The state of Kerala in South India is also known as “God’s Own Country.” It’s quite a claim, but once you experience a few days exploring the magnificent scenery around the backwaters, it’s easy to see where the name comes from.
Just about anyone who visits the area will no doubt make their way to the backwaters. It is, after all, the top attraction in Kerala. It’s only with the luxurious experience of Lakes & Lagoons houseboat tours that I truly understood just how heavenly a couple of nights of total privacy and isolation really can be.
I was simply enthralled by the traditional kottallum styled Lakes & Lagoons’ houseboats, all 21 are in excellent condition with 4-star quality amenities. Small welcome gifts, including fresh fruit baskets and freshly baked cookies from a popular local bakery, made my stay all the more personal and enjoyable.
Each private houseboat comes staffed with a captain, a cook, and a deckhand. At least one will speak English rather fluently, though I found all three could hold a conversation with me. They are professionally trained to be as unobtrusive as possible to give you your privacy, but they were more than happy to get to know me and share about themselves as well. All Lakes & Lagoons staff are from the region so they know the area and are eager to point out landmarks, wildlife, and share stories of village life, which I thought was a special treat.
All meals are served on the houseboat and it was positively delicious! I must tip my hat to the chef for preparing varied and plentiful meals that featured heavily on fresh and tasty regional specialties. The chef was careful to take in my individual tastes, catering meals to my needs and preferences (I can’t eat too much spice or else my ulcers act up). The chef was also great at making sure that I never went hungry by supplying me with snacks, tea, and coffee throughout the day. My favorite was the toasted cashews served just before dinner. Yum!
For two wonderful days, I drifted along the backwaters, watching the picturesque scenery unfold around me. Without the distraction of the internet, I thought I would eventually get bored of sitting on a houseboat. On the contrary! I was able to slow down and simply marvel at the natural beauty of the backwaters. Even during the afternoon post-lunch lull, I fought to stay awake to continue watching the scenery and wave hello to everyone around me. It was certainly a refreshing, and welcome, pace of life. At the end of my two days, I didn’t want to leave.
Lakes & Lagoons is Kerala’s longest-running, and only ISO 9001-2008 certified houseboat tour operator for the backwaters. In operation for more than 16 years, Lakes & Lagoons has gained a solid reputation as the premier luxury option in Kerala and continues to set the industry standards, such as utilizing solar energy for electricity and proper waste collection and disposal at treatment plants. The company has also started awareness training to teach staff members and local villagers how to minimize their environmental impact to the backwaters, something essential in litter-happy India.
My days on the Kerala backwaters with Lakes & Lagoons were a dream, one that I can see myself returning to again and again to share this little piece of heaven with friends and family. In the high-tech, high-speed world we live in, it’s truly a blessing to be able to get away from it all. Even if it’s just for a couple of days.
For more information on the backwaters of Kerala and to book your very own private houseboat tour, please visit the Lakes & Lagoons website.
To see more images from the Lakes and Lagoons tour I took, please visit my Facebook photo album.
*Disclaimer: My tour with Lakes & Lagoons was sponsored by the company, but all opinions are an accurate and honest view on my experience there.