The 18th-century backwater retreat in the sleepy village of Cherranelloor has only three bedrooms and can only be booked in its entirety, making it ideal for small groups.
Taken over by Kerala-based boutique hoteliers CGH Earth a few years back, Chittoor Kottaram, the erstwhile residence of the Raja of Cochin, has been revamped and relaunched under the guidance of British philanthropist Lady Helen Hamlyn, a keen supporter of local restoration projects. The 18th-century backwater retreat in the sleepy village of Cherranelloor has only three bedroomsâ€”the master suite spans the entire upper floorâ€”and can only be booked in its entirety, making it ideal for small groups. Now a repository for Lady Hamlynâ€™s idiosyncratic collection of art and antiques, the former palace is filled with period details and updated fixtures, though the grounds are just as appealing. An octagonal temple pond has been transformed into a swimming pool, lush palm-studded lawns lead down to a private dock for boat excursions, and a waterside gazebo sets the scene for lunches and dinners prepared as you watch (young chef Sandeep Satheesanâ€™s gourmet dinners play with local cuisineâ€”think Keralan â€ścannelloniâ€ť of gourd tubes stuffed with yam and spinach in a rich tomato gravy). Come evening, guests can look forward to exclusive performances by musicians from the 800-year-old Chittoor Temple next door.
91-484/301-1711; Chittoor Kottaram Kochi; exclusive rental from US$835
This article originally appeared in theÂ October/November 2017Â print issue of DestinAsian magazine (â€śThe Luxe List 2017: Chittoor Kottaram Kochiâ€ť).