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“A really Nice place for a luxury stay in Kovalam”

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The Leela Kovalam Beach
Ranked #3 of 53 Hotels in Kovalam
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 25, 2013

I was in Kovalam for a conference and since my wife decided to accompany me, we booked ouselves in the Leela even though the conference was in some other hotel.

We were given a beach facing room which we felt was a bit small, but the plus point was that it had a nice sit out. But then all the sea facing rooms have it. The main draw back was that since the room was at the far corner, you could hear the Airconditioning plant / Generator buzzing away while seated in the balcony.

The food was quite good though a bit expensive if you order a la catre. The beach restaurant ' Tides ' is a bit more pricier and would suggest you cover your self well because of the mosquitoes which appear as soon as the wind dies down.

If you are there only for 2/3 days I would suggest you take a MAP plan which would include your breakfast and a meal at the Buffet laid out at the Terrace. The food is good and you get a wide choice.

Due to my schedule , we couldn't experience the other facilities offered by the hotel and plan to visit Kovalam in the future , just for a holiday.

Overall I was quite satisfied with the service at all levels.

Room Tip: Avoid the rooms on the right hand side corner.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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Thank akj_ind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC_Somaiah, General Manager at The Leela Kovalam Beach, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2013

Dear Guest,
Greetings from Kovalam,
Thank you for your kind words. We are happy to know that you had a memorable stay.
We have made a note of your feedback in all seriousness and endeavor to improve on them.
We look forward to the pleasure of hosting you again.
Warm Regards
N.C. Somaiah
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,071 - 2,077 of 3,110 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2013

This was our 7th @ 5* hotel we had stayed in during our month stay in India It was the last of our visit to India and were led to believe it was out standing. We were a little diappointed as we had lunched at the Leela Palace in Bangalore which was excellent.I asked for an upgrade from a garden room to a beach view room which we were given and it had a nice balcony and you could see the sea over a roof but the room was a little tired and the approach on level -3 at the end of a corridor was a little depressing. We found the front desk staff did not put themselves out at all. It was the only hotel during our holiday when a manager or senior member of staff didn't approach us once to see if we had any problems. The views from the hotel were excellent and the food and staff in the restaurant were good.
Fortunately our son who works in India and his wife joined us, staying in the Ocean Rooms so made up for the inadequacies of The Leela. We had one meal in the Tides Restaurant on the Beach and it was OK. Sun beds and shades were sometimes a problem and we were unsure about the colour of the swimming pool- it may have been the colour of the tiles but very different from the pool in the Ocean Suite area

Room Tip: Sea facing room with balcony
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank GordandSteph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC_Somaiah, General Manager at The Leela Kovalam Beach, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Dear Guest,
Greetings from Kovalam,
It is clear that we have not been able to exceed your expectations
We have noted your feedback in all sincerity and necessary corrective steps will be taken. Thank you for your suggestions. I regret that we failed in accomplishing any sense of well being with you
We look forward to the pleasure of hosting you again and provide the true Leela experience, the way it should be.
Warm Regards
N.C. Somaiah
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2013

How to describe our time at the Leela in Kovalam in a word? It takes a minute to think up the perfect description, but I think average is the word that comes to mind. The Leela name conjures up visions of opulence and luxury; regrettably this property does not live up to the prestige of other Leela locations. This hotel does not seem to realize it is a resort hotel; a destination. It operates without any of the charm or pampering of the other Leelas we have visited.

Here is one experience that will sum up our time at the Leela. We arrived, were greeted by the staff, and then asked to sit on a couch to await our room. 30 minutes later, after no further updates from anyone, I waved someone down to ask what was going on. "Your room is not quite ready, sir. 30 more minutes." OK. That's fine. We were early, so we headed off to get some tea in the restaurant. As we waited on the tea, the duty manager came running up and said, "Sir, we don't want you to wait. Would it be ok if we upgraded you to a club room so you can go right to your room now?" I told her we would be right out after finishing our tea. We slurped it down and headed back to the lobby. I went up to the duty manager who said, "Sir, please have a seat. Your room is almost ready." I was a bit surprised, but I sat down. Another 15 minutes go by and I walk back up to the desk. "Sorry, sir, your room is not quite ready." "But you came and told me you had a room?!?" "Yes, sir, but that room had a problem so we are getting your original room ready." My mind is reeling now. She completely interrupted our tea to tell us there was a room ready, and now it is not ready? I go back and sit down again, and we wait ANOTHER 30 minutes before being taken to our room. Now, I would have been perfectly fine if someone would have said from the minute we walked in that it would be 2 hours before we could get into our room, but instead we were jerked around with an ever-changing story. I would expect such service from a lesser branded hotel, but that Leela??? Come on. Many apologies ensued, but it was a sign of things to come.

