Need to know
14, including nine suites.
Noon, as is check-in (both are flexible, subject to availability). Guests arriving early or leaving late can still enjoy the hotel’s restaurant, spa and swimming pools.
Double rooms from $206.37 (€190), excluding tax at 21 per cent.
Rates usually include breakfast, on-loan bicycles and WiFi.
Yogis, you’re in luck: the hotel runs seasonal yoga retreats (dates vary annually). Malabar Escapes: Purity has a soft spot for local art, displaying work by Abdul Kalam, a photographer-turned-artist.
At the hotel
Gorgeous grounds; lakefront pavilion; resident health guru; communal kitchen for cookery classes; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, option to play DVDs, air-conditioning, minibar. All rooms have a lake-spying terrace or veranda.
Our favourite rooms
We love the relaxing, romantic Vembanad Suites, which even have their own massage room. Since all rooms come with a private terrace or balcony overlooking the hotel’s star attraction – that peaceful lake – you can’t really go wrong…
There are two to choose from, both set in the peaceful grounds: one is for adults only, one is for families (and both are utterly lovely).
Malabar’s spa taps into rich Keralan healing traditions, offering indulgent ayurvedic treatments in a choice of two treatment rooms (one kitted out for couples). If you want to really rejuvenate and reboot, sign up for one of the three spa packages: detox, destress and beautify, which range from three to 14 days in length. Malabar also has an in-house doctor, on hand to discuss health and nutrition.
Bring a book or two to curl up with in the peaceful lobby area, which is restfully decorated with art and antiques.
Communal areas have ramp access for wheelchair-users; there are also dedicated disabled-access bedrooms, with modified bathrooms.
Little Smiths are welcome, but the hotel reckons it’s best for over-6s and teens. Waterbabies will love the family-friendly outdoor swimming pool, which is supervised by an attendant.
Malabar Escapes: Purity uses solar power, sustainable light bulbs and earth-kind bath products. The restaurant relies on seasonal produce and as much as possible is recycled. Guests can get here by train or battery-powered tuk-tuk (yes, really).