Secret Retreats announces the opening (or reopening) of two new luxury houseboats in its portfolio
Say the words “houseboat vacation” to potential travelers and images of sleeping bags spread across the boat’s roof, shared cooking assignments and the roar of jet-skis come to mind. Fun definitely figures into the equation but luxury certainly does not. However, a hotel brand in Asia is taking that idea and flipping it on its head with two new high-end houseboat experiences.
We’ve talked about Secret Retreats before. They’re the relatively new boutique collection that owns exclusive properties in Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea and Vietnam with plans to expand into other Asia countries. Both of the collection’s houseboat experiences are located in India and both cater to a well-heeled crowd.
The Lotus, part of the Neeleshwar Hermitage property, recently launched in Kerala. It’s described as an “interpretation of the traditional Kerala Backwaters houseboat,” that is excellent for two night getaways or as an exotic way to travel from southern or central Kerala to the Neeleshwar Hermitage. This luxury interpretation includes on-board Ayurvedic spa treatments and yoga classes. The Lotus has two en-suite bedrooms decorated in bright colors with teak floors and large observation windows to let in light and air as well as a private veranda. Bathrooms include separate showers and tubs and are stocked with organic Fabindia toiletries.
Coming up on April 1st of this year, Kashmir’s first eco-friendly top-end houseboat will re-open on Dal Lake. Sukoon boasts five en-suite bedrooms, each named after a saint or poet of the region, and a shared dining room. Lounges and verandas encourage relaxation with the peaks of the Himalayas serving as a backdrop. Sukoon is unique in that it has a bio-tank so no water is released back into Dal Lake. All drinking water is purified via a reverse-osmosis process that eliminates the need for plastic bottles onboard.
Photo courtesy of Secret Retreats