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Best Luxury Resorts In South India

Flanked by the Arabian Sea to the west, the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Indian Ocean to the South, South India is famous for its beautiful beaches, tranquil backwaters, picturesque hill stations, tea (spice and coffee) plantations, ancient heritage, exotic wildlife and a dense array of biodiversity.

All of these enchanting elements of nature make the South of India a splendid destination for an awesome holiday and it has emerged as a mighty contender to Rajasthan in the North of India that has traditionally dominated global tourist itineraries to India.

Here is our extensively researched list of the top 15 luxury resorts in South India catering to all kinds of tastes and styles.

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Top 15 Best Luxury Resorts In South India

 

1.Kumarakom Lake Resort (Kumarakom, Kerala)

 

KUMARAKOM

Lake Vembanad is the longest lake in India with an area of almost 150 square miles. Kumarakom is a small collective of islands in the lake. If the Keralan Backwaters are on the top of your bucket list for a trip to South India, look no further than Kumarakom (or perhaps Alleppey).

As the name suggests, the Kumarakom Lake Resort is snuggled in glorious isolation on the banks of the legendary Lake Vembanad in Kerala. Housed in a heritage building, it offers a range of Ayurveda and Western therapies and treatments.

You will find Kumarakom on almost all lists of the best luxury resorts in South India. It combines traditional Keralan warmth and hospitality with a global state-of-the-art 5-star luxury resort experience.

Amenities at the Kumarakom include luxury villas and rooms, a large swimming pool, a health club, multiple dining, a business center, a conference room, and 24/7 front desk and room service.

2. The Zuri Kumarakom Resort And Spa (Kerala)

 

THE ZURI

Another great resort in the Kumarakom backwaters of Lake Vembanand is the Zuri Kumarakom.

It is a resort spa nestled in the calm backwater that features a lush green rustic natural setting. Picture a resort with world-class hospitality, gently swaying coconut palm trees, pools and ponds, beautifully manicured gardens, posh interiors, and a whole gamut of flora and fauna to explore nearby.

The Zuri is particularly famous for its splendid Maya Spa that offers an entire range of Ayurveda and non-Ayurveda therapies.

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3. Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra (Kovalam, Kerala)

 

NIRAAMAYA

The Keralan backwaters of Kumarakom and Alleppey are calm, serene and tranquil. But if you want a more well-rounded spa experience in the Indian south, you can’t miss its picture-perfect beaches, and there are very few more prettier beaches in the region than Kovalam.

The NIRAAMAYA RETREATS in KOVALAM is a beach resort experience unlike any other. The resort is carved out of a cliff that overlooks the Arabian Sea. With a private beach all to yourself, you can enjoy the ideal beach holiday experience.

Niramaya boasts traditional Keralan cottages snuggled under the shade of coconut palms and an award-winning spa that is at par with the best in the world. 

4.Brunton Boatyard (Cochin, Kerala)

 

BRUNTON

The port city of Cochin (Kochi) was an important trading outpost of the British Indian empire and for the local South Indian empires dating back to the Vijayanagara Empire in the 12th century AD. Cochin is steeped in lore, history and legend.

The Brunton Boatyard does justice to its rich heritage with its Raj-era mystique, elegant colonial décor and vintage furniture. It transports you back to the heyday of the colonial trade, when spice dominated the world trade.

The Brunton Boatyard, we think, is the best resort to stay in in Cochin. It also has a small sister establishment on the harbour called the Eight Bastion, where you can also enjoy a similar luxury.

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5. Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad (Telangana)

 

TAJ FALAKNUMA

The Taj Falaknuma (literally “Mirror of the Sky”) was built in the 1890s as a summer retreat by the Nizam (ruler) of Hyderabad.

Perched on top of a hill that overlooks the historical city of Hyderabad (2000 ft above sea level), the Taj Falaknuma Palace was converted into a heritage hotel and is among the best places to visit in the region.

The Nizam of Hyderabad was once thought to be the richest man on the planet. If you want a glimpse into the lives of the Maharajas and Nizams of India and live briefly like royalty, the Taj Fakanuma is the place to be.

The Taj Falaknuma features 60 royal suites and rooms and sprawls over 32 acres of gardens and lawns.

One of the last great palaces of the Princely Indian era, the architecture of Taj Falaknuma is a unique blend of local Hyderabadi aesthetics with Tudor and Italian architectural influences. The interior boasts ornate lobbies and halls, colonial chandeliers, glittering marble and tile work and furniture from the Nizam’s personal collection.

