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Cheena vala, Chinese Fishing net, Lake Vembanad, Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere, Vayalar, Kerala

Vayalar is the perfect, yet to be discovered, gateway to the backwaters of Kerala. A small village, a few kilometers from Cherthala, it is nestled cozily between Lake Vembanad and the Vayalar Kayal, part of the famed backwaters of Kerala. The Saravor group of companies, has started a resort and spa, the Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere, and this was our base for our 4 day exploration of the backwaters and coast of Kerala. Water edged living, Caress of luxury, living culture, a southern sojourn is how it is advertised, and it just might all be true.

We stayed in a heritage villa, a 200 year old prince's palace, kovilakam, replanted on the banks of Vembanad Lake. Attangudi tiles adorn the floors, the 4 bedrooms opened up to an inner courtyard, an open patio offering unhindered views to the lake, and customer service that served every need made our stay, truly incredible. The traditional ayurvedic massage, including a calming shirodhara, transported our mind, body and soul to God's own country. The resort also has deluxe rooms, suites, floating cottages and a houseboat if the stay in a heritage villa is not your thing. There is an infinity pool, a game room, a temple, and 3 restaurants in the property. They also offer excursions around the backwaters, evening events, and lots of aqua activities. A family resort.

Spend your days, boating on Vembanad lake and the backwaters, or relax within the resort on their artificial lake, catch a toddy tapper collecting fresh toddy, learn to fish, or just lounge in the infinity pool and jacuzzi. Spend your evenings, with a book, on a hammock, get some dinner at the restaurant and retire to your villa and sleep outside in the thinnai (patio). The next day, awaken to the call of the birds that swarm the property and start all over again.

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From Vayalar, Kerala