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Responsible Tourism: An Effort By CGH Earth Group ˗ Outlook Traveller SwaSwara ˗ November 3, 2015 SwaSwara

He carried his resignation letter in his pocket for a month, a bright young Bombay-based CA with a promising career in a big -ticket firm, and newly married too. He really didn’t want to give it all up for his family’s hotel business in ol’ Cochin. But persistent letters and trunk calls from his ailing father finally persuaded him to hand in the notice. Only for two years, the oldest of six sons told himself, till at least a couple of his brothers finished their studies, and off he would go. “That was in 1978,” recalls Jose Dominic, now the 65-year-old patriarch of the CGH Earth Group. “I got sucked in and never left. Tourism was only beginning to gain relevance back then. It was among the most heavily taxed sectors, in fact. It was very different from what we see today.” Click here

Chettinad Guide: Magnificent Mansions, Peppery Cuisine, and Antique Markets - National Geographic Traveller India Visalam ˗ April 17, 2015 Visalam

Over a century ago, daily life in the villages of Chettinad in eastern Tamil Nadu would have been very different. The sounds of women’s anklets, the laughter of children, the aroma of freshly-ground spices would have filled the imposing mansions of Chettinad built around the 19th and early 20th century. The region comprises some 78 villages, dominated by the prosperous Nattukotai Chettiar community of businessmen and bankers. Karaikudi is the region’s principal town. Click here

Get To The Heart Of The Wild, Mingle With Pristine Nature ˗ Destination Kerala Wayanad Wild ˗ March 2017 Wayanad Wild

Wayanad: A bumpy road just after the hairpin bends on the Ghat road leads up to CGH Earth’s ‘Wayanad Wild’ ( in Lakkidi. The bone-rattling journey up through the rainforest in the resort’s four-wheel-drive was a good preparation for the wonders that lie ahead. The air was filled with the chirping sound of crickets, and from the winding road, I could see the gates of Wayanad Wild. Click here

East Indies, Cochin, India (Alissa and Don Eat Asia Day 18, Part 1) - Ministry of Gluttony East Indies ˗ February 12, 2013 Eighth Bastion

Black Berry Resort had majorly stuffed up. I had spoken to a guy who I feared was being too blasé when I made arrangements for our early morning departure, and my concerns were proven to be justified. Having a midday reservation in Cochin on the way to the airport, it was important for us to leave at 6:30am as per my request so we would get to Cochin with ample time to make the 12pm. So when we arrived at reception to find that no arrangements were made I was rather furious with the guy I’d spoken to the day before. We ended up waiting for an hour and 15 minutes before our taxi arrived. Get this - first car that was sent to pick us up apparently broken down on the way (I know, right?) and the hotel staff simply didn’t think this this additional delay was useful information to share with us. Click here

Exploring Kerala with CGH Earth, Coconut Lagoon - BOE Magazine (The Business of Everything) Coconut Lagoon ˗ February 01, 2016 Coconut Lagoon

Approaching Coconut Lagoon from the shore, drifting across serene backwaters as the sun slowly dips below the horizon ˗ a fiery coin surrounded by a pink blush of sky ˗ sets the tone for the kind of place you’re about to experience. It really does take your breath away. There’s that beautiful stillness of dusk; the caw of one of the myriad of water birds that make their homes here; the swish of coconut trees caught by the breeze. A moment of utter peace. Click here

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Wander Around in Pondicherry Darling - Plume Voyage Maison Perumal January 02, 2015 Maison Perumal

Surrounded by bougainvillea and makeshift motorbikes, why not get on a bicycle to see the sights of Pondicherry? It is easy enough to find your way around: the city is divided into squares. Just behind the seafront and its long promenade, you will find the White City: dignified and French, with a touch of history. 

