Barely a half hour’s drive separates this beautiful boutique retreat in the Keralan backwaters from the hustle and bustle of Kochi-Ernakulam, the state’s largest city, but it feels lost in its own tranquil time warp. We love the suave fusion architecture, blending traditional South India stone, clay and wood with clean modern lines. But it’s the waterfront location, on a secluded island, that makes the property really special. After a day’s sightseeing in the heat of Fort Cochin, you can escape back here and put your feet up on the verandah as fishermen paddle past in their dugouts, and the crows flap lazily between the palm leaves overhead. At night, the place looks positively magical, with its pool shimmering beneath floodlit tropical trees. Bicycles are on hand for leisurely peddles around the nearby lagoons, farmsteads and paddy fields after breakfast, or you charter your own boat for a tour of this fascinating rural area. Only 45 mins on a clear road from the airport, Baymaa’s can serve as a soft landing pad on your first day, or a springboard for sightseeing trips to Fort Cochin and its historic harbour.
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