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The Vrinda is about what you’d expect when Oberoi, one of the planet’s most astute and luxury-minded hoteliers, decides to create a houseboat designed to wend its way through a watery wonderland like southern India’s lush Kerala Backwaters.
Located near the southwestern city of Cochin (or Kochi), famed as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, the Kerala Backwaters are a rare ecosystem, thronged with aquatic and avian life, graced with palm-fringed rice paddies and secluded villages, a green natural masterpiece of lakes, lagoons, and gently twisting waterways fed by 38 rivers flowing to the Malabar Coast. Beloved of Indians, the Backwaters are a treasured destination for international travellers…especially aboard the Oberoi Vrinda, an intimate and magnificently outfitted houseboat, whose two- and three-day cruises provide what we think is an ideally serene experience of the unique Backwaters.
The Vrinda’s eight deluxe cabins are designed for maximum privacy, while their large windows look out at the ever-changing Backwaters scenery. Furnished with king-sized beds and polished teak flooring, the cabins are equipped with complimentary internet connections, in-cabin entertainment via a 42-inch LCD television, a lovely glass-panelled shower, comfortable armchairs, and the gracious, 24-hour attendance of a butler.
Dining aboard the Vrinda is Oberoi-excellent, with freshly prepared international and Indian meals served throughout the day, either in the airy main cabin, or outside, on wicker chairs, watching the green world ease by.
A two- or three-night Vrinda cruise is a delightfully restful interlude on any of Micato’s Bespoke Indian Journeys. Nearby Cochin—very worth a visit—is a couple of air hours from Mumbai, and three from Delhi. Aboard the beautiful boat, we’re treated to evening dance performances—Kerala’s many styles and schools of dancing are world-renowned—and we make excursions to scenic and fascinating archeologic and religious sites, visit villages, and soak up the electrifying repose that make the Backwaters such a sought-after idyl.