Placed within pristine plantations, lakes and the tropical rainforests of Wayanad, is Pepper Trail – an experiential retreat located in North Kerala. The property is situated within Mangalam Carp Estate, a gorgeous 200-acre colonial spice and coffee plantation inside the Western Ghats. It was founded in the 1800s by Colin Auley Mackenzie, one of the leading planters of the time.
In the 1900s it was bought over by P. Balram Kurup, a pioneer cultivator of rare plants and with his efforts, the plantation turned into a haven of exotic flora. It is managed to perfection by the third generation of his family, who ensure that traditional farming methods are preserved. One can even say that the estate is timeless and has not changed over the years.
Pepper Trail is a haven of relaxation, ‘peppered’ with bespoke and luxurious experiences of unique plantation life. Guests can immerse themselves in the local knowledge of the land and retreat within the age-old bungalow or one of the property’s beautiful treehouses. With only four large suites at the property, it is truly a customized experience. Condé Nast Traveller has also picked it in their 2016 Hot List of the World’s Best New Hotels.
At the core of this splendid properties lies a 140-year old Colonial Bungalow called the “Pazhey Bungalaav” – seeped in history and culture. The bungalow has been restored with care and is adorned with a lovely collection of antique furniture. Within this bungalow lies the “Malabar Suite” on the ground floor (101 square meters) and “Mackenzie Suite” (123 square meters) on the first floor. The interiors of every suite include exclusive family heirlooms and unique colonial furniture, including an antique four-poster bed, that will transport guests to another century of plantation life. The suites are plastered with warm wood tones and offer panoramic views of the plantation, creating an effect of being within the estate itself.
The one-of-a-kind Treehouses are perched upon giant jackfruit trees within the plantation. Named “The Woodpecker” and “The Hornbill” (72 and 60 square meters respectively), the experience of staying in a tree-house is indeed unforgettable at 40 feet above the ground. They are equipped with large bedrooms; safari inspired furniture and outdoor living spaces. They are only accessible by passing through specially designed walkways through coffee trees. The materials sourced for the interiors are natural and local.
Being a retreat, Pepper Trail offers superb Ayurvedic treatments performed by expertly trained masseurs in the privacy of a Spa amidst verdant gardens. The Spa also hosts an open to sky shower and vintage cast iron bathtub.
The culinary experience includes a variety of Kerala’s most exquisite dishes, with ingredients sourced from the local plantation and organic farm. Private dining experiences are arranged upon request.
110 Km from Calicut/Kozhikode International Airport
90 Km from Ooty Railway Station
Pepper Trail offers an array of lovely complimentary experiences for guests. For those who wish to immerse themselves in nature, there are guided plantation walks, tours of the organic farm, daily sunset walks and birdwatching. At the heart of the plantation lies an acre-wide natural spring reservoir on which guests can indulge in Coracle/Canoe rides. There are also open jeep safaris around the retreat along with cycling tours of the surrounding countryside. Guests can take a journey to the local Kiln where bricks are made by hand and can witness exclusive cooking demonstrations by revered Chef Mani.
There are several activities and spots around Pepper Trail as well. These include; the Edakkal Caves,Wayanad Heritage Museum, Tea Factory, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Chembra Peak Trek, Uravu Bamboo Crafts Village, Banasura Lake & Meenmutty Waterfalls Day Trip, Village Life Experiences and more.