Ramada Alleppey is a hotel with a resort-like ambience, so you get your swimming pool, luxury Ayurvedic spa, stunning backwater views and leisure games at the price of a five star business hotel (upwards of Rs 5000 per night). We spent two nights here last month, where the days were windy and cloudy and yet, the Rain Gods spared us their unfettered wrath. It was the perfect weather to lie back and enjoy the gentle rhythm of the backwaters on a wooden houseboat. Of course, we did a lot more than that but this post is dedicated to the splendours of Alleppey or Alappuzha and the various ways in which Ramada Alleppey helped us soak in the joys of God’s own country better.
We divided our time in Alleppey between the hotel, the backwaters and the city itself. The top three highlights of our stay at Ramada Alleppey would be the outstanding food, the wonderful spa and proximity to the Punnamada backwaters. Ankita even shed her shyness to sing in public after a long time during the karaoke night at the poolside shack. There’s also a swimming pool and a few outdoor games at the hotel (again reinforcing the resort-like ambiance) but we remained immersed in the natural pool of paradise beyond the banks. The staff is ever-gracious and makes you feel at home.
The manager of the hotel told us that around 60 rooms at Ramada Alleppey are reserved for Club Mahindra members, which is around half of the total accommodation. With three banquet facilities that can accommodate a floating crowd of 1200, the hotel is a great choice for events and weddings as well.
Experiencing the backwaters
The beauty of the backwaters is best expressed in verse:
We swish by at a serene pace
No wish to win any godforsaken race
The birds, the breeze and the sky are ours
And the water that quivers with banana leaves and fallen flowers
The clouds gather as the day matures
Whispers of an impeding storm reach these windy shores
Now we’ve left the trees behind and we’re in no man’s land
So it’s time to depart from this expanse so grand.
From 1 to 4 PM, the hotel also operates a ‘lunch on cruise’ that anyone can sign up for. In the near future, shikaras (long narrow boats that can go into narrow inlets and canals, unlike the larger houseboats) will also be available for use. We didn’t try the jet skis and speed boats but you definitely should!
Food and drinks
World in the Pot, as the name indicates, is a multi-cuisine restaurant attached to their Chinese restaurant China Town. We tried both local Kerala cuisine and Chinese dishes on various occasions and came away highly satiated. Funnily enough, the ground floor bar Pegs n Pints was deemed to be too unsafe for us due to the predominantly male, and on rare occasions, unruly crowd. It’s priced more attractively than the swankier roof-top bar, Venice, which also happens to offer stunning views of the entire coastline. The design and vantage point of the outdoor terrace surrounding the bar makes it the perfect spot to watch the annual boat races (the Nehru Trophy race begins on 12th August, so maybe you should pick up the phone and book your spot right now!).
Abhyangam treatment at the spa
The four-year old Essence Spa at Ramada Alleppey is probably the best the town has to offer. We both chose the full-body Ayurvedic massage, called Abhyangam, on the advice of Dr. Shiny. Our therapists Diana and Arun used neela bhringadi oil for the head massage, dhanvataram oil for the body and the highly celebrated kumkumadi tailam oil for our faces. No part of our body was left out during the wonderful 90 minute massage (including shower time). The advantage of Ayurvedic massages is that they employ powerful oils and herbs, whose effects often last much beyond the therapy room. Currently, the rooms are separate for men and women but Dr. Shiny told us that they are planning to build a couple spa room. The seasonal karkidaka treatment routine is also an excellent option for those seeking relief from monsoon maladies.
We’d definitely recommend Ramada Alleppey for a complete experience of Alleppey and its backwaters. And while we’re working on another post where we tell you about other attractions in the city, why don’t you take a look at this (Alleppey will be celebrating the 65th year of boat races in 2017):
Ramada Alleppey is a part of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and you could get a free stay there if you join their Rewards Loyalty Programme.
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