Kerala

India's palm-dotted beaches were ideal for a holiday fashion shoot.

WE FLEW TO…

Trivandrum, which is close to the southern tip of India and officially (and tongue-twistingly) known as Thiruvananthapuram. It’s the capital of Kerala and the nearby beach resort of Kovalam is a popular spot to grab some sun – the best months to visit are from November to March. Jet Airways (jetairways.com) flies from London Heathrow via Mumbai. Return fares in October cost from £370 including taxes. You’ll need a tourist visa – visit hcilondon.net for details – and a good insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes. For more information, log on to keralatourism.org.

WE STAYED AT…

The Leela Kempinski Kovalam Beach (theleela.com), a tranquil, five-star hotel nine miles south of Trivandrum. It’s set high on rocks between two beaches and has panoramic views and 44 acres of grounds. The food is excellent, with delicious vegetarian options. Double rooms cost from £98, or treat yourself to a club room, with sundeck and butler service, from £148. Colours of India (colours-of-india.co.uk) can arrange a package.

WHILE YOU’RE THERE…

Restore your inner calm at the blissful Leela hotel. A spa and Ayurvedic centre offers yoga, meditation classes, massages and one-to-one consultations if you want to detox and destress, and the sunsets are glorious. Keralans are very friendly – every day you see fishermen hauling in their catch on the beach and there are countless shops and markets to visit. As flights to Kerala usually require a stopover in Mumbai, consider staying a few days in this amazingly vibrant city.

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