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“A great stay at the Isola Di Cocco” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Isola Di Cocco Beach Resort

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Isola Di Cocco Beach Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   Poovar P.O,Trivandrum | Kerala, Puvar 695525, India   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Puvar
London
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“A great stay at the Isola Di Cocco”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2007

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Isola Di Cocco for a week at the end of March, travelling with Manos (Going Places) on a last minute holiday which was a very good deal. It was our first time in India, although we are both very frequent travellers for both work and leisure.

We arrived fairly fresh after a good flight into Trivandrum airport and braved the heat and the rich aromas(!) as we moved our luggage the 100 yds or so to where the coaches were waiting for us. Everything was well organised and our rep Paul was waiting for us on the bus. The transfer was around 45 mins and was most memorable for Paul's introduction to India which did the sensible job of setting our expectation about the environment, the people, the money, and (particularly for my other half) the potential for small crawly things to introduce themselves to your various bodily appendages as some point during the stay! As it turned out we didn't have a single experience of anything with more than two legs which was a pity as I was hoping to get a photo of something to take back to work with me ;-)

The Isola Di Cocco is a lovely place, and exactly as the other reviewers had described. We were hoping for a relaxing and quiet holiday, and that is exactly what we got. The pool was superb and the grounds were very well kept, clean, and well presented. The staff were delightful, but you have to keep in mind the fact that they sometimes do not completely understand you if you have a pronounced accent or speak quickly; but try speaking their language - it isn't easy. If they bring you the wrong drink or confuse the order a little then I would just go with it, you never know you may find a new tipple you like. The hotel does not encourage tipping the staff directly, but there is a tip box in reception and another in the restaurant if you want to make a contribution.

In common with the last reviewer, we also stayed in a heritage room. These were absolutely beautiful, built in a similar style to the Wooden Palace to promote a natural air flow through the structure, with the much commented on outdoor bathroom. Very odd to start with, and a little disconcerting for my girlfriend who was expecting to find a six inch killer spider waiting for her on every trip outside, but again we saw nothing in terms of unwanted crawling things and we both grew to really like the outdoor room. Mind you, not sure it would work back in South London though.

Our plan was to try to break the world record for doing nothing all week, with the essential ingredients being the Pool, a sunbed, a parasol, and cold drinks. Mission accomplished in part, but be aware that on some days during the week it was tricky getting a sunbed after breakfast in the morning. You also have the choice of using the hammocks down on the edge of the lagoon by the boat jetty. This area is sandy and beach like; it is less busy and a lovely spot to relax and listen to the boats go by or the water lapping against the edge of the jetty.

On day three we decided to venture outside of the confines of the resort and go into Kovalam - there were plenty of taxi's outside the main gate which would take you there for around 600 - 700 rs, and this price includes the driver waiting for you for a few hours and bringing you back to the hotel. I must that say we felt rather guilty knowing that someone was waiting around for us whilst we got some sun or ate at one of the restaurants on Lighthouse beach, but the driver was insistent that this was normal practice. We did however have one afternoon and evening planned at Kovalam when we weren't sure what time we would be returning so secured a one way price and got a taxi back to the hotel at ten o clock ish from Hawa beach with no problems.

On one trip to Kovalam we went to the Leela Hotel on the hilltop. We walked in and ordered some drinks and took in some of the great views, and enjoyed some of the luxury 5 star feel the hotel has. From there we walked down to Lobster pot beach which was our favourite haunt - the lads there were great at sorting you out with a sunbed and looked after you on the beach for drinks. Watch out for the sea though as it can be very rough, but this also means exhilarating if you brave the shallows and let the surf break over you - just be very aware of the strong currents. If you are not brave enough to venture out into the water yourself then try getting a spot on the balcony of Fusion restaurant to watch the locals playing in the surf on Hawa beach. It seemed to be a local sport with sometimes 50 or more people all crowded around at the water line during the late afternoon. Restaurant wise our favourite had to be Fusion, a lovely balcony and a good feel for cleanliness and quality of food. If you are around in the afternoon then you can pop in to have a drink and maybe book one of the tables right on the edge of the balcony overlooking the beach.

On day five we decided to venture further south towards Lands End. On the way we dropped in to the Wooden Palace, which actually turned out to be the highlight of our day out. I found fascinating learning about the rich history and discovering more about the building itself. Interestingly we saw a lot in common with our heritage cottage at the Isola Di Cocco - the outdoor bathroom and the airflow through the structure due to its design, providing a natural air conditioning. Oh dear, I've just read the last sentence again and realised that I sound just like my dad. Damn, time is catching me up - bring back the Ibiza days someone please. Seriously, we would both recommend this as a place to visit.

