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“Over expectation of jungle”
Review of Aranya Nivas KTDC

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Aranya Nivas KTDC
Ranked #14 of 45 Hotels in Thekkady
Reviewed December 17, 2012

We stayed for two nights and when you stay over here you will feel that you are far away.
This is very near to the place where the daily boat trips start , The food is all right.But you can only eat in the hotel as the option to go out is difficult. Rooms are large but nothing as extra to recommend. We had come here with great expectations of the forest life, but we had just over expectations only.

Room Tip: All Rooms are OK
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Catiangjuls11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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364 - 370 of 461 reviews

Reviewed December 10, 2012

We visited Thekkady during the Pooja holidays. The checkin took some time (there were many travellers checking in at that time). Cordial checkin. The room was very good. In fact, it was huge. The bathroom was large and had a tub as well. Staff explained about keeping the windows closed during the day to take care of the monkey problem. We saw monkeys around 1 hour after our checkin. The main advantage of the place was that it was so close to the boating area. And you will get tickets to the KTDC boats without much trouble. We opted for boat on one day. It was crowded and many were making noises. Saw hogs and bufallo even then. You can see many of them if you go to the boating area in the evening. The food at Aranya Nivas was exceptional. The spread was decent; but the taste, the best. The pool was functional. You can see monkeys and wild squirrwls from the room itself. Rates were decent and hence a good value. Main disadvantage is that after 6:30PM, you are confined to the hotel (you can spend time in pool or in the TV room).

Room Tip: Book through their site and get a larger discount. If you want to book in the boat directly (or want...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank PKRajesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2012

Aranya Niwas is a KTDC 3 star hotel, maintained by kerala tourism. Its the only hotel situated inside Periyar wildlife sanctuary. Rooms are excellent, clean big grill-less windows, clean toilet and bathroom with hot water and shower. They provided us with a well equipped tea counter with few sachets of milk (don’t know why!), a small fridge.
Be careful with the big grill-less windows because if left open monkeys definitely come inside (we checked!!). There are few bad things too but advantages of staying in Aranya Niwas all overweigh its disadvantages (see Pics).
Advantages:
1. Only Hotel inside the wildlife sanctuary. Just staying there gives an adventurous feel.
While in room one can open windows (but be watchful for monkeys) early morning and listen to sweet sound of birds and animals----feels great!

2. From the main gate to the wildlife sanctuary is about 1km and no vehicles are allowed inside........except for the people staying in Aranya Niwas. So if you are not staying in aranya niwas, you get ready to walk that much in hot weather.

3. There is a 1 and a half hr. boat ride in the Periyar river which is a must for enjoying the sanctuary. But its tickets are not easily available. One has to stay in line for nearly 2 hrs. Or more than that even in hot weather. But for people staying in Aranya Niwas tickets are assured at reception. You just have to confirm with the hotel reception beforehand about your arrival.

4. There are boat rides at different times—early morning, afternoon and evening. Early morning (7am) is the best for any chances of watching animals, then in evening (3:30 pm) is 2nd best. But for groups with kids early morning is difficult, evening ride is equally good.

5. While taking tickets of boat ride be sure to ask for window seats and better upper deck seats, because for people in the middle rows its difficult to see or shoot anything.

6. There are various adventurous activities arranged by KTDC like- Bamboo boat ride, 24 hr jungle trek, 3 or 4 hr. Jeep safari, night time tiger trail. All are quite affordable (within 5-7 thousand INR) and worth their price.

7. There is a swimming pool inside the hotel with a kids section for chilling out.
8. Beer and wine only bar is also there (1 kingfisher bottle for 250 INR).
9. Three star hotel.
10. Recreation room with table tennis, library and carom.
Disadvantages:
Only one and that is food. It was a buffet with various assortments. We tried all. Do Not go for north Indian food here. They do not know how to make it and also some dishes were rotten because of which we along with our kids had diarrhoea and vomiting for next few days. South Indian dishes (dosa, idli, sambhar were good but sambhar was too spicy). All the dishes were too spicy.

