Need to know
10am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 1pm.
Double rooms from $196.54 (INR12,500), excluding tax at 28 per cent.
Rates usually include breakfast: pick from Continental, Indian or a mixture of the two (plus stellar coffee, grown onsite and freshly ground). If you’re here between December and March, enjoy free morning yoga sessions.
In another life, Rajakkad went by the name of Pallam Palace: its ornate 18th-century structure has been twice dismantled, twice transported and twice reassembled. The fact that it’s still standing today is testament to the team behind it.
The hotel usually closes for a few weeks in August or September, taking its cue from the weather (dates vary annually and are announced nearer the time).
At the hotel
Gorgeous gardens; marble yoga platform with mountain views; farm; tranquil rain pavilion; library stocked with historical, architectural and botanical books pertaining to India; free WiFi in communal areas. In rooms: organic bath products; sliding doors that open onto the shared gardens.
Our favourite rooms
Unsurprisingly, given that the building was originally used by South Indian royalty, there are no dud options. We love Kattaikadu for its rose-garden views and plumptious bed; Kanalkadu for its lush lawn and wild fig tree. Each of the rooms has direct access to the garden via sliding doors.
Bring binoculars for the birdlife and comfy togs for yoga (Rajakkad has a resident yoga guru and runs yoga retreats between mid December and mid March). A thirst for coffee and a fondness for pepper will come in handy.
Embrace the wibbly WiFi and use it as an excuse to switch off, if only for a few days.
This hotel is designed for adults. Little Smiths aged between 10 and 15 can come too, but only between October and late March. Pipe up in advance if you’d like an extra bed (there’s space for one in every room).
The hotel occupies a 40-acre organic coffee-and-pepper plantation, meaning most of its fruit, veg and herbs are grown onsite. Dairy comes from Rajakkad’s farm (minus cheese, which is made locally).