Peter was so helpful in helping my friend and I plan an itinerary for Kerala. We had five days and no idea what to do, and Peter came up with options that I could adjust to fit our schedule and preferences. I appreciated him meeting us at the airport and transferring us to Simon, our driver, who was fantastic. He was always dependable, and even took us on a mad dash to the airport when we wanted to revisit one last market! Highly recommended.
In terms of the specific itinerary, here is our impression of the sights:
-We started on a 5 hour drive to Munnar, which is long, but meant some downtime. The tea fields were beautiful, and the tea museum and spice plantation are simple and nice. We drove around to lots of "viewpoints" that gave us different views of the tea fields. By the second one, they all kind of look the same, and it was lots of driving. If I could change it, I would only stay in Munnar one night.
-Treehouse Resort in Munnar - okay, I understand why people think this place is cool, but I wouldn't do it again. Your room is up in a tree, so lots of critters (moths, beetles, frogs), very thin walls (we could hear the neighbors), and the 30 minute Jeep drive up a windy dirt road to get us there was scary and nausea-inducing. But I don't like camping either, so there ya go. The food was good and the staff were super helpful and friendly.
-Swiss Alpine Resort - this is right up my alley. Gorgeous view of the tea fields from a private balcony, good food, friendly staff. Wifi wasn't working in our room, and no booze on site. Wish we'd stayed her one night and then headed back for more time in Alleppey and Cochin.
-Munnar activities - we love our driver, but he recommended a local show and ayurvedic massage. Do not do either of these things. The massage front desk on the main road looks nice, but then they take you in a jeep down a steep dirt road into darkness, and the rooms are so dirty and we were so uncomfortable. Should have asked to see the facilities before booking!
-Back to Alleppey to stay on a houseboat. If I could do it over again, I would stay three nights on a houseboat, this was the best part of our trip. We upgraded to Premium, which I think was unnecessary, it just gave us a bigger boat. We took a relaxing ride down the backwaters, had no problem with bugs, and even though it was hot out, the breeze and fans made it comfortable. Had the BEST meal in all of India here, with a private chef. Definitely do this.
-Then to Cochin for sightseeing, which was great, and found an amazing curiosities shop with vintage style nautical gifts, right on Jew Town road. The Chinese style nets were great, but this is where we were most harassed by vendors, so be ready to be guarded. Simon also showed us a quiet beach where we could go swimming.
-Stayed the night at 3 Les Elephants Resort, which was nice, but in retrospect we should have just stayed in Cochin. This was my request because I'd heard it was great, but the a/c didn't really work, there was no booze (3 cheers for Simon who took us to a liquor store to stock up before the houseboat), and the food was expensive and just fine.
All in all, Peter's planning and Simon's driving was more than I could have hoped for, and very affordable. Would use them again in a heartbeat if I headed back to India. Thank you!
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