12 Incredible Hotels for Art Lovers in India - Huffington Post SwaSwara ˗ May 12, 2016 SwaSwara

Aside from the usual offerings (yoga, Ayurveda) that are available for soul-searching travellers, SwaSwara also places a heavy emphasis on art therapy. “The beauty of art is that there is no rigid definition of everything in life, and teaches tolerance and with unencumbered acceptance,” says Mini Chandran, general manager. “It encourages people to think and look out of the mental boxes most of us have unconsciously interred ourselves in, and frees the inner child hidden within.” Click here

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Falling in love with the ancient arts at SwaSwara ˗ Queen of Retreats SwaSwara SwaSwara

I went to SwaSwara, which spills down green hills to a sacred Om-shaped beach, to recover from an intense project. I wanted yoga and ayurvedic massage, and the highest quality and luxury, but not some bland, international or expat version of these ancient arts. Click here

Footfall Without Footprints ˗ The Hindu SwaSwara ˗ March 17, 2013 SwaSwara

Tourism has received adverse criticism due to its perceived threat to the environment as it makes inroads into ecologically sensitive regions and biodiversity hotspots. This derives mainly from the perception that tourism, be it high-end luxury hotels or low-end mass tourism, can blight landscapes by leaving its undesirable footprints by consuming local resources and generating undesirable waste. Sustained accumulation of such footprints alongside unplanned and unregulated development far exceeds the carrying capacity of the locality. SwaSwara , meaning inner voice, is a unique experiment where tourists literally do not leave any footprints behind. Surrounded by dense forests, the 26.5 acre property is located on the famous ‘Om’ beach at Gokarna, some 180 km south of Goa. Click here

Next time I’ll see the real India ˗ Passage to India P2 ˗ Some Good Life SwaSwara ˗ November 9, 2011 SwaSwara

Phase two of my Indian holiday, an eco-retreat. Arguably a few days in Mumbai plus a spa week don’t count as the real India. Perhaps I only glimpsed the country as a passenger peering out car windows on purposeful journeys first through multi-national, western-ish Mumbai then the remote rural villages and semi-towns in the south. Every so often I did pause to soak up local culture ˗ shopping at a roadside vegetable market, learning to eat biryani (rice dish) with yogurt served on a coconut leaf with my hands, praying at a Shiva temple in the seaside village of Gokarna, watching ritual chanting at a Brahmin house, snacking on two plump veggie samosas and a masala dosa (savoury pancake) from Udupi Café for Rs 50.00 or roughly .64 pence ˗ the real, incredible India. My next trip I’ll discover more authentic-traditional-modern-day India, but for now on to SwaSwara. Click here

Holidays with Soul: Indian Wellness Getaways for Every Budget ˗ National Geographic Traveller India SwaSwara ˗ September 6, 2016 SwaSwara

Named from the Sanskrit words for “self” and “sound”, SwaSwara aims for guests to tune in to their inner voice—firstly, by providing a 26-acre property where all one hears is the hush of the ocean. Guests begin their day at the Ayurvedic wellness retreat with sunrise yoga classes, and follow up with massages as part of the treatment prescribed by an Ayurvedic doctor. Hit deep, relaxing states of mind with meditation sessions and walks on nearby Om beach, or find your zen with pottery and art classes. SwaSwara also arranges hiking, boating, and kayaking excursions. Catch sunset views of the ocean from the yoga deck atop each of the 24 villas, made of local laterite stone and thatch. The focus on “local” translates into meals comprised of freshly caught seafood, and vegetables and fruits from the organic garden. And if it all seems a bit too clean, the resort serves Indian wines. Click here

Exploring Kerala with CGH Earth, Brunton Boatyard ˗ BOE Magazine (The Business of Everything) Brunton Boatyard ˗ March 21, 2016 Brunton Boatyard

It’s easy to imagine, a hundred years ago or more, the hulking timber forms of ships, masts outstretched, approaching Fort Cochin and being greeted by the glowing cream facade of Brunton Boatyard Hotel. The sea-facing rooms, with their ample balconies and comfortable whicker chairs, might hold waving guests who are spying out dolphins; the impressive outdoor pool would be resplendent with genteel folk taking their morning dip; and visitors would be clustered round the wrought iron tables of The Cafe, sipping Masala Chai. There is something about Brunton Boatyard that evokes nostalgia ˗ reminiscent of a more romantic time. Click here

