The Leela Palace Hotel. Kovalam.
Stunning foyer full of flowers greeted our eyes as we stepped out of the taxi. This time we were garnished with a necklace made of small shells, towels to refresh ourselves and a large fresh coconut to drink.
The hotel is magnificently built up the side of a cliff with beaches either side. Each room with a flower bed on the balcony planted with bougainvillea with cerise pink flowers.
The hotel would normally have the wow factor, don’t get me wrong it’s totally stunning, however we have just come from the Zuri.
Our room is massive complete with a fridge, TV (not that we have even thought of turning it on) air con etc. Two large beds. The toiletries are positively luxurious. Big flurry towels changed twice a day.
Fabulous breakfast, eggs cooked to order and yes I have had curry for breakfast.
The question of will I get bored of eating Indian food? Answer. NEVER.
We have a lovely balcony/ terrace with a glass topped table and two comfy chairs. We over look the sea and the large sweep of beach that we have spent many hours lazing on this week.
The beach is a mixture of the private and bedded Leela beach, the fisherman’s boats just to one side and then the public beach which at about 3:30 each afternoon fills up with coach loads of children still in school uniform paddling and laughing and screaming as they are washed over by the waves. The sound of children’s laughter it such a wonderful sound. The jumping and playing taking place in front of a large green mosque. Joining the children are men in shorts and women splashing about in full colourful saris. A most spectacular sight to behold.
The mosque is in full swing, the wailer calling people to prayer at 6:15 in the morning, 12:30 and 4 pm. Friday we had a festival of some sort and the wailing went on for over an hour at lunchtime. Although we have no idea of what’s being said, it was quite a relaxing mediative sound, well the first half hour was anyway. Also the festival was sung by a younger muezzin the one we have heard up till then had a right warble.
The day beach is down to the right of the hotel, the nighttime beach to the left. Down a steep slope and across a beach to arrive at a fun promenade, full of shops selling clothes, saris and jewellery interspersed with many restaurants all specialising in seafood. Mum and I are in our element. Outside each restaurant is what looks like a fish mongers shop, displaying the fresh items that have been caught that day. Our first evening Mum chose the biggest red snapper, it was big enough to feed 2, she waded her way through like the trouper she is and finally giving in, she managed to feed a very happy stray cat that came and sat under her chair.
The evenings are also filled with people watching, shirtless man parades his not so good body in front of the restaurants, orange man has worn the same orange t shirt since we arrived, same with yellow dress lady. Some days old hippies, some young travellers, every nationality.
Eaten in a different fish restaurants every night. Want to try them all but not enough evenings.
One night the whole area had a power cut. Some places ran off of batteries to provide light, others just offered candle light. Some places are licensed , others are not but they serve you beer in china mugs and hide the bottles under the tables. It all adds to the wonder of the place.
Our time here is so different to the rest of the holiday so far. We have a leisurely breakfast before making our way down to the beach. Coming back late afternoon, shower, sit on the balcony watching the shenanigans on the beach before making our way to light house beach for an evening of eating and promenading ending with a tuk tuck ride back up the hill to the hotel.
Last day today. Being collected at 7:30am for our short trip to the airport.
Quite sad to be leaving such a beautiful county, lovely people, stunning countryside and amazing food. Will definitely come back to India. Loved every second of this trip. India has wowed me in the most spectacular fashion. Every single thing has been better than I ever thought it could be.
Thank you Kerala. x