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Purity – Lake Vembednad, Alleppey

A serene and romantic waterfront retreat on the western shore of Lake Vembanad. Florentine architect Maria Angela Fernhof built this Indo-Italianate villa with a waterfront garden back in 2003. All sun-washed white stucco and red terracotta, it was a real labour of love, bringing together bits of vintage Rajasthani palaces, antiques, temple carvings and a dash of Cochin’s colonial cool, to create a wonderful patchwork atmosphere where India, tranquility and Europe meet.

Since then the villa has been extended and refurbished by the Malabar Escapes collection who renamed it Purity. Stepping inside, after negotiating the bumpy track leading up to the hotel, you’ll be showered with attention by an ever-willing team of staff. Round, stepping-stone plinths lead you across the courtyard fishpond, on through the drawing room/art gallery – it showcases unique antiques and interpretations of modern India – to 14 bedrooms and suites. These horseshoe round an idyllic lakeside garden where you’ll find a waterfront pavilion for arrival and departure by boat, a stunning pool, as well as an Ayurvedic spa and yoga space.

 Every inch of the garden is beautifully manicured whilst the décor promotes a healing sense of calm with clean lines and fuss-free furnishings. Laze and gaze, chill and thrill to the blissful serenity of this magical corner of Kerala.

Purity at Lake Vembanad is located only 70 km from Cochin International airport and 8 km from the Alleppey railway station (on the mainline route between Trivandrum and Mumbai).

  • Dreamy views across the lake to Kumarakom; watch out for kingfishers, cormorants, eagles and otters. And take a shikara ride across to the northern shore to the enchanting canals and lagoons of the Vembanad backwaters.
  • Lazing on sunbeds by the pool and beneath the palm trees in the garden.
  • Candlelit meals by the lake edge; wonderfully romantic, and the traditional Keralan food is good.
  • Staff really knows the area well and are happy to help or organise activities – boat trips, backwater cruises, temple tours and day trips to Fort Cochin or Alleppey.