Sunset, Dolphins And Heritage Galore At Brunton Boatyard In Cochin ˗ LBB Bangalore Brunton Boatyard Brunton Boatyard

With the picturesque harbour for a backyard, and a stately Victorian building to call home, Brunton Boatyard will be one of the things to make you want to go back to Cochin. Click here

A Boatyard Turned Boutique Hotel ˗ The Urge to Wander Brunton Boatyard ˗ March 15, 2016 Brunton Boatyard

You wouldn’t imagine from its almost monastic architecture, that this beautiful boutique hotel was resurrected from the remains of a Victorian ship building yard just under seventeen years ago.  A resurrection that appears to have taken pains to recreate the Portuguese/ Dutch Colonial vibe so intrinsic to Fort Cochin. Click here

A Love For Indian Cuisine ˗ The New Indian Express Brunton Boatyard ˗ May 9, 2015 Brunton Boatyard

As David Rocco stepped out of the Brunton Boatyard, hotel at Fort Kochi, a bus screeched to a halt in front of him. “Where do you want to go”? Said the conductor. ‘To the barber shop’ said David. The conductor nodded, David got on. And it stopped in front of a barber shop. “This can happen only in India”, says David. “A public transport bus makes an unscheduled stop, just for one person. And that is also the beauty of the country. It is so unpredictable” Click here

A Sweetness Called India ˗ The Hindu Brunton Boatyard ˗ March 13, 2015 Brunton Boatyard

David Rocco, anchor and producer of the TV show Dolce India, sees himself as an ambassador of India promoting the country through its distinctive cuisine and culture His beloved pasta has got curried and the tiramisu ‘coconutty’. But David Rocco, anchor and executive producer of Dolce India, a programme that showcases the wealth of Indian cuisine and the diversity of its culture, is excited about such innovative crossovers. Click here

Dispatches from Fort Kochi: The Brunton Boatyard - An ode to seafarers and the sea ˗ Nicobar Brunton Boatyard Brunton Boatyard

Just down the road from David Hall is The Brunton Boatyard. When you walk onto this beautiful, sprawling property, you walk right back in time and into a Victorian Shipyard. Its open-air reception is almost deck-reminiscent, and it is always home to a cool sea breeze. In its main courtyard you’ll find a giant restored anchor, around which the hotel is built. The hotel might be a relatively new structure, but it is so in sync with its surrounds that it melds effortlessly with Kochi’s other, more-historic facades. Click here

Live Like The French did In Pondicherry At Palais De Mahe ˗ LBB, Bangalore Palais de Mahe Palais de Mahe

When in Pondicherry, you might as well live the way the French Colonials did — in a heritage house with palatial rooms. And Palais de Mahe gives you the perfect opportunity to do just that. Click here

11 Ways to Enjoy Puducherry - Condé Nast Traveller Palais de Mahe ˗ February 19, 2013 Palais de Mahe

Located on Perumal Koil Street in the Tamil Quarter is Maison Perumal, a Chettiar mansion beautifully restored by CGH Earth. Like in a house, the rooms are left unnumbered and the courtyard restaurant bears no name. Dine on the day’s fixed menu of fresh seafood platters surrounded by ooralis (brass troughs), sepia-tinted photos and stain-glass panes glinting in the sun. Click here

Exploring Kerala with CGH Earth, Marari Beach - BOE Magazine (The Business of Everything) Marari Beach ˗ February 20, 2016 Marari Beach

Continuing our new travel series, Rebecca Anne Milford heads to Kerala with Jet Airways. Here she explores the charms of Gods’ Own Country with CGH Earth, and discovers the unparalleled beauty of Marari Beach.  Click here

Sustainable by Tradition ˗ CGH Earth Coconut Lagoon ˗ Green Pearls ˗ Unique Places Coconut Lagoon ˗ October 11, 2016 Coconut Lagoon

