Win a luxury hotel stay at the five-star Rixos Premium Magawish Suites and Villas in Egypt

Hotel Review: Tranquil Resort, Kerala in India

Bindu Gopal Rao discovers this plantation retreat is the perfect rural getaway.

By LLM Reporters  |  July 23, 2022
Tranquil exterior

Words by Bindu Gopal Rao

Tranquil Resort, a plantation resort in Wayanad in Kerala is the perfect way to have a holiday that is all about relaxation ensconced in nature.

As my car navigated the 1.3-kilometre stretch into Tranquil Resort, the first thing I saw was the beautiful Tickell’s Blue flycatcher that perched itself on a branch nearby and posed as I happily clicked several images. For the birder in me, there could not have been a better precursor to this trip than this.

Hotel

tranquil verandah
This heritage property has a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere

This 126 year-old heritage property in Kuppamudi Estate was originally owned and run by the British plantation pioneers and then sold to Dutch entrepreneurs post-independence and eventually sold to Aswati Plantations Pvt. Ltd. in 1994.

I was received by my hosts Ajay and Nisha Mathulla, who have their home on the estate, and served fresh lime, which was an instant refresher. Ajay explained that the property is spread over a 400-acre coffee estate and is also home to exotic fruit trees like lychee, mangosteen, imported strains of jackfruit, rambutan and avocado as well as spices like nutmeg and mace. Incidentally, they also grow their own vegetables, and every meal here has at least one vegetable harvested in house that makes its way onto the menu.

The property itself is expansive and, apart from the coffee shrubs, also has all kinds of shade trees and beautiful landscaping that makes it a perfect nature getaway.

Room

tranquil tree house
Spacious and welcoming accommodation includes the Tranquilitree Tree House

The best part about the accommodation at Tranquil Resort is that there are only ten units and they are all largely varied. The Tree Villa where I stayed is a spacious 1080 sq. ft family-styled tree house accommodation that has one king bed, two single day beds and two bathrooms. There is a large balcony that overlooks the beautiful estate and has outdoor seating that allows you to enjoy the natural vistas. The villa is built over a jackfruit tree and is expansive and ideal for a family. The eco-friendly décor includes fencing made from the coffee shrub wood that adds a nice touch to the aesthetics of the space.

Another option that proves popular is the Tree House built on a Gul Mohar Tree (May flower tree) and is great for honeymoon couples or even single travellers. The room has a nice library and a cosy nook that frames the outside beautifully. The 550 sq. ft. Luxury Suite has a large lounge room with a king-size bed, ample seating, large bay windows and a private garden with outdoor seating. The Chairman’s Suite with a classic Colonial planter’s theme is spread over 500 sq. ft complete with rosewood flooring, wall and ceiling panelling, curated antique furniture, two bathrooms and a private dressing room.

There are also five Planters Garden Rooms that have twin beds and have a spacious common veranda overlooking a well-manicured tropical garden. The two-bedroom Catimor Cottage is an independent villa that must be booked as one unit and allows for complete privacy.

Food and drink

tranquil food
Guests can enjoy a magical candle-lit dinner at the hotel restaurant

All the meals at the property are at the in-house restaurant which is adjacent to the owner’s home. A buffet spread is laid out for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is a mix of local, Indian, and Continental fare. There is also high tea and snacks every evening at the annexe area of the restaurant.

On my first night here, a special dinner setting complete with flowers and candles made for a magical meal and I also sampled the traditional Kerala Sadhya (a large spread of vegetarian dishes served on a banana leaf) for lunch one day. Meals are simple and the staff, headed by manager Swamy, ensure you are well taken care of.

One of the interesting things you can do here, is pre book a cooking class which is conducted by Nisha, a hotel management graduate herself who understands the importance of connecting over food. Along with her long-standing head chef, Sivadas, she tailor makes the session and chooses to either do a demonstration or cook along depending on the interest of the guests. Many of the ingredients are grown in the gardens, and the team bakes their own bread and the freshest coffee is served from their plantation. When here do check out authentic dishes like the Kerala Parota, Syrian Christian beef fry and Malabar fish curry.

To do

tranquil dogs
A trek to the top of the estate provides panoramic views of Wayanad

The property is expansive, and you can enjoy it best on foot. There are several walking paths and their associated colour coded maps can be found in the room. If you are into birding like me, you can request for a guided bird walk (with extra charges) that is conducted in the morning and later afternoon. Being in Kerala, you must book yourself a body massage especially the traditional Ayurvedic Abhyangana massage which is a whole-body massage.

The property also organises a trek to the top of the estate which is a two-hour journey of walking up and down, and chilling at the top of the rock. I did this in a jeep from the outside road and reached the top after a small trek to see some outstanding views of Wayanad.

You can also choose to cool off in the swimming pool (a kid’s pool is also available) or play board games in the tree deck that overlooks the pool, indulge in a spot of yoga, or read your favourite book. The family has three dogs that are friendly and make your stay memorable.

In a nutshell

A stay at Tranquil Resort is a perfect way to get away from urban chaos and go back feeling refreshed.

Factbox

Getting there: The retreat is a five-and-a-half to six-hour drive from Bengaluru.

Rooms can be booked from £105 per couple per night (taxes extra).

Address: 16, Kolagappara-Ambalavayal Rd, Kolagapaara, Kerala 673591, India
Tel: +91 99475 88507
Website: tranquilresort.com

Images courtesy of Tranquil Resort