Spice Village is set in 15 acres of spice gardens at an elevation of 3000 feet above sea level. This is a region a few hours inland from the Keralan coast with silent valleys, vast plantations of teak, cardamom, tea, rubber and coffee and wildlife sanctuaries boasting astonishing biodiversities.
Accommodation is in the form of comfortable and cosy huts thatched with elephant grass, spread around dense plantations of forest trees and spices. Rooms feature contemporary furnishings, modern plumbing and hot water provided by solar power in tune with the resort's strong eco approach. Cuisine served in the resort's restaurant is distinctly local with a special tribal twist but if curry isn't your cup of tea, there are Continental and western style dishes on the menu.
The hotel is very family friendly with its large garden, swimming pool and facilities for badminton, table tennis and a host of indoor games. The hotel also has a resident botanist who offers talks on the surrounding environment and wildlife and you can try your hand at some Keralan cooking.
Spice Village offers 52 individual, tribal-styled thatch-roof cottages with verandahs with modern plumbing, solar-powered hot water and contemporary furnishings. Standard Villas feature living rooms, a bedroom and a private garden. Deluxe Villas are cosy huts tucked away between fruit trees, herb beds and 50 year-old timbers from the arboretum laid down by A. W. Woods.
Children are welcome but there are no specific facilities.
Facilities at the resort include a pool, tennis courts, badminton, restaurant and Ayurvedic centre.
At the resort you can take a dip in the swimming pool and play badminton, table tennis and a host of indoor games. The hotel also has a resident botanist who offers talks on the surrounding environment and wildlife and there are cooking classes available. Other activities in the area include a boat safari in Lake Periyar, night treks, and visits to spice and rubber plantations.
When to travel
Isolated from much of India by the Western Ghats, the climate of Kerala & Karnataka is tropical and as a result of the mountain ranges the area isn’t as dry as much of India. The best time to visit is from January through to April. While there can be the occasional light showers these are just a prelude of the wet weather to come. The weather is generally hot and humid during this early summer. The monsoon season arrives in early June and thus can wash out July and August. September is much more humid as a result of the rainy season, and the fall can be dry but with the humidity this makes it feel quite the warm. There can be a little rain in the night in October and November. The temperatures cool down and the humidity lets up as winter comes in around December, with this season lasting until February when the dry spring returns. Winter can be a pleasant time to visit, especially if you’re looking to head off the beach and explore this Indian land of mystery.
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Location and directions
Located in Kumily, a small settlement three kilometres from Thekkady, the main entrance to the Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala (South India).
How to get there
13-hour flight (via Dubai) to Cochin International Airport. The drive to Spice Village from the airport takes around 4-hours.