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“Disapointing experience for us” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa

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Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa
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Manimalathara | Chathurthiakary, Alappuzha 688511, India   |  
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ta
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Disapointing experience for us”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

We stayed in Emerald Isle with our 5y.o child for one night in March-13. It was the only place during our trip in Kerala that we didn't like.
- the Heritage rooms are absolutely NOT soundproof. You can hear everything your neighbors do.
- although we were assured by the owners that the homestay have internet, in fact it is switched off most of the time due to all weird reason like lightening etc
- the food was OK, but there was no choice neither during the dinner or breakfast
- as we were on rather long trip and din't have a program set in advance, we asked the owner if he knows where we can hire a house boat. He suggested his family relative's boat, which turned up as a mistake. He "forgot" to mention that the boat was old and desperately needed renovation and that there was a room for only two.
- this was also the only place that we didn't get a receipt after we payed for our stay- not that we particularly care whether the owner pays his taxes, but with all other things that didn't work for us, it gave an unpleasant feeling....


For the positive side, we found the open showers very nice and the place was generally clean.

Room Tip: if you want not to hear what your neighbors do- choose the stand alone (and most expensive) cottage...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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142 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bestensee, Germany
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

We stayed at the Emerald isle for 2 nights on 9 and 10 May 2013. Reading reviews we were really looking forward to staying there, also finding out why it was called after Ireland. As well as which, we had read about cookery lessons and places we could swim from its website.
What a disappointment.
We got to the hotel by boat and everything seemed fine.
We were served dinner (choice was take it or leave it, no questions whether we had any dietary problems). The other meals we were served were also take it or leave it, with no indication of how much it was going to cost. As it was, it was not too expensive by western costs, but it was about twice as much as we were charged in the other hotels we stayed in during our trip and where we at least had a menu to choose from.
The owner of the place introduced himself to me the day after we got there telling us he had had an appointment the previous day.
No problem there and we thought, OK, we will find out all about the place over the day.
Fact is, we never saw the owner until we checked out the next day when he introduced himself to my wife, who by then thought, OK so what, you own the place.
We filled in the guest book that had all these comments about how good the place was and the cookery lessons and how friendly the owner was etc. Not for us!!!

On a positive side. the place was clean and tidy, although with the rooms being all dark wood panelled, it was very dark inside. The outside shower was quirky, but as we were the only guests, we did get to see in another couple of rooms that were bigger and the outside shower was bigger too.
The hired help, Tom, did look after us. he was the one who collected us, served all the meals, took us toddy tapping and rowed us around the canals (that they tried to charge us extra for but was included in the price), and generally looked after us.
If it had not been for him, the stay would have been a disaster.
Anyway, nice place but absolutely no service or interest shown to his guests from the owner.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the bigger rooms. Much better.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EMERALDISLEkerala, Owner at Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Dear Guest,

I am Very Sorry for the thing happened to you as we want all our Guests to be happy.

In our website it is mentioned that you can swim in the River infront and we had not mentioned about a Swimming pool. Guests used to swim in the river.

When you came, I was busy as my wife had an appointment with her Doctor.
Also my younger brother Vijo Job had gone to London for his MBA just before your arrival.
He was the one who was looking after the Guest as I was living at Cochin for the last 2 years for the treatment of having a child.

Our Guide Sam was also on leave.

If you have asked we would have given you Cooking classes.

Also you can check with other homestays of our standards and you can know that they are charging higher than us for Lunch & Dinner.
In Kerala the prices of Vegetables, fruits, Fish, Chicken and other commodities had increased a lot in the last 2 years, but we are keeping the same rates.
Also as we are a homestay we serve fixed menu, but with lot of dishes and different varieties on each day.
Even for Breakfast we serve Bread toast, Butter, Jam, Eggs, etc and also any one of Kerala items like Appam & Stew, Iddli, Dosa, Idiappam, etc.

We also had informed the travel Agents to let us know whether the Guests are Allergic to any type of food. On arrival we asks the Guests whether they eat chicken or fish, etc. The Guest could have told us if there was any problem.

Lot of Guests likes our food and we are in some Food books like Food & Travel from UK.

We also got the Award for the "Best Homestay of Indian 2013" by Lonely Planet Magazine India.
Also we are ranked 7th among Top 25 Heritage Hotels in India by TripAdvisor 2012.

Last week, Me & my wife had shifted back from Cochin to Emerald Isle to take care of the Guests with our staffs, so we assure you our Best Services in future.

Thanks for the support.

Vinod Job
Managing Director - Emerald Isle.
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

Only 4 rooms in that old Keralan farm (about 150 years old, built by the ancestor of the owner) but all more beautiful than the others, using original material and configuration. A new house was built more recently next to it and offers a suite, a bit less charming but pretty well done and comfortable too. The bathrooms have been added outside, and you can take your shower under the stars!

