There was a time when a good holiday meant a beautiful destination with great accommodation; trip souvenirs were just a bunch of photographs.
Today, travel isn’t just about that; it’s more about where that destination takes you. We no longer want to collect just photographs, we want to hoard memories.
From ticking names off a bucket list, travellers have come far with respect to what they want from their trips; they now seek something more innate: a childlike curiosity, a feeling of awe. We are enveloped by ‘wonderlust’ – a desire to not just wander from place to place, but incessantly search for wondrous moments.
Our definition of luxury, too, has evolved beyond star-rated resorts. We now embrace the luxury of authentic experiences, untrammelled space, and the opportunity to immerse in new cultures.
CGH Earth Experience Hotels is a group that’s been satiating the traveller’s ‘wonderlust’ for over three decades. With destinations spanning across South India’s most exquisite landscapes, they have perfected the art of curating extraordinary experiences that arise from an intimate bond with nature and community.
Every CGH Earth experience is built on a set of unwavering core values:
Commitment towards environmental sensitivity, as they go the extra mile to give back to the ecosystems that surround their destinations.
Enriching the local community, by encouraging participation, enabling livelihoods and adopting local ethos.
Preserving heritage, by rooting every experience in the history and culture of the land they call home.
The “Earth to Table” experience at Marari Beach Resort – from picking fresh produce at the organic farm, to participating in its preparation and savouring earth’s delights at the table. Photo Courtesy: CGH Earth
CGH Earth touches nature with sensitive hands, protecting flora and fauna and nurturing local biodiversity—from converting waste to useable energy and harvesting rainwater, to encouraging the guests to use bicycles.
Spice Village, surrounded by the Periyar forest in Thekkady, rests amidst the aromas of spice gardens. The living spaces here are inspired by the local Mannan tribe of the region, with elephant-grass thatched roofs over traditional cottages. 70% of power at the eco-living resort comes from renewable energy. Their 50 Mile Diet is a unique initiative where all ingredients for meals are sourced from within a 50 mile radius, thus nurturing local farming communities while substantially reducing the carbon footprint of every meal.
Marari Beach Resort is a tribute to the fisher folk’s life in a seaside village in Kerala. A paradise for nature lovers, you can explore the rich and lush landscape strewn with lily ponds and fruit trees, swaying palm trees and glistening golden sands. The ‘Earth-to-Table’ experience of the organic farm kitchen will bring you close to earth. And a trip to the fish-landing will exhilarate your senses as you witness the catch of the day being brought in.
Wayanad Wild in the rainforests of Lakkidi brings you up close with nature. Crafted to seamlessly become one with the wilderness around it, you can discover many secrets of the woods here, under the watchful guidance of resident naturalists.
A first-hand experience of the native spirit, where locals offer glimpses into their life with activities and stories that immerse you in the region’s culture. Photo Courtesy: CGH Earth
At CGH Earth, your holiday experiences become extensions of the life in the destination; each moment bringing you closer to truly understanding the region’s intricacies.
Coconut Lagoon in Kumarakom, offers an experience of the backwater life. It’s an extension of the culture of Kuttanad region where it resides. As you look out the window of your 150-year-old traditional ‘Tharavad’ home, you’ll see indigenous Vechoor cows grazing. Or step out and feed the Karimeen fish that have made the canals their home. The spirit of the land is captured in several delightful experiences across the resort. Indulge in authentic Kerala cuisine at the restaurants, or savour hot chai from the ‘Chaya Chechi’ who comes visiting with her floating tea shop aboard a boat.
Visalam is a meticulously restored palatial home in the Kanadukathan village of Chettinad that encapsulates the legacy of the erstwhile Chettiar community. The experiences of a bygone era come alive with local flavour. You can try your hand at Pallanguzhi – an intricate game from the past. Or get a taste of the fiery spices of the legendary Chettinad cuisine.
Palais de Mahe in the French quarter of Pondicherry captures the pulse of a unique fusion of cultures; where every moment echoes the land’s colonial influences. As you explore Pondicherry on a cycle-rickshaw, the rickshawallahs regale you with delightful stories, peppering your journey with rare tales of the land.
The ‘Chaya Chechi’ brings refreshments, traversing the waterways of Vembanad lake in her floating tea shop. Photo Courtesy: CGH Earth
The history of a land often wears down with the passage of time. CGH Earth strives to restore the essence of the region by moulding experiences around the historic, cultural and mythical stories of each land, capturing its native architecture and ways of life.
Brunton Boatyard is an ode to the history of Fort Kochi –where myriad cultures have come together to form a vibrant tapestry of traditions. Constructed on a historic boatyard by Kochi’s harbour, this boutique hotel is an amalgamation of the melting pot that is Fort Kochi.
At Maison Perumal in Pondicherry’s Tamil quarter, you reside at the heart of the region’s vivid culture. The 130-year-old Chettiar mansion, once a Registrar office, has been meticulously restored to capture the land’s uniquely colourful history that blends Tamil heritage with French influences.
Also bringing historic opulence to life is Chittoor Kottaram, located in the quiet town of Chittoor. Built by the Raja of Cochin in the 19th century on the banks of pristine backwaters, it’s a testimony to Kerala’s royalty, transporting you to a timeless era of subtle grandeur, intimate comforts and understated luxury.
Each of CGH Earth’s experiences ground you in the awe-inspiring realities of the land; whether it’s natural wonders, or testaments to tradition.
So whenever you feel your ‘wonderlust’ calling, pack your bags for an immersive holiday that will not only transform the way you look at travel, but also transform you.
To know more about CGH Earth Experience Hotel visit www.cghearth.com or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow CGH Earth on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.
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