20 Backwater Resorts in South India

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If you are a traveler who enjoys watching the sun go down against a lazy river or against the incredible backdrop of the sea, were guessing you're a fan of quiet backwaters and we don't blame you at all. The backwaters make for a serene retreat from the concrete jungles and the fast-paced rat races that were all so used to by now. If you're looking for a leisurely and laidback vacation, the backwaters provide an easy getaway and come along with some highly recommended and absolutely luxurious resorts. And the good news is that we have collected 20 of the best backwater resorts in South India for you to choose from. Are you ready for your luxurious backwater retreat?

1. The Serai, Kabini, Karnataka

Unwind and relax those tensed up muscles with a stay at The Serai, right on the banks of the Kabini River, with a visit to the resort’s own spa offering a wide range of treatments. Because of the awesome location of The Serai guests can also enjoy wildlife watching without having to travel great distances unnecessarily. This 4-star resort will surely leave you dazzled with its splendid backwaters and unmatched comforts.

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2. Ramada Cochin Resort, Cochin, Kerala

In the backwaters of Lake Kumbalam you will be able to find paradise but under a different name. Ramada Resort in Cochin is located in the midst of possibly one of the world’s most scenic landscapes. A disco and lounge can be found on the property, along with a humongous pool graced by a sunken pool bar. There are several dining options for guests, an Ayurvedic Center for those looking to work on their health and luxurious rooms for a sound sleep.


3. Waterwoods Lodge Kabini, Karnataka

Make the most of Waterwoods Lodge’s great location by going all crazy attempting as many water sports as you possibly can for the duration of your stay here. The Kabini River backwaters make all this and much more possible easily! Just be warned that the comforts of Waterwoods Lodge might make you not want to leave the confines of your resort at all!

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4. Purity, Alleppey, Kerala

Just like its name, Purity Resort offers pure fun and relaxation to all the guests heading to Kerala for some magical time in its famed backwaters. Located bang on the Vembanad Lake, this particular resort has a dedicated massage parlor, a spa & wellness center and a view to die for! The outdoor pool looks perfect, no matter what time of the year it is, and the gardens are so well maintained that leave patrons stuttering for words!


5. Anantya Resort, Tamil Nadu

The Anantya Resort will literally blow you away with its surrounding natural beauty courtesy the backwater lake of the Chittar Dam. Authentic ayurvedic treatments are provided at the in-house massage parlor and spa, while guests who would like to make the most of the scenic beauty can pick up a cycle and explore the area on their own. Tamil Nadu backwaters have never looked as tempting as this!


6. Amanvana Spa Resort, Coorg, Karnataka

If you are looking for a holiday that lets you leave all worldly worries and issues behind, then Amanvana Spa Resort is the place you need to be at. Located just by the Kayeri River near the scenic valleys of Coorg, this wonderful resort has an organic herb garden, provides the option to set up romantic dinner dates by the river, and even has reading spaces next to the Kayeri. Pamper yourself at the spa which offers treatments like manicures, foot reflexology, and full-body massages.

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7. Palavelli Boutique Resorts, Andhra Pradesh

At Palavelli Boutique resorts you can enjoy one of those much sought after delights that everyone craves for Privacy! Enjoy unadulterated fun and some much-needed introspection time at the Palavelli Resort. You can get great views of the backwater and the surrounding mesmerizing wilderness from the property itself and also refresh yourself with a swim in the pool.


8. Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere, Vayalar, Kerala

The 5-star Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere is the ultimate decadence of luxury with its magnificent outdoor pool, on-site restaurant Mystic Spice and bars at the poolside so that the party never runs dry! Add to that the terrific views of the famous Kerala backwaters and mesmerizing natural beauty of God’s Own Land all around, and you have yourself the holiday of a lifetime.

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9. Dindi By the Godavari, Andhra Pradesh

Have a fun-filled time in the backwaters of the mighty River Godavari with a stay at the splendid Dindi Resort in Andhra Pradesh. The resort boasts of BBQ facilities, a plethora of adventure activities like zip-lining and rappelling and an in-house restaurant that serves up mouthwatering dishes all the time! The rooms are furnished comfortably and with all the amenities you will require.


