The Banyan Tree group, which operates more than 20 resorts, including the Harper-recommended Banyan Tree Lijiang and Banyan Tree Ringha, recently announced the opening of its first property in India, in the southern state of Kerala. Located on the private island of Nediyathuruthu in the Alleppey district of Kerala, Banyan Tree Kerala is an hour south of Cochin International Airport and a 10-minute boat ride from the resort’s private jetty in nearby Vaduthala. Each of the resort’s 59 villas features a private pool and expansive views of the surrounding waterways and canals. The resort also offers a dedicated Ayurvedic center, a gallery showcasing local handicrafts and a houseboat providing evening rides on the surrounding backwaters (pictured). The property will open in early 2013.