My friend and I stayed here recently at the end of a two week exploration of Kerala. This hotel was supposed to be the more luxurious part of our trip, costing £65 per night for room only, and we chose it after reading so many excellent reviews on Tripadvisor. However,it turned out to be possibly the most disappointing hotel we have ever stayed in and it failed to live up to even our most basic expectations spectacularly for several reasons.
Firstly there was no water provided in the room for teeth cleaning etc. When we queried this we were told to go and buy it from the shop. Obviously bottled water is very cheap in India but this was the only hotel we stayed at where it was not provided and in many years of travelling I can't remember the last time I stayed somewhere that didn't provide complimentary water.It may sound like a trivial issue to complain about but it was symbolic of the lack of attention to customer care that permeated this hotel. Even the £9 b and b we stayed in next to Trivandrum airport provided it. Similarly there were no glasses in the room, so presumably we were expected to buy them too.Other items not provided which we would have expected for the price we were paying included tea or coffee making facilities, a safe, a fridge/minibar, hanging space and hand towels.In fact all the room did include was a bed (double not the twin we requested), tv, a couple chairs, coffee table, 1 bedside cabinet and an aircon unit.
As well as lacking basic items the servicing of room was minimal. Shortly after arriving I spilled some water on the floor and when I mopped it up the dirt that came up with it made it clear that cleaning floors was not a high priority. When nobody had been near our room to change towels, or even empty an ashtray full of fruit peel on the patio, for four days we went to reception to request an explanation only to be told that to get your room cleaned you had to go to reception and leave your key with them. Again I have never stayed in a hotel that charges such a high rate in comparison to other establishments in the area that doesn't change towels at least every other day. My usual problem is preventing towels being changed daily when I would rather prolong it a little..
In more general terms customer service was yet again very poor. My friend and I are not difficult to please and we are certainly not people who look for things to moan about but when we did raise the above issues with reception we were either smirked at or dismissed with a shrug and a comment such as go and buy water from the shops. We were not told about the system for cleaning on arrival, presumably a strategy to save money as it will take most people a few days to go and complain, and the information in the room consisted of a laundry price list and menu for the restaurant. To put it simply we felt like human shaped cash machines.There was even an attempt to charge us an additional 3% credit card fee when we paid, which to be fair was waived.
Faced with all of the above we were rather mystified about how there are so many good reviews for somewhere that fails in some pretty basic areas and it would appear that if you opt for a basic room without aircon you can get more or less what we got for about £20 per night. If we had paid that we would have been reasonably satisfied.The pool area is pleasantly located in gardens and the location is fairly close to the cliff but you can do much, much better for a lot less elsewhere in Varkala.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Where you can feel the rhythm of life. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Akhil Beach Hotel Varkala
- Preeth Beach Hotel
- Akhil Beach Resort Varkala, Kerala