Resort Review: Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady
Nature literally surrounds and serenades you at every step that you take in the southern Indian state of Kerala. After indulging our senses in the dreamy experience of a luxury houseboat cruise in Alleppey we made our way across the magical countryside of Kerala to Thekkady.
Our destination was the Carmelia Haven Resort in Thekkady – a plantation resort and spa at Vandanmedu, Idukki, Thekkady. One of the premium luxury resorts in Thekkady that has won an award in the prestigious SATA (South Asian Travel Awards), 2017.
The drive from Alleppey to Thekkady was was sheer bliss. Coconut palms swayed in unison as rubber trees nodded in tandem, beautiful churches rose to the sky in benediction and quaint temples struck a cord of harmony with regal mosques.
Our car took a sharp turn and rounded a bend in the road as we entered Carmelia Haven Resort in Thekkady. As we got down and looked around us, the sprawling property in the midst of cardamom and tea plantations looked pregnant with the promise of great times. At first glance, the Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady indeed looked like a slice of heaven with its serene natural beauty and a heady fragrance of natural herbs and spices that lingered tantalizingly in the air.
An Overview of the Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady
We are the kind who love to get away from the cacophony of cities into the serene calm of nature. As we drove into the premises of Carmelia Haven Resorts Thekkady, a familiar calm and tranquillity descended on us as we were welcomed by the melody of an avian orchestra.
The Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady sprawls over 55 acres and is nestled in the midst of cardamom and tea plantations. In addition, the property is embellished by other exotic vegetation that includes spices like Pepper, Nutmeg, Clove, Cinnamon. Birds revel amidst fruit-bearing trees like Jackfruit, Guava, Butterfruit, Apple, and many others. Vegetable farms provide fodder for the kitchen that whips up some amazing, fresh, and organic food. The best thing about Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady is the fact that each structure in the property blends seamlessly with the natural environment around it, be the reception area, the cottages, the restaurant, or spa, everything seems to be in harmony with its surroundings.
In fact, the pathways are lit up by lights housed in lanterns and give an old world charm to the ambiance.
The resort draws heavily from the ancient heritage and culture of Kerala in its decor and functioning, this is amply reflected in its food, spa, and general ambiance.
Accommodation at Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady – A home in the midst of nature
The Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady has a range of accommodation options to choose from and each one seems to guaranteed a communion with nature.
Carmela Haven Deluxe Cottage – Room with a window to nature
We stayed in a Deluxe cottage which is a twin storied unit. Each unit has a room on the ground floor and one on the first floor. The first floor has a balcony while the ground floor room has a sit out. The cottage set amidst trees overlooked the pool which nestled in the midst of a valley.
The room was very spacious and was equipped with a double bed, television, and coffee maker. The bathroom too was very spacious and what was really delightful was the presence of an open, outdoor shower. Taking a shower, looking up at the green trees and listening to the songs of exotic birds is an experience in itself. The cottages would definitely rank among Kerala’s top cottages.
Carmelia Haven Tree House – Your own nest perched in the trees
If you fancy living like a bird high up in the trees, then the tree house is just for you.
The tree house is furnished with all luxurious and modern amenities like any other of the rooms in Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady. It is sure to give a run for being Kerala’s best tree house.
Carmelia Haven Jacuzzi Villa – Exclusivity amidst nature
The villas promise an experience of luxury and indulgence in style. A private garden, verandah, and jacuzzi is surely the stuff that dreams are made of.
The Restaurant and the Food
The restaurant is named Kolumban after a chieftain of a tribe called Malaya Araya which inhabited the region. again the restaurant is a picture of serenity engulfed by greenery on all sides. It is tastefully furnished and offers multi cuisines with a choice of Indian and continental dishes.
Of course for any traveler worth their salt partaking off the local cuisine is a must and the restaurant serves some authentic Kerala dishes, recipes of which have been handed down from generation to generation. We were treated to a feast called Sadhya which is a traditional vegetarian meal served on a banana leaf.
Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady, Kerala -The Ayurvedic Spa
Ayurveda, the ancient system of medicine, knowledge of which is believed to have been transferred from the Gods to sages is widely known and accepted across the world today. The holistic approach to healing is what sets apart Ayurveda from other branches of medicine. Rithgeham is the Ayurvedic Spa at Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady that offers multiple therapies derived from the best of the principles of Ayurveda. These include Panchkarma, Stress Management, Anti-Obesity programmes, programmes for beauty and eye care. There is also available in the resort a qualified Ayurvedic Doctor for consultation and guidance.
Activities & Facilities
Though the Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady is a place that will cast a spell on you and leave you intoxicated with the beauty of nature, there are available a host of activities that can be pursued. This includes a swim in a beautiful pool nestled amidst verdant greenery, a game of basketball or tennis, a game of Carrom, darts, snooker or Foosball.
One can also take off on an exploratory tour of the plantations or embark on an adventurous and thrilling off-roading jeep experience organized by the resort.
Farm to Table – Harvesting the bounty of Nature
Given the fact that the Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady is so one with nature, it was no surprise to find that most if not all of the vegetables required for the kitchens were grown within the resort. We had a great time accompanying the Chef and his team and helping them pick fresh vegetables that included beans, eggplants, tapioca, pepper, ladies finger and other vegetables. This was followed by the cooking of a traditional Kerala vegetarian curry called Kootu Curry, in the open. It was great fun and a learning experience as we helped the chef with the preparation.
Later on, as the shadows lengthened and the light faded a bonfire and a barbecue heated up the proceedings as we had a dinner beneath the stars.
We found the staff of Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady smiling and always ready to help. They made us feel at home and we actually felt that we were at a home away from home.
The Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady is a winner of the 2017 SATA awards
Listen to Mr. Jiju James, General Manager(Operations) of Carmelia Haven talk about the resort:
Our Experience and Recommendation
We had a very nice experience at the Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady and would love to head back again someday. The place is an enchanting resort in Kerala. The sheer natural beauty of the place and its blissful environs are like a balm on the frayed nerves of city dwellers. We found our stay there very relaxing and rejuvenating. The stay at Carmelia Haven was a different experience from our previous experiences of the beautiful beaches and backwaters of Kerala as this was a revelation of another beautiful facet of the natural beauty of the state. We can still hear the sound of the Whistling Malabar Thrush whose tuneless whistle used to be our wake-up alarm when we were there.
The Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady is ideal if you are looking for a blissful place where you can renew your bond with nature in serene environs.
Madurai domestic airport is about 147 kilometers and the Cochin international airport is about 124 kilometers from Thekkady. Kottayam railway station is about 114 kilometers and many buses ply from Kochi and Trivandrum.
Book your stay at Carmelia Haven The Plantation Resorts, Thekkady
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Located 1219 metres above sea level, Thekkady Carmelia Haven Resort is spread over 55 acres of spice plantations in Kerala’s Idukki.
We were hosted by Carmelia Haven – Plantation Resort and Spa at Vandanmedu, Idukki, Thekkady. However, the views and opinions expressed here are our own based on our experience at Carmelia Haven Resort Thekkady.
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