Imagine waking up to the gentle rocking of a boat, the water languidly slapping against its side. Head for the Poovar Island Resort, 20 km from Thiruvanathapuram, where you can stay in a floating cottage, relax to an Ayurvedic massage, sample the local cuisine and indeed, sample all of Kerala in one spot.
You can walk on the sandy beaches, take a boat ride in the backwaters, feast your eyes on the abundant greenery - the resort has everything that a tourist wants.
The experience of a lifetime begins the moment your vehicle reaches the resort's jetty as the only way to reach this exquisite and tastefully decorated holiday home is via a 15- minute boat ride through the Poovar river.
For a first timer at the resort, the excitement begins even before one arrives at the resort when one spots 16 traditional Kerala-style homes spotted floating in the river, quite naturally eliciting "Oohs" and "Aahs".
The boat berths near the floating cottages and from there one reaches the resort's foyer through a walkway.
All around is the traditional Kerala-style architecture: roof tiles, the clay floor tiles and mud-plastered walls.
Also visible in the reception area is a sampling of the famed coir and handloom industry. The staff too is dressed in the traditional Kerala attire.
The resort spread over an area of 18 acres has 78 cottages which include 39 land cottages, 10 ayurveda land cottages, five superior land cottages, eight premier deluxe rooms, 12 floating cottages and four ayurveda floating cottages.
Speaking to IANS M.R. Narayanan, who co-owns the resort with his partner, Dubai-settled Keralite Kabeer Khader, said that since its opening in 2000, the partners have invested Rs 35 crore in the property.
"The ayurveda section is in a separate block and we have a herbarium for our requirements. Separate kitchens are also there. We offer numerous ayurveda packages to the tourists," said Narayanan.
Another feature of this resort is a scenic estuary a stone's throw away that is one of the most-frequented places by tourists.
The resort has its own sewage treatment plant, besides having gone green with extensively used solar power.
"Apart from the tourists, there is a huge demand for conferencing and get-togethers at the resort," added Narayanan.
* Getting there: 20 km from the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.
* Tariff: Ranges from Rs.4,500 to Rs.12,000 per night, depending on the accommodation and the season, inclusive of breakfast. (Monsoon is considered off-season.)
Ayurveda packages cost Rs.10,000 per night and are all inclusive - accommodation, all meals and ayurvedic treatment. These packages are popular throughout the year.
* Other facilities: Two multi-cuisine restaurants and one vegetarian outlet for those taking the ayurveda package.
There's also a sunken bar in the swimming pool.
(Sanu George can be contacted at email@example.com)