The more I witnessed the inconsistent experiences, the more I came to believe that the staff at the Leela really don't understand that people are coming to their property to relax and get away from life for a while. You can see it from the towel boys who move slowly and seem completely unable to make a decision to the wait staff whose speeds are slow and slower and seem genuinely surprised that someone may want a drink by the pool. I have never been to a resort hotel of this caliber where it was so damn hard to actually get a drink by the pool. It's not that they were all that busy; the staff seemed oblivious. Here's a tip ... drop the guy a Rs 500 bill as soon as you sit down on your chair. Tell him you will give him another at the end of the day if he takes care of you. That's the only way you will get decent service. Sad but true.

Here are a few other things that you should know ... the breakfast buffet is average at best. If you have been to other Leela's you will be surprised at the lack of choices and the subpar quality. The bar also has some oddities (they had no tequila ... a beach bar with no tequila) and there were things on the menu that the just didn't have (like waffles? how do you run out of waffles at a hotel that should expect children?). The food overall is edible, but nothing spectacular.

It was a completely forgettable experience. While the hotel sits on an amazing piece of land with a wonderful view of the bay, it is not up to the Leela standards (or at least my expectation of the Leela). Others on this forum complain about the prices. They are high, but I would be ok paying their prices if the service and food and accommodations justified it. They don't.

If you want to bask in overpriced mediocrity, head to the Leela at Kovalam. I am sure you can find something better though.

Room Tip: No idea. Good luck,
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Britten M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC_Somaiah, General Manager at The Leela Kovalam Beach, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Dear Guest,
I refer to your recent stay at our Kovalam property, I am deeply sorry that we disappointed you and have not able to meet your expectations.

I have read your detailed note in all seriousness and have shared it with my team.

Without going into every detail, which quite frankly the situation warrants, let me simply and foremost say how truly professionally embarrassed we are. As you are aware, being in the service industry one deals with many variables every day. Orchestrating correctly the matrix of activity is but one of the many charges of a reputed organization, but equally important is to have a well trained, guest focused and willing staff who when faced with adversity, can turn challenges into success stories. Service lapses may occur, but to the extent that you experienced, is totally unacceptable.

I regret that we failed in accomplishing any sense of well being with you. Please do let us know when you do visit any of the Leela property. Needless to say, we will ensure that you and the family enjoy a memorable Leela experience.

Warm Regards
N. C. Somaiah
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

My wife and I recently stayed for 6 nights. It all started out so well when we were greeted by a driver with an air-conditioned limo which was very welcome in the 36 degree heat and humidity. The setting is spectacular on a cliff/private promontory with an infinity pool adjacent to the lobby melding in to the Arabian Sea. The helpful porters carried our bags and we naturally gave them a small tip. After they had gone I noticed a notice in our room advising us not to tip the individual members of staff. We understood this practice from our previous travels in India but it soon became clear that we would be saving ourselves a lot of money ! I have worked in a restaurant and earned great tips and have always worked in the service sector.Most of the staff (and the managers are just as culpable) would starve if they had to survive on their tips. Quite frankly the service was some of the slowest and worst I have experienced. We waited for nearly half an hour on occasions for food or drink. The staff did not co-ordinate with each other so we would be asked several times if we would like to order or how our food was. They lacked any initiative about serving drinks and food at the poolside which would maximise revenue for the hotel. When we did complain to the duty manager we were visited by a more senior manager who listened to our tale of woe. We were offered a complimentary meal but I would have preferred an assurance of better service if we ever return. Don't get me wrong we had a lovely stay but if the staff had to work properly for their tips the experience would have been a 5 star one rather than the 3 which it deserves.

Room Tip: Ask for a sea view
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank RichardBoyle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC_Somaiah, General Manager at The Leela Kovalam Beach, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Dear Guest,
I refer to your recent stay at our hotel, I am deeply sorry that we disappointed you and have not able to meet your expectations.

