'Relax in the lap of nature’ : CGH Earth Marari Beach Resort
'Relax in the lap of nature’ with this motto in mind, we started searching for places for a weekend getaway. We did some online searches and finally with the help of Kerala Holidays Pvt Ltd, we zeroed on CGH Earth Marari Beach Resort.
Mararikulam is a small coastal village in Alappuzha District, Kerala. What makes Mararikulam famous is its beautiful Marari beach. The nearest town is Allapuzha and the nearest airport is Cochin International Airport. Marari beach is also easily accessible via NH 66. Marari beach was selected as one of the world's top five hammock beaches by a National Geographical survey. And for once I really think this survey is exactly correct as resting in a hammock with only the sound of the waves is way more relaxing than I ever imagined.
The Journey Begins
Our check in time at the resort was 2pm, so ideally we had to leave home just around 12:30pm, but our little Zavi was up at the crack of dawn and he was brimming with energy and wanted to leave home early in the morning. We somehow managed to keep him occupied till around 10am and then finally we left home. At around this time itself I received a call from the resort to confirm our stay. They also said that they would whatsapp us some pre check-in form and some details. I really liked this as it was like getting started even before we actually started. They sent us a pre check-in self declaration form, a map of the entire property, a brochure with the different ayurvedic treatments and massages available and also a detailed message about the common facilities available and the timings of the restaurant. The journey was quite uneventful with Zavi sound asleep. We reached the resort by around 11:30 am. We were received with a warm smile at the portico and I dropped off the family and the luggage there and proceeded to the parking area. When I got back, Zavi was all sleepy and weary, it seemed like all his initial excitement had worn off. We were served with some warm and yummy coconut cookies and they also enquired if we would like to drink something. Our check-in formalities were already completed before we reached and we had already Whatsapped all our proofs and vaccination certificates. Our room was just getting ready. In the meanwhile, Ms Selma at the reception gave us a quick tour of the resort and also mentioned the Butterfly Garden. As soon as Zavi heard butterflies, he was excited again. Ms Selma informed us that they have a Naturalist, who would take us on a tour around the property and show us the flora and fauna. Zavi wanted to go to the Butterfly Garden immediately but we somehow convinced him that we shall have lunch and then go to the Butterfly Garden. Ms Selma led us to the restaurant and as she walked along she spoke in length about the resort. The resort was around 34 acre. It had a badminton court, tennis court, table tennis, beach volleyball, cycling and a clubhouse with other indoor games. They also had an organic vegetable garden, butterfly garden, multiple ponds, big and small with different varieties of fishes, frogs and turtles and a lot of birds like owls, woodpeckers, orions and a large number of beautiful birds had made this amazing place their home. We reached the restaurant. A soothing instrumental music was being played in the background while we had our yummy lunch. I was feeling rather sleepy by this time. The Naturalist, Mr Shibu, met us at the restaurant. Zavi and Mr Shibu instantly hit it off and they got chatty on their favourite topic, animals. We decided to do some exploration with Mr. Shibu in the evening and headed to our room.
Room No 11: Deluxe Garden Pool Villa
We usually see cards that are used to swipe and access our rooms and then there is this whole hassle about taking care of this card. But here at CGH, they have a very innovative method. They gave us a hand band which gave us access to our rooms. No worries as we just have to wear it. All the villas here had thatched roofs and this totally added to the whole authentic feel of the place. The villa was awesome, to say the least. There was living space, a very spacious bedroom, two washrooms and a garden with a pool. There was access to the garden and pool area from the living space, bedroom and also from one of the washrooms. This particular washroom was especially cool with an open roof. And also this washroom had a wooden door to the garden, this door had a lock typically seen in old traditional Kerala homes. Zavi was totally intrigued by this setup. Also hats off to CGH, they used traditional 'bharani' (earthen pots) for the toiletries in the bathroom, refillable glass water bottles and also paper rolled to pencils. Zavi was super excited, he just kept running up and down the rooms screaming and singing aloud on top of his voice. I was totally exhausted and wanted to just sleep for an hour. Oh! The tantrum Zavi threw when we tried to put him to bed for a nap was unimaginable. His only argument was 'Did we come to the resort to sleep?'. Finally, Laya managed to calm him down and we all rested for sometime.
The Tea Cart And An Evening to Remember
Authenticity to the roots. What else can I say about the typical Kerala style tea cart with tea, coffee and snacks. The tea cart is kept open at their premises for an hour from 4pm to 5pm. Anyone can walk up to the cart and ask to be served tea or coffee. There were also really hot and yummy 'vada' served with tea. We enjoyed our evening tea and snacks and the weather was cool and breezy. There was a session of archery happening around there. After tea, we went ahead and played a round of archery. It was our first attempt at archery. Wow, I just realized that we needed a whole lot of concentration for archery. Our naturalist, Mr Shibu, was overseeing the archery session and he gave us easy and useful tips for beginners in archery. The archery session was packed up as and when the tea cart was wrapped up. Butterfly Garden was Zavi’s next destination. Mr. Shibu accompanied us to the Butterfly Garden. The butterfly garden was a treat to the eye, but rain suddenly played spoilt sport and we all ran for shelter. All of us got into the nearby Palm Lounge and settled down in the chairs there. As we enjoyed the rain, Zavi came up with a game. It was his favourite game, saying Animal Names. Each person had to say the name of an animal without taking much time. While we waited, even Mr. Shibu joined us in the game. Mr. Shibu had a lot of animal photos in his mobile, which he had taken over the years. Zavi found this very interesting as Mr. Shibu would show the picture of the animal that he was saying. In some time, the rain gradually stopped. After the rain stopped, Mr. Shibu took us to a nearby tree where we spotted an owl. It was pretty difficult for us to first spot the owl as the owl was literally sitting there like a statue, totally immobile. It was very difficult for Zavi to see the owl at first, but finally he said he saw the owl. I still really doubt if he saw the owl. As the sun set, we slowly bid goodbye to Mr.Shibu, freshened up and then headed to the restaurant for a light dinner.
As soon as we got back to our room, Zavi wanted to jump into the pool. All of us changed and then went forward for a dip in the pool. Zavi was super excited to take a dip in the pool. Zavi doesn't know how to swim, neither do I, so we stayed in the shallow side of the pool, playing games. After some fun filled time, we decided to call it a day. Zavi just didn't want to come out of the pool and finally after a lot of coercion, he came. We retired for the night, waiting excitedly for the surprises of the next day at CGH Marari Resort.
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