If you are one business or a brief stay in the region, the Taj is a great place for a top-notch spa experience.

6. Blanket Hotel And Spa (Munnar, Kerala)

 

BLANKET

If you thought Kerala was only about beaches, backwaters and great resorts, you are in for a surprise.

Ensconced in the lush green mountains of the Western Ghats are some of South India’s greatest hill stations that offer the perfect getaway from the noise and pace of the metropolitans of the region. These hill stations include Coorg (Karnataka), Coonoor and Ooty (Tamil Nadu) and Wayanad (Kerala).

None, however, are as popular as Munnar.

The Blanket Hotel & Spa faces the famous Attukad waterfall in Pallivasai (Munnar). An excellent 5-star luxury establishment, the Blanket Hotel and Spa gives you exclusive views of waterfalls and the surrounding landscape of mountains from its state-of-the-art luxury rooms and a host of other posh amenities designed to pamper you.

Pallivasai in Munnar is the perfect place for a dream getaway. It has everything you need for a relaxing holiday: cascading waterfalls, rolling green tea gardens (perfect for a sunset/sunrise stroll and tea-tasting) and a pristine river.

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7. Cgh Earth – Spice Village (Thekaddy, Kerala)

 

CGH EARTH

Historically, it is the beaches and the backwaters (and of course the lovely hospitality!) that have drawn millions of tourists to “God’s Own Country” Kerala. In recent years, however, a new sub-genre of travel has captured the imagination of tourists flocking to this part of India.

Spice and tea plantation tourism is now an integral part of the South Indian experience, and no well-rounded trip would be complete without a small expedition to a rolling tea hill or spice plantation.

The CGH EARTH is modelled after a spice village of the Thekaddy region. It is constructed by the local artisans of the Mana Tribe out of organic eco-conscious sources (sourced locally). The thatched roofs of cottages of CGH, for example, are built from local elephant grass.

CGH Earth boasts a world-class spa experience with all the amenities that you expect from a luxury spa-themed resort. Its proximity to the Periyar National Park and Tiger Reserve means you can go not just on spice plantation tours but also exciting wildlife safaris.

8. Evolve Back, Kabini (Karnataka)

 

EVOLVE BACK

So far we have covered beach-side resorts, hill-station resorts, backwaters resorts and heritage coastal city resorts.

But would you really come to India and want to miss out on an exciting exotic wildlife adventure featuring the majestic royal Bengal Tigers, Asiatic elephants, leopards, panthers, hyenas, Indian bison (Gaurs) and much more? Of course not.

If you love wildlife and nature, then we highlight recommend that you go on an adrenaline-filled adventure to the Kabini Forest Reserve.

The Evolve Bank in Kabini is located at the junction of two national parks: the Nagarhole and the Bandipur National Park. Its design and aesthetic are inspired by the local Kadu Kuruba tribe of the region and the hut-styled layout replicates a Hadis tribal village.

Not only does this resort offer, guided safaris to the forest but also cultural tours to the local tribes to give you a glimpse of their indigenous way of life.

Evolve Back Kabini Resort provides you a luxurious 5-star experience with hut-styled cottages and rooms, dip pools, an Ayurveda Spa, multiple dining restaurants, a luxurious spa, an outdoor pool and an Ayurvedic Massage Centre.   

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9. Swaswara Wellness Retreat (Gokarna, Karnataka)

 

SWASWARA

According to the Hindu spiritual tradition, the word OM is eternal sound of creation. The Om Beach (where this exotic wellness retreat is located) is one of the most pristine beaches in all of India.

The word SwaSwara means “your inner voice.” Swaswara attempts to connect you with the depth of your soul and rejuvenate your inner voice and unlock a more mindful existence for you.

SwaSwara offers a range of Yoga Asana practices, Ayurveda Therapies, yoga classes, curated therapies and meditative sessions to help transport you to a healthy and positive nurturing space of mindful living and healing.

10. Taj Madikeri Resort and Spa, (Coorg, Karnataka)

 

TAJ MADIKERI

The Taj Madikeri in the splendidly scenic hill station of Coorg is a delight. Sprawling over a 180-acre rainforest (at a height of over 1200 above sea level), it is home to 200 species of plants, trees and rare foliage, including Rudraksha trees, cardamon, wild jasmine, coffee and eucalyptus.

An excellent exhibit of local Kodagu architecture (sourced from local sustainable sources), the Taj Madikeri features sloped roofs, tall pillars and massive courtyards that give you great views of the surrounding mountains.

