POSTCARDS ARE SELECTED SHORT STORIES & MEMORIES

Kayal Retreat Island is the ode to slow living and simpler times created by Maneesha Panicker. Staying true to the spirit of the island, she adds her own charm, brings in her love for movies, theatre, art and design to the place and creates unique private boutique healing experiences.

POSTCARD 01:  SECRET OF BEAUTIFUL HAIR

Have you wondered how many chemicals are in your shampoo?

Every time I am looking for a more wholesome natural alternative to chemical convenience, I look to the wisdom of our ancestors. I asked my mother what she used to wash her hair, or what my grandmother did to wash her hair, as a young girl. I looked at the ancient hair routine followed by the women on the island. Turns out the secret to their dark lustrous hair is washing their hair with a pulp of bright red hibiscus and its deep green leaves. I have been following the same routine and am happy to report that it’s working. It makes my hair soft, lustrous and adds a sparkle to my eyes. It’s also a great morning routine for me. I walk through the island in the gentle morning sun, listen to the birdsong and pluck a handful of hibiscus. 

MANEESHA'S HAIR ROUTINE 

Oil hair and leave on for 30 minutes. Wash hair with chick-pea flour. Massage hair with a paste of fresh hibiscus flowers and leaves. Rinse thoroughly. Get on with your day.  Go on and try it, and let us know how you feel. 
POSTCARD 02:  CATCH THE FISH & MONENT

Fresh! That pretty much sums up every dish and meal at Kayal. Made with locally sourced ingredients, authentic recipes and new age sensibilities, the flavours of Kayal will stay with you long after your vacation.

Meen curry is a staple in Kerala. Every household has its own recipe, varying the spices a dash here, a pinch there. Want to try ours? Make a lunch date with us, and we’ll treat you to the freshest fish, cooked the Kayal way. 

POSTCARD 03:  COCONUT TODDY

Tring, tring! Some mornings, we follow the bell of a bicycle to find the toddy tapper on the island. We watch him swiftly go up the coconut tree and collect sap into earthen pots. If we are lucky, we get a tumbler full of toddy. We gulp it down. It’s sweet, refreshing, and mildly alcoholic, leaving us with a happy buzz. 

Coconut toddy is a staple drink in Kerala. Locals drink it to take the edge off their day. Communist workers devise their protest plans over a glass of toddy. We even mix it in rice dough to make vellayappam - a light, fluffy rice hopper we eat for breakfast. What’s not to like, this natural drink is filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

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OWNER & MANAGER

MANEESHA PANIKER

In another life, she was no different from you. She lived in New York, worked in the bustling, mega metropolis and loved every moment of it. But home was Kerala. Kayal, Her latest project, is a boutique island retreat in the backwaters of Kerala.

TRAVEL & HEALING PARTNER

AYURVEDA TRAILS

Dedicated to everyone, who is searching answers to these questions: What is ayurveda? How is this ancient medical system connected with yoga, meditation, healthy food, relaxation in nature and modern life style?

NAMASTE

When we greet one another with Namaste, it means, 'May our minds meet'!
The real meeting between people is the meeting of their minds!

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