Kollam as a seaport had a sustained commercial reputation from the days of the Phoenicians and the Romans. It is also known for its natural beauty embraced with sea, forests, mountains, lakes, backwaters, plains, rivers, tropical crops and vast green fields. With its lush greenery and vivid natural surroundings, Kollam has become one of the favorite holiday destination.
Located far away from the hustle-bustle of the city life is Fragrant Nature Resort – the only SLH (Small Luxury Hotels of the World) in South India. Nestled amidst the graceful palms and spread over five acres of land, the resort is a consummate backwater experience in itself which for sure offers a postcard scenery moment of a bewitching collage of blue and green.
Thanks to the wonderful folks at Mystikal Holidays and Fragrant Nature Resort, I was invited for a 2D/1N stay to experience the beauty of this enchanting resort. After a 3 hour drive from Allepey, reached Fragrant Nature Resort at about 1PM and was welcomed by Indrajeet – the front office executive, with a bouquet of flowers.
Fragrant Nature reflects the authentic Keralan way of life. With over 20 rooms, 3 restaurants and 1 banqueting facility – the resort offers a wide variety of excursions. Prana Wellness spa offers a wide range of Ayurveda treatments and yoga experiences.
As the check-in process took less than 10 minutes and meanwhile I couldn’t stop but admire the beautiful setup of the reception which was artistically decorated with flowers and traditional lamps. Mr Abhilash – Resort Manager escorted me to the Lake View category of the room. The room was impeccably done with contemporary yet traditional Keralan styling.
A fruit basket with local fruits was placed in the room along with the other accompaniments.
The private balcony had an excellent view of the Mala Lake and I could sit all day enjoying the panoramic views of the lush green landscape & lake. Seafood soup and Seafood salad for lunch was arranged at the balcony.
After freshing up it was time for a boat ride on the lake. Mala lake is a local favorite for fishing which not only has one of the dense mangrove forests but also small islands amidst them. An hour of boating experience was enough to experience the untouched and inaccessible rural kerala. Other than the thick mangrove forests, I was glad to watch some of the rarest of birds in their natural habitat.
Soon after the boat ride, it was time for HighTea at Ritulahari – the lakeside coffee shop. Chicken & Onion Pakoda with some cookies and spiced tea along with the stunning views set in natural abundance was truly an experience of a lifetime. Watching the sun go down just where the lake meets the river was an ideal sun downer.
Around 8:00 PM, dinner was arranged at Sandhya – a roof top restaurant. Pearlspot being a local delicacy, I requested for it to be made in Kerala spices and it was presented along with Kozhi curry with Kerala parotta and rice as accompaniments. Each of the dishes were quite good in its own different league.
Day 2 began with a dip in the pool followed by an intense yoga session alongside the pool. Yoga session in the serene backdrop of the pool was just magical. One could also try their hands at angling in one of the resort’s fishing spots by the lakeside.
Breakfast was arranged in the room itself. The spread had continental, Indian and local Kerala delicacies on offer and each them quite good.
Post breakfast it was tea by the balcony and then check out !
Needless to say, the stay experience at Fragrant Nature Resort was nothing short but awesome. The warm hospitality and topnotch service makes this resort a perfect destination to relax and rejuvenate amidst the scintillating waters of Mala lake.
Thumbs up for this one !