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“a much needed respite” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kaiya House

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Kaiya House
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Kaiya House,, Varkala 695141,, India   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 40 Hotels in Varkala
beulah co
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“a much needed respite”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2013

we were fortunate to have been able to get several night's lodging at deb's kaiya house on a recent trip to southern india. after enduring the arduous travel and often dreadful service of so much of southern india, deb's place offered a breath of fresh air and civility.
despite showing up at an indecent hour, due to an early train arrival in varkala, we were welcomed by deb to her stylish, beautifully decorated bed and breakfast. she proceeded to dote on us for the next couple of days. this included a much appreciated introductory walking tour of varkala, great breakfasts and laundry service.
I can not tell you how great it was to get some genuine hospitality after three weeks of the strains of travel in india.
brilliant!!

Room Tip: we loved the Africa room.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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226 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
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English first
Nevada City, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

What makes Kaiya so distinguished from any other place I've stayed in is feeling like I was returning home every time I left the house. Each time I was greeted with so much warmth, hospitality, and genuine interest in where I'd been and how my day was. Debra and Suraj are incredibly fun, personable, and go out of their way to get to know you and make your experience memorable. Because of Debra and Suraj, I was able to attend a Hindu wedding, know the shops and restaurants worth visiting, share laughter and conversation late into the night with fellow travelers, and feel safe, comfortable, and truly at home.

You feel cared for from the moment you arrive, through the personal tour of the area guided by Debra, to a personalized breakfast each morning, and homely check-ins all throughout your stay. I spent 6 night here and left with a sense of gratitude to have experienced Kaiya Guesthouse. I can confidently say that Kaiya is what made my trip to Varkala so magical.

This place is a gem. Varkala beach is divine. I felt comfortable and secure walking back to the guesthouse alone at night as a solo female traveler, and safety was never an issue. The guesthouse is a 5-10 minute walk from the coast and I appreciated the opportunity to see how life in Kerala is for native residents. That 10 minute walk allows you to take in the smells and sounds of the families living in the area.

I would recommend Kaiya to anyone headed towards Varkala. It is the best place to stay in the area, and the best place that I've stayed in during all my time in India.

I would also recommend yoga at The Green Palace with Haridas, and enjoying some live music at the Chill Out Lounge.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

My wife & I decided to spend part of our 4 day honeymoon in Varkala, one of the few places on India’s west coast that has cliffs along the sea. We chanced upon Kaiya House on Tripadvisor and going by its excellent reviews, decided to stay there. Kaiya house is located about 10 minutes by walk inland, away from the beach cliffs, which is just perfect. We were greeted on our arrival by Debra, and her staff Babushi and Hemant. The house is a miniature museum, with beautiful artwork and photographs from around the world. We were put up in the Chinese themed room, adorned with Chinese artefacts. Then there are the Japanese, Chinese, English and African themed rooms, each room as beautiful as the other. Debra remembered it was our honeymoon (which I had mentioned over the phone to her a month before our arrival!) and had thoughtfully put up a pair of garlands on our bedpost. Debra was gracious to take us on an orientation walk around Varkala beach, starting from the pond of the Janardhanswamy temple, the south cliff and then onward to the north cliff, passing by friendly local vendors and telling us her recommendations. The views of the ocean from the clifftops are stunning (especially in changing weather conditions) and we spent the day lounging about the various restaurants & cafes (Debra’s recommendations were totally worth it), exploring the cliff and swimming. The cliff perpetually has a festive mood about it, lights up in the evening, with musicians, both Western & Indian, performing at the lounges & restaurants. Back at Kaiya house, we spent a few lovely hours on the rooftop, going through photo albums, painting in Kaiya house’s artbook and reading books. Be sure to check out the well in the backyard, done up with a mosaic design and for dog lovers there are two friendly dogs too. The staff at Kaiya house go out of their way to make you feel at home. All in all, a great experience and perfect honeymoon.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

I have just returned to Mumbai after spending 8 days of the Diwali holiday at Kaiya house in Varkala. This was a return visit after one year and the service only gets better. Debra and her staff provide such a homely environment, they are so welcoming and you just don't want to leave. Excellent service, spotlessly clean, a breezy rooftop to relax during the day or in the evenings - a sure way to enjoy your Varkala stay.

Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

Kaiya House is a lovely boutique hotel filled with beautiful furnishings and art. Two nice second-floor balconies and a huge partially covered rooftop terrace provide both the possibility of some private outdoor space and a comfortable place to gather with your fellow travelers.

But the best thing about Kaiya House is its owner, Debra. Upon our earlier Ethan's specter arrival she made sure we got a hot cup of REAL freshly ground and brewed coffee and a shower. She then invited us to tag along on her morning walk-about, orienting us to the neighborhood and introducing us around, pointing out some of her favorite shops and restaurants.

