Luxury on the lake

The Lotus Rice Boat

The Lotus Rice Boat

, Kerala
, India

The Lotus is state of the art and immaculate, having being done up in the same style and to the same high standards as Neeleshwar. It is a new interpretation of the traditional Kerala houseboat but it has all the amenities of a first class hotel and the boat has been designed to give guests a feeling of light, luxury and space. With clean lines and much use of teak, it is bright and fun and fresh. It is fully staffed and managed by the Neeleshwar team and the chef on board will serve you up delicious meals, often fresh from the sea or river. There are two large bedrooms with teak floors, cheery colours, large observation windows, i-pod docks, mosquito netting, fans and silent air-conditioning. Each room has a private sit-out and en-suite airy bathrooms (showers).

There is then a spacious indoor sitting room, a bar, a modern kitchen, and a glorious large sun deck for al fresco dining and soaking up the sun – a perfect vantage point for watching a way of life that has changed little over the years.

Our Rating: Luxury
Property Type: On Water


The Lotus is undoubtedly the most beautiful boat in North Kerala’s backwaters. This glorious vessel has all the outward traditional looks of a rice barge whilst the wooden interiors are bright, fresh, colourful and contemporary.

The Lotus provides a diverting alternative to the hotel for long staying guests who’d like to go and cruise the backwaters for a day, a night or more. These backwaters remain totally unexploited and guests are unlikely to encounter virtually any other boats. On the water people fish, work and punt their narrow dug out boats with tall poles, whilst boatmen carry loads of coir, copra and cashews. They comprise a myriad network of canals and lagoons, at times only a few yards inland from the sea, and stretching for miles.


2 glorious rooms with double beds that can be converted to twins. Each has timbered flooring and has a desk, ipod dock, spacious and superb shower room. They are decorated in cheery, contemporary, bright colours and each has its own private sit out. With floor to ceiling windows, they are light and there’s nothing better than lying in bed watching the world on shore go by. They are air-conditioned, have hair dryers and a safety deposit box. There is a strong eco-policy on board.


Dining can be inside in the sitting / dining room. The windows can be opened to catch the sea breezes, or closed if a/c is required. Dining can also be al fresco on the roof deck and breakfast and dinner are usually served here. A table d’hote menu is provided but any taste can be catered to by the brilliant chef. They serve Malayali (Keralan) and continental cuisine. The seafood is fabulous.


Undisturbed by the sound of traffic, the birdlife is exceptional and dining under the stars, listening to fish jumping and the distant chatter of villagers, will provide you with a lifetime of magic memories and delightful dreams.

Why we love this place

Situated in the far north of Kerala, the backwaters up here are blissfully unexploited compared to down south so one is unlikely to come across others when cruising these canals. This boat is moored closed to Neeleshwar Hermitage so it can be perfect ‘add on’ to a stay there.

Responsible/Sustainable Tourism

The boat is pollutant free and they also have an eco-friendly ‘no-plastic’ rule. Safe and pure drinking water is supplied from the latest ‘reverse-osmosis’ purification system. No waste is discharged into the lake.

Our Recommendation

Swim in the warm, clear waters of the waterways and absorb the peace. Combine gentle relaxation with visits to Shri Mutthappan Temple and Monkey Island, visits to villages, temples, swimming in the backwaters, birdwatching, cookery classes, visits to a coir factory and picnics.

Can’t find a suitable itinerary that features a destination, experience or accommodation you fancy? All our group tours and holiday ideas can be personalised, or we can create a tailor made itinerary for you.

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Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)