Our guide to India
Payikad, Kanam, Kerala
Situated on a small hilltop, Serenity is surrounded by a rubber plantation located midway between Cochin and Thekkady. It is a delightful old plantation bungalow built in the 1920s which has been beautifully converted.
At a Glance
Great spot for families, just three hours from Cochin Airport
Beautifully restored in keeping with its colonial past
Enjoy learning about the Keralan dishes with the resident chef
Explore the local villages on the mountain bikes
Guests can opt for a continental or a traditional Southern Indian breakfast
Only two of the rooms at this property have air conditioning, so make sure you request it if you want it.Jessica Campbell
Serenity is an old estate house converted into a charming five-bedroom hotel. It is situated in a little visited region of Kerala that is an ideal stopping place between the backwaters and the hills.
As well as wonderful staff to attend to your every need, there is a resident chef who can cook a range of Indian or Continental cuisines.
The six colorful rooms offer delightful views overlooking the hilltop landscape towards the Blue Mountains and feature beautiful antique objects d’art, hanging space, verandahs, terraces and direct dial telephones.
A trained chef will prepare delicious meals, based on the recipes of the Malabar House cuisine. Local Indian and Mediterranean cuisine is available. Meals are taken either on the privacy of your verandah, on the patio by the swimming pool deck or in the dining room.
Among the many delights of this house is Laxmi, the resident elephant with whom you can tour the estate’s rubber, spice, cocoa and coffee plantations, and with her Mahout’s help, bathe her in the river.
Serenity is a small boutique hotel villa with a hilltop location on the Kanam Estate, a rubber plantation dating back to the 1920s. The location gives the hotel dramatic views over the Blue Mountains of Western Ghats and a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. There is a swimming pool surrounded by decking and a resident elephant! Delicious meals are cooked by expert chefs to guests preferences using home grown ingredients. There are five bedrooms, three double rooms and two twin rooms, or if traveling as a large party it is possible to rent out all the rooms and have the hotel as a large fully serviced villa. If doing this there is an additional adjoining twin bedroom available meaning the villa can accommodate 12. All rooms feature air-conditioning, ceiling fans, en-suite bathrooms with showers and a private veranda overlooking the plantation.
Serenity accepts children of all ages and is ideal for couples and families who want to escape to a retreat in the low hills with its tropical climate. Children are welcome but parents must be aware that noise does travel given its such a small place. Children may be accommodated in their parent’s bedroom for an extra charge. Only one additional child per room is permitted. Babysitting can be arranged on request.
Facilities at the hotel include a sitting room with a TV and DVD player with a collection of recent films and a record player, a dining room and Internet access is available free of charge. Bicycles with gears for hotel resident’s use are complimentary and there is a beautiful swimming pool, surrounded by cocoa trees. There is also a badminton court, yoga stage and spa with one large treatment room offers a range of Ayurveda treatments and rejuvenation massages. The drawing room can be used for meetings and seminars.
At the hotel, you can swim, play badminton or enjoy a massage in the spa. Reception will also be happy to arrange escorted walks through the surrounding plantations and tropical gardens. The area also includes cocoa, pepper, coffee, cardamom, pineapple, tapioca, papaya and banana plantations.
Location & Directions
Payikad, Kanam, Kerala
Serenity is set on Kanam Estate close to Kottayam, on a plantation in between Cochin, the backwaters and Thekkady, in Kerala, southern India.
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.