She also offered to take us on a longer walking excursion early the next morning. What a great experience! We walked through the Varkala "cliff side" tourist area and several kilometers beyond, through several fishing villages where we were able to observe a way of life that has seen little change in many, many years. Bring your camera!

Kaiya House is spotlessly clean, has fantastic staff and serves excellent breakfast (your choice of traditional Kerala fare or an American style breakfast).

If you MUST have TV and hot showers, Kaiya House may not be for you. We appreciated Debra's commitment to maintaining a smaller environmental footprint, and since it was pretty hot during our visit, actually enjoyed the cool showers. Kaiya House is about a 10 minute walk from the beach. One of our favorite stays in India.

P.S. Ask Debra for a peek at her rock star photo album. Amazing!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2013

Having read a neat little review in a travel guide we decided to give Kaiya a go, favouring somewhere a little away from all the cliff-front resorts, and we were so pleased we did. The place itself is beautiful, a very colourful and creative design, kitted out with fantastic little artefacts from all over the world.
Then there's Debra, the owner, who is nothing short of awesome all the time! Haha! My wife and I had a blast with her! Debra did everything to make us feel welcome, and to be honest, we passed the polite formalities pretty quickly, and she just ended up being like some kind of cool roommate who drank with us, danced with us, introduced us to some seriously weird picture-card games (Are, I was there dude...I was there....) and took us on a neat tour of the local surroundings to give us some bearings. What more, she went out of her way to do favours, and provide any help where needed, which we were hugely appreciative of.
She has five beautiful rooms, each uniquely designed in a different style - English, Chinese, Japanese, African and Indian (where we stayed during our time, and it was a great room to stay in). Each room is so cool I couldn't really recommend one (everyone is so friendly that we all saw each others), just see what she's got! You won't be disappointed.
Meeting and hanging out with Debra, her team, and the other guests was a real delight during our trip, and I would definitely recommend staying there - especially if you're looking to meet some people and party. We met some guys staying at another hotel who we invited to come back and party on the roof terrace, and it was such a relaxing vibe, which ended up in a load of us rocking out to seventies and eighties classics drinking Kingfishers!
I hope someone reads this and stays there to see what the fuss is about - you'll love Debra and the Kaiya family, and enjoy the local scenery which is jaw-droppingly stunning.

P.S. If you do go, ask Debra to show you 'The Photo Album' - it rocks!

Room Tip: All five rooms are great - English, African, Indian, Japanese, Chinese.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2013

We spent 4 days of our Kerala holiday in Kaiya house in Varkala and it was incredible, one of the highlights of the trip! The house is lovely and service is beyond great. We loves our days in Varkala, much thanks to Debra and her staff in Kaifa house.

What I liked the most about it:
+ Debra is one of the best hosts I have ever met. She is so helpful, attentive and fun! Examples of the extraordinary care for her guests are the walk she took us on to show us places to eat and shop, how she ran after us 500 meter to apologize and make sure we were ok after we had met her in a bit of a hectic moment, and how we played a creative card a game with Debra and some of her other guests one morning after breakfast!
+ Breakfast - delicious food, Indian or western, amazing coffee (really needed after weeks in India with milk and sugar coffee), all served at the lovely rooftop terrace.
+ The house: Extremely well maintained. Debra's collected art and artifacts from around the world, themed rooms and a beautiful rooftop terrace (ref breakfast).

Improvement areas:
- Nothing I can think of - the stay far exceeded our expectations!

Guests should note that it is a boutique hotel/home stay and not a beach resort, so if swimming pool, luxury rooms, and beach view is what you want, this is not it. But if you want an experience you can't get anywhere else, a place with personality and soul, a friendly atmosphere, and fun, all for excellent value, Kaiya house should be your top pick!

The only regret we have is that we forgot to leave a drawing in Debra's guest drawing book! Sorry, Debra, at least it gives us one more reason to come back!

Overall one of the highlights of our trip and one of the best and most special places I have stayed!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kaiya House

Address: Kaiya House,, Varkala 695141,, India
Location: India > Kerala > Varkala
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Varkala
#5 Family Hotel in Varkala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located only a 10 minute walk from Varkala's famous cliff tops, this lovely boutique hotel, Kaiya House, offers the traveler a calm and beautiful environment to enjoy the sights and sounds of India in a relaxed atmosphere. The 7 guest rooms all have a theme from different parts of the world ranging from the African room to the Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Native American and English.Suraj and Debra offer a unique experience of India in this family run business. Babuchi, Ledah and Ajit are there to take care of the guests needs and to provide a traditional Kerala breakfast. Other options would also be available with advance notice.Also available are private Pilates classes, yoga by appointment and massage. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kaiya House Varkala, Kerala

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