Plan your personalized
itinerary with our concierge
To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
*Total price provided for information only, based on accommodation for two people in a double room for the number of nights per property as indicated on this page, exclusive of recommended activities, properties that cannot be reserved online and restaurants.
Restaurant and hotel on the seafront. Tucked away in the South Indian state of Kerala, Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudra overlooks the Arabian Sea. Its cottages, nestled amongst the coconut trees and caressed by the sea breeze, offer the best in Keralian Heritage architecture. A path wends its way to the ‘Chandra’ beach – an idyllic beach with intensely private vibes. Ayurvedic massages and Thai relaxation therapies take you on exhilarating sensory journeys, while Yoga sessions on a platform at the cliff’s edge make for an absolutely enlivening experience. In the restaurants, bold flavours compete with stunning views – the chef’s Indian cuisine is a masterly blend of the most delicate of herbs with the warmth of spices. ... Learn moreless
Built in the 19th Century, the Napier museum is a strange architectural mix with influences from Kerala, China and Italy. Known for its incredible carnivalesque décor, the museum offers visitors a beautiful collection of archaeological objects, bronzes and other Buddhist sculptures. Nearby, the Thiruvananthapuram Zoo is also worth a visit.
This splendid palace evokes the past splendour of Travancore, the old capital of the realm. All in worked wood, decorated with sculpted ceilings and painted murals, the palace is fully surrounded by a magnificent outer wall of teak and granite. Each staircase, each room, evokes with nostalgia and refinement the prestigious maharajas of the past. Here, the patina enhances the wood and the history of Kerala itself…
Hotel and restaurant on a big lake. Overlooking Lake Vembanad with its palm-fringed shores, the Purity offers many authentic experiences including yoga and Ayurveda. The bright and spacious rooms with their handcrafted contemporary yet vernacular design stage a dialogue between the past and the present, showcased by a curated collection of regional art and antiques. Morning yoga sessions provide a gentle introduction to the day. Then you can go to the lake-side pool, indulge in an Ayurvedic massage treatment, discover the surroundings by boat, bicycle or tuk-tuk, attend a cooking class and enjoy the sunset over a canoe ride on the lake. The Purity kitchen serves creative cuisine with authentic Keralan flavours. ... Learn moreless
Travelling to Kerala means first and foremost sailing on its canals through luxurious vegetation. This network of almost 900km between lakes, lagoons and rivers allows you to go deep into the land itself. We sail slowly, so slowly, from one village to another between the delicious perfumes of copra and cashew nut. If all roads lead to Rome, all the canals of Kerala seem to lead to Alleppey. Purity has its own houseboat, discovery, operating from the resort and exploring the backwaters. An unusual looking Kerala houseboat, with the hull of a wooden rice barge and a contemporary tropical superstructure hosting an air conditioned suite.
On the second Saturday in August, every year since 1952, the whole population of Alleppey and its environs meets around the Punnamada lake to the north east of the town to challenge each other in a unique race: 16 snake-like boats, almost 45 metres long, carrying around 100 rowers, speed by as fast as they can in a frenetic race over 1,400m. Each of the boats represents one of the villages of the Kuttanad region…
Hotel and restaurant in town. The Malabar House is more than a beautifully designed heritage hotel. It is an art hotel, home of a carefully curated collection, highlighting Kerala’s composite culture as a passage between East and West. The rooms are comfortable and the service is flawless. Malabar Junction, the hotel’s renowned restaurant and Divine, its wine lounge, combine the tradition of South India with exciting culinary innovation. Enjoy classical music or a dance performance on the patio’s stage, rejuvenate body and soul at the ayurvedic centre, step into the history and culture of Fort Cochin, and explore Kerala’s backwaters on the hotel’s own eco-friendly house boat. ... Learn moreless
A sort of ballet takes place every day along the banks of Fort Cochin. At high tide, each Chinese fishing net, 10m high, needs four men to act as counterweights. This fishing technique, all along the coast of the Sea of Oman, dates back to the merchants of the court of Kublai Khan, at the turn of the 15th Century. Today it enthrals those who love photography as well as fish…
