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Sabine was a wonderful host. She made sure that I knew all the options available in the area of places of interest and helped me organise transport for some of these too. The cottage is delightful and situated in a beautiful garden adjacent to Matt India Ayurvedic Centre. I had seven days of treatments at the centre as well as wonderful yoga classes on the roof each morning. The treatments are excellent and are carried out by skilled therapists. There is also consultation with a professional and intuitive ayurvedic doctor. The food is excellent and all the staff are so friendly and helpful. I couldn't have asked for more. I enjoyed the walks around the backwaters, particularly at sunset, a trip into Fort Kochi, a day at a nearby beach which is quite idyllic, a boat trip through the backwaters and just loved wondering around the village. Kerala is great and I look forward to going back but next time I hope to stay here longer and have 14 - 21 days of treatment.
I had a lovely time at Sabine's teakwooden cottage at the Matt India Ayurveda Centre! I would wake up every morning to her beautifully tended garden and sit in the super comfortable porch chairs. It was great for the peace and quiet I was looking for to get some reading, writing and relaxation done. Sabine is a kind and gracious host, offering morning tea and being easygoing and attentive on the whole.
Do be aware however, as secluded as the cottage is, there are lots of interesting noises and guests - the temples begin chanting on loudspeakers at 5.30 am and some days the woodcutters next door cut logs from about 12/2pm to 5/7 pm. As is natural for being in the middle of such lush greenery, you will experience ants, little lizzards and moths. So if you have a hard time with nature then be advised. Personally it made me feel like Snow White and didn't mind lovely little creatures at all!
The cottage was also great for afternoon siestas, tea gatherings and its proximity to Matt India provided me with really wonderful rejuvenation treatments and meals. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a getaway in Kerala.
We enjoyed our stay in the bamboo cottage, it is definitely the way to go if you intend to undergo treatments at Matt India - the other guests we befriended who were staying in the center's accommodation were most jealous of our secluded, laid back and natural feeling location!
The cottage is smaller than we had expected but does the job - you probably won't want to linger inside for too long as it's quite dark in there, but the deck is perfect for chilling as long as you can find a good mosquito solution (they were ruthless during the August monsoon this year!)
Do be aware that Matt India requires you to pay the full fee for their package (which includes 3 meals per day, yoga, internet access that doesn't work in the cottage and accommodation you won't be using) on top of the bamboo cottage fees, so it's not a very cost effective deal. In our dealings with the center this was not made clear to us so we were caught by surprise when we were charged full price on arrival.
The other little surprise was the lack of hot water, but there was apparently no hot water in the center either and indeed it seems to be elusive at the best of times even in Kochi. It wasn't a huge issue but during the monsoon it did get cool on some days so just good to know in advance so you can mentally prepare.
If you're in the area be sure to take a walk around the backwaters and pop in to the teahouse on the river (turn right from the center then right again at the marketplace - it's a little shack a few hundred meters on your right). It's so nice to be so close to a rural community who is so friendly and colourful. There isn't much else in the area in terms of restaurants or cafes etc though in our opinion so you really would want to be going for the ayurvedic treatments. Enjoy!
The Bamboo Cottage is as beautiful as it looks! A nice cool place to rest away from the heat of Kerala and a short walk from the Matt India Ayurvedic Spa, which makes it a perfect location to balance interaction with other guests and truly private time. As there are no cooking facilities in the cottage, being able to get tasty, healthy meals at Matt India is an added bonus.
The cottage is in the garden of the Matt India Spa, with the beautiful beaches being about 30 minutes by foot or 15 min by auto-rickshaw. For a light sleeper, the proximity to a major road - combined with the Indian penchant for honking horns at all times of day and night - was something of a challenge. But waking up to the raucous chatter of jungle birds was good fun!
Sabine is a generous, helpful host -- and once the birds have woken you up, it's a short walk to the Matt India rooftop to join her yoga classes!
Thank you for staying at Pension Bicuar regards, Jeff