Booked through Manos as part of Spice Route Tour. For 1st time UK visitors, would thoroughly recommend this tour!!
Accomodation at Spice Village, is in cottages, surrounded by attractive landscaped gardens. The cottage exterior is styled on a tribal hut with grass thatched roof, the verandas give a colonial feel.
The rooms are spacious, with large twin beds, and comfy chairs. The bathrooms again are spacious with full length bath/overbath shower. Selection of toiletries.
Emphasis is on making the guests feel welcomed and relaxed, with a dedicated "welcome host" who guided us to our accom after a welcome drink,and presentation of jasmine garlands.
Meals are buffet style, a wide range of hot/cold, veg/non veg, westernised and local dishes with featured tribal dishes.
Pool, bar, gift shop.
Treks around Periyar can be arranged.
Pleasant gardens, with spice trail. Ducks waddle about near the lawned pool area.
Evening cookery and sari wrapping demonstrations.
Traditional dancers and/or musicians perform during evening meal.
Extra touches, such as hot water bottles, were very welcome during our stay. It got quite chilly at night!
Please see my Periyar Sanctuary page for more info about this accom.
It is a very pleasant and homily place very near to virgin and verdant Varkala beach, close to kerala Capital Trivandrum
very homly homestay with modern bath, internet, cable TV
Our tour group stayed in three homes in the village of Chennamkari, courtesy of Thomas, the manager of Green Palm Homes. My sub-unit stayed in Thomas's family home, where we were treated to the most amazing meals ~ homecooked dishes with fresh spices, delicate flavouring and lots of vegetables.
I tried to access the website for his homestay, but it's no longer coming up (it did work when I passed it on to my sister about six months ago), so I'm afraid he may have closed the business. I would highly recommend doing a homestay though ~ hopefully your host will take you through his village, as Thomas did, and give you an understanding of how life in this type of community functions today. It was an unforgettable experience.
The big houseboats you’ll see along the canals sometimes, and can rent out if so inclined, are called Kettuvallams. I’m not sure of the pricing, but it would be a luxury accommodation ~ with full kitchen and cook/oarsman included.
Couldn't afford to stay here, but saved up for the set lunch one day.
Very high standard Indian food with chefs in attendance.
We sat on the veranda overlooking the lawns and thatch roofed cottages. V tasteful (if not very much like the local life at all!)
There are lots of touristy things within walking distance of the entrance gates.
Lots of western tourists.
Birds such as guinea fowl and peacocks wandering around.
There is a tree house, a cave house and various rooms in the main buildings.
I would rate it as nearly 3* as the service was friendly but not that competent and a bit slow.
The food was basic but quite good.
Pool furniture non-existent.
Expensive for what we got and in the middle of nowhere - you need transport to get there and the roads through the plantation hills are winding and you may meet lots of lorries on the bends.
They mean well but not really of international standard; we enjoyed it but if you want luxury then there are other resorts that do offer it!
The cottages are better and more spacious than the main building.
High up - lots of fresh air!
Walking trails through the woods - very relaxing.
The cave and tree rooms.
Freezing cold swimming pool (at least when we were there at Easter)
The famous boats of the Kerala Backwaters - the Kettu Vallam. Very comfortable and delicious!
Totally unique experience
On my trip to Munnar, my mom and I had a choice of staying at a resort-y type of place, or someone more rustic, but with all the proper 'amenities'-American-style bathrooms and the like. Since I was traveling with my mom, I didn't want her to have to rough it too much..and we both get bored at too resort-y places, so this place worked out great. It's little cotttages up in the tall, cardamom trees, and each room has the basics, but there are no TV's...rather, for meals and minglng, you go up to the main lodge where there is a restaurant and game room.. The restaurant was fantastic...it's got a glass ceiling, open to the trees and sky, and at night, the waiters light little lanterns....which provide the only light inside the restaurant....
and the FOOD! the waiters were very accomodating..they made me my now new favorite breakfst-appam stew..coconut stew on appam pancakes (little rice flour pancakes that are thin and crispy around the edges and bubbly and chewy in the center.) I had to go and buy the pan to try to make it myself back at home in the U.S.
While at the Tall Trees, I got to take an early morning hike with the resident 'hike leader'. I was positively abashed...here I was breathing heavily, in my hiking boots and this older man, was in his flip-flops and walking stick not even breaking a sweat as we climed up the stone steps leading us up the mountain side! I only had time to get in an hour's hike, but he told me there are trails leadin gall over the mountain side and with some spectacular views of Munnar and the tea plantations from up high....next time.
I stayed in very cheap hotels. There are many and the are easy to find. Just ask any rickshaw driver if you can't find one. In Kerala most of the places I stayed in cost less that $1 US. They don't offer room service at this price but if you don't have alot of Xtra $$$ and you want to see the world it can be done.
This shot was either in Cochin or Allepey. I don't remember. But I do remember going to a great tea house that evening!
KETTU VALLAM (Boat Houses at Backwaters)
A really fabulous way of knowing the backwaters is to take one of these floating bungallows. For about 100$ you can enjoy a boat with 3 rooms, terrace and kitchen, sailor and cooker for 24 hours. It's a rather romantic and quiet way to enjoy the palm landscapes.
BOLGATTY PALACE (Bolgatty, Cochin)
An old 17th century dutch palace in a little island in Cochin Bay. They are nowadays refurbishing, so ask first for availability. A quiet place, but too many ferries to reach the island from Fort Cochin. 1200 Rs for a single (Low Season).
Mulavukadu, Kochi 682 504 Kerala, India. Tel.: +91 484 355003. email@example.com
SEA PEARL CHALETS (Varkala, Kerala)
This basic little huts are located on the top of a cliff over Varkala Beach and have a wonderful view over the beach.
Papanassam. Tel.: 0472/605875. Expensive, specially in High Season.
I always try and make it down to Kovalam whenever I'm in India and one of my favorite place to stay at is the le Meridien Beach Resort.
It's the old Maharaja's Summer Retreat, they have their own private beach and the famous light house beach of Kovalam is right next to the hotel. It's on a cliff and the views are just spectacular.
The Hotel has its own private beach and some world class facilities. It has recently been bought over by the Le Meridien group (i haven't been since, but my parents absolutely loved it) and this has been a real boost for the quality of the staff and the service.
From Kovalam you can make day-trips to the Back water Canals of Allepey. You can also go down to the tip of the Indian Sub-Continent, KanyaKumari.
I think it was called the 'Hotel Seabreeze'. We hadn't planned where to stay and found ourselves caught up in a situation with the cab driver from the airport insisting on taking us to his friend's guesthouse. despite our initial misgivings, it was fine - set back form the beach with a rooftop area with fantastic views of the treetops and the sea.
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