We booked our trip to Kerala with First Choice. Despite reassurance through email correspondence there were no building works in progress at UDS we were put in a room right next to where a new lift shaft was being installed! However Jeff, the rep, got us moved the next day to a great room overlooking the sea and one of the pools. The best rooms are the ones starting with 5,6 or 7. The rooms are very comfortable with emormous double beds, mini bar, cable TV (no English programmes but plenty of cricket!). The room boys are delightfuland and will do anything to help you. The rooms do not have hair dryers - for UK electrical appliances take a European adaptor as these will fit in the Indian plug sockets. Would recommend breakfast only basis as loads of other places to go try the local food. Breakfasts were very good, fruit, juices, cereal, sausages or bacon and an egg chef who will cook you an omelette, fried or scrambled eggs. For the more adventurous you can try the local sambal (veg curry) and dosa or parathas.
The hotel facilities are very good. 3 swimming pools open with plenty of sunbeds which sometimes get 'booked' rather early. The pool by the grill bar (nearest the sea) is good if you want drinks or snacks (good value). There is also a small gym and an ayurevedic centre. Prices here though are considerably higher than ayurvedic centres outside the hotel. Just outside to the left of the hotel is the Prikriti centre where we had wonderful massages at a third of the cost of hotel prices. the hotel had entertainment on most evenings, most of which was very enjoyable. It all finishes by about 10pm so you are not disturbed if you want to get to bed early. Don't worry about taking lots of books as there is a good 'library' by the middle pool
Local restuarants are located on the beach adjacent to the hotel - can recommend 3rd Rock or go to Lighhthouse Beach (Tuk Tuk costs about 200 rupees return) which is more lively.
We had an overnight trip on a houseboat on the backwaters. You can book these trips with restuarant owners on the beach - cheaper than through hotel or rep. It cost £120 for the two of us, would have been less for a larger party. A thoroughly relaxing trip with amazing people and your own personal chef. You have to like currys though and he will cook them to your taste. A great way to see life on the backwaters. The bedroom on the boat has air conditioning which is a boon as it gets very sticky in the evenings and there are a lot more mossies than in the hotel area. the journey to the houseboat takes about 4hours but it is worth it.
If you need any dental work can recommend getting work done while in Kerala as it works out about a third less than the UK. The hotel has an arrangement with a dentist who comes and gives a free consultation. The hotel provides free transport to and from the clinic in Trivandrum for the course of your treatment. He is currently getting a clinic set up in the hotel itself. Be prepared to accept your appointments will not always be kept as we got the feeling he was taking too much on. I had my final bridge put in at 11pm at night as I insisted I would not wait another day!
If you fancy new glasses, again these work out very cheap. Ther are 2 opticinas oppoiste the hotel. they do do an eye test but take your prescription with you if you've had a recent test.
All in all, a wonderful holiday, we want to go back next year. Finally, we upgraded to premium star class on the aircraft. If you can afford it would recommend this as it made the long flight much more comfortabel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- UDS located at the famed beaches of Kovalam, just 15 meters from the sea, is an exclusive 4 Star leisure beach hotel& Spa - a destination by itself. The setting, facilities, people, spa, cuisine and its whole philosophy is dedicated to your personal wellness in a luxurious environment. Just by being at UDS-one of the finest hotels in kovalam, your stresses start to flutter away; the landscaping has its own serenity, a harmony of a defined architecture, spacious lawns, blue water pools and soaring coconut grooves all set in four tranquil acres by the sea. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Uday Samudra Beach
- Uday Samudra Beach Hotel
- Uday Samudra Beach Thiruvananthapuram Trivandrum
- Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Hotel & Spa Kovalam, Kerala