With hindsight we would skip Lands End - The Ghandi memorial is thought provoking (particularly in terms of the Tsunami) and as our rep said, it is very like Land End in the UK - it does what is says on the tin but in terms of something spiritual or special we didn't feel the earth move so to speak. The architecture of the Hindu temple was also breathtaking, but be aware that this opens at 4pm so get your timing right as it is a little hot to be hanging around! (We speak from personal experience). We didn't have time to do the backwater trip but will do so on our next visit for sure.

Other than that, we agree with most of the other reviewers opinions below. We preferred Stephens floating restaurant to the Kurakakki (sp?) which felt more like a café experience. Both have good food though and do a lunch and dinner service for most of the week, but more of our money found it's way into Stephens pocket. They serve Indian wine at both restaurants which is quite drinkable, and of course a fantastic array of food and other drinks. Neither myself or my other half suffered any ill effects during our stay, but caveat emptor and all that! Take a torch with you to signal the restaurant if there isn't a boat there - they are along about 200 yds on the left as you stand on the edge of the jetty - and also for signalling the boats. There seemed to be one boat for Stephens and one boat for Kurakakki.

I wouldn't be tempted to eat at the Isola's seafood restaurant located on the jetty - again the staff were delightful but we felt Stephens offered significantly better value and dare we say it better food. We feel bad for saying that because the staff were so nice which was the main reason we gave it a try. Most of the other food at the hotel was buffet style, although you could order a la carte.

As for cars and driving, if you are a very nervous passenger then you may not feel comfortable using the cabs or tut tuts, particularly if you want to go take the 30 min or so trip into Kovolam. We were both OK and to be fair we didn’t see a single accident whilst we were there, but being a passenger in the back of an air conditioned Austin Ambassador can be quite an eye opener. They drive at low speeds (10-25 mph) on the same side of the road as us (well mostly anyway) but there is a lot of traffic and it seems the main rule is that the bigger your vehicle is - the more you have right of way. We enjoyed the experience on the whole, so no complaints from us.

Lastly, I wanted to mention Hari the tailor at the hotel entrance. Hari's haute couture empire may at first glance appear somewhat agricultural, but do not be deceived. I trusted the earlier reviews about Hari's work and took a favourite suit in to be copied. He did a great job and I got two new suits back which I am very pleased with and at a great price.

We very much enjoyed the hotel and the holiday, thanks to all the Isola staff for making the trip so memorable.

regards

Mike and Kate

Stayed March 2007
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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uk
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4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2007

I had stayed in Kovalam in 2006 courtesy of Manos. I wanted to go back in February 2007, but was on a limited budget. I managed to get this resort, in rural Poovar , as a late deal through the Manos website. It was a fantastic deal but, regardless of the cost, was a wonderful experience.

Initially I was concerned that Poovar would be too quiet and that I would miss the bustle of Lighthouse Beach or Samudra. I was especially concerned about the lack of choice for evening meals beyond the hotel.

I checked Tripadviser and found great reviews of the two floating restaurants in the lagoon. In fact almost all the reviews on this resort were spot on.

I very much enjoyed the peace and quiet of Poovar: it overlooks a lagoon and is surrounded by the backwaters and the sea. You are very much in touch with nature there, and there are lovely walks and the hotel even has a bird-watching platform - it was great to see the "sea eagles" diving for fish.

The grounds are attractive but not formal. I had paid to upgrade to a 'heritage bungalow' which was very spacious with an outdoor bathroom and shower. wonderful. It was built of wood and my only criticism is that there was too much furniture inside - this cluttered up an otherwise enormous room space with handy fridge, tv ceiling fan and efficient air-con.

My favourite experience was evening dinner - although the hotel will not tell you about them - the two floating restaurants are wonderful. Just go to the hotel jetty and a boatman wil pick you up and deposit you at the restaurant. They don;t look much from the outside, but they have wonderful views of the sunset over the lagoon and the fishing boats pushing out to sea. And if you don't like muzac, they wil happily turn down the noise.

The food at the floating restaurants is superb and wonderful value for money. My average spend for dinner would be about 4 pounds, and that included one pound for the beer.

The menus are mostly Keralan dishes, with a strong emphasis upon fish and seafood. I didn't have the same meal in three weeks, and it was wonderful trying the unfamiliar fish (Seer fish, by the way, is my favourite), but try the amazing tiomato curry, and don't omit the giant prawns - almost no chilli in the dishes, quite distinctively Keralan (no beef or lamb, but some chicken).

