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.
- 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