I have read your detailed note in all seriousness and have shared it with my team.

Without going into every detail, which quite frankly the situation warrants, let me simply and foremost say how truly professionally embarrassed we are. As you are aware, being in the service industry one deals with many variables every day. Orchestrating correctly the matrix of activity is but one of the many charges of a reputed organization, but equally important is to have a well trained, guest focused and willing staff who when faced with adversity, can turn challenges into success stories. Service lapses may occur, but to the extent that you experienced, is totally unacceptable.

I regret that we failed in accomplishing any sense of well being with you.

Please do let us know when you do visit any of the Leela property. Needless to say, we will ensure that you and the family enjoy a memorable Leela experience.

Warm Regards
N. C. Somaiah
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013

if u have money to spend on view and hotel perfectly located on beach then leela is perfect choice for u..great view and beach located within leela hotel premises...food is expensive as per 5 star standard and not even have taste to pay such price ..we opt to have dinner/lunch outside leela...service also is not that good as compare to other 5 star hotels....

Room Tip: ask for sea view room on 1st floor if u have money to spend otherwise beach view is also good on 1st...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Thank Abhishek J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC_Somaiah, General Manager at The Leela Kovalam Beach, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Dear Guest,
Greetings from Kovalam,
It is clear that we have not been able to exceed your expectations
We have noted your feedback in all sincerity and necessary corrective steps will be taken. Thank you for your suggestions. I regret that we failed in accomplishing any sense of well being with you
We look forward to the pleasure of hosting you again and provide the true Leela experience, the way it should be.
Warm Regards
N.C. Somaiah
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

We enjoyed a 10 day break at the hotel, staying in a garden room, "across the road". It was very clean and kept tidy by cleaning staff. There was always fresh fruit and water available. And the bed linen smelt fresh crisp and very clean.
We found all of the staff to be friendly and helpful, nothing seemed to much trouble. Unless of course you did not treat them properly and a few people didn't...
The food especially the breakfast was excellent and catered for everyone. The evening buffet was good but perhaps not the best, but room service was outstanding. We also ate in the tides restaurant which was good.
The happy hour was very poplar and staff were delightful in that bar. The sky bar was lovely and staff good as well.
As our room was some way from the lobby and main hotel we called for a buggy service which was always available.
We did venture out to lighthouse bay and kovalam beach and found the food very good, however drinking from mugs was not really us!!!
Over all we both enjoyed our first experience of India and would defiantly recommend the leela to our friends.

Room Tip: We met some people who stayed in the club rooms and whilst, they were a little more private the sea...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Lynne6721
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC_Somaiah, General Manager at The Leela Kovalam Beach, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Dear Guest,
Greetings from Kovalam,
Thank you for your kind words. We are delighted to know that you had a wonderful stay. We look forward to the pleasure of hosting you again.
Warm Regards
N.C. Somaiah
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2013

For the past two years I have worked in Mumbai from my home in U.S. When in India I stay at the Leela Hotel in Mumbai. Finally my wife found an extended time to join me and we stayed at the Leela Kovalam Beach from 19Jan-23Jan2013. We stayed in the Club area and found the property very nice and the service impeccable. The hotel has a relaxed resort atmosphere and the Club area has its own pool and other privileges that further enhanced our experience. All of the restaraunts were good. We took some tours and would especially recommend the private village tour which took about one-half day. The Kerala area is quite unique and has a far different atmosphere from large Indian cities. At night multiple hundreds of small fishing vessels from small villages go out into the sea to fish all night. The distant lights look like the night sky and very beautiful. This is an area and hotel I would return to in a minute.

Room Tip: All the rooms are nice, but stay at the Club level if able
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Alan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC_Somaiah, General Manager at The Leela Kovalam Beach, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Dear Guest,
Greetings from Kovalam,
Thank you for your kind words. We are delighted to know that you had a wonderful stay. We look forward to the pleasure of hosting you again.
Warm Regards
N.C. Somaiah
General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Leela Kovalam Beach

Address: Kovalam Beach Road, Kovalam 695527, India
Phone Number:
Location: India > Kerala > Thiruvananthapuram District > 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
#2 Family Hotel in Kovalam
#3 Luxury Hotel in Kovalam
#3 Spa Hotel in Kovalam
#6 Romantic Hotel in Kovalam
Price Range: $201 - $615 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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