The northern regions of Kerala are known for their forbidding wilderness, warriors and revolutionaries. The name Wayanad means the land of paddy fields, but you can’t enter this district without feeling the drama of the forest. The slopes are steeper, the trees taller, the vines thicker and more tangled than we see elsewhere in Kerala. About fifteen years ago, the Wayanad region opened up for luxury tourism, and the fragile forest has so far seemed robust enough to withstand it.
Wayanad Wild, a new resort that was soft-launched by CGH Earth this January, is built and run with the same sensitivity as the group’s other resorts, with clusters of rooms perched on a slope. When you walk out onto the balcony, you find yourself looking at the higher branches of trees further down the slope. The air is cool here at an altitude of 2,900 feet above sea level, and even in March a light sweater is welcome in the mornings and evenings. Salvaged ship wood and bamboo accessories lend some warmth to the sleek steel structures; there is comfort here without ostentation.