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“Highly overrated-commands fabulous views but a tired hotel with poor service” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Leela Kovalam Beach

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The Leela Kovalam Beach
Ranked #3 of 51 Hotels in Kovalam
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
68 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Highly overrated-commands fabulous views but a tired hotel with poor service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 3, 2012

My husband and I stayed here as part of a broader Kerala trip and had a mixed experience at The Leela Kovalam. Having stayed at the Kumarakom Lake Resort for a few days before coming to Kovalam, I suppose our expectations were set high. We initially stayed in the Club wing of the Leela and the first room we were given had a musty odour and clearly hadn't been cleaned or occupied in a long time so we were then moved on our request to another room, which had a great ocean view. The room was very bland in style with "continental decor" - it seemed a little spartan. The breakfasts in The Cafe in the Club wing was pathetic - there was very poor service here - by the time we got to breakfast, most of the food had not been replenished and there was neither the choice of dishes available in the main hotel restaurant. Clearly Leela missed the point around providing clients with high-quality food and service to merit the extra cost of staying in the club area!! The club does indeed have a lovely infinity swimming pool but the pool in the main hotel also has fabulous views and a better ambience - easier to order food and drinks from there too. The deckchairs in the club pool area are not around the pool but further away which seemed a little odd. The only other extras the club offers over the main hotel is the club library and lounge area (both of which look the same) and is shut after 10-11pm'ish and we were disappointed not to be able to lounge around there after dinner ...the club spa also doesnt offer ayurvedic massage which is what we wanted. So after a couple of nights, we moved to the main hotel for the rest of our stay which was a lot better - it has a nicer ambience and frankly, the club wing is not worth the premium you pay - there is no bar, the food and service is mediocre and the pool in the main hotel is lovely.
The rest of our stay was ok - service is patchy and the management knows this. We saw notices outside the main gates saying staff were going on strike and maybe this is a reason. Staff on the ground in the restaurants were just wonderful and engaging as were the drivers who took us on excursions. However the reception staff need more training. Something that really irritated me was the fact that there were never enough buggies to take people around. This wouldnt normally bother us as my husband and I are very active and we love to walk but after spa treatments in evening, we needed a ride back to the hotel (at night, the path is quite dark and there are lots of mosquitos - plus it was raining) and despite several requests, it took them 40 minutes to send a car to take us up to the hotel - if it wasn't raining so hard, id have stomped up there! This is just one example of many. On one trip to Kanyakumari, we asked for a simple packed lunch with sandwiches and fruit and was astounded when i found they charged nearly 1000 Rupees for 4 squares of what was a basic sandwich filled with tomato and cucumber - ridiculous! For a hotel that claims to be a 5* star hotel, they have much to fix. I wish we'd stayed at the Leela for a couple of days and explore Alleppey a little more instead and stayed in a smaller boutique hotel that would have had more of the authentic Keralan charm and hospitality as well as better service.
On the plus side, the hotel does command wonderful views. Food was fine but became boring after day 2 - the hotel staff were very reluctant to give restaurant recommendations which I felt was very strange and on gentle nudging, one suggested the Taj hotel where we had a delicious dinner one night. Apparently there are some very good restaurants in trivandrum but do your own research and the hotel are keen to thrust their buffet option on their clients. I thoroughly recommend the Poovar backwaters excursion and the trip to the 18th C wooden palace and the temples...incredible.

Room Tip: The club suites/rooms are overrated- stick with the main hotel. We moved from a club room to a room...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank M0_the_Expl0rer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (896)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
59 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2011

Property itself is beautiful. The Tides restaurant was outstanding with its food and the service. If the service at the hotel would have been as good as at the Tides restaurant, I would have given the Leela a 5. However the service at the main hotel was subpar. We stayed in a Club room. Upon arrival, we expected a separate club level check-in. There was none. We checked in and the agent that we sat down in front of did not greet us. When bringing all of this up to the manager on duty later during our stay, he said the club check-in was busy but rather than explain that to us we were made to wait and have us checked in at the main reception. During our stay we went to the club reception and one agent was clearly having a personal phone conversation and did not give us his full attention. My husband had to beg he manager on duty for the prearranged honeymoon and paid package that should have been already setup by the hotel. The staff by the pool also did
not know how to make any basic cocktails or even the ones on the hotel's own bar menu. Strange.
Upon check-out, we were not asked how our stay went and the agent seemed like he could care less. We were overall disappointed with this property and did not feel this was a luxury top-notch resort.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank globalfun00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Meredith, NH
Level Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2011

