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“Delightful beachside accom” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Varkala Marine Palace

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Varkala Marine Palace
Ranked #5 of 49 Hotels in Varkala
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Delightful beachside accom”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2014

This really is the best spot in Varkala, it's quieter and much more pleasant than the other 'touristy' end of town. The rooms are large and comfy and the verandah meant we could sit and watch the world go by. The staff were very knowledgeable, helpful and pleasant. We had a great relaxing finish to our Indian adventure at the Marine Palace.

Room Tip: We had a room on the top floor on the corner, quiet and excellent views and double the verandah spac...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BerniceMM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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367 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
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Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2014

Varkala Marine Palace is, by far, located at the most privileged spot at Varkala's seafront. Right by the Papanasam beach and still a short walk from the very busy and rather overly touristic "North Cliff" area. Immaculately clean with daily service of linen change. Nevertheless, what makes this place so special are the remarkably cordial hosts and staff, led by the very efficient and always smiley Mr Bhasker; they all make you feel like home! The restaurant is exquisite (fresh fish is daily available) with beautiful sea view, probably one of the best in Varkala. We feel very lucky to have chosen Varkala Marine Palace for our stay and very much look forward to returning as soon as practically possible!

Room Tip: The front rooms with sea-views are certainly recommended.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Athanasia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2013 via mobile

Varkala Marine Palace is a very special place and it is likely that you will find it hard to leave!

We had a spacious, ground floor room with a mini kitchen and bathroom, which was presented and kept immaculately, with care and attention to detail. We had a table and chairs out on the veranda, where we spent many an hour looking out across the garden to the sea. You are seconds away from the beach here, and the restaurant, where we ate very happily several times is practically on the sand.

We found it a tremendously tranquil, beautiful place to be. It is not luxury accommodation but it's luxurious in character!

You will find no better host than Bhasker, the charming owner, and staff in both the hotel and restaurant are welcoming and professional.

We'll be back!


Stayed December 2013
Helpful?
Thank PonyPickle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai (Madras), India
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2013

This little place was recommended to us by a close friend and we were glad we took his advice! We walked down the entire strip and there were a lot of hotels, but very few with actual sea facing rooms. The room we got was extremely spacious for the two of us. It had a little kitchenette with a fridge and a big bathroom with hot water throughout the day. The no TV part came as a nice change actually. Forced us outside a little more I think! :) We were wondering how we would cope up without AC, but the weather was very pleasant and the room was cooled naturally by the brick walls. The restaurant was great, we ate all our 3 meals every day at their restaurant over the 4 days we stayed out there. The staff were warm and friendly and the cleaning was prompt and thorough every day. The best part about the whole experience is the home-away-from-home feel that you get here. The manager Bhaskar arranged for our pick-up and drop at the station, both at odd hours. We will definitely go back and have already spread the word about this great little place!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank wildadventures15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 18, 2013

I would happily recommend Varkala Marine Palace. I have lived there for two weeks and would love to stay much longer. I'll definitely return there again. The hotel offers great value. It is next to the beach and there is a good restaurant food at the hotel. In addition shops, restaurants, yoga and Ayurveda treatments are all within walking distance. Rooms are cleaned every day, with new sheets, new towels and fresh flowers in the room every day. Candles and incense sticks go on every night, creating a spiritual sense of the surroundings…The staff is very nice and they always welcome if you need help with booking taxis, massage, or whatever. So I'm very grateful to Bhaskar, Gej and all the staff for all their help and warm hospitality…Best regards, Marina, Sweden

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Marina D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2013

I am sorry to say that our experience with this hotel differed greatly to that of most of the other reviewers on here. While we accept we are in the minority to find it wanting, we especially want to voice our views as the manager's response to our discomfort was very disappointing, particularly in light of the plaudits he has received on Trip Advisor for his excellent customer service.

I must preface this by saying that we do not believe we are difficult people to please and in four months of travel (three of which have been in India) we have enjoyed staying in a full range of accommodation. Marine Palace was a 'treat' for us at 4800 INR a night and we have never slept so badly. It is no exaggeration to say that the night felt endless: our bed was rock-hard, giving us both back ache so severe it lingered for several days afterwards; we were woken up throughout by our neighbours who repeatedly let their bathroom door slam and seemed to be conversing throughout; the power surges and outages meant that the fan would suddenly speed up to the point where it seemed it would fall off the ceiling, also jolting us from any sleep we had drifted into; and the room's wooden walls and lack of AC made it horribly oppressive.

While the hotel cannot be blamed for the loudness of its guests or the unreliable power, which is a problem throughout Kerrala, both of these issues were unexpected in accommodation whose price bracket places it firmly within the midrange: for 4800 INR we had assumed the room would have air conditioning and walls thick enough to block out at least some noise, (In fairness to our neighbours, their conversation was spoken not shouted but the 'traditional design' of the rooms meant that it the noise carried as though they were right next to us.)

When we awoke after our sleepless night, we had no hot water and our freezing cold showers flooded the bathroom as the shower tray that had been fitted, seemingly as an after-thought, was not large enough to contain the spray of water. Other smaller issues were the lack of functioning wifi; the strange design of the room itself (a massive bed big enough for four people, with no bedside tables; tiny windows that let in so little natural light we had to turn electric lights on in the day and the aforementioned wooden walls) and the fact that the verandah that other guests wrote about relaxing on, is actually the only way of accessing rooms, so while you 'relax' other guests are walking past you to get in and out. (Furthermore, this thoroughfare is right outside your window, so you have to close the curtains for any privacy, further adding to the gloom.) We found the area the hotel is placed in strange too: it overlooks a filthy strip of beach (certainly a far cry from the photo on their website!), with very little nearby.

