Experiences - It began as we stepped onto a boat and started traversing the backwaters of Kerala in Southern India. This was a new part of India, much unlike I had known... As we approached the entrance, the gate was raised and we floated through a lagoon, navigated with a only long reed, eventually stopping on the dock at reception. With a welcome song, cocktail and blessing, I felt as though this was the India I wanted, but didn't know still existed. I was escorted to my suite which had an over-sized living area for my needs, but perfect for a family or longer stay. My bed was adorned with petals, leaves and towels that were in the shapes of an alligator, flowers and bird, clearly more than 100 pieces artistically placed as a gracious welcome. I walked over to the back sliding door and expected a small patio and was shocked to find a large plunge pool, outdoor shower, and deck overlooking the marsh. Luckily enough there was a thunder storm (no rain, just thunder and lightning) and as I sat in the rocking chair I watched the sky light up with a beautiful shade of purple every few seconds.  Having been on the West Coast of the US for so long, I had forgotten the feeling of such electricity in the sky. After a few hours of relaxation in my private pool, I forced myself to fall asleep, knowing the next day would be filled with adventure. I awoke and had an appointment with the Ayurvedic doctor who determined the specific massage I should receive. I, then, departed on a day boat to cruise the backwater canals observing local life and enjoying a delicious lunch. Upon returning, Shandama, an elderly woman of the community canoes daily to the Coconut Lagoon canals to serve tea and biscuits to guests. The property offers so many experiences and activities like coconut husking lessons, watching a Kalari match, spending time in the butterfly garden, tabla teaching, and nightly performances from locals. You can also walk throughout the secluded property (or venture into the nearby village) and discover how they are sustainable and learn about local traditions and customs. There are a couple dining options and thinking about the BBQ prawns here, makes my mouth water even months later (I ordered a second serving immediately). The entire community supports and is supported by this amazing eco-friendly and sustainable property. The morning I left happened to be Kerala Day, a celebration and I was humbled in the experience in planting a coconut tree with the staff at this unforgettable property and brand. It's the backwaters of India, the simple life, filled with experiences, heart and culture. 

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