Spice Village My status
CGH Earth Property Thekkady / Periyar  

Thekkady, Kerala, India. Phone: +91 487 2420556,  Mobile: +91 98471 78455, +44 70 3183 6701 (UK) Send us an inquiry
Located in Kumily, Thekkady.
Spice Village curling around a misty ridge 2,000 ft high in the Periyar fastness, we found an arborarium, one man's personal forest, with fruit trees, rare herbs and a profusion of flowering plants. And here, we set out to build a resort. A village, produced whole, using mountain spirit and tribal wisdom as building material.
 
Your cottage is brick and log, the roof thatched with the same elephant grass used in tribal huts, woven in the same traditional techniques. The comforts of a modern hotel exist, but they never intrude. Modern plumbing, comfortable beds and hot showers find their place, but in a setting stripped down to its natural essence.
 
Hewn stone replaces shag carpets. Birdsong takes the place of television. At Spice Village, its easy to think that you're in the middle of wild nature. Not so. These trees were born out of one man's passion. His name was A. W. Woods. An Anglo-Indian, he worked for the Government of the British Raj in the 1930s.
 
Woods was a remarkable man, nearly illiterate, given charge of the forests solely on the basis of his passion for nature and his love and understanding of the local Ooralie culture. Woods also had the greenest of thumbs. And on the grounds surrounding his home (now the Woodhouse Bar), he created a remarkable arborarium.
 
You can still take a deck chair out to his verandah, sip a gin-and-tonic and say hello to its denizens. A kingfisher dives low out of a clear blue sky, hunting vainly for its fish lunch. Bees hum around teak trees, and Colombian coffee bushes.
 
Guinea fowls and ducks chatter about (amazingly tame, because they're used to guests.) Bamboos burst in tilting spires. Cascades of trumpet flowers, pepper vines and honeysuckle wash down the hillsides. And everywhere, the structures of Spice Village peep out of the woods, as if growing naturally from the surroundings.
 
Accommodation

52 individual, tribal-styled thatch-roof cottages with verandahs (with, we hasten to add, modern plumbing, solar-powered hot water and contemporary furnishings).
 
Standard Villas: these are suite accommodations, with living rooms, a bedroom and a private garden, complete with your own park bench.

Deluxe Villas: cozy huts tucked away between fruit trees, herb beds and 50 year-old timbers from the arborarium laid down by A. W. Woods.
 
A typical guest room, No pile carpets, no television, just silence, simplicity and plain comfort. There is little space at Spice Village for opulence. And none at all for pretentiousness. On the table is a selection of the Spices that give the Village its name (you'll get some to take home as a little gift from us). Each cottage overlooks its own patch of green, covered with individually labelled bushes and trees, labelled with their names.
 
The group of Fern palms are prehistoric relics, with relatives only in Africa and Australia. One such Fern palm (Cycas circinalis) on Spice Village grounds. t Spice Village, our understanding came first and foremost from the tribal people of the Cardamom Hills.
 
Aover millennia, they had perfected a gentle codependence, an almost spiritual harmony with the works of nature, All we needed to do was uncover these ancient wisdoms and put them to work. The self sustaining fish pond was the first. It was created with the Village itself, an excavation left over from construction. n most cases it would have been paved over and forgotten.
 
We found it filling up naturally with groundwater. At Spice Village (as indeed at most cgh properties), nature herself provides the protection. Neem and lemon grass oils are marvelous, biodegradable pesticides, and the sprayer you'll hear most afternoons is actually helping the ecology, not harming it. Little clay pots dotted about the grounds provide natural mosquito control, as does the camphor burner in your room and the incenser we use in the afternoons.
 
It burns Black Damur, a powerful tree resin that insects hate. Even the strings of aloe vera plants hanging from the thatch serve a purpose, keeping flying pests away from the dining areas.  The life of Spice Village is inextricably tied to the hill culture. For the tribals, this is not a hotel, but a source of employment, a place where they can get better rates for their spice harvest.
 
They are also the mainstay of our organic garden, putting spanking fresh produce on the table each day. Pack a picnic lunch at the hotel, take one of our naturalists in tow, and you're ready for an adventurous and instructive day at the Periyar reserve.
 