Modern amenities at the Taj Madikeri include a J Wellness Spa Circle (with exclusive views of the jungle), a temperature-controlled Infinity Pool, luxurious suites and rooms, 4 on-site dining restaurants, a fitness center and 24/7 room service. Other outdoor amenities include coffee-tasting tours, cookery lessons and guided nature walks.

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11. Taj Fisherman Cove Resort & Spa (Chennai, Tamil Nadu)

 

TAJ FISHERMAN

You can be sure of world-class hospitality with the Taj Group of Luxury Hotels anywhere in India.

The Taj Fisherman Cove Resort is built on the ramparts of an old 18th-century Dutch Fort on the coast of Chennai. Facing the Bay of Bengal, this magnificent resort features luxury rooms, cottages and villas— all designed and optimized to give you the ultimate beach-side luxury.

The Taj Fisherman Cove prides itself on this state-of-the-art J Wellness Circle. There are multiple dining options (featuring menus ranging from continental cuisine of Northern France and Italy to Desi Indian specialties). Other amenities include Sunburst Pool Side Bar, a Watch Tower for dining and views of the ocean.

 

12. Kaldan Samudra Palace, Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu)

 

Kalan Samundran

The Kaldan Samudra Palace is located on the Pallava Beach in Mahabalipuram. Amenities include an outdoor pool, 24/7 front desk and concierge service, a spa and wellness centre, a fitness center and several dining options.

The Mahabalipuram UNESCO World Heritage Site is located nearby. We recommend that you check out the iconic Shore Temple, the Olakkannesvara Temple and the largest open-air rock relief in the world.

Located only 37 km from the Chennai International Airport, the Kaldan Samudra Palace is a posh getaway from the frenetic activity of the city.

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13. The Tamara (Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu)

 

THE TAMARA

Kodaikanal is one of South India’s favorite hill station that ranks alongside Munnar, Wayanad, Coorg and Coonoor in terms of popularity.

This lush green gem is hidden in the Palani Hills of the Western Ghat mountains at a height of 7,000 feet (2000 meters) above sea level. Kodaikanal is famous for its thick green forests of Acacia, Shola and Cypress trees.

The Tamara in Kodaikanal is housed in a heritage establishment that was originally built in the 1840s. Known as the Baynes Bungalow, the building was constructed by the British District Judge Baynes. Later purchased by Father Louis, it served as a rest house for priests of Nagapathinam.

Today it is a state-of-the-art luxury resort that offers a five-star experience amid a landscape of lakes, cascading waterfalls, lush forests and exciting hiking trails.

 

14. Taj Bekal Resort (Bekal, Resort)

 

TAJ BEKAL

Another tremendous offering of the Taj Group of luxury hotels, the Taj in Bekal (Kerala) comprises 75 rooms and villas that are inspired by the design of the local Ketuvallam houseboats.

The Keralan backwaters of Bekal actually flow through the property and you get the quintessential backwaters experience without going too far. You will also find some Indonesian influence in the internal décor of the property.

Not only do you get the backwater experience, but the lovely Kappil beach that is adjacent to the resort gives you a best-of-both-worlds experience (beach on the one side, resort on the other).

The J Wellness Cicle at the Taj offers a whole range of Ayurveda and Western therapies offered by renowned therapists. The spa prides itself on its Alepa massage therapy that rejuvenates your body and reduces stress.

There is also so much birdwatching around: spotted sunbirds, magpies, purple heron and white-bellied sea eagles are found in these parts. You can also go fishing with the local fishermen.

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15. Marari Beach Resort, Marari Beach, (Alapuzzha, Kerala)

 

MARARI BEACH

The Marari Beach Resort is modelled after a Tamil Nadu coastal village—tidy, eco-conscious, nature-friendly and elegant. Sprawling over 30 acres of lily ponds, fruit trees, palms and coconut groves, this beach resort’s catchphrase is “the Fine Art of Being.”

So many elements of the design, hospitality and aesthetics the Marari Beach Resort are borrowed from the Malabar fisherfolk of Mararikulam and their gentle eco-conscious way of life. You stay at your very own traditional thatched cottages that is equipped with all the modern 5-star luxuries that you can imagine.

This resort has spectacular on-site biodiversity. This lush green establishment is home to 97 species of butterflies, 80 species of birds, 350 species of endemic plants, 3 species of turtles and 10 species of frogs.

If you love nature and wildlife, the Marari Beach Resort is the place to be.

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Have a Question?

Our travel consultants are always willing to help curate a trip planned for you if you are planning to visit India anytime soon. If you have any queries, then please get in touch with us.

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