Tamil Nadu and Kerala summer tour
£2420including UK flights
Description of Tamil Nadu and Kerala summer tour
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetThis tour features CGH Earth properties, a Kerala family owned business that has been operating since 1954. Sustainability has been their ethos from the start. At CGH Earth protecting the environment and nature is core to their business and visitors staying at their various hotels will see this in practice. Every hotel has been inspired by the nature that surrounds it.
Spice Village in the Periyar Wildlife sanctuary area has individual cottages constructed using the same methods and thatched with elephant grass used by the Oorali (the tribal people of the area). Maison Perumel (and Palais de Mahe) are original authentic buidings of Pondicherry. Maison Perumel in the Tamil Quarter and Palais de Mahe in the French Quarter. Mantra Koodam has authentic villa style rooms in a small village and Visalam is an art deco building in Chettinad. Eighth Bastion is a heritage building in Fort Cochin. All these buildings have been saved by conversion to a hotel. The group incorporates as many environmentally friendly practices as is practicable at each hotel.
For example at Spice Village (which is in the mountains) they do not have air-conditioning, much of their power is generated by a huge solar panel structure, they grow masses of their own vegetables (organically) and using their own compost created by a Vermicomposting (worm) plant. At Coconut Lagoon food waste is put into a ‘bio-gas plant’ and the power created is enough to run the staff quarters. Another initiative has been about preserving the local biodiversity of flora and fauna in the grounds of their hotels. Guests will find many of the plants are labelled and birds and butterflies are common (Coconut Lagoon has a butterfly garden). Water harvesting and wastewater management is another area where they have focused their attention. All these facilities can be seen by interested guests – just ask a staff member.
Two of the hotels on this tour are not CGH Earth properties because they do no have hotels at those destinations (Mamallapuram and Madurai). The hotels used at these two destinations are both privately owned and employ local people. The hotel in Madurai is a heritage hotel too.
PeopleCGH Earth is a Kerala family run business and at all their hotels they endeavour to employ as many people as possible from the local community. Their obligation to ‘give back’ is key to their beliefs and is a major contributor to their success. Local people are employed at all levels. They have instituted community based programmes that have helped to rehabilitate poachers and smugglers and local tribes have been taught organic farming techniques.
At Coconut Lagoon the guest accommodation is in traditional tharavads that were restored by hand using the local craftsmen.
At Spice Village they have a 50 mile radius restaurant. This means that all the food has been sourced no more than 50 miles from the hotel. This initiative has given local farmers a regular source of income and has enabled them to produce higher quality, organic food knowing that there is a market for it. Many CGH Earth hotels also have cultural programmes. This provides additional work for local dancers, musicians and performers.
All of our customers are supplied with detailed information about their holiday. We supply general advice relevant to all customers as well as more specific facts about your particular tour. These documents offer our customers lots of advice and guidance including how to obtain an Indian Visa, which immunisations are recommended, how much to tip people, how to dress appropriately and how to behave in National Parks.
Our local agent only works with us, so he and his team (and their families) are dependent on us for their income. Our drivers have a contract and are paid a monthly wage rather than only earning during the season. This gives them income throughout the year and the knowledge that they have a job next season (most other drivers have to re-apply for their own job each year). This low season work will give them additional income in the form of tips.