Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort - Recommended stay in Kollam, South Kerala
Kollam in South Kerala is a seaside town regarded as the ‘Gateway to backwaters of Kerala’. So, when looking for a resort/ hotel in Kollam, we specifically decided to stay by the backwaters. Numerous lake-side resorts have come up on the banks of the backwater lakes in South Kerala. Searching for an offbeat accommodation, we soon unearthed this unique retreat on the Paravur Lake named ‘Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort and Ayurveda Spa’. Situated on the outskirts of Kollam town, The Fragrant Nature Resort is on the banks of Paravur Lake, right where the Ithikkara River meets the lake. The vast resort spread over five acres of land is an ideal getaway for anyone who loves nature. Here is a detailed review based on our experience.
Location of the Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort in Kollam:
Just a short ride away from the busy city of Kollam is The Fragrant Nature Resort. The resort lies nestled amongst thick palm plantations on a breathtakingly beautiful waterside land alongside Paravur Lake. The entire five-acre stretch of long land faces the backwaters. If you are blindfolded and brought to Fragrant Nature Resort, you might as well believe that you are on an island.
Directions to reach the Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort in Kollam:
From Kollam railway station or Trivandrum airport, you could hire a cab to take you to The Fragrant Nature Resort in Kollam. Alternatively, you could also call up the resort in advance, and they will arrange a transfer for you on nominal charges. We reached Fragrant Nature Resort, on our two-wheeler that we had rented from a bike-rental agency in Trivandrum.
Our Experience at Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort in Kollam:
Fragrant Nature Resort, Kollam, is accessed via the Paravur-Chathannoor road. After leaving the main road, a kilometre ride on the narrow suburban street took us to the walled estate. Once inside, we didn’t feel like being in the countryside. Crossing the main gate, we reached the parking area, which was huge. The vehicles are protected from the scorching sun with a canopy of trees. The chirping of birds instantly caught our attention and relaxed our senses.
The reception at Fragrant Nature Resort, Kollam is an old Keralan style building with vintage furniture. The wooden structure with long steep clay tiled roof gives it a traditional touch. Big glass windows offers view of the Paravur backwaters. A vast old brass pot fountain with rubble on the sides adorns the reception entrance at Fragrant Nature Resort. There is ample seating space in the periphery of the fountain. The comfortable sofas are ornamented with bright blue silk cushions that look trendy to the entire set up.
Our check-in process at the Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort was hassle-free, and we were quickly escorted to our rooms. The staff at the reception were pleasant and welcoming. The way from reception to the rooms is through a paved pathway surrounded by abundant nature. We stayed in the Premium Lake View villa named Kani Konna, which means the ‘Golden yellow flower’ (Cassia fistula), which is the state flower of Kerala.
Our Premium Lake View villa at Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort in Kollam:
The Premium Lake View villas at the Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort in Kollam has a large living room equipped with comfortable sofas, a centre table, air-conditioner, and a refrigerator. The living room opens up to the bedroom through a small passage having a cupboard and a luggage rack. The bedroom is spacious and is tastefully decorated with luxury linen. It has a king-sized bed, side tables with lamps, and a dressing/ study table with a big mirror in the front. This room is again equipped with modern amenities, including a satellite TV, air-conditioner, ceiling fan, and tea/ coffee maker. The attached bathroom is big with a separate shower area, hairdryer, and quality toiletries. The Premium Lake View villa at Fragrant Nature Backwater resort has contemporary décor. The lighting inside the room is purposefully kept warm to impart a relaxed feel to the body and soul. Once we entered the room, we left the outside world at the door.
The best part about our premium lake view villa at Fragrant Nature Resort, Kollam, was that it opened up to a big balcony overlooking the backwaters on one side and to a private tropical open-roof garden at the other – both through large glass doors. The view of Paravur backwaters from the balcony was stunning, and we preferred sitting on the chairs in the balcony more than being in the room. The floor of the open garden was laid with pebbles along with a few plants that the birds visited every morning. We really appreciated how everything was placed so thoughtfully.
