I wanted to escape the severe cold of Delhi & go to a warm place where i could relax with nature & have some good food & i thought VSP fitted my bill.It belonged to the sarovar Group of Hotels who have one of the largest chain of hotels in India.I took their 6 Days pkg.incl.B`fast & 1 meal for Rs. 7000/ per day. while the normal daily rates were Rs.10000/ with B`fast. & we had no regrets for choosing this pkg.
On landing at Kochi airport one can take a prepaid cab for Rs. 1200/ which would take an hour & half or if you are a back packer, take a bus from outside the airport for a fare of Rs.70/ & change the bus at Chhertala to Vaylar.We unfortunately took the fast train to Alleppey & had to retrace 35 kms by cab costing us another Rs. 700/ & the staff at the resort were of no help at all.I had read of reviews that they had contacted many travelers seeking of their arrival details & gave them guidance but with an elder citizen like me they were of no help at all & even slow in replying to simple queries on e mail/phone.So landed up tired & in frustration at the resort late in the evening after leaving home in Delhi at 0300hrs in the morning!.The facade to the Resort was also unimpressive as we winded down the narrow roads & the final destination looked like a semi circular enclosed institution.The front office help desk needs improvement.
After a hot refreshing bath, were taken in an electric buggy to the dining hall.The food & the dining hall sorroundings of water cheered a bit.The room was big with good bed linnen & a spacious bath room with dainty touches like white marble pebbles strewn around.Well located balcony of our first floor superior room gave us a vantage view of the artificial lake in front bathed in a glory of light over looking the swimming pool & one could hear live soft melodious violin tunes of Mr. Biju accompanied by other musicians.Quality of sleep that night was good in clean unpolluted air.
Next day after the previous days tiredness & frustration were overcome by good sleep we were cheered by the wonderful things around the 8 acre area of the resort.But first the wonderful B`fast.A spread of a wide variety of juices, fruits,porridge, cornflakes,eggs,Kerala dishes of Appam with stew, idli, Wada, sardines,Bacon,Dry fruits etc.all very tasty & with good presentation.
It was a pleasure to see the lobby sorrounded by a mini Kerala Kathakali art figurinies exibits with opulent head gears of elephants& the staff moving around in their ethnic attire.It is on the shores of Vemband lake on which they have their own house boats,steam boats & canoes all worth a try.An over night ride in the luxuries house boat with 2 aircon bedrooms & sitting lounge drinking the fresh toddy purchased on the way, jaccuzzi,kitchen with delicious food is expensive but worth it. A complimentary evening ride in the steam boat for half an hour is also not to be missed.There is a hammock on the shore where one hears the serene chanting of prayers in the temple close by& one can wish away the reality of life with the luxurious trees growth lulling you off to dreams.!
The resort has tried to recreate the charm of old world Kerala with its enthralling beauty. Good aesthetic architecture, untouched nature & excellent landscaping give it a picture post card feel & a sense of space. A Yoga meditation deck,Badminton court & non stop supply of Tea/Coffee at the `Zephyr`next to the swimming pool.One big drawback for people on holidays is lack of liquor in an isolated place.A relief is the 24 hour free internet facility.& the musical programmes in the evening.
From there we went Kumarkom by our taxi & had an enjoyable boat ride to Pathirmanal island which is an hour away.The island which means in Malayalam-`midnight sand creation` is a lovely place with its Bio-diversity of flora, fauna, birds ,animals, trees & plants.The lake is sorrounded by some luxurious Resorts.It is advisable to arrange your own taxi from near by Chherthala.
One great sense of relief at the Resort is the complete absence of mosquitoes which is a very rare luxury in India especially when you are sorrounded by plentiful water,&many trees The daily twice a day good fumigation does the trick.
An outstanding feature of the Resort was the consistent excellent quality of delicious gourmet`s delight food they served with very good service& over all presentation of the dishes lay out.The spread was enormous suiting every one`s taste buds-from Kerala,North Indian & continental dishes.One could not have enough of it! The result-4kgs extra weight for me.Mr Ayyappan the F&B manager,his Asst. Shiny Thomas who never hesitated when you asked for your favorite dish even though it was not part of the menu they obliged & among the waiters Lakhir& Jyoti should take the credit.I have traveled to many places in the world & i can say that i never had such consistently top quality of food any where else in the world.I will come back for more next time!
A perfect getaway for people who want to enjoy some good food & relax in luxurious nature!