Kerala – Part Two – Munnar

After a morning exploring Fort Kochi we hopped in the car for the five hour drive up into the hills of Munnar to our next home. Five hours sounds like a lot but when you’re winding your way up and around endless hilltops carpeted by emerald green tea plantations with incredible valley after incredible valley to gawp at, it really does fly by.

If you want to explore Kerala, you’ll need to prepare yourself for a lot of time in the car. The only way to get around is on the roads and it’s slow going. The roads are narrow, bendy and packed with crazy drivers. Unless you have a death wish, this is certainly a place to leave your driving licence at home and hire a professional driver.

Perched at the highest peak of Kerala, Munnar and its undulating hills were the highlight of our trip and we couldn’t have found a more beautiful place to explore it from than Spice Tree Munnar. A boutique hotel built into the side of a mountain, overlooking the most spectacular valley, it really was something special.

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Crossing the wooden footbridge, welcomed by huge smiles and chilled pomegranate juice, we knew we were in for a treat. Throughout our stay, no request was too much.

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Like the rest of Kerala, the grounds of the hotel were bursting with colour. Tropical flowers spill out of every corner.

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We were staying in one of the pool villas. Set away from the rest of the hotel, you feel like there’s no-one else around for miles. And they’re pretty lovely inside too…

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There’s a bath with a view…

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Your own personal slice of heaven…

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And of course, the private infinity pool to enjoy…

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Dinners at Spice Tree Munnar are also something else…

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A candlelit hut in the grounds of the hotel…

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Where we feasted on the most delicious papaya salad, okra fries, fish curry and fresh naan bread…

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All of which we learnt how to make in a cookery course in the kitchens the next day.

Our private terrace sat right above the valley. We watched the sun rise every morning whilst herds of wild elephants made their way through the forest just beneath us.

 

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Followed by breakfasts of fresh fruit, stuffed japattis and coconut chutneys.

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One morning we joined the morning walk through the cardamon plantations.

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Met some of the charming locals…

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And learnt all about the harvesting of the cardamon pods.

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Passing through the forest, hiding multi-coloured dream houses…

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I settled on the pink one, of course…

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Up to the top of the world.

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In the afternoons the hotel hosts tea tastings in its coffee shop “BC 300″…

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Alongside freshly baked banana fritters, the most delicious crumbly shortbread and piles of muffins…

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Afternoons were whiled away sprawled out in the library, alternating between the pages of our books and dips in yet another hidden infinity pool…

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Spice Tree is one of those magical places that leaves a permanent imprint in your mind. No trip to Kerala would be complete without it. Go and let me know if you feel it too…

Posted by

London-based foodie with a shopping addiction, a love for swanky interiors and an obsession with white sandy beaches.

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