36 Palm Boutique Retreat
1/485, Pallipuram, Cherai Beach Munambam Road, Munambam, Ernakulam, Kerala 683515, India
I loved spending the night at the 36 Palm boutique retreat on the beach of Cherai in South India. The retreat sleeps 28 and when I stayed there was one UK family who were checking out and then an Indian honeymoon couple checked in. However, the day after me a large party was arriving, and the retreat was going to be full.
The retreat is on the beach road which contains 35 other hotels but this one did look the nicest. The location is excellent. I stayed during monsoon reason so unfortunately the beach was covered by the sea, but the manager explained how the sea goes back to reveal a sandy beach and the sea is dead calm in the summer season.
It is common to see dolphins swimming past which would have been amazing, I asked about whales, but they don’t get any along this bit of coast. I did however see the fishing boats coming into the bay just a little bit down from the hotel which was lovely and at night I could see lots of lights on the sea which I presumed were boats. The sunset was also amazing.
The highlight for me about staying at 36 Palms was the sound of the crashing waves. I love being by the sea, I don’t think I would have liked to have been on a boat at this time as the waves were quite high, but I loved going to sleep listening to the waves.
So much thought has gone into designing 36 Palms. I love all the little details such as the door handles, the art work in each room has been done by a local and the furniture is so quirky.
It was so lovely to sit in a rocking chair or one of the bench swings reading a book. This place is all about chilling. The paving stones on the veranda have different mosaics. It is just a great place to walk around to find all the hidden treasures. The floors are red solid wood and the windows are made from teak it is a beautiful place I could happily relax here for a few days doing nothing but reading eating and sleeping.
I highly recommend staying at the 36 Palms and I cannot wait to come back one day.
Rooms at 36 Palms
I stayed in room 3 which had a huge king size bed and a single. There was a fridge and water, tea and coffee are supplied. The bathroom had a large shower. One of the other rooms I looked at had a gigantic bath that I bet you could swim in, it was that big.
My bed was so comfortable, and the sheets were really good quality, so I had an excellent night’s sleep. The room was cool, and it had the added option of air conditioning or a fan, but I didn’t need either during my stay.
As I mentioned a honeymoon couple checked in and whilst they were having dinner the staff decorated their room with flowers and they got a cake it was so lovely.
All the rooms apart from one had air conditioning. I was told the one without was for yoga fanatics who wanted a hard bed and didn’t require air conditioning. They must be hard core as I must have a cool room to sleep in so always check the place has air conditioning but that is my personal preference.
Wow the pool was amazing. It was so cool to be in a pool looking out at the great ocean.
They had hammocks around the pool I didn’t even attempt to get onto one of those though as I had images of me falling off. It even rained at one point when I was in the pool but the weather was still warm and I was wet anyway so just stayed in the pool looking out to sea.
Food at 36 Palm
All the food is freshly cooked, I was told nothing comes out of a packet. I had squid roast and it was delicious I have never tasted anything so good and I don’t even like squid. They have a variety of options and every day they will come and ask you what you want and prepare it. I visited the kitchen and it was so clean, the chef was making what I think was a biryani in a clay pot on the stove and the smells were divine.
I was told to avoid seafood in Kerala but here I ate it with confidence I wasn’t going to get sick and I didn’t, and it is well worth trying as so delicious. I also had a fish curry. For dinner I asked the manager to recommend something and he chose coconut rice (oh my god where has this been all my life) paneer butter masala and a veg curry and some beef which is a rare sight apparently in India but all was so good. We ate a feast and it was less than £12 for both of us and it could have fed at least 4 as there were lots left over.
For breakfast there is the option of a Kerala breakfast or freshly cooked eggs. I went for a cheese omelette and toast which was also very delicious. To have your breakfast watching the fishing boats going out was such a good sight. Although I did have a few friends eyeing me up (crows) but they didn’t come and nick my toast which was a relief.
Therapies at 36 Palms
OK now what better way to relax in a boutique than to try one of the wonderful therapies that the 36 Palms offer.
I met the yoga and masseuse and he seemed friendly unfortunately I didn’t have time to get any treatments but they all looked amazing. This is a good place to go for some relaxing treatments, watch the sea, eat a bit, sleep, watch the sea and have some more massages.
The massages were reasonably priced for a hotel in Kerala. They had a good selection of the local treatments if I was to have one I would try the Njavarakizhi. I have had a Shirodhara during my visit in Kerala and this is amazing.
Uzhichil – Popular body massage 60 mins 1500rs
Rejuvenation massage – 1 hr 30 mins 1800rs
Feet massage – 30 mins 800rs
Shirodhara – medicated herbal oils streamed onto the forehead and scalp with a neck and shoulder massage 45 mins 1800rs
Herbal facial – 1 hour 1500rs
Nasyam – medicated oils applied in drips through the nose for some kind of headaches, nasal ailments and cleansing of the nasal passage 30 mins 600rs
Thakra Dhara – Butter milk 45 mins 1800rs
Pizhichil – herbal oil is filtered onto the body in a rhythmic drip design and then massage lightly and slowly min of 3 days
Kati Vasti – 1 hr 30 mins 3000 rs
Udvarthanam – dry massage using herbal powders 1 hour 30 mins 3000 rs
Njavarakizhi – massage using a rauslin pouch containing njavara rice cooked in milk and medical herbs – 1 hour 30 mins 3500rs
Ilakizhi – full body massage using a steamed muslin pouch containing elakizhi leaves 1 hour 30 mins 3000rs
Yoga, meditation, reiki and special treatments available.
If you stay at 36 Palm please let me know what delicious food you tried and hopefully the sun will be shining for you so you can enjoy the coastal position.
Thank you to 36 Palms for being an excellent host for my one night stay during my trip to South India. I made this video during my stay I hope it sways you to book this wonderful retreat in South India.
Further reading about India
If you like this article please share and pin for reference