Private island with boat access, personal valet, private villas for exotic getaway.
If your secret dream has always been to live like a paparazzi-chased, top-notch celebrity or if you are in fact regularly chased by reporters, then Vaamika Island is the place to go. With a bespoke airport transfer to a private speedboat that took me directly to my private pool villa where my personal butler welcomed me with a traditional Kerala welcome, it was an exclusive experience like nowhere else. Originally built by an Indophile German professor on a seven-acre private island just outside Kochi, Vaamika Island is a set of exclusive villas. The villas are based on the principle of space and nature being the new luxuries in modern city life.
Privacy is the hallmark of Vaamika. Only their private boat can reach the island. All five villas have a private jetty where the guests are welcomed with garlands and decorated umbrellas, usually held over royalty or divine idols. The check-in is done directly in the villa where the butler waits with a refreshing drink.
High Noon is a restored 200 year old wooden cottage with two double bedrooms, two outdoor pavilions, private lakefront garden and massage area. It also has a private lakefront infinity pool. To float in the infinity pool with an illusion of merging with the clear, still lake is an amazing experience. Sunrise Residence is a villa couplet – Wood and Stone. The Wooden House has a double and a single bedroom while the Stone House has one double bedroom. They share a lakefront infinity pool, garden and massage pavilion. The third one, Casuarina House is a simpler villa with a gorgeous lake view. It has one double bedroom and a private massage pavilion. The two Lake Houses are charming cottages with direct lake views and one bedroom each. Each villa is uniquely designed and furnished with a combination of modern and traditional art and crafts.
What’s common to all the villas is luxury and comfort with antique decor complementing the art on the walls. Bathrooms in the villas are contemporary bath garden with open to the sky shower area. Inspired by Venice, there are canals within the island and tiny bridges over them.
Service is very personalized. Dinner is usually served in the Museum along with cultural programmes. But you can choose to have your meals anywhere in the island and at any time you wish. The food is so fresh that not even the ice cream is frozen. Their fresh ice creams with unusual flavours like green pepper and jackfruit are a hit with the guests. Fish and prawn are caught from the lake around the island while many vegetables are grown on the island itself. There is no menu and the chef is happy to customize everything for you. They love honeymoon couples and have a series of surprises for them. Most of the villas have private massage areas so you don’t need to step out for ayurvedic treatments. The butler has a small room in the cottage so that he is available round the clock if required. Guests are given mobile phones with pre-programmed numbers so that they can request service easily from anywhere on the island. The staff live on the island in separate housing.
Though traditional wooden cottages are the mainstay of the upscale resorts in Kerala, there is an indefinable quality that sets Vaamika apart. A unique aspect is the Museum of South Indian art with pieces collected over 30 years.