The Spice Village is a boutique luxury property owned by the CGH Group in the heart of the Periyar National Park in Thekkady. The entire resort has been imagined in the essence of a mountain tribal village, albeit with modern comforts to suit the tastes of the independent luxury traveler.
Having said that, the focus of the Spice Village remains firmly on providing its luxurious experience in a setting that is back to nature and extremely eco-friendly. The property curls a misty ridge 2,000 feet high and at first glance seems to rise out of the forest itself. The idea is to provide the comforts of a modern hotel in a setting that does not intrude on the natural experience.
The entire resort has been built on the site of a former home of a British forest ranger and is replete with great natural wonders such as verdant greenery, fruit trees, flowering plants and rare herbs. These are then tastefully blended in with modern luxuries such as hot showers, modern plumbing and comfortable beds for matchless comfort albeit in Spartan simplicity.
Visitors to the Spice Village will note the dynamically different way that the property is managed from the minute they arrive. Guest check-ins at the resort are not done at the concierge but rather in the lawns of the resort where guests are treated to some wonderfully brewed mountain tea as their baggage is whisked away to their rooms.
If there is one continuous theme to a sojourn at the Spice Village, it is that luxury does not need to come at the cost of damage to nature. The resort takes this axiom to heart and every aspect is a great reflection of this code.
The rooms and cottages at the resort all are envisioned as cosy personal spaces and are designed as Spartan classy accommodations. The roofs are thatched elephant grass which is water proof and regularly inspected. The material is used for its toughness, durability as well as the fact that it is completely recyclable and is used as fodder and ropes after it is replaced.
Similarly flooring is stone floor with coir mats that are all sourced from local materials. Bathrooms have all the modern amenities of a world class property but have been elegantly designed on simple, natural materials and local woodcraft.
Other aspects of the resort also complement its back to nature approach. For entertainment, there is the Tiger Club that offers some great resources as well as expert advice on how to make the most of your visit to the Periyar National Park and appreciate the diverse wildlife of the region.
The resort is particularly proud of its “50 Mile Diet” concept. The idea is that all food sourced by the resort comes from within a 50 mile radius thereby being organic, ecologically friendly as well as a great source of income and support for the local communities. Also most of the vegetables used to create the resort’s signature Keralan cuisine also comes from its own on-site organic farm.
For guests looking to go beyond the nature experience at the Spice Village, there are two signature restaurants at the resort that boast of immense luxury and a rich history. The Woodhouse Bar at the resort used to be the original house of the forest ranger Mr. A.A Woods and is a great place to see pictures of the wildlife and the nobility of the region. Also the other restaurant, the Tiffin Room boasts of furniture that is one hundred years old and is a great source for great food and a variety of freshly brewed teas.