Room Tip: Hungle facing rooms are better
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank luvfortravel75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

We booked hotel Aranya Nivas in advance before we came to India, because we were afraid it could be fully booked until we came to Thekkady. Since we have been staying in hotels inside of national parks before, we were very excited to book such a hotel again and we were looking forward to a unique experience. Looking back now, it would have been perfectly fine to just stay in on of the hotels in Kumily.

First of all, the gate to the NP closes at 6pm. Hence, if you travel by bus from another city (we came from Madurai) you need to make sure you arrive in time, otherwise you cannot get to your hotel. Ok, get an early morning bus and this wont be that much of a problem.

However, you don't have any advantage staying in Aranya Nivas. Except for being very close to the place where the boat trips start there is not much "inside the park" atmosphere. Many of the tours you can do such as the Jeep tour, organized by Gavi eco-tourism (which we highly recommend!) were in another part of the park, so we got out of the park, drove trough Kumily to another entrance gate of the park. During our Jeep trip we had breakfast at the Green Mansion which is located in another corner, much deeper inside the park. We did not hear about that place before but apparently it's a loge and probably staying here is the much more authentic experience than Aranya Nivas, for those who really want to stay out in the nature.

For everyone else the hotels in kumily will do just fine. Also they have the advantage that you can actually chose where you want to eat dinner, while in Aranya Nivas you can only eat in the hotel.

For those who still want to give it a try: Rooms are large but nothing special, food is ok but not exceptional and100 Rupies plus taxes for an hour internet access in the "cyber cafe" excessively overpriced.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Deliup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2012

Aranya Nivas is owned and run by the government and it shows. It needs pots of money spent on it The setting is fabulous. Monkeys in the trees outside the windows,wonderful to see,however you cannot open the windows even with bars across them otherwise the monkeys will be in. the same applies to the bedroom door, it was not unusual to come across them in the corridors.I feel that a wide mesh on the outside of the window frames and the windows opening inwards would improve things a lot, including the ventilation to the rooms.
Food was good but the service pretty dismal. lovely grounds to walk around , but the national park where this is situated does get very busy,although most visitors leave by 6pm, the gates to the park are then locked so no exit till the morning

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank johnosomerset_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2012

Wanna stay inside jungle this is the right place
Awesome location!!!...
surrounded by age old trees, monkeyz hopping around...rooms are clean with big glass windows facing the lake....
Just take t walk all alone in the surrounding jungle..simple beautiful..
Hotel arranges the boat ride, jungle safari, jungle camp..

cons -should provide some better options for breakfast n dinner.
all in all good place tobe...(please have your owned/arrange transport )

Room Tip: lake facing
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank mangs_22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2012

right in the middle of Periyar wildlife sanctuary,rooms are big,clean and very well maintained. it is the nearest stay from the boat jetty and the hotel staff took care for our boat ride ticket. Swimming pool is not maintained properly

Room Tip: Lake view rooms though not much of a view available
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank PARTHA H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aranya Nivas KTDC

Address: Kumily, Thekkady 685536, India
Location: India > Kerala > Idukki District > Thekkady
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#9 Spa Hotel in Thekkady
Price Range: $84 - $152 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Aranya Nivas KTDC 3*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aranya Nivas is the only premium jungle lodge of its kind situated inside the Periyar Tiger Reserve(Thekkady). The resort provides avenue for close interaction with the tropical rain forest and wild life. The resort is located on the banks of Periyar lake. Entry to Periyar Sanctuary will be closed by 5.00 pm. Hence please ensure to reach inside the sanctuary before 5.00 pm. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aranya Nivas Ktdc Hotel Thekkady
Aranya Nivas Idukki
Aranya Nivas Hotel Idukki
Aranya Nivas KTDC Thekkady, Kerala

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