Rediscover the old-world charm of travel by unravelling the architectural marvels of India from the comfort of an award-winning luxury train


Many love trains but never end up taking them as they’re always in a hurry to reach where they can start their vacation. But, why just get somewhere when you can make the journey as glorious as the destination? In this age of all things instant, trains give us that perfect opportunity to experience the simple pleasures of going slow. Not just that. They often evoke a sense of nostalgia and bring memories and stories of faraway sojourns. Though we may like the idea of reaching a destination in hours rather than days, there’s nothing that can quite match the thrill of rail travel. The rhythm of the wheels, the guard’s piercing whistle, the sound of horn as the train approaches and departs a station, watching the ever-changing landscape from the window seat, chatting with fellow passengers; these little things come together to create a certain magic on board a train. Besides, train journeys reveal a country as flights can never do.

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Being a frequent tripper, “a holiday in Phuket” – at first – didn’t really sound very exciting to me. Having been to Thailand a couple of times, I had already lived the sun, sand and the sea. But as soon as I browsed the website of Keemala, what I simply wanted to do was pack my bags and head right out of that door! The property looked unbelievably enchanting in pictures and I was curious to know if something like this really existed on the world map. A large part of travel often depends on where you stay, and my stay at Keemala gave me the finest experience of the paradisaical island.

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Keemala is exactly what dreams are made of. At some point in life, we all dream of living in a dimly-lit, swanky villa; sleeping like royalty on a beautifully-carved canopy bed; and swimming in our private pool while sipping on a glass of old, pricey wine. And this rainforest retreat fulfills all these fantasies and more, in the most understated manner possible.


So, when I finally arrived at Keemala and checked into my Tree Pool villa, I still thought I was living in my little bubble of bliss and that someone would burst it any moment.

My pod-shaped Tree Pool Villa

The villas come in four different categories: hut-like Clay Pool Cottages apt for solo travellers; Tent Pool Houses with wildlife-inspired interiors, perfect for adventurous nomads; pod-shaped Tree Pool Houses with an upper, outdoor relaxation space, great for a family of four and opulent Bird’s Nest Pool Villas with giant terraces overlooking the Andaman Sea.
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