Kerala’s typical theatrical art, Kathakali, means ‘play telling a story’. Inspired by the epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana, its plays only depict male characters. In Kochi, different sites including the Kerala Kathakali Centre offer short versions where you can watch the actors putting on their makeup beforehand. A magical start to the performance…
Hotel and restaurant in town. Get ready to embark on a beautiful journey as you cross the threshold of this centuryold house, which has been remarkably restored by its owner, architect and designer. Each room is unique, and the building abounds with little nooks, verandahs and patios for moments of solitude or conviviality, depending on your desires. Throughout the hotel, objects and artwork illustrate Tamil Nadu’s rich culture, inspiring you to discover more. Cooking classes, yoga sessions, introductory courses to Vedic chants and demonstrations of local dances are among the activities that offer you the chance to delve deeper into this area’s heritage. The experience continues with the meals that feature artistically presented vegetarian Tamil cuisine. ... Learn moreless
Ideally situated between the Grand Anicut canal and the old town, the Brihadishwara Temple is one of the most imposing in the south of India and an UNESCO world heritage site. It recalls the incredible power and riches of the Chola dynasty (850-1270). It also bears witness to its infinite refinement. Built in 1010, the temple is still impressive with its monolithic cupula, the 250 lingams gathered in its outer walls and its sanctuary tower, 13 stories tall.
Less often visited than the Brihadishwara Temple, the Chola temples near Kumbakonam are (almost) as spectacular. Both dedicated to Shiva, the temples of Airavatesvara in the village of Darasuram and the Gangaikondacholapuramtemple are famed for the splendour of their pyramidal towers and the delicateness of the motifs sculpted into their stone.
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Rated as one of the finest yoga retreats in the world, Shreyas is dedicated to self-discovery and rejuvenation. Shreyas is a seamless blend of the modern and the timeless, sumptuousness and simplicity, indulgence and enlightenment where guests can practice yoga in luxurious and elegant surroundings. The small number of rooms preserves the intimacy and serenity of this large refuge. Guests can delve into ancient Indian texts, meditation techniques and ayurveda. Also on offer are revitalising massages, organic farming, cultural tours and community service. The cuisine is vegetarian and there is a no alcohol policy. A haven of peace for the perfect balance of body, mind and soul. ... Learn moreless
Known as the ‘red garden’, these botanical gardens were created in 1760 by Haider Ali, the Sultan of Mysore. Over a total area of almost 100 hectares, it offers one of the largest collections of tropical plants in the country. The walk around the two lakes and the greenhouse, the famous Glass House, is still appreciated by locals and tourists who wish to escape the frenzy of the town.
An oasis of greenery, Shreyas is an ideal place to practise Yoga. Traditional classes based on traditional Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga are given by experienced teachers. Classes are adapted to the level of the students, the teaching divided between various practices: Pranayama (understanding and regulation of our breathing), Pratyahara and Dharana (concentration) or Dhyana (meditation).
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. Nestled in a quiet corner of Dolphin Bay in Goa, the Ahiliya by the Sea hotel feels like a family home, its stylish and understated interiors accessorised with decorative objects sourced from around the world to take you on a voyage of discovery. Coconut trees, frangipani and brightly coloured flowers provide the backdrop for the refined Portuguese colonial architecture. The Holkar royal family that owns the property manages this hospitality enterprise with enthusiasm, aiming to ensure everyone’s experience of this oasis of beauty is simultaneously unique and unforgettable. ... Learn moreless
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an indisputable pilgrimage destination. Dating back to the 16th century, Bom Jesus of Goa church is a prime example of religious Baroque architecture in Portuguese India and proof that the Jesuits were here in the 1500s. Since the 17th century, it has held the remains of St. Francis Xavier in an ornate silver shrine.
The first things you notice are the brightly colored houses whose architecture is like an eyewitness to the area’s history. This part of Goa was colonized by the Portuguese and home to a handful of wealthy leaders with houses that attest to their significant riches. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, the district is not to be missed for its colonial architecture and narrow cobblestone streets that are wonderful historical artifacts.