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“Boutique Chill-out on the beach”
Review of A Beach Symphony

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A Beach Symphony
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 21, 2010

We ended our tour of Kerala with 3 nights at A Beach Symphony. This is a very pleasant 'boutique stay' right on the beach and currently comprises four restored traditional style Keralan cottages that have been modernised to the highest standards. Our cottage was the only one with an inside bathroom. Everything was to a very high specification and very stylish. The grounds are beautifully maintained but it is a constant battle with nature as you are right on the edge of the beach. There is a fabulous, new, elegantly styled, swimming pool which was almost too hot to swim in, and with sunbeds for everyone. The beach stretches for miles in both directions and is great for long walks. It is a working beach so you have to mind where you put your feet! It was possible to swim especially in the mornings when it was fairly calm but normally there is quite a swell and undertow and some care is needed. The beach in front of the hotel is not exclusive and there is public access from the adjacent road which makes it fairly popular for visitors, although this was not a problem and there was plenty of shade under the palm trees but no loungers. A Beach Symphony is an ideal place for couples/honeymooners as there is no restaurant facility and all meals are individually prepared and beautifully presented at your own private dining table on your verandah. The food was of a very high standard and was both Indian and European and was prepared to your specific requirements. Jan and Crystal were excellent hosts and this was a great place for a relaxing break.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Wyretraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 12, 2010

I am very happy that I added 5 days to my 10th trip to India JUST to stay in this Resort.
It was really what we expected to find. The hospitability of Jan and Christel and their staff is very special and you feel spoilt. We love everything, our Violin cottage with privatepool was just perfect, full of taste and details. As travellers and architects, this is the first time that we could not find nothing except perfection, the lodge I dream to have in India. We loved the privacy to have the good food served in our private veranda. Thank you Jan and Christel to make our 5 days a memorable one,

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Seguace70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2010

Having spent 14 superbly relaxing days at the Beach Symphony we can recommend it without any hesitation at all. The place is particularly suited to those those who prefer peace & quiet, excellent food, very comfortable & secluded accomodation, cheerful & friendly staff all orchestrated by a first class but unobstrusive management team.
Beach Symphony is right on the beach & is ideal for long ( or short ! ) walks with little or no distractions just miles of virtally empty beach stretching away as far as the eye can see. Meals are served on your own varandah as are all refreshments so there is no need for a central restaurant, the quality of the food is exceptional & varied.
Finally The Beach Symphony does represent excellent value for money so If you are looking for a thoroughly relaxing holiday in close to perfect surroundings look no further you have arrived ! ( I am just about to rebook for next year )
Chris & Tessa Pickering
Kent UK
!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Chrisjt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2010

Honestly, we felt a little bit disappointed with our stay at A Beach Symphony for various reasons and we will try to be objective in our review.

First of all, Jan and Christel are two wonderful hosts, no doubt about it. They also selected a wonderful place to setup this resort. The beach is endless and cleaned each day in front of the resort. If you want to take a walk outside the resort's limits, you will find a "normal local beach", the one with rubbish, empty plastic bottles and bags, etc. and yes, pooh. It's sad, but it's the reality. The local community do not live in the same standards as we do. It's mostly like that all around India.

This being said, the resort by itself is very nice. The new swimming pool, totally amazing! But, there are some amenities that you expect to find in any "luxury" resort that you don't find here :

-There are no loungers available at the beach. You have to use a towel under the palm trees.
-If you want to have something to drink... you wait until you see someone or you walk around to find someone.
-There were only 4 loungers at the pool, without any umbrella.
-You can't have a drink at the pool because they don't have any plastic glass. Jan let us have our drink near the pool after I asked to cut a bottle of plastic to make a glass... this being said, nobody goes at the pool to ask if you want something to drink or eat.
-The spa is in a traditional hut, forget about soundproofing. I was hearing my kids running and yelling around the hut while receiving a treatment. I was feeling bad for other clients...
-English-speaking staff. We had a hard time to communicate with the servers... Full of good intentions, but when you pay, you expect what you asked for.

On top of that, we left our laundry to be made at the local village and it came up all faded with a pant that we bought to my daughter while in India. It was a purple pant, and yes, it was too dyed, but how come they wash dark clothes with white ones? The locals ended up with nice Tommy Hilfiger clothes with purple stay on it...

We decided to go to A Beach Symphony after reviewing all good comments on TripAdvisor.

We founded the food OK, but far from being the best one we had in India.
Staff was very friendly but not up to the standard of a luxury resort.

We stayed in the Khombu cottage which is the one that is directly sea front (about 70 meters from the beach). Spending time on the veranda was very relaxing and comfortable. The room was not what I call luxurious, the bathroom neither. This cottage as the advantage to provide a small room for the kids, but as there is no air conditioning or fan in this room, you can't close the door (it's a sauna even during winter/January).

This being said, we had also a little accident with our hot water tank that broke during our stay. They offered us to take our shower at the Violin cottage (at first, Binu offered us to bring hot water from the kitchen...). the Violin cottage is in second row, but brand new and with is own plunge pool. Let say that the level of luxury is not comparable with the one provided in the Khombu and our comments would have been different if we would have stayed there. We didn't visit the other two cottages, so can't comment. The Sitar cottage is being the Khombu and next to Christel's shop, the worst location I think. We also heard that they want to build 4 other cottages. Honestly, I can understand that the demand ask for more cottages, but the service will have to follow. Even if there is still place on the property to build those cottages, I think it will lost it's best asset : peacefully.