The food at the hotel was less impressive. Although a la carte is available, breakfast and dinner is very much buffet, Breakfast was not up to the same standard as the rest of the hotel. Some very sad ham and sausages had been sitting in dishes for hours, but you can always get a fresh omlette/eggs, and indeed fresh indian breads. Indian breakfast dishes are also in the buffet and were lovely. But it was nice to get outside for dinner.

The large swimming pool was a great feature, as the sea was far too rough to swim in. The staff were most helpful with sunbeds, parasols and towels and there was no shortage of room. To get across the lagoon to the sea was a bit of a pain, as the boatman couldn't always see you waving - but it all added to the charm. Kids would cut school in order to pester the tourists, but they were very goodnatured, the exception was the fishermen who are rough and simply stick out their hands and demand money, or your hat, or shirt or whatever. I dont think they are trouble, just gruff.

The hotel staff are charming and hardworking, though you mostly have to wait 20 minutes or so to get a bottle of water, pot of tea etc. The resort also put on evening entertainment - the kathkeli was very worthwhile (no charge).

Some things I took for granted without thinking about them: hygiene, cleanliness, efficient service (India), honesty and safety. But above all, the location of the resort wa superb. For 300 rupees I organised (via the floating restaurants) a boat tour of the backwaters (2 hours: 4 - 6pm) - better even than Thiruvallam, and personally I found it more enjoyable than Allepey. I did it again in the early morning light (7-9am) and had an entirely different experience, different quality of light and much more activity from the birds.

Final observation: the lagoon is fed by a river and the backwaters and it tends to fill and threaten the local houses, so every 12 days they have to cut a channel in the sandbank to allow the waters to drain into the sea. The drainage sarts as a gentle flow six foot across, but soon becomes a torrent about 20 foot across. The rise and fall of waters in the lagoon and backwaters gives quite different views and perspectives.

I can't WAIT to get back, and I will certainly choose Poovar - Lighthouse Beach and Samudra are getting very overcrowded.

Stayed February 2007
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
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44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2007

We spent three days here. The grounds of the resort are idyllic. Greenery, fan palms and flowered arbors mingle with a large swimming pool, long sandy beaches and airy restaurant facilities. It was a little bit of paradise in India.

The resort is 18 km south of Trivandrum. Unfortunately, during our late evening drive from Kanyakumari, neither we nor our driver had any clue where the resort was located. Signage was sparse and difficult to read on the unlit back roads of Kerala. Tucked behind acres of coconut groves and languid lagoon water, our final approach to the resort on the rural rutted road was a bit harrowing.

The resort caters to westerners, and because of that, it was the first time I felt comfortable wearing shorts in public. Women in India keep their legs covered, at least from the knees down!

We tried the "regular massage." It was not a massage at all. Warm oil was poured on, including the scalp, and rubbed on. There was nothing other than hands sliding and rubbing on the skin. If you want something more vigorous, try another type.

If you're interested in seeing about 10 photos and reading what we had to say about the total experience, please check out our blog entry at http://beinginbangalore.blogspot.com/2007/02/isola-di-cocco-poovar-island-ayurvedic.html

Stayed January 2007
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wonderful cymru
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2007

We stayed at the Isola in January 2007 for two very lazy weeks!

We got to the hotel at approx 6am after a rather protracted arrival at Trivandrum, two coaches later, (we had to change because the big coach cannot get down the hotel drive), we got out and thought 'this is paradise'. There were chipmunks scampering about, beautiful birdsong and the whole of the grounds were just waking up. Our room (a heritage cottage) was really comfortable, tv, aircon, outdoor wc etc, lovely big bed. we overlooked a small lake where there was quite alot of bird activity. The pool is really great with a jacuzzi at one end. The grounds are really nice with plenty of tropical plants and flowers. The staff were always very friendly and polite.
I had some treatments in the auvedic centre and they certainly releived my troublesome stiff neck and the treatments were fairly inexpensive.

On the minus side, was firstly the food was not quite up to the standard we would have liked, although it wasnt bad, it wasnt good either, and you can eat out locally much cheaper. if you like a drink, it could be quite disappointing, with not really a bar as such and a very limited selection of drinks (all of which seemed very expensive). also everything seemed to stop around 9pm and there was very little to do in the evenings. And there was the same muzac cd that just got played over and over, for the whole 2 weeks!
Once we went on the beach via the boat across the lagoon, unfortunately we were shadowed by a local boy who would not go away, asking for money so we came back and never went again.
Also whilst staying, and it was of course nothing to do with the hotel, there were alot of religious festivals in the local villages which at times (sometimes 5am) very noisy, I don't know if this goes on all year, but it was all abit loud.

