Rainforest Review + Chef’s Signature Recipe
Do you recollect the massive waterfall in the super famous South Indian Blockbuster “Bahubali”? This location is actually a massive waterfall, in fact, the biggest waterfall present in South India: Athirapally Waterfalls. This waterfall is on the Chalakudy River in the Sholayar Forest Reserve and you can view this all day from a quaint resort nearby called the Rainforest. Rainforest is a classy boutique hotel or rather a small premium resort right in the middle of a forest overlooking the gorgeous falls.
The location of the resort is one of the biggest reasons for its popularity. Every room in this resort has a view of the waterfalls in all their glory amidst the jungle. Spotting wildlife around is also a very common attraction. Waking up every morning to the sound of the waterfalls along with that of other elements of nature will give you the feel of paradise. They also have a tree and a cottage along with an exclusive selection of rooms.
At the very first glance, you will be enamoured by the beauty surrounding you. The gushing sound of the heavenly Athirapally waterfalls will leave you stuck in the same place for hours. You are bound to spend most of your time gawking at these falls and the nature surrounding them. The Rainforest resort really helps you make the most of this experience. They provide you with the best rooms and very simple yet modern interiors. They realise the importance of these falls for their business which is why almost every place in the resort is overlooking it.
Your first impression of this place is bound to leave you feeling “Cell phones off, Nature worship on.” The entire place is so abundant with nature that you will be craving this experience once you go back to your city life.
The serene Rainforest is located at the foot of the great Athirapally Falls. Amidst the Sholayar Range, this luxury resort provides you with the experience of nature in its rawest form. It is in the Thrissur district of Kerala. Athriapally is closest to:
- Nearest Town: Chalakudy
- Railway Station: Chalakudy
- Airport: Cochin International Airport
You can easily reach the Rainforest from the Kochi Airport which is only about an hour’s drive away. If not, there are three railway stations also very close by. Chalakuda is only 45 minutes away from the Resort while Thrissur is a 1.5-hour journey. There’s another major railway station close by which is Ernakulam town. This station is a slightly longer journey than Thrissur. If you are a Keralite looking for a weekend getaway. Don’t miss the opportunity of driving to this place. The distance between Rainforest and the nearby cities is:
- Chalakudy: 30 km
- Thrissur: 54.7 km
- Kochi: 82 km
- Kumarakom: 150 km
- Munnar: 150 km
- Thekkady: 225 km
- Varkala: 236 km
Style and Character
The Rainforest is essentially a boutique hotel with 9 rooms and one tree house. The look and feel of the resort are rustic and give off a very cottage vibe. It is honestly the best place to have a resort because of its proximity to the falls. You can actually hear the waterfalls from every room of the resort. The place is right in the heart of a green rainforest and offers you both luxury and comfort.
The interior of the Rainforest is a beautiful fusion of nature with modernity. Their treehouse design was actually made by a Swiss architect. All the other rooms available are quite spacious and make your stay as comfortable as possible. They have a minimalist touch along with the usage of stylish furniture. The balcony and the living area are perfectly made to have a great time overlooking the falls.
Although the Rainforest doesn’t cover a huge amount of land. However, they make the best possible use of it. They have fewer rooms but each has the perfect view of the waterfalls. Ultimately, it is the nature around that gives the Rainforest resort its primary character.
Despite being amidst a forest, Rainforest provides a lot of amenities that ensure you are provided with the luxury and comfort that they promise. Here are some of the amenities that the Rainforest provides:
- Mini bar facility: This is typical of any hotel. You will find all your chips and soft drinks over here. Although, this is a chargeable mini bar.
- Dressing gown: They provide you with a dressing gown inside your room
- Wifi Service: The beauty around you would anyway not want you to stay hooked to your gadgets. However, the wifi service is available in all the rooms of the resort. You will not find this service in the tree house and the cottage though.
- Tea/Coffee maker: Every room has a tea and coffee maker. You can easily make yourself a good cup of hot tea and sit on the balcony to enjoy the waterfalls.