We've got treks, ranging from a leisurely half-day stroll, to an overnight jungle halt where you can experience the rain forest up close and personal. You can visit a tribal village, for a first-hand experience of a way of life that's fast vanishing from the modern world. Today, these indigenous peoples still carry on their age old practices of herding and bee-keeping in perfect harmony with the environment. A Spice, Tea plantation is a pleasant days outing from the hotel, to learn how spices cultivated and Tea bushes picked. Depending on the season, there are other adventures activities like fishing and river rafting too.
 
Mealtimes at Spice Village are an unhurried affair. In fact, we urge you to dawdle. Eat too quickly, and you miss the subtle nuances that spices take on when they're absolutely fresh. Rush through your meal and you give yourself no chance to enjoy the amiable atmosphere that's common to all our dining areas. There are three of these.
 
Choose from the rustic wooden tables in the dining hall proper, or take a heaped plate out to the long verandah and enjoy your meal al fresco, watching the kingfishers flit around the swimming pool. The warmth of a century ago: the historic Tiffin Room has beautiful old furniture that we resurrected from a 100 year old restaurant, in the area. Besides these. Literally, is the historic Tiffin Room, where light snacks are served all day. The rosewood chairs and tables here are restored antiques, from a 100-year old restaurant in the next valley that sadly closed its doors in 1995.
 
Spice Village's popular cookery classes for guests are also conducted here, most evenings, and you can pick up some tips while chef Velayuthan unveils a few (but only a few) of his secrets. Lunch is an unhurried affair at the long verandah. You can enjoy a fine tribal fish curry al fresco, accompanied with some ayurvedic herbal water (great for the digestion) or a nice cold beer (ditto), surrounded by tropical lushness and spice- scented breezes wafting in from the forests.
 
We focus on Kerala cuisine, with an emphasis on the flavours created by fresh spices.
Chef Velayuthan might also serve up some of his special tribal-influenced curries.
A fine selection of continental/western style dishes is also on offer.

A W Woods' former residence is an appropriate spot for a long, ruminating evening, with a scotch-and-water to assist the thought processes. Woods himself was a great patron of the spirits during his sojourn here, so we believe he would have approved. One side of the bar is given over to Billiards and memories. Rare hunting photographs jostle for space with conservation documents and pictures of royalty. Staring at the walls can be almost as much fun as playing.
 
Facilities

Swimming pool.
Badminton.
Billiards at the Woodhouse Bar.
Tennis.
Ayurveda.
Yoga and meditation center.
 
The bullock cart ride here is a rehabilitation programme we've started along with the local authorities for just this purpose. Spice Village and the Periyar area in general, offer an amazing diversity of rare flora.One of our Naturalists will be happy to guide you personally about as you explore it all. From top left, clockwise: a fern palm, Dendrobium, Crotalaria and the flowers of the pagoda tree. Spice offers a holiday for the inner you as well. With healing and rejuvenation therapies combining ayurvedic massage and yoga.
 
We've got qualified ayurvedic doctors who'll guide you through a regimen of massages and herbal baths guaranteed to give you new verve and vigour.An air of mental peace and inner harmony is a necessary part of the therapeutic process. The massage and therapy rooms overlook a lush, yet secluded garden, fostering calm and filling the room with aromatic scents.
 
Tariff on CP basis
Similar hotels near by: Cardamom County    Carmelia Haven
Rooms Off Season
01 May 2012 - September 2012
High Season
01 October 2012 20 December 2012
11 January 2013 31 January 2013
01 March 2013 30 April 2013
 
Peak Season
21 December 2012 10 January 2013
01 February 2013 28 February 2013
 
Standard Villa (Single / Double) Rs 8500 Rs 15500 Rs 18000  
Deluxe Villa (Single / Double) Rs 10000 Rs 21800 Rs 23700  
Extra Peron Above 5 Years
(Maximum 1 Person per Room)
Rs 2500 Rs 3000 Rs 3000  
 
Meal Supplement (Per Person per meal)
         
Lunch Rs 850 Rs 1280 Rs 1280  
Dinner Rs 850 Rs 1540 Rs 1540  
Speciality Dinner - Rs 2000 Rs 2000  
Mandatory New Year Eve Supplement for stay on 31.12.2012 Rs 4200 per person
         
Long Stay Per Night Rate Applicable for Minimum 3 Nights Stay
         
Standard Villa (Single / Double) - Rs 10500 Rs 12000  
Deluxe Villa (Single / Double) - Rs 14600 Rs 15800  
 

 

 

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