Sonny: I have a dream, MummyJi, a most brilliant one. To outsource old age! And it is not just for the British, there are many other countries where they don’t like old people too!
Sonny’s one-liner in 2011’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel may have been made in jest, but India is becoming an increasingly popular destination for the mature traveller. With Hundreds of vulnerable older people struggling to get by with little or no care due to cuts in England, one could argue that there is some truth to his jibe that Britain doesn’t “like old people”.
The Real Marigold Hotel – Have You Been Watching?
Surely all of us have thought about retiring somewhere nice and sunny, away from such gloomy thoughts of government cuts and care homes. Well, if you have been dreaming of tropical sunsets then boy, do we have the show for you! This Wednesday saw the airing of the first episode of our new favourite TV show, The Real Marigold Hotel, on BBC 1.
What’s The Fuss About?
The show features a group of famous faces of retirement age as they sample the delights of India to see if it is a better place to spend your latter years than the UK. Have you been watching? For this second season the likes of Bill Oddie, Miriam Stoppard, Lionel Blair and a whole host of other household names are making their way to one of our favourite places – Kerala.
Where Is It Filmed?
Based in a boutique hotel in Cochin, The Real Marigold Hotel gives a fantastic insight into the experience offered by our tours. If you loved The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel then perhaps it is time to make your Hollywood (or Bollywood) dreams a reality and leave the grey clouds of British Winter behind.
The first episode of the new series is a great introduction to the wonderful sites of Kerala and the marvellous fun to be had in the bustling city of Cochin. From Paul and Bill’s mad search for underwear to Rusty’s very vinegary curry, the zany shenanigans of this year’s cohort has us hooked!
Did You See The Backwaters?
One of our favourite scenes in the TV programme was the trip to the backwaters. Predictably, none of the celebrities could fail to be enchanted by this serene wonderland of waterways. We found the backwater excursion so breathtaking that we were inspired to publish our own video from our Managing director’s trip to India back in October. The video above gives you a feel for the seductive tranquility as you glide through the water. However, trust us, you really have to be there to appreciate the all-encompassing natural splendor.
So When Can I Move?
In the TV show Bill Oddie and company are relaxing in a 16th-century mansion in the heart of Old Kochi. Kerala Moments have connections to a variety of bespoke hotels that provide the same mix of stellar service and a peaceful relaxation in the middle of the busy city. If the boutique experience has captured your imagination then contact us now! Often, the cities of India get a bad rap in popular media and most people think that the country is a labyrinth of grubby backstreets; Slumdog Millionaire-style. However, Kerala couldn’t be further from this backwards depiction of the country.
So Why Kerala?
As the celebrities will no doubt come to realise throughout this series of The Real Marigold Hotel, Kochi is a historic, beautiful and clean city. How many places in the world offer divine beaches, tropical sunshine, a thriving centre, rainforests and houseboat escapes on your doorstep? Can you think of anywhere better to retire? Whether you’re into fishing or sunbathing Kerala has it all!
Is Anything Edible In Kerala?
If you are worried about your British pallette not being up to the spicy curries of India then have no fear, the food is far more diverse than at your local takeaway! For example, there is a whole street in the Kozhikode district which is named ‘Mittayi theruvu’ or “Sweet Street”. This street plays host to hundreds of shops selling thousands of types of treats. The colourful Kozhikode halwa pictured above is just one of them.
What Did They Do In Episode 1?
In the first episode we saw the group try out some traditional fishing (Cochin is famous for it’s Chinese fishing nets), some yoga and a traditional massage. These activities can all be incorporated into one of our bespoke tours if you are feeling inspired! We can’t wait til next week’s installment where ayurveda, Kerala’s version of R&R, and the local rainforest are on the menu!
Whatever the gripes the celebrities may have about their stay in Kerala, whether their arguments about who gets which room or a certain cast member’s refusal to take part in the yoga, we are sure that no one will fail to fall in love with God’s Own Country by the end of the month. We encourage you to follow their lead; retire to Kerala and find your bollywood happy ending.
With our impeccable contacts in the region we can ensure that you are accommodated in the lap of luxury under the tropical sun and having just visited last October we can guarantee that Kerala is as lovely as ever! For anyone still feeling reluctant to take the dive and hop on a plane to India, we leave you with these wise words from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel‘s Evelyn and urge you to seize the day and make your dreams of an Indian Summer a reality. . .
Evelyn: The only real failure is the failure to try. And the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment. As we always must. We came here, and we tried. All of us, in our different ways. Can we be blamed for feeling we’re too old to change? Too scared of disappointment to start it all again? We get up every morning, we do our best. Nothing else matters. But it’s also true that the person who risks nothing, does nothing; has nothing. All we know about the future is that it will be different. But, perhaps what we fear is that it will be the same. So, we must celebrate the changes. Because, as someone once said “Everything will be all right in the end. And if it’s not all right, then trust me, it’s not yet the end.”