Growing up, all those Truth or Dare games had one question in common-“If you were to escape to an island forever, who would you take?” While my answers ranged from ‘best friend’ to my crush back then, I never really gave much thought to the question because I was so sure that no such situation would ever arise in reality. But if you ask me now — I would take my dog; because this situation is not hypothetical anymore. There’s a beautiful homestay on a tiny little island in Kerala that you can choose to book in its entirety.
Vini’s Farm is an island perched on the stunning backwaters of Kerala. Situated on the confluence of the Kallada river and the Ashtamudi Lake, near Kollam town, Vini’s farm is truly breathtaking. With wooden cottages on stilts (equipped with all mod cons), lush rain-fed foliage dotted with swaying palm trees, a beautiful lake that extends to the serene backwaters and lots of beautiful birds to keep you company, this gorgeous homestay on an island will prove to be the antidote to all the urban stress.
It has just two plush rooms with attached bathrooms inside a seemingly rustic wooden cottage on stilts that gives uninterrupted views of the lake and perfectly blends into the surroundings. The property is an ideal setting for writers, artists, couples and anyone looking for some peace, away from the usual bunch of noisy tourists. Vini’s Farm encourages privacy and allows for the full island to be booked. Should just one room be booked, not more than one other couple can occupy the second one. The food is homely and authentic Kerala cuisine. Depending on the season they provide fresh vegetables grown organically in and around the farm. Here you have a personal chef to your service from whom one can even take a cooking class and learn the nuances of the local cuisine.
While on the island you can choose to enjoy a soothing sunset cruise every evening on a vallam (country boat) out in the open backwaters and catch the moonrise or take a farm walk with the staff to learn about local farming techniques such as toddy tapping and farming below lake level. For bird watchers, Vini’s farm is a haven as it offers ample opportunities for sighting kingfishers, woodpeckers, egrets, cormorants, herons, crows, pheasants, snakebirds, teals. They also have water related activities like, fish farming, fishing for prawns etc. The farm also has a couple of dogs, a cat, a couple guinea fowls and hens to play with. Do not forget to take a canal cruise through the narrow and winding canals on a vallam and catch a glimpse of the unique backwater villages.
Run by two environmentally conscious people, Aram and his wife Vinita; the farm stay was inspired by Aram’s dad who was a Conservator of forests. He loved nature and Aram grew up in tune with him and studied hospitality and management. “Hospitality has made way for hostility. The guest is not the king there. Hotels or resorts still decide, the routine of a guest. I wanted to change a few rules of the industry and give the guest an out-of-the-box experience, pamper them with personalized services and make them live life king-size all while encouraging sustainability. This was the main reason behind establishing Vini’s farm which was also a surprise gift for my wife,” mentions Aram.
Vini’s farm encourages rural responsible tourism by providing a source of income for the locals which are employed in the kitchen, for housekeeping, area maintenance and sourcing fish, vegetables and other produce from them. They encourage organic farming and sustainability and educate the local youth about the importance of the same. Everything on the island farm is minimalist and is in tandem with the nature.
A stay at Vini’s farm is all about unwinding in nature’s lap and exploring the tranquil island and life on the backwaters. For details on tariff and booking visit their website here.
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