We later learnt that all the other types of rooms at Fragrant Nature Resort, Kollam, were designed in the same manner, and each one of them was lake facing. They basically have 3 categories of rooms - Lake view rooms which are primarily housed in a separate building near entrance of the resort, Premium Lake view villas which are spread across the property and they have one special room - A private pool villa. Lake view rooms have easy access to parking areas and recreation facilities.
Premium lake view villas as you may have already realized are spacious with verandah and living room. You can choose one closer to restaurant and swimming pool or choose one that is towards the far end of the property. The best room in the property is the private pool villa which we found ideal for honeymooners.
The layout of the Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort in Kollam:
The Fragrant Nature Backwater resort is laid out in a long stretch of land from east to west. The parking and reception are towards the east, along with the gym, kid’s playing area and the conference/ meeting rooms. Then comes the restaurant, followed by the swimming pool and amphitheatre. The entire property is landscaped and consists of two levels. The lower level has the Ayurvedic Spa centre and the boating dock. Wooden steps or bridges are built at various points to get from the upper level to the lower level.
Further towards the west is the Sunset Bar or the Coffee Shop, Yoga Centre and the badminton court. Different types of rooms are spread in the gardens from east to west, each facing the waterfront. Everything at the property is surrounded by big trees, well-maintained lawns and flowering pots with cosy seating areas at every nook and corner.
Food at the Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort in Kollam:
The first-floor roof-top restaurant ‘Sandhya’ at the Fragrant Nature Resort, Kollam, has a nice view of the Paravur backwaters. Tables and chairs are placed at safe distances and sanitised every time a guest uses them. We really liked that there are baby chairs and a small play area to keep the kids indulged while their parents dine. The food we had at Fragrant Nature Resort in Kollam was freshly prepared and utterly delicious. When the guests staying at the property were more in number, breakfasts used to be continental buffet; else, we were allowed to order as per our taste. Orders for dinner were taken in advance by the evening, and the chefs customised meals as per our taste. Dinners mainly were a candlelight affair.
We had requested a Sadhya lunch one morning, and the chefs were kind enough to accept our requests. Kerala originated Sadhya involves a variety of traditional vegetarian dishes served on a banana leaf. While placing each delicacy on our lunch leaf, the restaurant manager explained its importance and how it was made. We savoured the Sadhya food with our bare hands, and it was the most delicious meal we had on our entire Kerala trip. The traditional dessert named payasam was served at the end of the meal, and though our stomachs were full, it left our hearts wanting for more. We were licking our fingers by the end of it.
The Coffee Shop or Sunset Bar at the Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort in Kollam:
On the westernmost end of the property at Fragrant Nature Resort, Kollam is a coffee shop named ‘Ritulahari’. Right outside the café is a spot that offers fantastic sunset views over the backwaters. This area doubles up as a yoga centre in the morning.
Honestly, when we booked our stay with Fragrant Nature Resort, we felt that since the property is in-land, we will miss the sunsets as opposed to the beachside stays. But we were so wrong. We were amazed to find such picture post-card perfect sunset views with from this spot at the resort. Due to COVID regulations, the café was closed, but we can totally imagine how incredible it would be watching the sunset while sipping a cup of coffee.
The Paravur Lake Backwaters at the Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort in Kollam:
As we already mentioned, the entire five acres of land of the Fragrant Nature Resort in Kollam is located on the banks of Paravur Lake, exactly where the Ithikkara River meets the lake. The undisputed main attraction of staying at Fragrant Nature Resort is sailing the backwaters and meandering through the mangroves. The resort has its own houseboat, country boat, paddle boat and speed boat, along with a dedicated boating dock with ample seating areas. Paddle boating is complimentary for all the guests staying at the resort, whereas ride in the speed boat and houseboat is nominally charged.