There were some positives: our room was clean, with plentiful towels and some thoughtful touches like chilled water in the fridge; the staff were friendly - until we checked out- and the restaurant was perfectly good but sadly these were far overshadowed by the above. Our issue with the hotel really stems from the discrepancy between what it is- a budget bed and breakfast, with a hostel vibe- and the rates it charges, which match, and indeeed exceed, those of a 4* hotel in India. I am confused by how the hotel can justify these charges when it states on its own website: ' Our comfort levels are decent and satisfactory but we are definitely not a star type luxury hotel.' Perhaps it is simply overcome with its previous successes.

The most galling thing of all, however, was that when we explained to the manger that we wanted to check out early because of the reasons stated above, somehow we ended up apologising to him for not liking the hotel- there were certainly no apologies going the other way! As a couple who dislike confrontation, we spent the morning agonising over whether to leave but decided we really couldn't bear another night, so went to the manager at 1pm and asked if he would be willing, under the circumstances, to allow us to check out early, paying a late-check out fee as we had kept the room for half the day. Despite listening to our complaints, we were told that it was 'fair' we paid 100% for a night's accommodation we were not going to use, including a breakfast allowance of 700 INR, which obviously we would not be claiming the next day. We were told simply that the hotel was 'old' and that 'other guests like it'; no explanation, or indeed surprise, was offered for the lack of hot water!

The matter was complicated by the fact that we had paid a 50% deposit (two nights) in advance using PayPal. (We were told this was 'not complusary' but were happy to do it, as we know smaller hotels are often pray to no-shows and we wanted to show our commitment to our booking.) This placed the manager in a strong position, as we were left asking for a refund, and we believe he exploited this. Eventually he said he would give us 30% back and somehow managed to work out 30% of 4800 INR as 480INR (ie 10%). When this was questioned he said it was something to do with PayPal's currency conversion, as we had paid originally in GBP (9600 INR = £95, as it still does today!). We just couldn't face sitting there arguing over it anymore, so took our 10%, which didn't even cover the cost of the uneaten breakfast insultingly, and gladly went to another hotel and paid less than half the price for AC, wifi and a pool, feeling like we had escaped! It was very clear that the manger had lost all sight of us as guests and was simply eager to ensure he made as much from us as possible, showing no concern for the disappointment we might be feeling after paying out a substantial amount of money for this experience, which sums up their customer care.

We have never before checked out of a hotel early and the fact that we were willing to do so and lose almost all our money for an expensive night's accommodation - while on a traveller's budget- show just how disappointed we were with Marine Palace.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Leah-Kitten
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KeralaBabu, Manager at Varkala Marine Palace, responded to this review, December 20, 2013
Thank you Leah Kitten for your feed back. We are sorry not to live up to your expectations. The building you chose was a traditional one and not one of our more modern rooms. The heritage architecture has been restored in its original form, so the displeasure over issues that are mentioned in your review cannot be resolved without changing the character of the design. Even though we cannot address design issues instantly, we would definitely consider modifying the architecture in coming years to meet a variation of needs and expectations.
Please note that even though we were at a bigger loss due to last minute cancellation we did not demand a cancellation fees for the last two days. Because the client informed us that they are checking out right through the second day of stay, we believe it was fair to charge 70% of the second night. Even though it is equally disappointing for us as well, it is clearly not our policy to restrain a client if they feel that as the right decision. We were just helping them to move on and we did not mean that to be an insult as felt by our client. We hope to serve you better in coming years and once again apologize for the in-conveniences. Thank you, regards manager, varkala marine palace.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2013

My friend and I traveled to Verkala for 3 days of relaxation, which quickly turned into 4 because of this place. Bhaskar (owner) was helpful in arranging transportation from the airport and even greeted us on arrival. My friend and I felt completely at home, loved the food and the location, right on the beach was perfect. Given that the high season had not yet started, we pretty much had the place to ourselves, with a few other guests (several families) who enjoyed this beautiful location. The food at the restaurant, overseeing the beach, was very good. It was a quick walk further up to the south cliff where we experienced Ayurvedic treatments, and also to the busy north cliff with more restaurants and lots of vendors. We much preferred our spot, as it was quiet and we fell asleep each night hearing the roaring Arabian Sea.

Room Tip: We stayed in a room facing the ocean, on the 2nd floor of the building by the new garden. We woke up...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank NYCRO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Varkala Marine Palace

Property: Varkala Marine Palace
Address: Varkala Marine Palace Pvt Ltd Papanasam Beach Janardhanapuram,, Varkala 695141, India
Phone Number:
Location: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > Varkala
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Varkala
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Varkala
#3 Romantic Hotel in Varkala
#4 Family Hotel in Varkala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are one of the prime properties as far as Varkala is concerned owing to our location. We are rightly on Papanasam beach, ideally in between the north & South Cliffs. We do have road accessibility inside to our resort. We offers 6 sea face extra spacious (suites) high end rooms, with private kitchen, attached toilets, balconies overlooking sea, running hot water as the specialties. Three rooms are on top floor, made in traditional Kerala style wooden cottage types. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Varkala Marine Palace Hotel Varkala
Marine Palace Hotel Varkala
Marine Palace Varkala
Varkala Marine Palace Kerala

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