Excellent food too. Our best stay in Kerala.

  • Stayed April 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.
EMERALDISLEkerala, Owner at Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Thank you for the beautiful review.

Pleased to let you know that we had won the “Lonely Planet Magazine”--Best Homestay of India ---2013.
Ref:- Page 127 of “Lonely Planet Magazine”-India of May 2013.

Award function is at ITC Hotel Mumbai on 7th June.

Our Facebook page is "EMERALDISLEKERALA"

Best regards,

Vijo Job & Vinod Job
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul, Turkey
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

You arrive by boat to this Keralan paradise. We were welcomed on a hot afternoon with a glass of chilled nutmeg juice. The building is heritage, gently curving roofs and all creaking teak. It is set in a little garden of Eden... it feels like its own little tropical island floating between the river on one side and an enormous emerald-green rice paddy on the other (hence the name?). One of the owners took us around their gardens, and showed us all the wonderful things they grow: coconuts, bananas, nutmeg, black pepper, cinnamon, and a dozen other things I can't remember. They also did a toddy-tapping demonstration for us. The gardens were lovely and peaceful to wander in or lounge in. There are lots of places to lie down in the shade and read a book. They also have a massage hut, where you can have a great ayurvedic massage. Everything is engineered for peace, quiet, and relaxation.

The rooms are very simply decorated. We stayed in the granary room, which had a dark, cozy feel. But the real beauty of these rooms are the bathrooms, which are open to the sky. There's nothing like the bliss of showering under a canopy of tropical greenery.

The food was excellent and we were even able to get a cooking demonstration. All meals are communal with the other guests, so if you're not in a sociable mood, you may not like this. Most of the guests were pretty convivial when we were there, so it wasn't much of a problem for us. Ask if you can purchase beer. They might have a few bottles stocked.

Emerald Isle is a great jumping-off point for exploring the backwaters, a lot more so than an overnight houseboat cruise. At Emerald Isle, you are in the heart of the backwaters, and you can get up close and personal with river life. We met some locals this way, and were even invited into a family's home. You can walk everywhere or take a bike (but be warned that if you turn left out of the homestay, you will be carrying that bike over lots of bridges!). The most magical thing that we did in our entire time in Kerala was a dugout canoe ride with one of the workers from the homestay. We went just before sunset and set out down the river and then into one of the little canals to the sound of birdcalls and temple singing. It was absolute magic.

My only complaint is that the cost seems disproportionate to the actual rooms, which is the only reason I did not give this place 5 stars. However, when you consider what a unique experience you're getting, the cost is worth it in the long run. If I was forced to choose between this and the overnight houseboat (which we also did), I would choose Emerald Isle. You can really experience the rhythm of life here and meet the locals in ways you couldn't on a houseboat. We had some of our most memorable experiences there, and we felt warmly welcomed.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
EMERALDISLEkerala, Owner at Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Thank you for the beautiful review.

Pleased to let you know that we had won the “Lonely Planet Magazine”--Best Homestay of India ---2013.
Ref:- Page 127 of “Lonely Planet Magazine”-India of May 2013.

Award function is at ITC Hotel Mumbai on 7th June.

Our Facebook page is "EMERALDISLEKERALA"

Best regards,

Vijo Job & Vinod Job
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amriswil
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

A warm welcome from owner and stuff. Nice and tasteful furnished rooms, a lovely garden, a relaxing atmosphere - it took us only minutes to feel comfortable in this heritage place. What a pleasure to have candlelight dinners with the other guests. And the Food - just very tasteful and well balanced for foreigners and served from friendly People - the Perfect Holiday Location! We stayed in this relaxing place for three nights. We recommend this place to all People who want to slow down for some days.
Recommendation: Instead of a trip on a houseboat in the Backwaters with a overnight stay, you better do a sightseeing trip in the Backwaters for some hours and stay one more night at this beautiful location.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
EMERALDISLEkerala, Owner at Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Thank you for the beautiful review.

Pleased to let you know that we had won the “Lonely Planet Magazine”--Best Homestay of India ---2013.
Ref:- Page 127 of “Lonely Planet Magazine”-India of May 2013.

Award function is at ITC Hotel Mumbai on 7th June.

