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Kalari Kovilakom

Kerala & South India

Rating: Deluxe    

Kalari Kovilakom overview

Kalari Kovilakom is a 19th century royal palace in the Annamali Hills in Kerala which has been restored to provide a unique experience in well being. Combining the healing experience of India's ancient medicinal system, Ayurveda, with the sumptuousness of palace living, Kovilakom gives a chance to start your life anew. Ayurveda, if correctly followed, promises not only a new body and mind but a deep connection with the spirit sometimes referred to as second birth.

Kalari Kovilakom offers 14, 21 and 28 day programmes. There are large private treatment rooms where guests undergo massages; other thearpies include steam treatments, flower baths, beauty treatments, herbal treatments and diet. This is an all- encompassing experience. Treatments are personalised to suit each individual guest, so no two treatments are identical. Therapies are delivered by expert therapists and the programmes are overseen by qualified Ayurvedic physicians.

Apart from the treatments, guests can practise yoga, take meditative walks in the grounds with their herbal gardens and fruit trees and enjoy healthy, restorative food. Nutrition is very much a part of the overall treatment, which regards food as medicine, with life enhancing properties. In line with traditions of the Palace, there are talks and cultural performances where guests and staff come together. There is also the opportunity for guests to watch and take part in Kalari Payattu, the traditional Keralan martial art.

Accommodation includes 18 Heritage Suites at Kalari - the Old Guest Wing has colonial-style rooms while the Palace Wing is in traditional Keralan style.


Open: Kalari Kovilakom is open all year.

Location: Kalari Kovilakom is in the town of Kollengode in the Annamalai foothills in the southern state of Kerala. The nearest international airport is Cochin, about a 2.5 hour drive away. The nearest railway station is Palghat, an hour's drive away.

Rooms: There are 18 suites across 2 wings. The Old Guest Wing has 1920s colonial-style rooms and the Palace Wing has traditional Kerala architecture. Modern comforts such as air conditioning and luxury bath fittings have been incorporated to enhance guest's comfort. There is 24-hour room service.

Activities: Known as ˜the palace of Ayurveda', Kalari Kovilakom offers a comprehensive range of therapeutic programmes and experiences, including massage, sauna, steam treatments, flower baths and personalised diets. Other services include anti-ageing programmes, beauty and skin treatments, ant-stress therapies, rejuvenation treatments, weight reduction programmes, personalised yoga and demonstrations of Kerala's traditional martial art, Kalaripayattu. A minimum stay of 2 weeks is recommended to gain the full benefit of the treatments on offer. Due to the nature of treatment offered, there is no TV, no swimming pool and guests are required not to use their mobile phones. On arrival guests are given a supply of Indian cotton kurta pyjamas to wear during their stay and a pair of flip flops (no leather shoes are allowed).

Facilities: Kalari Kovilakom has several Ayurveda treatment rooms, an Ayurvedic beauty therapy centre and a yoga, meditation and chanting hall. The hotel serves Ayurvedic vegetarian food in a large, light and airy dining room. No caffeine or alcohol is served here. Each guest's food is based on their own therapies, constitution and treatments. There is a well-stocked library, spaces for music and cultural performances and extensive gardens with fruit trees, vines, herbs, ponds and temples. The reception is staffed 24 hours a day.

Dining: Meals are taken communally.

Children: Kalari Kovilakom is not suitable for children.

Health: We recommend malaria prophylactics for travel to India.

Communication: There is broadband internet access in the business centre. Guests can use their mobile phones only in their own rooms.

Notes: Kalari Kovilakom offers an austere Ayurvedic regime, which is not suitable for everyone. Guests need to adhere to the treatments offered and are not permitted to leave the hotel grounds for the duration of their stay.

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