Malabar Escapes: Privacy and Discovery
- Style Boutique B&B with boat
- Setting Rustic Alleppey lakelands
A three-bedroom bed and breakfast on the verdant backwaters outside Fort Cochin, hotel Malabar Escapes: Privacy and Discovery is lapped by the waters of Lake Vembanad. The countryside cottage offers rustically modern rooms, but take the hotel’s barge, Discovery, on an overnight cruise and you’ll sip cocktails and drift around tranquil waters under the care of the boat’s hospitable crew.
Need to know
- Rooms Four, spread over two bungalows and the one-bed Discovery houseboat.
- Rates Double rooms from $520.81 (€380), excluding tax at 19.92 per cent.
- More details Rates include Continental or South Indian breakfast (all meals on Discovery).
- Facilities Privacy: small boat for exploring the lake; the Waterfront Bungalow has air-con. In rooms: private terraces, home-made organic toiletries. Discovery has air-con and a sun deck.
- Poolside Surrounded by springy green lawns and palm trees, Privacy’s hotel pool is a long slate-blue rectangle, with stripy sun loungers and parasols to hand.
- Check–out Midday – but later check-out may be possible, subject to availability. Discovery docks at 10am.
Children All ages are welcome, with a maximum of one child a room. Under-fives stay free; extra beds for older kids are €30. Babysitting can be arranged.
- Eco‐friendly Discovery is non-polluting and has a noiseless electric motor. Privacy makes use of hydroelectric power, recycles where possible, and cleans with organic detergents.
- Also Smoking allowed throughout. You can get to Privacy via a speedboat transfer all the way from the Malabar House. Ayurvedic massages are available.
In the know
- Our favourite rooms Discovery has one bedroom, together with a large living room and bathroom area below deck. Privacy is composed of two bungalows. Opening out onto the lake, the Waterfront’s the Smith favourite (largely down to its air-conditioning and views from the shore), but the truth is that you feel as though you have the place to yourself no matter which of the hotel’s trio of art and artefact-filled rooms you’re in.
- Packing tips A copy of Salim Ali’s Birds of Kerala to help you identify the technicolour flying life of the backwaters by day; a map of the constellations so you know what you’re pointing at come nightfall.
- Also Discovery offers backwater cruise packages of one or three days. If you don’t fancy messing about on the water, the hotel has a fleet of mountain bikes for countryside jaunts, and organises visits to the nearby coir factories.
Food and drink at Malabar Escapes: Privacy and Discovery
- Hotel restaurant Cuisine is based on the seafood-leaning, Mediterranean-tinged menu of the Malabar house in Cochin, and you can tuck into tuna steaks or Keralan thali wherever you choose.
- Dress code Anything goes around here – and chances are there’ll be no one around to notice, so go for and airy, relaxed look.
- Top table On Discovery, take to the top deck and dine by candlelight with views of Lake Vembanad; in Privacy, have dinner on your verandah.
- Last orders Dinner is on offer until around 10.30pm at Privacy – there are no fixed mealtimes aboard Discovery.
- Room service Drinks and snacks are available from 7am until 11pm, and all meals can be served where you wish.
- Hotel bar There’s no bar as such, but there are always staff on hand to fix you a drink when and where you like.