We wouldn't dream of coming to Kerala without spending a night here: About 90 minutes from Periyar's entrance, with stupendous views of the reserve's forested hills from its elevated position on an old spice plantation, this is as peaceful as it gets. Equally uplifting is the cuisine………
16 Top Spots for Food and Wine Lovers
Breakfast is served on a lovely terrace, and even if you're not a regular coffee drinker, the smell of fresh-brewed coffee -- organically grown right here -- can be intoxicating….. And the meals are unbelievably delicious, superb examples of refined Keralan cuisine, which some say is the best in south India: crispy-thin dosa pancakes, abundant seafood, the pervasive richness of coconut milk, and deeply spiced stews and curries. Seeing where the spices grow and then tasting them in your dinner is its own sort of farm-to-table experience, of the most exotic and luxurious variety. If you're intrigued by this extraordinary combination of flavors, you can arrange a cooking class with the chef, who will teach you how to re-create any dish on the menu. It's one way to take home a little piece of paradise.
Set on terraces carved into the precipitous Cardamom Hills and reached by a private track, this nature resort is a haven of peace, where city souls and tourists come to rest their overheated brains and bodies.
Now there are 9 cottages, dotted amid organic Robusta coffee plants and banana palms and connected by a network of stone pathways and steps. The round dining room is open to the elements, with a panorama across the valley; the wonderful swimming pool ……. shares the same plunging views.
"The perfect place for moments when you feel like getting away from it all - located in the middle of nowhere. …… the place is surrounded by a mountainous landscape to die for. All cottages - authentic Keralan wood buildings - are strategically placed to offer a fabulous view and create an illusion of solitude…. Breakfast at Paradisa Plantation Retreat is a royal affair - the table is literally groaning with abundance of fruit - but dinner is an elaborate ritual…
:: Special Places to Stay ::
Cicadas and calling birds, peace and tranquility in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary – and at this remote village guest house on the point of a tree-rich valley...
The Independent, February 2007
"Paradisa, in the Idukki district of Kerala, is a stylish retreat set on an organic plantation where guests can book
in for Ayurvedic treatments and yoga classes as well as tour the coffee and spice crops."
Tatler Travel Guide 2004-101 Best Hotels in the World
"Kerala has lifestyle karma. This is the India where the done-Rajasthan crowd wants to be, as do the yoga girlies and those seeking AAA: ayurveda, astrology and acupuncture. How cool is this: a divine retreat on organic
coffee and spice plantation, lit by antique lanterns? Paradisa's cottages have been designed as traditional
Keralan wooden houses, with swanky columns and a tree house constructed by local tribal people using age-
old jungle techniques. For ayurveda freaks, the Sahyadri Ayurvedic Hospital is four miles away. Serious stuff.
Swamy Jagadeeswaranada rocks up as a yoga master - just saying his name is a verbal asana. The swimming-
pool is in the shape of a giant foot-print; you can also trek to a beautiful lake in the jungle, paraglide or visit
the Periyar tiger reserve."
British Airways' High Life 2004-52 Best Hideaways
"High in the hills south-east of Cochin lies this organic coffee and spice plantation dotted with wooden
cottage suites in classic old Kerala style. Where the Maharajas of Travancore used to cool their addled brains,
so latter-day lowlanders go to rejuvenate, practising yoga on an outdoor platform, breathing in the pure air
and wraparound views."
"What a wonderful retreat – we fell in love with the place as soon as we arrived. The beautiful scenery, fresh air, the delicious food and above all the attentive and caring hospitality. This has truly been one of our most magical stays in India and we look forward to returning soon. Thank you."
-Liselle & Troy
"Paradisa an oasis of tranquility with a very welcoming host ( the boss ! ) and, John and Roy and the boys excellent service. The food is too good - we have put in 2 kilos in 3 days!! The service second to none. We will return to this special place."
"What a wonderful experience, exceptional views, tranquility and the most delicious Indian cuisine. A fantastic place to spend time with friends. A big thank you to Roy and John for taking such good care of us and showing the boys how to cook chicken curry. Definitely a place to recommend."
