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Reviewed October 3, 2012

The Land of the Coconuts/Kerala- I preferred this part of India to our subsequent stay in South Goa because Kerala is more natural and less commercial. We booked a three week stay- it was very relaxing and we had time to explore further inland and along the coast. The hotel itself is one of the smallest we have ever stayed in - which is to our liking because that usually ensures a more cosy atmosphere... however the rooms were equally small and I found this rather cramped - tip: book one of the bungalow rooms at the far end of the grounds for space and a better quality of accomodation or alternatively the bungalow accomodation nearer the gates.We had a shower which we shared with a queue of insects at the start of our stay- they eventually vacated and left us alone- I felt sorry for them in case I drowned any of them.We also had squirrels who came down to see us from the tall coconut trees in the grounds- so sweet.
We had booked on a breakfast only basis which is really ideal for India as it's SO cheap to eat out.Breakfast was wonderful- a proper dhosa - the size of a baby elephant's ear all freshly prepared in front of you with delicious drumstick chutney- that was my favourite- it fills you up very nicely.There is a good choice of dishes for breakfast and you only have to ask if you require anything different they will oblige.We ate in the hotel the night we landed as we were tired- the food was ok, served by the pool but the waiters were hovering over us a bit too much, I think they thought that's what they had to do so we ended up cracking a few jokes to lift their nervousness. We preferred the evening food outside of the hotel- you can't go there and not try the vast array of fish at the Lighthouse beach- you walk down a smallish row of restaurants which display their day's catch outside on cold slabs so you choose your snapper or lobster or tuna ir whatever and have it cooked however you choose- fried, grilled, tandoori ovened - its great.The food places are built straight onto the sand - no wooden floors.This is a gourmet extravaganza.Now they'll tell you that Kerala is a dry state- don't listen- there is more whiskey and brandy consumed than any brochure tells you. You can easily buy alcohol locally- but it will arrive wrapped up in newspaper- it is funny.We went to a shop in the woods which was very modern looking and only sold alcohol- a vast array to boot.Sammy's restaurant on the hill is also great- outside dining under the stars, couldn't be better.
Now back to the hotel- the pool was most relaxing probably because it is situated overlooking the "lagoons at the front of the hotel, it is never busy, you can lay in it looking up at the brown kites circling the thermals above you- peace and tranquility.It isn't a large pool but it also isn't a large hotel.I found the whole place very relaxing I could even practise my yoga exercises without feeling intimidated that someone was watching me.
The only noise was morning colourful trucks using the road at the front of the hotel- they ferry people to work on the roads etc- and the sound of women bashing stones into smaller pieces - these are then used for aggregate- they sit by the roadside doing this work- a bit annoying as the trucks/workers start early morning.
Trips we made were to Trivandrum- great Hindu temple, museums- most interesting,a store like any other in England selling good quality materials,silk socks,bedding etc and fabulous snack places- the roadside snack places are really tasty I don't know why folk are so scared of eating from these barrows- the food is freshly prepared and you see what goes on which is more than can be said for many restaurants.Try the various fried snacks and lime sodas- yum.
We also went to Cochin- it's ok nothing SO special.We enjoyed a trip organised through the tour operators- it went inland and included an elephent ride through the jungle- really memorable- those creatures are so tall and they walk slowly but cover a good distance fairly quickly- I did feel sorry for one elephant as she seemed to have a sore on her shoulder covered by a cloth...we stopped off for the most amazing Thalli food- Delicious and not a morsel of meat. We also enjoyed our own itinery- which included the botanical gardens- our taxi driver didn't get the correct place first of all which was funny,the gardens are in the hills and have all sorts of medicinal plants growing- it is really interesting. We were the only non locals there and joined the garden workers at their canteen- wow the thalli there was the best ever- it was the dog's b's -they gave us jugs of water- I wasn't sure if the water was ok for us but we were more than fine.On the way back we were hit by rain- the taxi ( a typical old English Ambassador car) started leaking we were in fits.That was the best day there I think. The rice boats are ok but you do have to be careful you're not headed for Mosquito City at night- that can reduce the romanticism in one fell swoop. We befriended a local guy who used to turn up in his tuck tuck to take us places- lovely chap- please reserve this mode of transport for local places only as they are true bone shakers and not built for comfort at all.It was on one of these journeys that he took us to the Festival of the Big Moon one evening- it was in a wooded are off the main road track.Most interesting- we got to see fire walkers and men with great avoidances of pain- they had metal spikes threaded through their cheeks and some had hooks put into the skin on their backs- this is apparantly as in Mauritius and other Hindu areas the same as mind over matter- if you pray and get into a deep enough trance you will overcome pain- I thought it was something to do with the amount of spirits (alcoholic)and smoke I had seen them consume...? It was definately something different.
We had several articles of clothing made- there are numerous tailors scattered around - and they can whip up some beautiful costumes in next to no time- do use them, the money goes straight to their families.There is a lot of poverty- we befriended a small lad who used to try to see us of an evening or weekend- he would salute my husband when he saw him as he'd been given my husband's baseball cap- he took us to his home- it was a thatched shack all smokey and dark inside, they had to use the river for toilet and washing purposes.He went to school every day. At the other end of the scale there were children begging outside department stores in Trivandrum- and when I gave one some money she demanded more!- she didn't attend school. In the end we stopped giving money to any children begging- we were told that their parents stop them from attending school and much of the time use the money their children get to fuel their own whiskey habit... the women bashing stones for aggregate loved being offered chocolate of all things.
I found this part of India very magical- Kerala is a lovely place make sure you visit as much as you can- and come equipped with a sense of humour.

Room Tip: In retrospect the bungalows would probably have been better
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rebecca M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2011

We had a fantastic fortnight - the staff were excellent and shows with dinner were provided Christmas and New Years Eve.
This is a relaxing chill out place to stay - just don't worry about the possibility of coconuts falling on your head whilst you are lying on the hammock!!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Pedromas1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2010

I stayed there for 4 days during dec 2007. The rooms were small but clean and maintained. Beds were shakky and I wished they have spent some good details in getting good quality beds.

Food was availabel in variety and tastes OK as well. Overall a calm and relaxed place. Good for those who want to spend time in some quite place.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank NavalKS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2009

Having been to Goa several times, everyone kept telling us we would love Kerala. Would have to say love is not how I would describe how I feel about this place. It was okay but give me Goa any day. The Kadaloram Beach was not 3* - maybe a 2+ but the rooms are very small, the breakfasts very samey, the food bland and lacked atmosphere in the restaurant which made it very uninviting. we only ordered once from there and ate in our room. Food in general was disappointing in the resort and beach was a big let down. However, the pool was ok and nice and quiet and the staff were okay too but the manager organised a trip for us to the Backwater and Kochi, which was disasterous and so try not to book with him or insist on staying at hotels that you like to look of.

On the whole, our stay was very disappointing and I will not be going back.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MichelleALuton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2008

A good place to be based from to explore Kerala. My wife teaches Yoga in the UK and the hotel manager arranged a master class for her with a local teacher. He also arraged a 3 day backwaters trip on a houseboat and booked us a Taxi to "show us the real india" rather than what the tour company thought we should see.

there are lots of local restaurants to visit and i suggest you try coconut grove on lighthouse beach (10 mins by tuk tuk).

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank dartmoordan_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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