Need to know
Midday, later check-out is subject to availability.
Double rooms from $69.60 (€60), excluding tax at 28 per cent.
Rates include Continental or South Indian breakfast.
Mountain bikes are available to borrow for exploring the tropical surroundings. If cycling’s too run-of-the-mill, you can take an excursion by bullock-cart or spend a day, feeding, riding and washing the tame jumbo.
At the hotel
Ayurvedic spa, gym, badminton court, TV room with DVD selection, elephant. All rooms have verandas and fans; one has air-con.
Our favourite rooms
All Serenity’s rooms are similarly decorated in soft rosy tones and all boast spacious double-doored verandahs looking out of the plantation surroundings, The two rooms on the ground floor have polished stone floors; upstairs rooms are carpeted in coarse coir fibre. One of the doubles has a glamorous wooden four-poster, but ask for the room with the mirror at the head of the bed (not for any salacious reasons, of course – we just love the stone tracery that lends it an ecclesiastical air).
Extending into the greenery from the communal, lounger-lined terrace, Serenity’s pool seems like a natural waterhole – at least, that’s how the local birdlife treats it.
Sugar cubes for feeding Lakshmi, Serenity’s resident elephant. Thanks to its hilltop setting, mosquitoes aren’t the pesky nip-dealers they can be elsewhere in Kerala, but the hotel keeps repellent on hand regardless.
Smoking allowed throughout. Reservations between 20 December and 10 January cannot be modified or cancelled.
Under-fives can stay free. Babysitting can be arranged with prior notice. Extra beds cost $30 a night.
Serenity makes use of hydroelectric power, recycles where possible, and cleans with organic detergents.