This is a place where time almost stands still, where peace, solitude and mindful living are not catch phrases but a reality of life. Trees and plants dominate the 14-acre property on which CGH Earth’s Spice Village has been built—there are just 52 thatched roof cottages here. 

Located in beautiful Thekkady, in Kerala’s less visited Idukki District, Spice Village is a stone’s throw away from the Periyar National Park. A hike within the Park is among the highlights of the stay here. But frankly the highlights are many. How about a meal at 50 Mile Diet, a specialty restaurant that prepares food made of ingredients sourced within a 50-mile radius of the resort. In fact, many of the fruits, vegetables and salad leaves are grown even closer, right on the property! While this should make any responsible traveller happy, the delicious dishes like muringaela (drumstick leaf) coconut soup, pot-roasted pork chops and mutton curry, honey baked yogurt and chakka varatti, which is made from jackfruit, ghee and jiggery, should make her happier.

Then there are cooking classes conducted by the resort’s chefs, where you can master dishes that use the spices that grow abundantly in this region. You do not even have to leave the grounds to go on a nature walk, taking in the many flora and fauna that are found here including the Malabar Giant Squirrel. Your little kids will love the paper making facility in the property, where they and you can make paper. If the hikes and safaris aren’t activity enough, you can get a work out on the basketball, tennis and badminton courts at the resort. For a more serene workout there is a daily morning yoga session. For complete relaxation, there is the Ayurveda Center.

As you can see the options are many, but the common thread is of having escaped from the demands and stresses of regular life and that is the biggest luxury of them all.

Price: From 12,600

Read More: https://www.cghearth.com/spice-village

Slow Travel

Mindful luxury—this is a concept that the Kerala-based CGH Earth group of hotels has made its own. Nowhere is this more startlingly obvious than in Spice Village. The cottages are thatched with Elephant Grass, sourced from nearby forests, just like the houses of the local Mannan Tribe. In fact, the Spice Village roofs are done and maintained by members of the Tribe. The Elephant Grass if not harvested is burnt by the Forest Department as it can be a fire hazard when dry. The local community is deeply involved with the running of the resort. Locals, who are skilled farmers, manage the organic farm on the property. Everything from papaddam and milk and meat to candles and honey are sourced from the local community. Employees, like the trekking guides, are local. RO treated drinking water is served to guests in recyclable glass bottles, 75% of the energy needs are met from solar power, food waste is converted to manure and other bio waste is recycled into handmade paper.

Disclaimer: We have tried to ensure the operators listed here are responsible towards local communities and the environment. We, however, urge travellers to do additional checks when choosing an experience/accommodation.

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