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“Truly wonderful - Don't miss a stay here”
Review of Philipkutty's Farm

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Philipkutty's Farm
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 16, 2014

If you ever want to drop out and spend some time in quite contemplation in the backwaters then this is the place to do it. My only regret is that we only had one night. Years ago I stayed in the resort recently frequented by Prince Charles that is relatively close to the Farm, but is by comparison a charmless corporate affair. Our local travel agency advised us to stay at the Farm instead and on n this return visit to Kerala it 's the best recommendation ever by a travel agent! It was described as a home stay, but the stunning private villa/cottage means that this is not what most would call a home stay.

Anu and her mother in law who run the 35 acre coconut and coffee plantation were the most wonderful hosts. We had the best food that we ate anywhere in Kerala and we ate well elsewhere. This is where Rick Stein stayed and he has borrowed one of Anu's recipes for his book and I think he missed a few given the stunning lunch and dinner we had here.

I will treasure the slightly unexpected experience as we awaited our riceboat of Philip, Anu's son playing the grand piano in the main house. He is a very talented 16 year old. As we sipped cold home made lime and ginger and ceiling fans whirred it was a world of old world charm and hospitality.

You eat with the other guests and this made for a very pleasant and social experience.

I cannot recommend this enough. It was very hot when we visited and I was worried at having no AC, but the natural ventilation and ceiling fans proved to be cool. Admittedly there is a little noise from fans, but I still slept very well.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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4  Thank SWALondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 14, 2014

We decided to splash out and stay at philipkutty's farm and we are so glad we did. The food was spectacular,the best we tasted on our trip. The sunset cruise that was included was lovely and the setting was amazing. I would return to Kerala just to stay at Anu's homestay. You eat meals communally and we met some lovely people. We were the only family, our son is two, but everyone was very friendly. A very special place.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
1  Thank LondonPookie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2014

Personal care, attention to detail at every level, and absolutely the best ever Indian food - the fusion of tastes and variety of dishes were outstanding. An amazing place to stay and rest a while from the hustle and bustle of mainland India. Anu, her lovely family and caring staff make sure your stay at Philipkutty's Farm is not just a moment in one's life but a memory which will never fade. Thank you for the most amazing experience.

Room Tip: All of the bungalows have main rooms which look out to a lakeside view. Only one bungalow has AC so...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Sylvie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2014

Our stay at Philipkutty's Farm was a late change (upgrade) to the itinerary worked out with my tailor-made travel provider, so I hadn't had chance to look up details online first. As our driver took us along narrow winding back lanes I wondered where we were actually heading, then a small sign for Philipkutty's Farm and a track ending at the water's edge. I then saw it was across the water, with access only by boat. The boatman took us across, with some other guests who happened to have arrived at the same time, to a wonderful welcome by Anu. After a welcoming cold drink and formalities, Anu showed us to our cottage (which I think was the first built by them, being closest to their house), inviting us back to her house for lunch after we had freshened up. Lunch was delicious and time to get to know Anu more, and the other new guests.
That evening, dinner was served in the dining area, a beautifully set separate covered open area between the cottages and house. The dining table was one large round table around which all guests sat, an excellent way to socialize and get to know one another. In the centre of the table, a large "lazy Susan", which gradually had more and more food placed on for us to serve ourselves. The food was excellent, with everything being overseen by Anu, ensuring all was well.
It turned out to be the birthday of one of the children of other guests staying there, and following our meal, we were all invited into Anu's family house for birthday cake to be presented, cut and served to us all, and entertained by Anu's son on the piano. What a wonderful family evening, totally unexpected! Made all the more cosy too by the storm which was then in progress outside, thunder, lightening, and torrential rain!
The following morning, breakfast in the communal dining area, and another selection of delicious food and conversation with the other guests.
Sadly we were only booked to stay there the one night, so after breakfast, time to pack our cases, checkout, and off again over the water and away.
A wonderful place in a lovely location with wonderful host and family and attentive staff.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BigglesTony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2014

Philipkutty's Farm is run by Anu and her family, the cottages are spacious and clean although they do get pretty toasty at night. The food is all home-made and served at a big round table where you eat with your fellow guests which we really enjoyed, everything we ate was delicious and probably the best food we had whilst in Kerala. The idea of staying on a houseboat didn't appeal to us so this is a perfect alternative, we went out on a narrow boat for a couple of hours around the backwaters which was enough for us. The farm offer a sunset boat cruise every evening which is really lovely, if you're looking for an ecological way to experience the backwaters whilst eating amazing food this is the perfect place to stay.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
1  Thank CR1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2014

