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Hot List 2007

SwaSwara, Kochi 
$$$$

Casino Building

Willingdon Island

Kochi
India

Tel: 91 8386 257132

On India's west coast, Gokarna was until recently known to few outsiders apart from visitors to its temples or hippies seeking secret beaches. Now CGH Earth's latest ecoresort makes it possible to experience this spectacularly rugged stretch of coast in a more complete fashion. Perched above Om Beach, SwaSwara is constructed of bricks baked from local laterite in a thatched-roof style. Arranged around a planted courtyard, each of the 24 suites has an open-air shower stocked with natural products, a bedroom with air-conditioning, and an upstairs room open on all four sides for stargazing. No red meat or hard alcohol is served, but the menu includes seafood and wine. If doing yoga under the meditation dome or blissing out by the pool proves too tame, there are also kayaking and mountain biking as well as touring the temples, forts, and wilderness in Karnataka's hinterland.

When to go: October through March has the driest and sunniest weather without inordinate heat.
Which room to book: Suites in the B and C ranges have the best blend of privacy, convenience, and views.
Amenities: Bar/lounge, Beach, Pool, Spa
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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