- Safe/locker: They also have a safe and locker facility available in your room. Therefore, you may not worry about leaving any valuables behind.
- Laundry service: You need to worry about your clothes, the resort does provide you with a laundry service.
- Swimming pool: This is by far the best amenity because of how gorgeous the view looks from here. You can directly see the waterfall while having a relaxing swim in their infinity pool. You might actually forget all about swimming while watching the majestic falls from right in the middle of the forest.
- Pachyderm: They have a library too. There’s also a place for some indoor games along with projector availability. This projector isn’t for any movie screenings or so. It is in case of any conference meetings being held here at the resort.
The Rainforest property has ten exclusive rooms available for its guests. This is a highly luxurious property. Therefore, the packages are also accordingly priced. All the meals are included with every package. Here are the different types of rooms available:
The Tree House: As children, staying in treehouses was a dream. Nonetheless, This treehouse is also one! The view of the waterfall and the surrounding rainforest will leave you in a trance. However, the treehouse is without any air conditioning or room service. The entire room is entirely open to the forest view. Only 2 guests are allowed per room and no extra guests. The treehouse package will cost you about INR 30,000/-.
Premium Rooms: This room has a very sleek look. It is simple and modern in terms of the interior. You have a small attached living area as well as a balcony overlooking the waterfalls. They have a relaxing in-room jacuzzi. You can actually take in the rainforest view right from your jacuzzi and bathroom. This room allows an extra stay for a child. If you wish to add any extra guests, an additional cost of INR 5000/- is charged. The package costs about INR 30,000/-.
Celestial Rooms: This room is luxury redefined. With tasteful interiors and excellent style, this room comes with a lot of added amenities. You have a walk-in wardrobe as well as a foot massager. This room is a premium room but way larger in size and also has the same policies. The package costs about INR 41,000/-.
Luxury rooms: Minimalistic and chic, these rooms also follow the premium room policy. However, it isn’t as big as that room and also doesn’t give you the comfort of a jacuzzi. However, it is a comfortable choice with a package cost of INR 24,000/-.
Things to do
Well, you obviously do have the experience of ogling at the waterfalls from your cosy room. However, the Rainforest experience is worth much more. Step out and explore these below-listed experiences to have an even better time:
- The Forest Walk: You are right in the middle of a rainforest. Therefore, spotting some wildlife seems like the perfect choice. Therefore, take a walk around and don’t forget to click some pictures of elephants and deer as a memory.
- The famous Waterfall Trek: It’s a 1.5-hour walk to this roaring wonder. You will soon feel too tiny in front of this majestic and heavy shower. However, this waterfall is worth looking at up close.
- Cycling: You can easily take up the cycles parked right outside the resort. Discover and explore the places around you along with the other two waterfalls nearby.
- Bird-watching: The forest around is also a great place for those who love the thrill of bird-watching. You will find different wildlife species here. Therefore, keep an eye out and take some time out of your day to do so.
- Fireflies: If you do end up at the resort before the monsoons set in, you will be lucky enough to find hundreds of fireflies out of their hibernation. Watching and walking through them is a treat to behold.
- Waterfalls: Besides the massive Athirapally waterfall, there are also the Charpa Falls and Vazhachal Falls close by. Therefore, you can easily go waterfall hopping and have fun taking a dip everywhere.
- Ayurveda: Rainforest also provides various ayurvedic treatments in association with Madukkakuzhy Ayurveda. They have around 5-6 treatments available.
Apart from these experiences, there is also a famous temple nearby called Guruvayoor. This temple is one of the old and holiest temples in Kerala.
The restaurant at Rainforest provides a relishing culinary experience. You will experience traditional Kerala Cuisine in all the meals served during the day.
Breakfast: They have a very carefully curated menu with a lovely South Indian cuisine breakfast. You will experience the typical Kerala taste. In addition, they also have continental breakfast options if you don’t wish to only eat South Indian.
