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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Spice Village: Eden found in Thekkady

It’s like swimming in bottled water, the pool water is that pure …

By Harikrishnan R
General Manager at Spice Village

The architectural design revolves around traditional tribal huts. They’re thatched with elephant grass, a clever way of regulating the temperature like natural air-conditioning. You feel like you’re living in a forest, it’s completely green. In the morning you’ll welcome the chirping of birds like that of the Malabar grey hornbill and the white-bellied treepie especially prevalent in the summertime.

We’re all about the environment and looking after the community. Our naturalist guides can help you get a sense of this ethos on a guided tour around the property of our recycled paper making centres, our very own biogas plant and zero waste management system. Even our swimming pool is completely chemical free. I can confidently say you’re swimming in bottled water, it’s that pure.

One of the hotel’s unique aspects is its close proximity to the Periyar Tiger Reserve where you can embark on all sorts of naturalist-led activities like forest walks, bamboo river rafting and even night trekking. We pride ourselves on community based ecotourism and have even converted ex poachers from local tribes into qualified guides, investing time and money into their training so they’re equipped to protect the habitat. Their knowledge is essential when wildlife spotting and watching footage from strategically placed camera traps.

We have around 120 bird species, most of which are migrating. Then mammals like Malabar giant squirrels as well as Nilgiri langur and the bonnet macaque, two types of monkeys that pass through the property. However in my opinion the elephants make for the best nature spotting and are frequently sighted in the park. They’ve become more famous than the tigers here. I’ve had some really close encounters with them, memories that will stay with me forever.

Our organic farm grows all sorts of vegetables such as carrots, celery, beetroot and pumpkins. Our cuisine focuses on the area’s various spices like cardamom, cinnamon and dry ginger. One of our restaurants, The 50-mile Diet only uses ingredients within a 50-mile radius such as goat and buffalo. Instead of sugar, we use jaggery and replace rice with millet that’s locally grown. Dishes include spiced quail and cardamom chicken curry and a huge range of talis, a signature regional dish.

When you want to completely unwind, we have an old-fashioned bar, including a 100-year-old billiards table helmed by Francis, our activity co-ordinator. He’s not just any ordinary member of staff. People phone us up to make sure he’s there before they book their visit specially so they can play with him. He’s that good.

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Alfred & Harikrishnan R

Harikrishnan has worked with CGH Earth for the past 11 years. His experience spans a number of luxury hotels including TAJ Group, The Park and Kumarakom Lake Resort. He started his journey with CGH as the Food and Beverage Manager at Marari Beach Resort and soon excelled into the position of General Manager that he holds today at Spice Village. Harikrishnan prides himself on creating a positive work environment and programs vital to the company’s culture.