Kerala's Mountains and Parks camps - Paradisa Plantation Retreat

Paradisa Plantation Retreat

Paradisa is not easy to find and the final approach is along a rough private track but that’s why when you reach it the only thing you’ll hear is the sounds of birds and chirping insects. Owner CP Simon came to this neglected 40 acre coffee plantation on terraces cut into the Cardomom Hills 37km from Periyar with the idea of creating a personal retreat. He ended up sharing it with others who are content with nothing more than enjoying peace and stunning views.

The nine cottages built in traditional Keralan style with shuttered windows, heavy wooden carved doors and terracotta-tiled roofs are dotted between the organic coffee plants and banana palms, lined by a network of stone paths and steps. The interiors are simple and authentic with whitewashed walls, dark wooden furniture and minimal fuss. Showers in the open air en-suite open on to private walled courtyards and each cottage has a veranda with recliners. The two-bedroomed 300 year old timber house, Cardamom Cottage, is perfect for families.

The open round dining room has a panoramic view of the valley – which can also be enjoyed from the rather quirky swimming pool (it’s in the shape of Simon’s wife Maria’s foot). Set menus of Keralan and Tamil cuisine offer plenty of choice and are quite delicious. To work up an appetite take a walk in the planation and learn about coffee and spices, or make the half hour hike to the top of Panchali Medu, a hill sacred to Hindus and Christians alike.

With more time available, head to Periyar Nature Reserve, have an authentic Ayurvedic massage at the nearby hospital or a play a round of golf at the local club.

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