Pepper Trail is one place that the experience of the great outdoors matches up to the amazing stay — where else can you live in a luxury tree house and ride in a rustic coracle. Hidden under the canopy of the Mangalam Carp Estate which is a spice and coffee plantation deep in the Western Ghats of Kerala, this resort, is more homestay and less hotel. With one Kerala-style bungalow dominating the lodging space, you’ll be walking into the past as you step in here. But while the structure is classic and most of the interiors are too, modern accents will keep you in the present. The wooden beams, walls, and flooring gives the place a warm and cosy feel. After all, it is over 140-years-old! Check into two suites in this main house — Mackenzie or Malabar, for that regal ambience. Think low beams, four-poster beds, en suite bathroom bigger than most city flats, and of course, tables and walls holding memories and heirlooms of Balram Kurup, and his descendants who currently look after the property.
You can ditch the bungalow and check in to the tree houses in Pepper Trail that are luxury-meet-earthy. Aptly called Hornbill and Woodpecker, both are nestled up in the jackfruit trees and at least 40 metres above the ground. These have large bedrooms, four-poster beds, and a bathroom, but they also have space inside and outside to just relax amidst nature. The estate is so vast it even has a one-acre waterbody that you can float across on a coracle. Or, hit up the herb garden to see what is grown and help on the plantations too. It’s really quite fulfilling — farm to fork! And that too authentic Kerala food.