Though there were parts of Kerala ravaged by floods in during the 2018 monsoon, the capital city Thiruvananthapuram and some of its surrounding areas such as Kovalam remained safe and dry. As the flood waters have receded, tourism – one of Kerala’s main sources of income – is gradually picking up again. If anything, they need more visitors than ever.
One of the most recommended properties in the area is the Leela Kovalam. Set atop a sea-facing cliff that connects with the beach at its base, there is no denying the location is one of its strongest assets. If you’re staying in one of the Club Rooms, you can sleep to the sound of the waves and wake to the sight of the wide open sea in the morning, a few fishing boats in the far distance.
Staying in The Club also assures you of a private butler 24×7 and a work desk that looks out at the ocean. If you go for a suite, which is double the size of a regular room, you also get a state-of-the-art LCD flat screen TV and DVD player with a choice of movies and music, wireless internet access and an electronic safe.
You’ll particularly love the café that’s exclusively for The Club residents, situated right next to the private infinity pool. An all-day restaurant with modern interiors, it offers European, Pan-Asian and Indian cuisines, and the view of the sea and the poolside (lead image) is just stunning as you have your meal.
You can enjoy a similar view and sea breeze a few steps up at the open-air Sky Bar, which is romantically lit up at night. If you’re a seafood fan, head over to The Tides, a rustic-style restaurant by the beach where they catch fresh fish and cook it according to your specifications.
And, of course, there’s always the all-day dining The Terrace next to the main hotel lobby, set beside a large infinity pool. You’ll find authentic Kerala specialties here besides a host of other cuisines, dance performances over dinner, and smiling, friendly servers.
For those who wish to tour the Kerala capital, the hotel provides luxury cab services. The main attractions are boating on the Vellayani lake and in the Karamana river; visits to an elephant rehabilitation camp besides several temples; a trek to the green hills in the district and so on. A trip to the Ponmudi hilltop is also recommended. Thanks to forest cover and abundant rains, many parts of Thiruvananthapuram offer you an opportunity to refill your lungs with unpolluted air.
One of the main attractions at the Leela Kovalam, which was taken over by the Raviz group in 2011, is the Ayurvedic spa. A standalone spa near the resort’s entrance, it has attracted a large and devoted clientele over the past few years.
Besides traditional Ayurvedic treatments, their USP is the marma therapy that is offered to all patients. An ancient Indian practice that channels the subtle energy (prana) in the body for the purposes of healing, marma therapy is based on the utilization of 107 points in the body that access the body, mind, and consciousness.
Not many spas can claim to offer this specialized therapy. The spa also employs qualified doctors who suggest treatments after an extensive interview of the client. Treatment packages here go from a few days to several weeks.
It is really no wonder that guests are content to stay on for long stretches at a time – they get a five-star holiday, excellent Kerala hospitality, customized treatments, and go back home healthier and happier.
First published in the October 2018 issue of eShe magazine
If you need any more reason to visit Kerala, watch this video.