Our Facebook page is "EMERALDISLEKERALA"

Best regards,

Vijo Job & Vinod Job
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buxton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

How fortunate we were to stay here for 2 nights.The whole team were pleasantly attentive without ever being intrusive.
We chose the cottage rather than a room in the house and were thrilled with it.It had its own indoor and outdoor sitting areas and indoor/outdoor bathroom.
The grounds are magnificent-3 fish lakes and extensive gardens overlooking paddy fields with plenty of seats/hammocks scattered around to just relax or be astounded by the variety of birdlife.
In the short time we were there we kayaked,cycled and walked around the numerous little water routes and village paths-an amazing insight into day-to day life.
The chef was a gem turning out a seemingly unlimited number of delicious meals.My husband took the opportunity to spend time in the kitchen whilst our lunch was being prepared on 1 day and has returned with loads of new recipes.
This was ,I think ,my favourite part of an amazing,completely fascinating 16 day trip around southeren Kerala.

Room Tip: We loved the cottage.
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  • Stayed March 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.
EMERALDISLEkerala, Owner at Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Thank you for the beautiful review.

Pleased to let you know that we had won the “Lonely Planet Magazine”--Best Homestay of India ---2013.
Ref:- Page 127 of “Lonely Planet Magazine”-India of May 2013.

Award function is at ITC Hotel Mumbai on 7th June.

Our Facebook page is "EMERALDISLEKERALA"

Best regards,

Vijo Job & Vinod Job
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lewes, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

This beautiful ancestral home is a short country-boat ferry ride across the Pamba river from the nearest taxi drop-off point. As soon as you arrive, you are welcomed by your hosts and made to feel like a guest of the family. Life is comfortable, slow-paced and peaceful. The rooms are comfortable, clean and full of character with beautiful carved wood ceilings. Meals are delicious and authentically Keralan: fresh-tasting vegetable and fish curries, simply but mildly spiced, delicious flat breads and rice pancakes and wonderful home-made pickles. They are served in an airy, but mosquito-proofed pavilion in the garden. Everyone shares the same long table and talk tends to go on after the dishes have been cleared. Indian beer and wine is available. The island is a bird-watcher's paradise and good for walking in. Bikes can also be hired, although the possibilities for rides are limited. A highlight for us were the 'paddle-powered' country-boat tours where we explored a small canal near the homestay and had fascinating glimpses of daily life. Vijo and Vinod are excellent hosts and their extensive garden is a great place to enjoy from the vantage point of a shady hammock! It's a beautiful place!

Room Tip: The Granary has enormous character, but the bed is on a raised platform with two quite steep steps...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
EMERALDISLEkerala, Owner at Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Thank you for the beautiful review.

Pleased to let you know that we had won the “Lonely Planet Magazine”--Best Homestay of India ---2013.
Ref:- Page 127 of “Lonely Planet Magazine”-India of May 2013.

Award function is at ITC Hotel Mumbai on 7th June.

Our Facebook page is "EMERALDISLEKERALA"

Best regards,

Vijo Job & Vinod Job
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa

Address: Manimalathara | Chathurthiakary, Alappuzha 688511, India
Phone Number:
Location: India > Kerala > Alappuzha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 77 Specialty Lodging in Alappuzha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the beautiful waterways and backwaters of the Kuttanad region of Central Kerala lies Emerald Isle, an exotic haven of tranquility, seemingly remote from city life, yet barely 10 kilometers from Alleppey Town. Tucked away on this delightful island lies the Emerald Isle Heritage Villa, an ancestral Country House set in 9 acres of secluded grounds – your Retreat into a Paradise of Peace. Emerald Isle Heritage Home is situated in an island resplendent with exotic flora, breathtaking flowers, myriad birds and butterflies to make for a memorable holiday, affordable and unforgettable. A truly wonderful way to spend your time on the banks of the backwaters of Kerala! Our house, dating back 150 years, retains its original architectural features, mostly in teak, with splendid wood carvings. There is also a fine Ara, the timber storeroom used in former times for the golden harvest of rice – golden because the island’s lush green paddy fields turn gold at the time of the harvest. Our property stretches across 9 acres including lush green paddy fields and fish ponds. All meals are served in dining room. Please ask us if you want to have any special facilities like Ayurvedic treatments or houseboat rides. Emerald Isle is ideal for those wanting to relax, sun themselves or getting away from it all. The tranquil air here is salve to frayed nerves and everyday tensions. Read a book or taste the locally harvested ’toddy’ fresh from the coconut trees ! When you tire of lazing in a hammock, or sunbathing in the courtyard garden, you can take a walk around the island, go fishing or have a swim. Emerald Isle Heritage Villa offers peace, privacy and pure relaxation. There are only 5 rooms (All Air-conditioned) for guests and each has its own en-suite Open-Shower bathroom with all modern facilities. The en-suite bathrooms have been tastefully done and open to the sky above to give you a feel of being truly closer to nature at Emerald Isle! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa Hotel Alappuzha
Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa Kerala/Alappuzha, India

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