This innovative group of hotels in India’s sultry southern states and beyond offers you an immersive taste of each region’s culture, heritage and history. Each property has its own distinctive character which fits with its surroundings - no homogenous branded interiors here. Red-roofed villas reflect in a still lagoon by Kerala’s famous backwaters; thatched lodges sit serenely in a scented Thekkady spice garden; cool corridors surround a sheltered courtyard pool in Pondicherry’s French Quarter.
This vision of hotel luxury steps sideways from the standard definitions. Rather than lavish opulence, ‘luxury’ here means attention to detail, a commitment to heritage, and ensuring guests connect to the destination from the first moment. There’s a sense of storytelling in each property which fires the imagination and sets you wondering about the history of the area and the lives of those who call it home. Venture out to experience it for yourself, and return to the hotel at the end of the day to unwind at leisure.
Several hotels concentrated in Kerala, with a scattering in Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu, and one in the Andamans. Each property puts its location front and centre, connecting you to the surrounding communities and landscape.
History and culture
Modern elegance meets rich history with premium quality - a memorable place to stay.
Discover what to expect from staying at CGH Earth hotels
Extending out over Cochin’s historic shoreline, Brunton Boatyard has been beautifully restored to combine its shipbuilding heritage with modern amenities. The result is a property bursting with character. Exposed beams and dark wood allude to the boats that once bobbed against its harbour, whilst the spacious terrace looking out over the sea makes you feel like you’re sitting on the deck of a tall ship. It’s the kind of property we absolutely love, that connects you to your location whilst offering the highest quality of experiences. Explore Fort Kochi’s winding streets, take a boat trip out into the bay, and dine on fresh seafood as the sun sets over the Arabian Sea.
With tranquil gardens and a lakeside setting, the Coconut Lagoon is a refreshing retreat within one of India’s most enchanting landscapes. The surrounding wetlands are abundant in birdlife, including rare darters and flocks of egrets. Low roofed cottages and private pool villas are arranged through the gardens and along the lakeside, with shady verandas where you can sit and watch the last rays of the warm Keralan sunset glint off the water. Canoe and kayak along Kerala’s backwaters, enjoy a cuppa from a floating tea shop, and wander through the thriving butterfly garden.
The Marari Beach is a sustainability-focused resort set in acres of lush gardens with its own organic farm, which offers cosy relaxation beside one of Kerala’s finest beaches. Thatched cottages, modelled on the traditional homes of Mararikulam fishing communities, are scattered throughout the estate, creating a homely feel. Dine on homegrown organic produce, regional spices and the freshest local seafood, and learn more about the culinary experience by picking your own veg and herbs in the garden. Head out on naturalist-led walks to learn about the region’s ecosystems, take a wander along the beautiful beach, and get up early to watch the local fishermen land the first catch of the day.
This eco retreat sits lightly within the biodiverse Thekkady hills, in an area of supreme natural beauty and ancient forests. The resort uses local tradition and innovative sustainable practices to offer stylish, environmentally-friendly accommodation. The cottages are decked out in a minimalist style with plenty of natural light, white walls and smart upcycled pine furniture. Learn about the different spices grown in the region with a chef-led masterclass and visits to a nearby plantation, meet local tea-pickers at work in the hills, head out on guided treks into the Periyar Tiger Reserve and take a bamboo raft out onto Periyar Lake.
Sheltered beneath tall trees in lush garden surroundings, Chitoor Kottaram feels like a proper hidden gem. Once a modest residence of the region’s royalty, the manor house and grounds still reflect a certain relaxed grandeur. The river waters lap gently against the jetty at the garden’s edge, and guests arrive from mainland Kochi by boat into their own, private idyll. With just a couple of guest rooms available, a stay at Chitoor Kottaram means you’ll have the entire place exclusively to yourselves, with no other guests, and the entire staff dedicated to making your stay really special.
With its refreshing mountain climate and beautiful rainforest setting, the Wayanad Wild is all about taking in the natural surroundings, and soaking up the clean air and the scents of the jungle. Admirably, the resort has been built without removing any trees, and each room has its own balcony or terrace looking out into the forest. Comforts are modern but tech is kept to a minimum to encourage a connection with the wilderness around you. Dine on wholesome seasonal produce sourced at the local market, and the freshest fish from the harbour nearby. Go on guided night hikes into the forest, and learn more about the region’s ecosystems from a skilled naturalist as you share a coffee around the campfire.
Just a few steps from Pondicherry’s seaside promenade, and cooled by breezes blowing in from the Bay of Bengal, Palais De Mahe is an elegant, old-world hotel in the heart of the city’s French Quarter. The rooms are bright and full of character, with high ceilings and arched walkways. Explore Pondicherry’s historic streets by rickshaw, or take guided heritage walks around the areas of the city that spark your interest. Stroll along the grand promenade, watch garlands being woven at the city’s famous flower market, and take time out from the bustle with a dip in the courtyard pool.
Far from the constant buzz and hum of India’s bustling towns, in one of its most remote island regions, Tilar Siro is a proper castaway idyll. A selection of unobtrusive cottages sit serenely within dense greenery and tall palms, just moments from the shoreline. Despite its remote location, this resort’s styling is very contemporary, and the focus is all about the diving. Whether you’re an experienced PADI-qualified diver, or just dipping your toes in for the first time, this is the prefect place to get beneath the surface and explore the Andaman’s extraordinary underwater world.
The CGH group has made a commitment to sustainable and socially responsible tourism, through the triple promise to work with local communities, care for the environment, and reflect local values. There are initiatives to recycle water, reduce electricity consumption, upcycle and reuse building materials and eliminate single-use plastic, as well as a focus on caring for the surrounding habitats and wildlife.
Go tiger spotting in three of India’s national parks.