10. The Zuri Kumarakom Resort, Kerala

Before traveling to the Zuri Kumarakom Resort, just be warned that after a couple of nights here, you might never feel like heading back home again. Ever! This 5-star establishment takes care of everything that your heart can ever desire with facilities like a massive lagoon pool, full-fledged spa, and even a freaking bamboo rafting facility! There are 2 different restaurants that have their own specific specialties and a lounge that serves the choicest beverages accompanied by Habanos Cigars! Need we say anymore?


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11. Red Earth Kabini, Karnataka

The Red Earth Resort in Kabini assures its guests of a unique and fun experience unlike any other place in the whole area. It gives you the option of living in cottages which make the living experience more authentic and get you closer to Mother Nature. Though, don’t worry! All cottages have modern amenities and even provide a hot tub for patrons to soak up in.


12. Punnamada Resort, Alleppey, Kerala

Situated right on the backwaters of Lake Vembanad, the Punnamada Resort will give you the authentic Keralite hospitality experience with its traditionally designed buildings, Ayurvedic Center on the premises and dishes so homely someone will have to stop you from licking up your fingers all the time. The outdoor pool and game room will ensure that you don’t have a dull moment during your stay.

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13. Lake Palace Trivandrum, Kerala

The 5-star Lake Palace in Trivandrum is an elegant place to stay at. It leaves no stone unturned to pamper its patrons and comes decked with several entertainment options like water sports opportunities, a mini theatre and a special place for kids, where they can also freak out and keep themselves busy. The health club will help you watch those extra pounds that you might put on during your vacations.


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14. Orange County, Kabini, Karnataka

This is one luxury resort in South India that won't just be a mere vacation, but an incredible experience that you will cherish for years to come. Located in Kabini, Karnataka, on the edge of the Kabini River in the famous Nagarhole National Park, is a rustic resort in South India built like the huts of the indigenous Kadu kuruba tribe. It's been voted one of the 25 best eco-lodges of the world by National Geographic Traveller! Dine by the lake, or laze in their infinity pool, it's bound to be an incredibly relaxing vacation.

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Photo by Vineet Verghese

15. Fragrant Nature Resort, Kollam

Just as the name suggests, this resort gives you the enchanting whiffs of nature. Fragrant Nature Resort in Kollam district is almost a spiritual experience. The view full of greenery from tended lawns to arching trees overlooking the peaceful waters of Mala Lake and the lush land beyond makes for a reveling stay. The best vision is by the canopy that lines the waters. It offers unmatched sight of the clear blue skies and the water below!


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16. Ocean Spray, Pondicherry

Located over a man-made lake, this hotel is a thing of beauty. This true one-of-a-kind hotel offers garden view and water view rooms along with several luxury villas: including a royal option for those who want to splurge! Talk about opulence. The hotel's restaurant appears to actually float on water and makes for an enchanting dining experience.

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17. The Leela Palace, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Located on 4.8 acres of land where the Adyar River joins the Bay of Bengal, the Leela Palace, Chennai is the place to go to if you're in the mood for a laidback but luxurious escapade. This palatial hotel will provide you with the scenery overlooking gorgeous backwaters to relax your nerves and have a peaceful holiday. And of course, you should definitely make a date with the spa!

18. Le Pondy, Pondicherry

Located at the estuary between the Chunnambar River and Bay of Bengal, this resort in South India is an absolutely quaint paradise for all those craving a quiet vacation. The rooms are luxurious, to say the least. Lounge in the pool as the sun sets in the sky and forget all about your troubles back home!

19. Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kumarakom

Kerala has many options when it comes to backwater retreats and this option is for the luxury vacation that you've been craving for a while! The Kumarakom Lake Resort has been tailor-made for the travelers who crave both the beach and the backwaters. The greenery will rejuvenate you like nothing else!


20. Turtle on the Beach, Kovalam, Kerala

The resort is as interesting as its name, and we guarantee that. Turtle on the beach is the boutique hotel of your dreams in Kovalam if you're an art lover. There's art everywhere in the furniture, in the paintings, in the door to get you away from the dreariness of everyday life. With magnificent views of the water, this vacation will be the refreshingly creative bout of freedom that you've been waiting for!