God’s Own Country reveals a new gem. A previously unheard-of destination, far from the well-trodden tourists’ trail, Bekal delights all your senses. Located in north Kerala on the edge of the Arabian Sea, just 75 km. South of Mangalore, this so-far undiscovered locale is now all set to become the next touristic ‘find’! Spa Mantra explores the first luxury resort and spa at this idyllic destination launched by the Lalit Group.
The drive from the Mangalore airport to Bekal (75km) is scenic to say the least, with glimpses of the Arabian Sea and backwaters alike and thick coconut plantations on either side of the NH 66, which takes me to the resort. But even as a jaded traveler, I marvel at the utter beauty and birdsong that greets me at the Lalit Resort & Spa at Bekal.
Following founder Lalit Suri’s vision of offering the magic of Ayurveda in luxury, The Lalit Group was the first to build a luxe resort and spa at this destination . Today, several more resorts are in varying stages of readiness, heralding the “arrival” of Bekal on the tourism scene. Set on 26 acres of a virgin tract of land, encircled by the river Nombili on two sides and the Arabian Sea on the third, the resort is strategically located to give discerning clients a secluded and stunning location.
A discreet entrance belies the stunning Bali-esque landscape that greets me as I enter. There are beautiful cottages with sloping tiled roofs set on the banks of curving water bodies, which mimic Kerala’s back waters. Coconut trees dot the beautifully-landscaped, lush green resort and flowerbeds interspersed with fragrant lemongrass line the internal lagoons, which meander though the property. The huge entrance pavilion with a sloping roof supported on a maze of rafters has an imposing stone ‘deepa – stambh’ in the centre, which echoes the local architecture. It is here that I was so graciously welcomed by Richard Rosen, the Spa Director Corporate, The Lalit Group who told me how Rejuve – The Spa at Bekal was different from any other in the Group.
The Spa Concept
Located at a destination renowned for its Ayurvedic herbs and treatments, the resort presents its clients the facility of the first five star luxury lifestyle spa offering pure Ayurveda as well as Western therapies.
Lalit’s signature Rejuve – The Spa at Bekal is Green Leaf Certified by the Kerala Government. No place in Kerala can offer you as pure and true-to-form Ayurvedic treatments as this resort. Ayurveda is the prime focus at Rejuve and guests have the opportunity to undertake healing and curative therapies in the most authentic and traditional way. But at the same time, Richard Rosen tells me “The spa concept offers the
Occupying a spectacular 20,000 sq.ft. of space, the Spa faces a large lagoon and is skirted by a lotus-filled canal on one side. Unique in shape, curved walls define the Spa Reception, the Relaxation Lounge, as well as some of the rooms. The clean, modern design makes ample use of natural light with open air corridors linking the different parts of the spa, and water bodies adding to the ambience.
The most dramatic feature of the Spa is that the treatment rooms are built around an open-to-sky atrium with a central water body featuring an enormous white conch shell-like structure pointing upwards. The Spa features 13 multifunctional treatment rooms for Ayurveda, international therapies and beauty services, which include a Couple’s therapy room, and a Medical spa room. The Ayurvedic and Western therapy rooms are in different parts of the Spa, as is the modern Salon with five work stations.
Each treatment room is virtually an oasis of restful calm, surrounded on one or more sides by landscaped gardens visible through the floor to ceiling glass walls. The colour scheme of these lily-filled gardens around the spa is green (corresponding to the heart chakra) and white (purity and peace). Geared to provide total privacy for the guest, each treatment room is complete with a steam and shower, a washroom and changing area. As Rosen says, “A guest could walk in and out, and no one would know any better.
The stunning oval-shaped Relaxation Lounge and library has a wooden floor, rafters supporting its sloping roof and looks out on the lagoon through an enormous curved glass wall. Unique petal-shaped loungers invite one to relax, post treatment. Reading tables are thoughtfully provided, and clients can linger over the books on health, Ayurveda, Yoga, food & nutrition, etc. available on the bookshelves.