This being said, the price we paid was less than what we would have paid in a "luxury" resort. I would have prefer to pay a little bit more and be a little more "pampered".

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank YULRUN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
janmarari, owner at A Beach Symphony, responded to this reviewResponded March 11, 2010

Dear Yulrun,
First of all we at ‘a Beach Symphony’ would like to thank for staying with us and the nice compliments.
You can imagine when I write a comment I can’t agree completely with what you have written and I will also be as objective as can be…
Regarding the beach I would say we do have one of the most beautiful beaches here in India on which tourist accommodation is available agreed its different than the one on La Reunion or Mauritius where you’re living. What you have judged right is that life is different from most of our guests… 14 years ago there was no ‘tourist’ interference and still today WE are the visitors on their beach even if they don’t always behave to our standards.
I invite you to search on the net but we have never ever profiled ourselves as a ‘resort’ (if it’s something I don’t want to be it’s a resort…) and the word Luxury we can discuss about, personally I qualify ourselves under ‘responsible luxury’ : good beds, good bed linen, more than plenty towels (4 pp without counting the Pool Towels), personalized service (where else, unless you pay very very much service comes to you ??) but not with the emblem of giving a ‘butler service’), good and varied menu’s discussed daily with our guests on a personal base and a personal contact with our guests to help them out with their personal queries or just have a nice chat.

Please don’t forget that ‘a Beach Symphony’ has started off hardly 2,5 years from a basic place to what it’s today. No, we don’t have very huge capitals behind us to supply the funds to put immediately a …* on the spot. We have very consciously chosen to develop our ‘little paradise’ step by step.
And sometimes that means you have to wait for things but on the other side you also get things that have not been mentioned on the web site like …. A Swimming Pool, Generator if necessary or reversed osmoses water at all the taps. Agreed at the time you were there our furniture hadn’t come yet but that has changed (and with umbrella) in the mean time (there are already pictures on Trip Advisor), and the furniture which was there has moved to our garden with an umbrella so you can almost touch the sea. And yes on the beach there are no loungers as the beach is public property in India.
In the mean time we do also serve on the pool side but in a limited way (The reason I didn’t serve you and family was too protect your children from eventual broken glass in the lawn, and your husband agreed with that)to protect our guests privacy; as we already circulate regularly on the veranda’s with the free mineral water there’s no real need to do a ‘pool service’, as in a luxury resort because that’s about the only service they give…

Indeed our Ayurvedic center is very simple but that has been a very deliberate choice from the beginning but the choice between ‘sea view’ and a concrete building was quickly made at that time.
To close the gap with our staff, who’s English is indeed sometimes is limited (like at most other places here) we have Deepu, our manager, now who’s closing that gap.
In the washing we carry a mixed responsibility if you had told us that the pant you had given was new and bought in India (all non and some branded clothes are very over dyed here). The Laundry people would have washed it separately without any doubt.

I also would like to say that most probably our Khombu will undergo a new renovation by the end/beginning of this /next season. We’re also aware that Khombu cottage is for the moment still the one with the best sea view but inside it could be better but how can you renovate when it’s full time occupied…and don’t be afraid when we will make 4 more cottages it will be on added land and they will even be more secluded and private then the ones we have now.
Come and take a look I would say !
and even with 8 cottages we still don’t want to be a ‘Luxury Resort’ but maximum a Private Hide Away !
with our kindest regards,
Jan & Christel

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2010

A fantastic location right on an unspoilt beach. Friendly smiling staff and attentive hosts. We arrived here after ten days touring Kerala finding peace and tranquilty, wonderful service, beautiful local food and first class private accomodation. Thanks Jan and Christel we'll be back.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank whispercat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2010

This was our first stop on our first ever visit to India. What a first impression! We were supremely pampered with first class service at our own table, top up of cold water every hour, freshly cooked food and even Indian wine to drink. The luxury of having our own plunge pool made the relaxation complete. The sea isn't really for swimming in as there is a strong undercurrent, but for a long walk you couldn't wish for more soft sand and such a warm sea.
Once the planned BBQ is installed there will be nothing to fault this resort.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank pottrekkers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2010

Beach Symphony is superb. We stayed in violin cottage with our own pool which was so stylish and relaxed. It's right on the beach, spotlessly clean with attentive and friendly staff and fantastic food. You can swim in the ocean or in the resort's pool, or your own private pool. Jan and Christel are very experienced European hoteliers with extensive local knowledge and it shows in all the details. We booked direct over the internet and Jan organised our 9 day trip to Munnar, Kumily and houseboat. All were fantastic. Would highly recommend them.

Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
1  Thank gaynic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about A Beach Symphony

Address: West of Mararikulam Beach Junction, Mararikulam 688549, India
Location: India > Kerala > Alappuzha District > Mararikulam
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 33 Specialty Lodging in Mararikulam
Price Range: $237 - $350 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Escape from work to paradise! Where dreams come true for those looking for a perfect relaxing holiday.Only 4 separate cottages set in a coconut tree beach garden. Hammocks around the property, completely furnished super spacious verandab with relaxing and dining set, all the meals served on your veranda & All cottages have AC (even the extra room in Khombu has a separate one). A common swimming pool (15 x 5 meter) with plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas. We really look after you to guarantee a perfect stay because holidays are precious. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
a Beach Symphony Hotel Alappuzha
A Beach Symphony Kerala/Mararikulam, India

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