If you want to go out for the day, go to the hotel gates there are always taxis waiting. We went to the lighthouse beach a couple of times in the rickshaw - our driver was called Johny, and although it was a bit of an experience, he was a very careful driver.

This is the perfect place if you want to unwind and relax.

Stayed January 2007
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wirral Merseyside
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2007

After a fantastic week travelling around Kerala this hotel was an ideal place to spend the second week chilling out.

The hotel was reached by a dirt track ( not boat as the brochure indicated) but don't let that put you off.The hotel is in a great location on the lagoon and beach but it is a little far from the village of Poovar to walk if you are not used to walking far (we aren't). Poovar is very much a traditional village and there are no restaurants or bars but it has a few shops.and is worth going to watch local daily life.

The standard room we had (no.50) was quite spacious but had no view. The room was fairly basic but was clean and had all the amenities you needed( air con, fan,tv, fridge etc).The bathroom was quite big and the toiletries provided were very nice.

The pool was probably the best feature of the hotel and was very large and there was plenty of room for sunbeds with a great view over the lagoon and sea.

You can get to the beach via the hotel boat and whilst it is nice to have a wander the sea was very rough with strong undercurrents and not suitable for swimming.

The restaurant served buffet style food for all meals but you could also order from an al la carte menu for evening meals. During the day it was also possible to have lunch/snacks at the pool side bar but be warned there was usually a long wait during the day between ordering and receiving the food. Overall the food was very nice. There is also a fish restaurant by the pool but we didn't try it.

I had a couple of treatments at the Ayurvedic centre which were very relaxing and cheap (approximately £10 for a full body massage).

We were there for News Years eve and the hotel had the most fantastic event with a massive buffet, entertainment and fireworks.

There are two floating restaurants and they will pick you up from the jetty but unfortunately our experience at Stephens restaurant was not a good one. After a couple of hours (and a couple of beers) neither ourselves nor anyone else on the lower deck had received any food whatsoever so we had to abandon ship and return to the Hotel restaurant which had closed at 10.30pm! It was a busy night for the restaurant and we think that they simply got over whelmed by the numbers.Someone else however had gone to the other floating restaurant and waited four hours to get their food so be prepared!

You can get to Kovalam by taxi (around £9) or auto rickshaw( around £6) in approximately 30 minutes. This can be ordered through the hotel or walk to the gate of thehotel and there is usually one there.This is for a return journey and they will happily wait for you for a few hours. Do go in a rickshaw if you can it is a great experience and better than any fairground ride.

We went into Kovalam for a couple of evenings and ate at Fusion and Santana (the old one) both of which were excellent and very cheap compared to hotel prices. Kovalam is quite busy with plenty of shops and restaurants and a great place to visit and chill out watching the world go by. The hawkers are there but are friendly and happy to accept a no from you.

We also went to Kanniyakumari (lands end ) and to the wooden palace and Hindu temple (sorry can't remember the name ) in one trip which was very interesting and worth a day out of your holiday. We would suggest that you go on a guided tour as there is so much information and history.

Overall this was a great hotel and very relaxing and bear in mind it is easy to get into Kovalam if you wan't more nightlife. A good combination.

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — the wait for lunch
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Klosterneuburg, Austria
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2007

Ratings out of 10

Food 5.5
Accommodation 8
Service 5
Value for money ($120 BB) 8
Overall 7.5

Comments

Reception staff excellent but slow service in the restaurants and on the beachfront. Can wait 30-40 minutes for drinks. Great beachfront location, pool, gardens and soaring eagles and resident indian crows. Beautiful secluded beach with outstanding coconut groves, hammocks and backwaters.
Rather special ensuite bathrooms in private outdoor courtyard - sunbathe in the shower in the morning and watch the stars at night.

  • Liked — Beachfront and hammocks
  • Disliked — Buffet food
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Isola Di Cocco Beach Resort

Address: Poovar P.O,Trivandrum | Kerala, Puvar 695525, India
Location: India > Kerala > Puvar
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 hotels in Puvar
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Isola Di Cocco Beach Resort 3*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Isola Di Cocco ( Island of Coconuts ) is a Complete resort by all means with its exotic location ( a breath taking combo of Backwater & Beach), it has one of the best Ayurvedic Center offering all Panchakarma Packages , Yoga & Meditation on a tranquil & peaceful location. COME & REJUVENATE with us. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Isola Di Cocco Beach Hotel Puvar
Isola Di Cocco Beach Resort Kerala/Puvar, India

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