One of the mornings, we went for a one hour of sailing in the Paravur backwaters in a houseboat. The big Kettuvallam (houseboat) was traditionally built with bamboo poles, coconut fibres, bamboo mats, coir ropes and wooden planks. It had a thatched roof cover over wooden hulls. An experienced staff member from the resort navigated the boat through the green-blue water of the backwater canals. He also allowed us to get our hands on the boat’s wheel. It felt like a journey through another world as we glided past paddy fields, coconut groves, temples, wildlife and tiny villages. We came across several fishermen in their country boats and villagers going about their daily lives. The relaxing experience gave us a chance to switch off from the stress of life, meditate on the views and slow down to reconnect with nature.
Other amenities at The Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort in Kollam:
Ayurvedic Spa Centre: The ayurvedic spa centre at The Fragrant Nature Resort, named ‘Prana’ is the major highlight catering to guests who look for rejuvenation or medical therapy. The state-of-the-art spa is equipped with traditional massage tables and has warm subdued lighting that immediately relaxes the nerves. Authentic massage oils and Ayurvedic medicines are used by experienced medical practitioners to treat ailments. After consultation with qualified doctors and expert dieticians, the chef in the restaurant prepares personalised meals for the guests to help enhance the effect of the treatment.
Indoor game area and Gym: The Fragrant Nature Resort, Kollam houses a dedicated recreation room in one of its buildings. It has games like carrom, chess, table tennis, and foosball which helps keep the kids as well as the adults engaged. The gym at The Fragrant Nature Resort in Kollam is housed in the indoor game area and has some basic workout equipment. The best part about the gym is that it has big glass windows that overlook the Paravur lake backwaters.
Swimming Pool: The outdoor swimming pool at The Fragrant Nature Resort, Kollam, is big, clean and well-maintained. It is aptly built amongst nature, surrounded by trees and gardens. It has varied depth levels for swimmers of different categories.
Badminton Court: The badminton court at The Fragrant Nature Resort, Kollam, was a surprise. The concrete open air court is a welcome recreational activity for children and adults alike. The rackets and corks are kept right beside the court for ease of use.
Gardens: Well-manicured gardens are mushroomed all over the property at The Fragrant Nature Resort, Kollam. The well-tended gardens have paved pathways to take a leisurely walk and relax on one of the benches overlooking the serene lake. The acres of lush greens are surrounded by tall trees, palm oasis and exotic flowering plants. We loved reading books for hours together in one of the many seating spots in the resort's garden.
Children's play area: A small area with swings, slides, see-saw and merry-go-round is built near the pool at The Fragrant Nature Resort that the kids will surely love.
Souvenir Shop: The small in-house souvenir shop at The Fragrant Nature Resort, Kollam, sold a few traditional attires, authentic spices and little trinkets like jewellery and hand-made handicrafts.
Amphitheatre: Also known as the Kala Kendra, the open-air amphitheatre area at The Fragrant Nature Resort, Kollam is located close to the swimming pool and is used for local traditional performances and stage shows.
The staff at The Fragrant Nature Resort were always on their toes to serve and help us. They were extremely polite, always smiling and showered us with immense hospitality. The housekeeping staff decorated our rooms and the surrounding with beautiful flowers each day, which we found really nice.
Stay at The Fragrant Nature Backwater Resort in Kollam to feel closer to nature. Cruise on the lake, pamper yourself with a relaxing traditional spa treatment, stroll in the gardens, watch sunsets, stargaze at night, have a glimpse of the rustic village life, participate in yoga and reconnect with nature. You can also plan on visiting tourist places around Kollam which includes the amazing Jatayu's earth center while staying at Fragrant Nature. The resort makes for a great stop when travelling from Cochin/ Alleppey to South Kerala or even as a day trip if you live around Trivandrum area.
You can book yourself a leisurely stay at The Fragrant Nature Resort in Kollam through their website or any other travel portals mentioned below:
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