Our idea of luxury
As the recent winners of two World Luxury Awards 2015: Best Beach Resort and Best Scenic Location, our idea of luxury can best be summed up as the SLOW LIFE.
S is for Sustainability:
Serving the richest 20-30 % of the planet’s population, hotels around the world have long consumed far more than their share of the available resources, while the negative impact those gated tourist ghettoes can have on local communities is well known. This model represents a linear path leading to the long-term detriment of the environment and the industry itself. We champion circular business practices that reduce demands on natural capital and underpin long-term sustainability. A good business is not just a question of profitability, it is one that benefits all who come into its orbit.
L is for Local:
We do not fly in orchids from Bangkok each day, nor gourmet cheeses from Paris. The flowers that adorn our rooms are picked fresh each morning by the ladies of our housekeeping and spa teams as they walk to work, and our cheese is most likely to be freshly made Indian paneer, served in a variety of mouth-watering curries and sauces. Located in the middle of a fishing community, we buy their catch fresh each morning. Overall our staff is 95% drawn from the local area (where unemployment is often high). All in all, many extended families – perhaps 400 people - benefit directly from our employment, and this is not counting the local suppliers.
O is for Organic:
We do all we can to use only organic food and products, especially in the Priya Spa. But to be organic means more than just to eat unadulterated food. On a wider level it means to be integrated, to have an awareness of a greater whole. This has implications at many different levels. To take just the ecological aspect. We have a strict ‘no plastic’ policy, which includes a ban on so-called ‘mineral’ water in plastic bottles. They are an ecological disaster, particularly in touristy Kerala which has almost zero ecological awareness. We already have delicious water from our own water table, which we purify further by the most advanced method, ‘reverse osmosis’. So no plastic bottles here. Still unconvinced? Try spelling Evian backwards.
W is for Wellness:
We believe that the default setting for a healthy human being is a natural and inherent contentment, a state which yoga philosophy calls santosh. Because so few of us enjoy this state spontaneously, we have to go through all sorts of procedures to try and recover it. Thus was born the billion dollar ‘Wellness industry’ Adherence to few simple principles can help enormously: a regular routine, enough rest, wholesome food, adequate physical exercise, a limit on screen-staring and a simple meditation practice to rest and sharpen the mind. Keep good, nourishing company and don’t fill your mind with rubbish you are powerless to change. This simple wisdom informs our days here, and we also offer Ayurvedic advice and treatments to correct any imbalance you have.
L is for Learning:
As well as relaxation we offer several valuable learning opportunities. Yoga and meditation under expert guidance unknot the mind and body. We have a library and lectures for those interested in Indian culture, and regular visits to nearby religious and festival events. You can take bird-watching tours accompanied by local ornithologists; cooking classes are available daily from our chefs. And in the peaceful and tranquil environment, you might also discover a thing or two about yourself.
I is for Inspiration:
Inspiration means literally ‘breathing in’ – taking into yourself unpolluted air, refreshing life-energy, vitality, enthusiasm. This is why for all of those seeking to recharge their batteries naturally, we advocate joining The Hermitage family. For the rest of your life.
FE is for Fun Experiences:
Lest all the above sounds a little too worthy, we should not forget that life is to be enjoyed. In fact we have a serious duty not to take anything too seriously. To us fun is simple, human, analogue and natural. So whether you are drawn to sunning, swimming, walking, bike-riding, having long lazy meals spiced with good conversation, with the option of visiting festivals and markets and interacting with the locals, do please enjoy yourself!