In our series “Sustainable by Tradition“, I look behind the scenes of the sustainable Green Pearls® Hotels. I would like to know more about the long traditions and history behind the properties and hosts, that make the hotels what they are today: unique green pearls. This second episode of the series leads us to Kottayam in India, where the Coconut Lagoon Resort awaits us with traditional architecture and values. Click here

10 Places for a Good Night’s Sleep ˗ Green Pearls - Unique Place Spice Village ˗ September 18, 2015 Spice Village

At CGH Earth Spice Village, guests will feel like royalty in the majestic wooden beds. The completely untouched village in the middle of South India’s nature, excludes loud traffic noises and any sounds that disturbs a good night’s sleep. Rather, guests wake up to the happy chirping sound of birds, starting each day close to nature. Click here

Spice Village ˗ an Organic Ecotourism Resort ˗ Women Travel Spice Village ˗ March 9, 2015 Spice Village

A room key in recycled newspaper was a signal this was going to be different to the last experience on #keralablogexpress where I stayed in the presidential suite with my own infinity pool. This is an ecostay experience ˗ no show of elephants and drums here at Spice Village. Click here

Tamilnadu India: A Journey Through The Tropical Southern State - Independent Visalam ˗ February 20, Friday Visalam

Of all the hoary old clichés that attend to travel dispatches from India, perhaps none is so reliable as the claim that it is better understood as a continent than a country. Indeed, so hardy is this journalistic perennial that, even when not spelt out explicitly, you can almost smell writers grasping for it as they try to comprehend the vastness of Britain’s inherited jewel. Click here

Food to Fly for: Tasting Tamilnadu ˗ Sunday Times Visalam ˗ June 12, 2011 Visalam

Culinary is culture, in this southern state of India, even elevated to artistic heights, says Devanshi Mody. CGH Visalam: This beautiful heritage hotel, set in Chettinad’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an epicurean idyll. Visalam’s cuisine is presented by 22-year-old wonder boy Chef Ashwin, his equally young team and their “secret weapon,” a village lady Pandia Yammal, the only woman in the kitchen. They can shame most three-Michelin-starred chefs with impeccably executed Chettinad dishes. Click here

Tamilnadu Takes Off ˗ Verve Visalam ˗ April 18, 2012 Visalam

Tamil Nadu, India’s must-visit state, has more temples than Italy has churches, and boasts India’s greatest concentration of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you are not impressed by this, join the devotees who plan pilgrimages here principally for the prasadam! Still not convinced? Visit simply to enjoy the mouth-watering local cuisine which Verve declares beats the fare at most Michelin-starred establishments. Click here

Brunton Boatyard a nautical blast from the past Brunton Boatyard

Entering the lobby of the Brunton Boatyard, off the traffic-filled streets of Cochin, is stepping into another world. During a recent site inspection of the hotel, a sturdy wood reception desk caught my eye first, a commanding presence in a space designed to evoke the essence of the site's history. Dating to the late 1800s, the Brunton Boatyard was home to the prestigious shipbuilding company George Brunton & Sons. Today the five-star hotel, owned by CGH Earth (formerly Casino Group of Hotels), is both one of the city's finest properties and an exhibition of its South Indian roots. Click here

A quaint getaway, a modern stay-cation, or a glamorous honeymoon - lovers got lots to choose from. Chittoor Kottaram in Kerala is one of them. Chittoor Kottaram

As the monsoon rains are ready to provide the perfect backdrop to your romantic escape, we suggest you take a break at God's Own Country. A world of warm, laidback, and elegant hospitality awaits you at Chittoor Kottaram. Resting on the banks of the quaint backwaters of Kerala, the heritage mansion is witness to over three centuries of history. Today, Chittoor Kottaram is the home of Lady Hamlyn of The Helen Hamlyn Trust and she has partnered with CGH Earth to bring this experience to holiday makers seeking privacy.

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