-Emma, Brent, Jody & Cam
"There are travels in life and then there are journeys of the soul. Paradisa is the latter. Here we are living in Kerala history. Thank you for such a warm and unforgettable staff – John, Roy and Sajeev. The food is exquisite, your welcome drink – fresh lime and ginger is too much. Simon you are the best. Thanks for everything"
-The Three Graces
"Simon, Roy and the rest of the wonderful team,
We’ve had a lovely time and really appreciated all the extra effort you made to accommodate the children and their wide variety of needs! As I mentioned many times, the food was truly fantastic. The location is magical and the service outstanding. We can’t wait to return"
-Laura Lee, Lucia and Henry Berlingieri
"Mr. Simon and all the staff
Thank you very much for a truly wonderful experience ! This is ecotourism at its best. The staff are amazing, every body went out of their way to be as welcoming and attentive as possible. The cooking was a bonus. In fact all the things I wanted to learn about in India we found here, and more. Thank you for all the extra care with the children. Thank you for welcoming us into your home for eating meals with us ! We are sad to go !"
-Arthur, Leesette, Alexia, Dominique James
"There are luxury resorts, there is paradise and then there is “Paradisa”. First thing we would go on and on about the inexplicably wonderful service Roy, John, Shankar and the backroom staff almost become a part of the family. We wish them well. Secondly “divine” is a weak adjective for the exquisite cuisine. Hats off to Saji. [ Master Chef / Master Poet] We felt right at home at our beautiful rooms. Last but never least of all Simon and his family have been the perfect hosts "
-The Sathyaprasad Family
"Words fail to describe just how perfect Paradisa was, or how wonderful an experience we had while visiting. Four nights were not enough and the prospect of leaving saddens me greatly, but we are grateful for the time we had. This is the most beautiful location in India, the service was incredible and the food was some of the very best we had ever had anywhere on earth. Lastly we are thankful for the kindness of Simon, Maria and Roy, all of whom treated us like guests in our home. We shall tell everyone back home about Paradisa and are counting days until we can return."
"We are leaving “Paradise” taking with us the smells and sounds of the nature, the taste and secrets of delightful Kerala food and the kindness and the sweetness of “Paradisa” staff. Thank you to all of you for this wonderful stay and thank you for taking care of us and our two children."
-Gabriella, Giulia & Jou
"Paradisa Plantation Retreat is surely one of the most classy, beautifully and individually designed Resorts in Kerala. The warm and familiar hospitality and the excellent service associated with this unique and peaceful location faraway from any noise and pollution with spectacular views of the hills to Periyar Tiger Reserve made my stay an unforgettable experience. It is a jewel. I will return soon to spend more time here."
"We thank you so much for giving us the possibility to stay in your marvelous resort PARADISA. With your feeling and power for creativity architecture, beauty, nature and harmony of life you were able to build this exceptionally beautiful place and opened here to other people the chance to come in contact with this extraordinary place in the world. The short distance to the Ayurveda hospital – SAHYADRI and the excellent treatments there are very comfortable. We thank the manager Saju the restaurant chef –Sajeev, the great cook – Sunil and the other staff for their wonderful hospitality and their overwhelming kindness. We are really happy that we could experience this place of happiness and quietness and we are looking forward to our next visit, especially we thank for Simon and Maria’s wonderful friendship over continents."
-Max and Ursula Lurz
"What a wonderful place. Simon has made us feel so at home and so special. I will highly recommend at least two nights here. Magical views and atmosphere. Thank you very much."
-Michelle Castello, Western & Oriental
" The only problem with this place is having to leave it !
We have not been anywhere to compare with this Paradisa. The Kerala house we stayed in (Cardamom) is spectacularly beautiful - as are the views from it. Delicious food and wonderfully warm hospitality. A dream come true."
"A veritable pleasure to have stayed here, lovely views, well appointed rooms attentive staff, ingredients for a wonderfully relaxing getaway. An absolute delight to have met Simon and Maria whose lively contagious enthusiasm topped off a most memorable stay in the mountains."
-Karen Anna Pais
"Shangri-la, Xanadu, Paradisa. There is no equal for leaving your worries and finding true tranquility. Thank you Simon for your stories, your caring about Kerala’s heritage and the well-being of your guests. You are truly remarkable, a New Age Renaissance Man. Thank you".