Les 3 Elephants, Eco Hotel, Cherai Beach, Kochi

Sonya Hogan
Jul 23, 2023

The cute cluster of cottages are made in a traditional style and designed to minimise noise and maximise privacy.  The coconut leaf thatched roofs use three layers of specially woven leaves.  The cottages are re-thatched each year before the monsoon.  This traditional practice takes 6 local people 1-2 days per cottage.  Once finished they are watertight and set for another year.  The floors follow the traditional methods too with a red oxide added to the cement resulting in a rich terracotta colour that keeps the rooms cool and the floors naturally polished the more they are used.

Two thirds of the staff live in the surrounding neighbourhoods and many have been working there since it started.  The staff operate as one big family, everyone helping out as needed.  Women in the local community have been particularly affected by the chance to work at Les 3 Elephants.  Initially families were reluctant for women to work there, late shifts were difficult for women, families fearing they would be at risk and in danger of being out so late.  This changed as the families saw how well staff are treated, being considered part of the Les 3 Elephants family.  Being able to work has changed the lives of the women working there and led to more equity in these families.

The food is sourced locally and wherever possible it is organic.  Vegetables are bought from the all-women network Kudumbashree.   The food at Les 3 Elephants has a French/Indian influence reflecting its owners and the small menu changes daily to make use of whatever seasonal food is available.

Currently, right next door to the eco hotel, they are building a second place that will soon provide for longer stays and have onsite access to Ayurvedic medicine.

Natural, low toxin products are used onsite, from the cleaning products through to the bathroom product range.  The bathroom products are natural ayurveda influenced products sourced locally and refilled each day, keeping waste to a minimum.  Les 3 Elephants is also working with the local authorities to implement the laws prohibiting plastic bags.  They are part of a local association of homestays and resorts sharing a collective responsibly to clean up Cheni beach.  

When designing Les 3 Elephants Marjorie and Benjamin wanted to make it feel like a home not a homestay, somewhere to get away from things, enjoy the local surroundings, stay in the nature and feel like you are part of the community.  Les 3 Elephants is a gateway to Indian culture, a chance to enjoy the beauty of Kerela, a home away from home.

Visit Les 3 Elephants website for more information

July 23, 2023
5 min read