Location: Kerala & Karnataka | India

Price guide: $$$$$ Less than $100 per person per night

Aanavilasam is a luxurious hotel near Thekkady in rural Kerala, set on a former plantation estate and surrounded by seven acres of private estate dotted with pepper and cardamom plants. The hotel is the brainchild of Salim Pushpanath, a photographer whose beautiful black-and-white prints adorn the walls throughout.
Perfect forExperiencing the rich wildlife, including tigers, of the Periyar National Park.
In the know
  • Colonial-style hotel in a cardamom and pepper plantation
  • Owned and artfully designed by photographer Salim Pushpanath
  • Cookery classes available to learn how to make authentic Keralan cuisine

Recommended for...

  • Food & Wine
  • Honeymoon
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Service & Hospitality

Hotel Overview

Sense of place

Aanavilasam remains a working cardamom and pepper plantation, and rich foliage surrounds the hotel. The hotel is a labour of love for owner Salim, and service is friendly and welcoming, with a glass of fresh papaya juice awaiting you on arrival.

Rooms at Aanavilasam

Rooms at Aanavilasam, spread across luxurious suites and two villas, have a homely country house feel. Decorated in a bright, contemporary style, they retain a sense of the property’s heritage with dark wood four-poster beds, and Indian linens and silks adorning the walls. The spacious suites have French doors opening out on to large verandas, and deluxe rooms have private terraces looking out over the hillsides and cardamom plants. Villas feature private swimming pools, and the ultra-exclusive Presidential Suite is accessible only by its own wooden bridge.

Food and drink

Aanavilasam embraces the slow food philosophy, with an emphasis on seasonal, fresh ingredients which are freshly prepared to order. Food is a fusion of Keralan, North Indian and Continental: expect freshly baked bread and masala omelettes at breakfast time, and delicious multi-course feasts at dinner. There’s also an ever-changing selection of delicious complimentary Indian snacks rustled up by Krishna, the experienced chef, not to mention an unending supply of milky masala chai.


Enjoy a guided tour around the pepper and cardamom plantation, which also grows ginger and turmeric. This is a great way to get a feel for how some of the most iconic flavours and spices in Indian cuisine are harvested. You can also learn how to cook authentic Keralan food in a cookery class with the hotel's chef, Krishna, with private classes available.

Activities at Aanavilasam

The Periyar National Park lies around eight kilometres from the hotel and is unmissable while you’re in the area. An important tiger reserve, there are even some white tigers who live here as well as large elephant population. 

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

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Best time to go

Hotel location

Aanavilasam is in the village of Pathumury in the heart of the Keralan countryside; the nearest airport is Cochin International Airport, around four hours’ drive away, and Kottayam railway station is three hours away.

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