Located in Tellicherry, Ayesha Manzil is a beautiful old colonial mansion that is well worth a visit if you are seeking an authentic glimpse into northern Kerala. With grounds overlooking the blue Arabian Sea, this property was built in 1862 and radiates a homely feel as it originally belonged to Murdoch Brown, a Scotsman who came to the region as a trader with the East India Company, and since buying it at the turn of the 20th century, the present owner has succeeded in keeping its cosy atmosphere.
The home stay is made up of six quirky bedrooms featuring a fine collection of period furniture and family heirlooms, which are well-maintained by the welcoming host and hostess, Moosa and Faiza. Faiza is a wonderful chef who cooks some of the finest dishes in this area and offers cookery lessons to guests, letting you into her cooking secrets. If you are tempted by this, join her in the morning at the local markets to shop for spices and other key ingredients then return to the hotel to witness her demonstrating how to prepare Keralan cuisine in detail. Even if you don't try your hand at cooking yourself, we guarantee that eating the meals will be a highlight of a stay here – make sure to taste her famous fish biryani.
This is the place to stay if you would appreciate genuine insights into local culture as your hosts are more than happy to organise excursions to the local village and take pride in doing so! Experiencing local events and customs here is bound to be a highlight, as watching traditional dance festivals and exploring specialist shops are both equally exciting and memorable.
We recommend a few nights here if you are after a proper South India home stay, where you will be treated with warmth and kind Keralan hospitality within a tranquil setting. Getting the chance to connect with locals and having exclusive access to luxurious amenities are extra bonuses – our favourite facility here is without a doubt the inviting emerald pool that lies within the beautiful garden surrounded by swaying palms.
- Jaime Benitez, South India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Leslie Siben, India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka