plastic items that are discarded as dry waste are up-cycled into building materials or decorative pieces. CGH Earth’s commitment to protecting the ecosystem extends to the local fauna. Coconut Lagoon is home to a rare breed of cows from the neighbouring Village, Vechoor. This indigenous cattle breed is dying out, but at the resort you will find them grazing peacefully on the lawns. Coconut Lagoon is more than just an extension of the village; it is a celebration of the region.
The spirit stays strong
As much as we indulge in the joys of nature, so are we destined to face its fury. The recent floods in Kerala devastated lives and livelihoods, but failed to shatter the spirit of the people. Today, in the aftermath of the disaster, as the state is getting back on its feet, it has displayed an indomitable resilience. Coconut Lagoon has imbibed the same spirit, and after bearing the brunt of the floods, is now back in business. It’s a resurgence that’s testament of the character of the land, one that is ready to rough out any weather to emerge stronger.