Arrived in Cochin by train. Taxi drivers not quite sure where to go. Called Hotel who gave instruction and said price should not be more than 800rs. It was a long journey really in the back and beyond. Having agreed 1000rs the Driver wanted 1200. Not a problem glad to be there.
We were shown to a small hut. It would have been great for back packers. Little space for belongings (booked in for 11 nights) but lets go and get a drink and some food. Tiny seating area for food (no Beer etc,) limited choice of food. Nothing near enough to walk to outside in the dark.
Back to the room. No Tea making facilities.Rroom and bedding dirty. Outside private garden area
words fail, needed major attention. Got up early to find the Beach and look around. The walk to the Beach was through narrow walkways and peoples yards 6-7 mins. To get to the Beach you
climbed over Black boulders, presumably to help with flooding in the monsoons. The Beach was
sandy, but no sign of chairs or umbrellas to use.
Went back for breakfast not enough tables for al,l so people waited for a table to be vacated.
Few single women there for the Spa, and a group that looked like back packers.
Clearly not for us. Free wifi so booked another Hotel and ordered a Taxi to leave.
We were approached by the owner. He was polite and handled our problem well I must say.
He admitted the property did not suit everybody. He charged us just two nights although we were booked for 11. I gave him a list of things he should look at in the room, he said he would go and look immediately. He did mention that we were in the cheapest Hut (understand that as we had booked through booking.com that he has to pay them a commission so we do not get the best available) From other reviews (which is why we booked) there must be nicer huts. The setting was pretty, the gardens well kept. Very confined, not for us.
Ask Reception for better room.
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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I am sorry that you have been disappointed with your experience at Les 3 Elephants. I usually try to answer every point of negative reviews to express our side of the story, but your disappointment is so global that I mainly wish to comment on you misunderstanding about our product.
In fact, you fail to mention in your review that, in addition to the complains you have listed, you also complained directly to me about the lack of swimming pool, the lack of mini-bar, AC, TV and Wi-Fi in your room. The fact that we don't sell alcohol in our resort was also a major issue for you.
I have to say that I felt at the time, and still feels today, that this is very unfair to us.
None of these facilities you expected are advertised anywhere, neither on Booking.com (through which you booked) neither on our website, Tripadvisor, nor Facebook page. I think that the description of our property, and facilities available, is clear and that, failing to read it carefully, you have mistaken Les 3 Elephants for another type of classic 5 stars hotel. Our kind of luxury is different: personnalized service, proximity with nature, modern design and, I would say, a special style of sophisticated French hospitality.
As you have quoted, I understand that some guests prefer manucured mainstream beach holidays. That is why, despite our cancellation policy which would have allowed me to charge you for the whole stay that you had booked, I decided to let you leave for a more appropriate hotel without any extra charge. We want travellers to be happy and enjoy their stay in Kerala, with us, or if needed in some other place more adapted to their taste. To enjoy all the facilities you expected, you actually moved to the Taj Gateway hotel in Ernakulam, a 5 stars city business hotel, for about three times the cost of the standard cottage you had booked at Les 3 Elephants.
For the record, I did not charge you for two nights stay as you mentionned, but simply did not refund the advance taken at the time of booking. Please note that this amount, taken as advance one month before, does not cover, by far, the two nights that you actually stayed with us, plus the commission due to Booking.com, plus the straight loss of having an empty room that we would have certainly booked to someone else at this time of the season.
Also, it is plain diffamatory of you to say that you have been given a less good room due to the fact that you have booked through Booking.com, as most of our guests does. You booked a standard room in peak season, we have 3 of them (all similar except that two of them are joint twin rooms) and it is a standard cottage that you have been given... Actually, may I remind you that your complain was specifically about the fact that you were supposed to move from one standard cottage to the next, after two days, as some guests had specifically booked the two joint ones prior to your own booking. You said that, having booked for 11 nights, you should have had the priority, and thus kept your room, which would have been simply unfair to our other guests, having booked before you, and wishing to stay together as a family.
As promised, I have personaly checked the list of problems you handed to me before leaving, to find out unsurprisingly that it was extremely exagerated (I suppose that your general disappointment with the lack of swimming pool and alcohol licence has somehow altered your objectivity). Our rooms and linen are in fact regularly praised for their cleanliness, in a country where it is a difficult result to achieve, especially for an eco-resort built with thatched roofs and natural materials. Rooms are cleaned daily by a four people team, linen are changed every two days, and daily if requested.
To conclude, on a more personal touch, I have to say that this kind of situation makes our job extremely difficult. When guests book a standard room expecting the experience of a premium cottage, plus a list of facilities that we officially do not provide, it is obviously impossible for us to give them entire satisfaction. This makes us sad and helpless. I respectfully advise you to check more carefully the properties descriptions on the internet before booking. Would you have done it in this case, that it would have saved you the disappointment, and saved us a significant loss of money, doubled by this damaging bad review on Tripadvisor.
Nevertheless, I hope that you enjoyed the rest of your stay in Kerala, as it is a truly beautiful state, with all kind of accomodations to suit various tastes.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.