Aanavilsasam is a luxury plantation retreat located in Thekkady close to Periyar Wildlife Reserve in Kerala and has just six elegant rooms, fantastic cuisine and is the perfect base from which to explore this corner of India.
At a Glance
Small and elegant boutique plantation retreat
Luxury decor and superb bedrooms
Do try their superb cookery demonstrations
Located up in the hills surrounded by a forest - do expect a few creepy crawlies such as exotic beetles and moths to be around
To start planning your vacation to Aanavilasam
Aanavilasam is the vision of photographer Salim Pushpanath whose artistic creativity was lovingly used to create this wonderful boutique luxury hotel. It is located in the hills above Thekkady, surrounded by verdant forests and spice plantations. The design of the rooms is a blend of Keralan and Western decor. Choose from either the Deluxe Double Rooms moving to the 600sq ft Suites, luxury Pool Suites which have superb views over the valley or the Presidential Suite accessed by private bridge.
The food is superb, using fresh local ingredients to create a fusion menu inspired by Keralan, North Indian and Continental influences. They can also do a quick cookery demonstration. You can either dine in the restaurant or privately on your veranda. There is a lounge area with comfy sofas and a TV.
Explore the plantation and discover pepper and banana trees, cinnamon and ginger growing alongside cardamom. Explore Periyar Wildlife Reserve which is home to a range of flora and fauna from langur monkeys, exotic birds, wild elephants and deer. Maybe hop on a bullock cart and explore the local villages, or take a trek into the hills around Aanavilsasam. If you are very lucky, Salim can give you a tip or two about taking the perfect photo.
There are just six rooms at Aanavilasam. The Suites offer a leather-suite lounge and open-sided dining area along with a cosy fireplace which is ideal during the winter months. It also has a private veranda. The Pool Villas have large verandas along with a lovely swimming pool and also a steam room. The Presidential Villa is accessed by a private bridge. Expect king-size four posters and are designed to reflect local design with modern comforts.
Dining be take place on your private veranda or in the dining room which is generally a sociable, convivial affair. There is a lounge area with cable TV and 7 acres of ground to roam around in.
There are cookery demonstrations, a guided tour of the plantation and visits to Periyar National Park on offer.
Location & Directions
Aanavilsasam is located close to Periyar National Park and is perched up in the hills making it an ideal rural retreat.
When to go
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 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 the rest of this Indian land of mystery.