Our stay at Philipkutty's was the highlight of our holiday, despite the fact that we had other marvellous experiences and hotels. We arrived by houseboat, having had an idyllic two nights on the Kerala backwaters. It was way before check-in time, as our houseboat had to return to base and be cleaned and prepared for the next guests. However, we were given a warm and smiling welcome by Anu and Aniamma, the two ladies who run the farm and the guest facilities, and seem to be untiring and constantly at the ready to make life more comfortable in every way for their guests. We enjoyed the welcome drink of lime and ginger, and relaxed in the reception lounge of the main farmhouse. There were magazines marked with the pages where Philipkutty's Farm was reviewed, and a copy of Rick Stein's India cookbook, wherein is a recipe from Aniamma, who also runs cookery courses for guests. The standard of food was as high as you might wish to encounter anywhere.
We and our friends, another couple we were holidaying with, were taken to our villa, "Ponmaan" (kingfisher), which consisted of two en-suite double bedrooms and a shared lounge with tea and coffee-making facilities, making three sides of a courtyard, where fresh flower arrangements in a wide bowl were set to welcome us. Each of the villas (differing in layout) face the waterfront, and are a short walk from the farmhouse and the dining area. All are furnished individually with antique furniture, and shower rooms generously supplied with toiletries.
The farm is on a small island made from reclaimed ground, and we were treated to a conducted tour of the plantations by the farm manager, MrTambi, who showed us coconut trees underplanted with bananas, fruit and vegetables, poultry, cattle, and spices. The farm labourers all come from the mainland, and are daily punted to work across the water. All produce is organic, and there is a digester system to provide gas for cooking, and compost.
At meals, around a large round table with central "lazy Susan" the guests gather to exchange experiences and views, and maybe make new friends. It is all very informal, and pleasant.
I was interested in getting an Ayurvedic massage on our full day at the farm, and Anu willingly arranged an appointment for me and my friend to go across the water in the farm's local boat, a canoe-shaped wooden boat that was punted across - rather reminiscent of a gondola, to the village where there is an Ayurvedic clinic where massages may be taken, for 1,000 rupees (around £10 sterling) plus tip. For anyone not familiar with this phenomenon, the massage is done after consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor, by two masseuses, using a specially-shaped wooden massage table, with raised edges, so that the therapeutic oils used liberally on the body are conserved during the hour-long process. It is rather slippery, but the edges prevent you from actually sliding off! The massage is done at a pressure of your choice, and afterwards you are given a complete wash-down. The effect is totally relaxing yet also restores positive energy levels. I find it a wonderful experience, and my friend, who had never had such a massage before, was equally enthusiastic about it.
The village is small, with dirt roads, but has a large and beautifully maintained Roman Catholic church, St Mary's, which is the focus of regular pilgrimages, and also a primary and high school.
After our second night we were due to leave early in the morning, and would have been content to do without breakfast, but Anu and her mother Aniamma (generally known as "Mummy") insisted on serving us with a plentiful breakfast in the farmhouse.
Philipkutty's is a tranquil retreat, where every guest is treated as a member of the family, and given tender loving care in a beautiful place.

Room Tip: Just let the owners know the size of your group, and your interests, and they will select the most a...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank StephanieO34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2014

Actually the truth of the matter is that I'm quite reluctant to write about Philipkutty's. I wish I could keep this place as my own private secret and keep the world away from it. This is such an unusual place. I just melt when I think of it. So much attention is paid to even the smallest things. The flower arrangement in front of the room, the handpicked furniture the thought of the window's location, the rooms design. Every, but everything is a result of thinking how to make the stay most memorable. The beauty all around is just wonderful. Anu has this gift of making you feel at home from the very first second. Mama is so welcoming and such a gifted cook that the stay at Philipkutty's, for me, has turned into the highlight of my Indian trip. I only hope that my next stay in this fantastic place will be not long from now.

Room Tip: All rooms are wonderful
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
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5  Thank shafrira b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Philipkutty's Farm

Address: Pallivathukal, Ambika Market P.O, | Vechoor, Kottayam 686 144, India
Location: India > Kerala > Kottayam District > Kottayam
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 82 Specialty Lodging in Kottayam
Price Range: $10,500 - $14,000 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Philipkutty's Farm 2*
Number of rooms: 3
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Also Known As:
Philipkutty`s Farm Hotel Kottayam
Philipkutty's Farm Kottayam, Kerala, India

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