— How would you describe Malabar Escapes in a nutshell?
Four more luxury vacation properties followed soon after in different locations as we realized that our guests would be very interested in seeing the backwaters and the hills. So we added other places with similar concepts — Purity, Serenity, Discovery and Trinity. Within these properties we created different packages, which allow you to get the best of the state of Kerala in a very personalized way.”
— Purity at Lake Vembanad
— Please tell us about Malabar House and Trinity.
Trinity are eight suites right next to Malabar House. The building once belonged to a tea trading company as a guesthouse. The owner is one of the five most influential collectors of contemporary art in India and had asked me to ‘revamp’ the place into a luxurious boutique hotel. We extended the place to eight guest rooms, adding a new wing, which I co-designed. The setting of this hotel was designed with a more contemporary edge and contrasts the best of current Indian art with antique furniture.”
— Serenity at Kanam estate
— Please also tell us about Purity and Discovery.
Discovery is a 25-meter long houseboat, built on a wooden rice barge’s traditional casing and matched with contemporary ship architecture. The boat has one bedroom, a living room and a sitting corner that can be converted into a second bedroom. Discovery is a very unique and the most eco-friendly houseboat in the area. It allows you to travel on a unique cruise into places where no other houseboat goes and enter into a world of waterways and rivers.”
— And finally: Serenity.
The bungalow was built in the 1920s and its originality was kept as much intact as possible while including modern amenities. It sits at about 300 meters above sea level with a very pleasant climate, so that a lot of guests come here in the winter for the warm weather.
During their stay, our vacation guests can get to know our elephant, who is very friendly and can be fed and ridden on. There are also many other activities to try out, such as going on plantation walks, yoga, Ayurvedic treatments or just hanging out by the pool.”
— Serenity pool
— What sort of services and facilities do you offer at the hotels?
Ayurvedic treatments and yoga are available to our guests, and we have cooking demonstrations where guests can see how we use the spices, from classic South Indian cuisine to international cuisine. Furthermore we can take our guests out to sample the food on the streets.
We offer different excursions at each of the Malabar Escapes. At Purity for example, guests can visit an old cooperative where everything is hand loomed. We want to enable them to see the real life of the locals, they can experience how people work with seafood, how they go coconut tapping, see the patty fields and rice farms, and temples or markets. There are a lot of things we do outside of the houses.”
— Discovery Backwater Cruises