The Big Six: Beach retreats in Kerala

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Surf hotels, secluded beaches, whitewashed villas, untouched coastline and private plunge pools

Soul & Surf, Varkala

Soul & Surf opened in this seductive south Indian state last month. Billing itself as the region's first dedicated surf hotel, it promises the perfect getaway for those wanting to combine physical thrills with time on the beach at Varkala. Led by British couple Sofie and Ed, the team will provide daily transport to the best waves and lessons for all abilities. For non-surfers, there are plenty of other ways to relax too. Take long strolls on empty beaches, enjoy a massage or sample fresh local seafood.

Soul & Surf, Varkala (020-81235643; soulandsurf.com). Weekly stays from £185pp, including breakfast and surf lessons.

Surya Samudra, Kovalam

The perfect combination of traditional Keralan charm and modern-day comfort, Surya Samudra has 31 private cottages just minutes from a secluded beach in Kovalam. Spend lazy days enjoying ocean views from the sparkling infinity pool or enjoy a "spice massage" treatment at the Ayurvedic spa, before feasting on piquant cuisine in one of the two restaurants, Café Samsara and the cliff-top Essence, both of which have views across the Arabian Sea.

Surya Samudra, Kovalam (00 91 471 248 0413; niraamaya.in). Doubles start at INR8,095 (£81), including breakfast.

Karikkathi, Trivandrum

The scenic location where Karikkathi now stands was first discovered by owners Sajjad and Shaina on their travels across India. Today, the scene remains as picturesque as ever, with dense palms hiding a single whitewashed villa, set back from the sand. The two rooms inside can be rented individually or as a whole property. If you tire of lolling around and generally doing a lot of nothing, the bustling state capital, Trivandrum, is just half an hour's drive away and Kovalam is even closer.

Karikkathi, Trivandrum (00 91 471 272 0238; karikkathibeachhouse.com). Doubles start at €90, full board.

Neeleshwar Hermitage, Kasaragod

Neeleshwar Hermitage offers the best of both worlds, with 16 cottages pitched just seconds away from the untouched coastline and close proximity to Kerala's exotic backwaters – a series of interconnected lagoons and lakes that run parallel to the coast. Guests can enjoy breakfast on the beach and then embark on a cruise aboard a beautiful houseboat. Bikes and guided tours are also on hand.

Neeleshwar Hermitage, Kasaragod (00 91 467 228 7510; neeleshwarhermitage.com). Doubles start at INR12,810 (£129), including breakfast.

Marari Villas, Marari

This collection of three serviced villas offers a home from home on a secluded beach mid-way up the Keralan coast. Ranging in size from one bedroom to three, there's a villa to suit most people. The two family cottages, Orchid and Hibiscus, each have a private pool within their walled gardens, while the larger Palm Villa opens straight on to the beach. A chef provides meals on request, but guests are also free to enjoy their own personal slice of heaven undisturbed.

Marari Villas, Marari (00 91 99 47 948707; mararivillas.com). Doubles start at INR7,500 (£76), with breakfast.

Vivanta by Taj, Bekal

This Vivanta hotel by the Taj group allows guests to experience the best of the beach and the backwaters as the two converge on the resort's grounds. There are 71 luxury rooms, some of which feature a private plunge pool and the resort is just seconds from Kappil Beach on the lesser-known north coast. Kayaking, fishing and trekking are offered during the day; a dinner of regional Keralan cuisine at the Latitude restaurant or laxed barbecue beside the pool await at night.

Vivanta by Taj, Bekal (00 91 467 661 6612; vivantabytaj.com). Doubles start at INR7,500 (£75), room only.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz