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“Truly Relaxing”
Review of Punnamada Resort

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Punnamada Resort
Ranked #4 of 70 Hotels in Alappuzha
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 3, 2009

Six of us colleagues from different countries, were looking for a holiday that would provide respite from work and afford plenty of R & R. Punnamada Serena Spa Resort on Kerala’s backwaters came highly recommended by a local friend. 

We hired a Sumo SUV from Kollam to Alappuzha where the resort is located. As the Sumo exited Alappuzha town’s well-planned roads, I kept looking out of the vehicle window for signs of the backwaters. After traveling a couple of kilometers from the town, I was beginning to feel disappointed when the SUV took a sudden turn to a non-descript village path. At the end of it, I spotted the Punnamada Serena Spa Resort, floating on the quiet backwaters, hardly 5 Km from the buzzing Alappuzha town. 


At the resort, we took the lake-view room, which was spacious and well lit and overlooked the backwaters. I would recommend them over other types of rooms at the resort, as these alone have direct view of the backwaters. All rooms, built aesthetically, had a very comfortable bed and all other modern amenities and opened to a short stretch of lawn that ended at the backwaters. The view from the bed in the mornings was awesome- with the rising sun as the backdrop, the boats meandered through the still backwaters into the horizon, as the birds flapped by to start their day's work. 



The housekeeping kept the rooms spotlessly clean and serviced. The bathroom was unique, opening partly to the skies, but safely tucked away. The bathroom tried to create a natural feel with very good drainage system. Except for the slight problem with our bedroom lock and the bedside lamp, the rooms were in perfect order and provided absolute comfort.

The restaurant served mixed cuisine buffets including sea food and local food, all of which were mild on the palate. We chose ala carte at times. Over lunch, once we tried the Kerala sadya (traditional, vegetarian feast), which had over 20 different items typical of Kerala cuisine. The restaurant is yet to get its liquor license, which some may find limiting on a holiday. 



The best part of our stay at the resort was the traditional Kerala massages we had at its spa. It was managed by an Ayurveda doctor and experienced masseurs who helped us feel comfortable and relaxed. I liked the fact that the doctor and team suggested massages that suited our individual needs and medical conditions and refrained from an over kill! The massages were priced at regular spa rates but not exorbitantly high for resorts.

As for me, no vacation is complete without a bit of physical activity and adventure. The resort had its own row and pedal boats and arranged for someone to row us around the backwaters in the evenings and mornings. I did get to try my hand at rowing. We discovered that Sports of Authority of India's Water sports training facility was in the island across the waters. And we got to see India's Kayak team to the next Olympics practicing in Punnamada backwaters!



There were also bicycles for free on the resort premises. One morning I took a morning ride around the village in search of the boat building yard that constructs the traditional Kerala boats (kettuvallams), but in vein. (Later I found the yard by the nearby waters). Besides, there were indoor game facilities including a pool table, table tennis and board games. 

The resort had a spacious swimming pool, including a kid's pool. It was kept clean at all times.



The resort had an in-house souvenir shop that primarily stocked products for tourists. The prices were slightly higher than in the market. The resort had a house boat for hire, but we found its rates high. Our local friend arranged us another excellent deal for a large, deluxe boat with three, air conditioned bedrooms and a very large deck with 3 meals for Rs. 12,000/- / per night. It was a bonus that we could board and alight the houseboat from the resort.



Overall, the resort staff was very friendly and catered to all our needs including special requests for meals and boats. They could do better to facilitate smooth and quick checkouts. The entire resort was very clean and green and probably has the most idyllic view on the backwaters. There was so much to be soaked in two days, that I never turned on the TV during the entire stay.



Whether you are looking for a holiday for absolute rest and relaxation or one that mixes it with some activity, Punnamada resort makes an ideal place for both. The best part is that it is not too far from town, while being completely tucked away from it. Stay upto 2 nights would be quite enjoyable, after which the city birds may begin to miss their crowded nests. 
We did bargain hard for the room rates well in advance, where the local connections helped and brought it down to Rs. 6500 per night (around USD 140), and I found it worth the money paid for.
Date of stay March 2009

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled on business
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1  Thank Kaleidoskop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sajanjoseph, Director of Sales at Punnamada Resort, responded to this reviewResponded August 13, 2010

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you so much for the well narrated review.It was a pleasure to read your review, which covered almost all aspects of our resort. It was really good to learn that you enjoyed our services,rooms,cuisine and ambience.

We are glad to inform you that we have considerably improved our checkin and also our business services since your last visit (where your ratings are 2 and 3) .We have also changed the bedroom locks and the bedside lamps . With regard to your disliking our prices, we do have two-three seasons in a year and we offer lower rates during April 15- 30 Sept.

Many thanks for spending your vacation at Punnamada resort. We look forward to have you with us in the near future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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743 - 749 of 838 reviews

Reviewed June 11, 2009

I think this place was truely awesome!!! I went here last here with my mom dad on valentines and had a wonderful time.
We took a backwater overnight cruise for the previous night in the houseboat and this resort right at the backwaters/lake had a private jetty. So no vehicle was required to drop us at the airport - we arrived in the private houseboat.

The hotel staff was very nice and traditional - they offered us to upgrade our room with the lake view - however we preffered the one we booked - which was the first room right at the entrance.

The rooms are again very traditional with an open loo - which is quite interesting.

It is a very quite place for sure - they have various activities like swimming, tt, cycling stc - but not really too many things to do - as it is very very quiet - you would seldom see any guests - but a good getaway fr a relaxing holiday.

The food is decent. We had an option fr buffet - but since there were not too many ppl in the resort they let us order from the ala carte menu - without really paying much extra.

Overall great experience!

  • Stayed: January 2008
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1  Thank IndiaNeha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2009

Our rooms were very nice overlooking the backwaters. The staff were attentive and gave us a fruit platter and fuit cocktail on arrival. We only stayed at this resort one night. We did not eat at the restaurant, however the breakfast was definately below average. The hotel also has a complimentary boat trip around sunset which was also enjoyable.

My daughter had bad sinusitis and the ayuverdic dr was very helpful and helped relieved her symptoms.

Overall good hotel, but may be a longer stay at this hotel may have revealed flaws other people have mentioned.

Stayed: December 2008
Thank pinbip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2009

Great location. Right on the edge of the lake and backwaters. You can sit in the lawns all day and not get bored. We also took their houseboat for a night. Service was good. Quality of the houseboat would rank as one of the better ones.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank Trav_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2009

This place is just so relaxing and beautiful, I only wish I could have stayed much longer. The resort grounds are excellent - with a large swimming pool, and a restaurant that faces the lake (some rooms also face the lake, though ours did not). The rooms are all very big and luxurious (but not over the top). I really loved the indoor/outdoor bathroom - that kind of thing is not always done well but here it was. The room rate included a sunset cruise on the lake, which was amazing. I also got an Ayurvedic massage - really great and not expensive, I think around $18 USD for an hour massage. The only bad thing I can say is that the staff seemed to have a lot of trouble taking our reservation (we tried to make it over the phone, ended up doing it over email) and we were pretty nervous that we would show up and they would not have our reservation. Like other resorts, it's annoying to be "boxed" in and not have other food options besides the hotel, but the food was pretty good, so I do not have complaints on that point. Also, we did not do an overnight trip on a houseboat, but we wish we had - in addition to staying at Punnamada of course!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank jaizee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2009

We loved this place. Gorgeous quiet location, friendly helpful staff, spacious character villas, cool pool. Due to cancellations (Mumbai bombing/ economic downturn) the place was not very full, so we often had the pool, restaurant to ourselves. Went with our 8 and 10 year old boys who loved it too!

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank dis_wn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2009

Staying in Punnamada resort was the highlight of our kerala trip. We both loved the rooms which is built to provide a heritage feel. The open bathroom is another of my first and very cute. The best part of the resort is the garden overlooking the vast vembunad lake. The staff in the hotel are very warm and friendly. I was fortunate the find the resort almost empty occupied only with very few guests. We were pampered to the hilt and got to exploit the facilities to the fullest. Thier houseboat too is luxurious. The food though needs to have more variety with respect to local cuisine, but i guess that's to cater more international clientele.
Overall a lovely place for honeymoon and a relaxation.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sushanthh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Punnamada Resort

Address: Alleppey 6 | Punnamada Resort Private Limited, Alappuzha 688006, India
Location: India > Kerala > Alappuzha District > Alappuzha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Alappuzha
#1 Family Hotel in Alappuzha
#1 Luxury Hotel in Alappuzha
#2 Romantic Hotel in Alappuzha
Price Range: $132 - $326 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Punnamada Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Punnamada Resorts is nestled on the serene banks of Vembanad Lake and gives a world of heritage and luxury. The divine ambiance and the hospitality lead to a total relaxation of mind, body and soul and it highlighted the rich heritage and the essence of Kerala in its true form with a focus on the eco system and being an environment friendly resort by taking initiative in various fronts. The green leaf certified Ayurveda centre at Punnamada puts a new life into yourself and to regain vigor and vitality and lead a stress-free life. The essence of Kerala and its magical backwaters can be experienced aboard Punnamada’s exclusive 'Kettuvallam' (houseboats) by the resort, the houseboats of Punnamada equipped with the best of luxuries. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Punnamada Hotel Alappuzha
Punnamada Backwaters Hotel
Punnamada Resort Kerala/Alappuzha, India

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