November 2011, I had the pleasure to stay 4 nights at this beautiful resort. If you are looking for an exceptionally beautiful place to relax and meditate, this must be one of the best and most beautiful in the world. Friendly people, excellent service "Oriental" style, where servers read your mind what you need or like. Simply an incredible experience.
Ocean / beach view unit with private balcony.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • 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 Rebsamen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai (Madras), India
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2011

We booked a 5 days Kerala package covering Munnar,alleppey & Kovalam.The bookings were made thru antilogvacations.com which is quite renowned for designing exquisite & cheap kerala honeymoon packages.We stayed in this property during our visit to Kovalam.It is by far the best property, I have been checked into.

Come Into THIS hotel & u r in for a treat.Very good hotel.Professionalism is the keyword here.As a honeymooner u want just a perfect retreat away from the chaos yet need all the services, heres where Ashola Kovalam resort scores nd scores big.

It’s a massive palacial type resort that lies right at the beach side.The facilities are good.Rooms are quite big , spacious & airy.

Good Points : Amazing Keralaite archietecture, Services of staff , the rocky terrain of the hotel.

Bad Points : Bad Beach & dirty locales.Then u can’t avoid this in Kovalam.

Mr. James was a perfect tour guide for us & told us a lot about folklore of kerala.Thanks to him

Advice : It is always advisable to book a tour package for Kerala rather than going for individual hotel bookings as u hv a vast territory to cover sightseeing.Travel agents also give a good discounts on package rates & hotel bookings.

Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank Joseph D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Slinfold
Level Contributor
252 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 24, 2011

Trip from Bangalore home of three of our grandchildren all organised on the web through Expedia was successful and we completely relaxed. Airport transfers worked effortlessly. View from out room was excellent, Food, all buffet except the one evening we had in room dining, was OK. Evening entertainment was ignored by almost everyone dining, probably as there was no commentary and no one could follow what was happening.There are a lot of steps from the rooms up to the dining room and reception and in one instance by missing an up step my wife fell. For the final two nights the hotel filled up with guests from India (we are from England) and the male head of many extended families completely ignored the dinner dress code and some even wore singlets, though the ladies, younger men and especially the well behaved children we all dressed up. Hotel tour and travel organizers were excellent.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank davidheysham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bengaluru, India
Level Contributor
33 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 23, 2011

This hotel won it's architech Charles Correa an award for marvellous architecture. The hotel uniquely blends into the natural contours of the rocks on the hill between Ashok and Eve's beach and now belongs to the famous Meridian group.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 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 Praveen123pks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Level Contributor
92 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2011

This hotel is one of the best in kovalam... just see facing..amazing view... welcome was very nice at hotel.. loved it.. our villa was little bit far from the lobby.. but there is electric car so didnt mind it.. villa was garden facing.. staff was polite... nice stay

  • Stayed December 2011, 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?
3 Thank bafnaparesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Leela Kovalam Beach

Property: The Leela Kovalam Beach
Address: Kovalam Beach Road, Kovalam 695527, India
Phone Number:
Location: India > Kerala > Kovalam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Kovalam
#3 Spa Hotel in Kovalam
#3 Luxury Hotel in Kovalam
#4 Family Hotel in Kovalam
#6 Romantic Hotel in Kovalam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Leela Kovalam Beach 5*
Number of rooms: 183
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Leela Raviz Kovalam - Indulgence is an art you will perfect at The Leela Raviz Kovalam while staying in any of our 183 rooms and suites. With a seamless blend of modern technology and traditional grandeur, the soothing décor of each room whispers warm aesthetics. Each room opens out to a breath-taking view of either the ocean or garden. All rooms are provided with luxury amenities to cater to discerning tastes. Unwind with exquisite facilities like an HD LCD television and a broadband connection for hi-speed internet. The Club rooms offer valet services, a gourmet corner with a fine selection of spirits, softdrinks and snacks and have luxurious bathrooms with a walk-in shower and a private infinity pool. Awake to auburn sunrises in the horizon or soak in the sun under azure skies at the infinity pools. Get a taste of the vacation of your dreams at The Leela Raviz Kovalam. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Leela Kovalam Beach Hotel Kovalam
The Leela Kempinski Hotel Kovalam
Hotel Leela Trivandrum
The Leela Kovalam Beach Kerala

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