Lunch: The lunch meal is worth having here. You will feel that you are being served at a South Indian home. They serve you on a traditional banana leaf like a typical Kerala Sandhya. There is a wide spread of different chutneys, curries, lentils and rice options. If your stay is booked at the resort for longer than a day, you may also put in a special request from the second day onwards.
Dinner: Dinner is quite a change from your lunch and is another meal you must look forward to. It is a carefully curated four-course meal. This four-course meal changes every day of your stay. You get to experience and relish European and continental cuisine at night.
The food is also locally sourced and the traditional Kerala meal has earned heaps of praise. Also, this is a non-alcoholic resort. Therefore, if you wish to consume alcohol while watching the majestic waterfalls, carry some with you.
From The Kitchen of Rainforest Athirapally
Serve this flavourful South-Indian dish with papadoms, pickle, steamed rice, and sambhar for a hearty meal.
Serves: 4 Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes Total time: 45 minutes Cuisine: Authentic Keralan Cuisine/Indian Course: Main Course
2 drumsticks, 2 medium-sized carrots, 1 raw plantain, 50 g green beans, 3 green chillies, 60 ml of coconut oil, ½ freshly grated coconut, salt (to taste), ½ tsp turmeric powder, 1 cup yoghurt (less sour), 1-2 tbsp coconut oil, 1 tsp cumin, ½ cup water, 10-12 curry leaves
Rinse all the vegetables thoroughly. Peel and chop the vegetables into thick, long batons or sticks. Immerse the banana in cold water to avoid darkening. Keep the remaining vegetables aside. In a bowl, whisk the yoghurt and let it rest.
To make the coconut paste:
Grind the green chillies, cumin seeds and grated coconut along with ½ cup water to get a coarse paste. Keep aside. In a pot, add green beans, drumsticks, plantain and carrots along with turmeric powder, salt and a cup of water. Cover the pan and cook the vegetables on medium flame until the vegetables turn tender. Add the coconut paste and mix gently. Allow the mixture to simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are thoroughly cooked. Reduce the flame and slowly add the whisked yoghurt. Mix and let it simmer for 30-60 seconds. Mix in 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil and curry leaves. Cover and keep aside so that the flavour infuses well. Serve with papadums, pickle, sambhar and steamed rice for a hearty meal.
- 2 drumsticks
- 2 medium-sized carrots
- 1 raw plantain
- 50 g green beans
- 3 green chillies
- 60 ml coconut oil
- ½ freshly grated coconut
- salt to taste
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 cup yoghurt less sour
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ cup water
- 10-12 curry leaves
- Rinse all the vegetables thoroughly. Peel and chop the vegetables into thick, long batons or sticks. Immerse the banana in cold water to avoid darkening. Keep the remaining vegetables aside.
- In a bowl, whisk the yoghurt and let it rest.
To make the coconut paste:
- Grind the green chillies, cumin seeds and grated coconut along with ½ cup water to get a coarse paste. Keep aside.
- In a pot, add green beans, drumsticks, plantain and carrots along with turmeric powder, salt and a cup of water. Cover the pan and cook the vegetables on medium flame until the vegetables turn tender.
- Add the coconut paste and mix gently. Allow the mixture to simmer for 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are thoroughly cooked.
- Reduce the flame and slowly add the whisked yoghurt. Mix and let it simmer for 30-60 seconds.
- Mix in 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil and curry leaves. Cover and keep aside so that the flavour infuses well.
- Serve with papadums, pickle, sambhar and steamed rice for a hearty meal.
All in all, Rainforest is a luxury stay at one of the finest places in Kerala. It makes you observe nature up close and admire it even more. Who wouldn’t want to wake up daily to the sight of these majestic waterfalls?
However, June-October is the best time to visit and experience the beauty of this place. They also have very limited rooms. Therefore, it is best to make your bookings well in advance.
You may find the property a little overpriced however the view makes up for it. Try to make the most of the resort as well as the place around it and don’t forget to visit these incredible waterfalls!
Shristi is an avid reader, recipe developer and wellness enthusiast. She’s probably making a mess in her kitchen right now.