This is a well run, clean and relaxing resort. If all you want to do is laze around in the sun, then it's great. The staff are all excellent: very helpful, without being obtrusive.
We arrived for a couple of nights after a houseboat trip on the backwaters (wonderful!) and were just looking for lazy days. The Marari Beach Resort has extensive grounds leading right up the beach, with sun loungers everywhere and a flag system for ordering drinks and snacks (just hoist the flag for attention!). The swimming pool is clean and well maintained. Sun loungers on the beach would have been a welcome addition, as it was too hot for frying directly in the sun.
The restaurant is the only real choice for food, as the resort appears to be in the middle of nowhere. There was a small a la carte menu, but most people choose from the buffet, which has a variety of different foods (not all Indian). Quality was good, but I think I'd get a little bored eating in the same place every night for a whole week. Breakfast is a vast buffet and has a wide selection of food.
Special mention for one of the (restaurant?) managers, who came over specially to talk to one of our party about her food requirements on hearing that she has had colon surgery and cannot eat anything remotely spicy. A plainly cooked plate of fish, rice and vegetables was provided. Excellent service.
We took advantage of the ayurvedic centre a couple of times. Treatments are good and not particularly expensive (compared with UK prices). They make a palaver of taking blood pressure at the first session, but that's all to produce the effect of it being 'medicine'.
Our room (chalet) was lovely: large, clean and with high-spec fittings. There's the outside bathroom thing that we Westerners love about Asia (but really, all it does is invite geckos to visit…). I couldn't fault the room. It felt luxurious. Oh, apart from the hairdryer and mirror being sited over the kettle/tea/coffee. A design fault of many hotels. Who wants hair flying into tea cups?
The view from the small verandah was disappointing. Nothing to look at apart from the neighbouring chalet, but with double gin and tonic in hand, accompanied by a good book, I got over it.
My only complaint about the place is, well, it's a bit boring. There are plenty of tours on offer and, if I'd been staying longer, they would have been a necessity. A walk outside the resort just seems to lead to a very few shops (bought some saris), but we couldn't see anything else a holidaymaker might look for. The resort seems geared up for older Western (mainly British) visitors and younger people might feel they've slipped into a scene from Cocoon. No children either (good, I'm at a selfish age).
But where were all the Indian guests?
(Incidentally, we visited the sister hotel in Kochi (Brunton Boatyard). Right by the water, it's a high-spec hotel, worth a look at)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An eco resort run by CGH Earth on the beach at Mararikulam, kerala ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Marari Beach Hotel Alappuzha
- Marari Beach Resort Kerala/Mararikulam, India