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“Best thing we did in Allepey”
Review of Ayana's Homestay

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Ayana's Homestay
Ranked #7 of 204 Alappuzha B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 14, 2014

Our stay at Ayana was our highlight of Allepey. Great home cooking, warm genuine hospitality and the chance to stay in a local home with a knowledgeable and friendly hosts. Right beside the river, it was nice to have a chance to sink into the Kerala backwaters and feel local village life in a way not possible in the over developed Allepey or in one of the many houseboats that ply up and down but mostly stay in the same old places.

Nothing fancy, but very nice with fantastic food and welcoming and knowledgeable and friendly hosts. We had two boys with us and they also loved it, getting to fish in the river and roam around.

Definitely recommend if you want to sink a bit deeper into local life rather than just passing by in a floating hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank marknzsurf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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136 - 142 of 220 reviews

Reviewed January 13, 2014

Ayana's Homestay is a "community homestay", so it is not just one homestay but actually a couple of homestays cooperating. Most pictures on Tripadvisor are taken from the main house, which belongs to the family of Gopal.

Both houses we saw are located right next to Pamba river, and we did not have any difficulties getting there, though the location is not very close to Alleppey town (about 30 minutes by car). From both houses, you get a view of the river with houseboats and fishermen passing by.

My family and me stayed in three rooms in a house across the river from the main house for two nights and paid about 3600 Rs/night/room through Agoda, breakfast included. Lunch and dinner were served for 200 and 300 rupees respectively in the main house, for which we took a public boat that crosses the river every 15 minutes or so. The boat ride sounds complicated, but actually adds a nice touch to the experience and is very simple as the boat stops almost right in front of the homestays.

Our hosts, and in particular the hosts of the main house Gopal and his son Vineet went out of their way to make us feel comfortable. They offered a complementary tour through the village, explaining the role and processing of coconut and rice, among other things. The tour ended with a romantic canoe ride back to the house. I did not participate, but my family enjoyed this outing very much. On New Year’s Eve, they invited us to join their celebration with fireworks and crackers, which we had not expected and enjoyed. Vinit was very welcoming and offered to help us with whatever needs we had. We did not interact much with our own hosts, but they seemed hospitable and friendly.

The interior of the house was authentic in the sense that it was an average, real family house unlike the majority of Keralan “homestays” that are actually Bed and Breakfasts. Our family actually lived in the same house, and they did not make any changes to cater to Westerners idea of an Indian house.

That being said, we were disappointed by the house and its setting. Judging from the reviews and the pictures, and also the relatively high price, we had expected an idyllic homestay right next to the water that would be well cared for and somewhat resemble our previous very positive experiences at the backwaters (like Malayalam Homestay or Pooppally's Homestay).
In reality, our house was set well back from the water, separated by a road and overlooking the house’s untidy parking lot. The house, besides hosting us, also hosted cars and mini busses for another resort parking in front of the house.

Our rooms were clean, but not freshly coated, and in my room the cupboard was locked, probably being used for personal belongings. There was only cold water, which I found too cold for December. When I mentioned this to our host he kindly offered to bring me hot water upon request in a bucket, but that kind of spoilt the idea. Our linens/towels were not replaced or made up. Our linens were too thin for the temperature, and the towels quite small.
Between one of the rooms and the next was a window, which was only covered by a curtain so that we did not feel perfectly comfortable about our privacy.
This would all have been totally fine for about half of the price.

Overall, the value for money did not convince us and though we very much appreciated the hospitality and care that was given we would choose a different homestay in future.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Thank salonikanna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ayanas, Owner at Ayana's Homestay, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2014

Hello Dear...,

Thank you for your recent review. I understand that you were not satisfied with the accommodation provided. These are the few point we would like to mention for the inconvenience caused :

1) Initially you booked 2 rooms with Agoda, then you wrote a mail to me asking for 1 more room. I clearly said that we do not have 1 more room available as we only use the main house for bookings through Agoda and all our rooms were booked.
Since Ayana's uses other houses in the community for our Group guests, therefore I asked if you would like to stay with our neighbour where we can provide 3 rooms. And you agreed to it. The picture of that house is already on TripAdvisor. We had room for you in our main house as per the original booking but because of your request and acceptance we changed it to our neighbour.
2) The Hosts with whom you stayed lets other people use his front yard as parking for other people in the village who does not have space or road access, which also includes a resort nearby.
3) Our Home stay is for people who would like to experience an authentic kerala style food and accommodation. We have not converted our houses into a hotel, therefore it is common to find personal belongings or cupboard for personal use.
4)We kept on asking if you were happy with the accommodation or if everything was alright. And your answer was yes and you enjoyed it completely. We understood that you were not staying in the property you booked for (cause of your rooming request), so to make your experience better we spent almost 3000 INR on fireworks, which you and your family enjoyed, and we also provided a complementary evening Canoe ride, which is chargeable usually, even though you said you did not want to go on a canoe ride cause you were not willing to pay.
5) We apologise for not changing sheets during your stay, normally our guests would tell us if they would like the sheets to be changed or not. We will make sure that in future we will change the sheets regardless.

Once again we are really sorry to hear that you were unhappy. We appreciate your time to write a review.

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Reviewed January 12, 2014

Our stay at Ayana's was part of an Intrepid/Geckos tour. After coming from touristy Varkala and the busy dusty Madurai the Kerala Backwaters felt like an untouched paradise.
We stayed across the river from the main house in a beautiful house with big balcony overlooking the river. The family mother cooked delicious lunch and breakfast and was happy to teach us a few tricks in the kitchen. On a stroll through the village we made friends easily having tea with some locals and meeting school children who were proud to show us their village.
We were given a tour through the rice fields and learned quite a bit about the history of the area and it's vegetation, especially the coco nut trees and their various usage.
Via pole boat we drove past the sunset back to the main house where the family awaited us with a local feast for dinner. We even got to sample the Toddy (fermented coconut sap) - a local speciality.

To me the stay at Ayana's couldn't have been more authentic and relaxing. I would definitely come back for longer next time.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank Aniya O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ayanas, Owner at Ayana's Homestay, responded to this reviewResponded January 16, 2014

Dear .....,

Thank you for the recent stay with us and we thank you for the review on tripadvisor .We really enjoyed the pictures you have posted in tripadvisor and our facebook page.We hope that you would visit us soon.

Thank you

Ayana's Homestay

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2014

We stayed at this homestay with Gopal and his wife as part of an intrepid tour. They were very hospitable and friendly and it was very comfortable with magnificent views across the water. Gopal took us on a tour of the village which was very informative and fun. Not another tourist in sight which was delightful!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank bbllaakkee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2013 via mobile

Stayed with Gopal and his wife as part of an intrepid tour and had a wonderful experience. Gopal's wife is a fantastic cook and Gopal was so hospitable, filling our plates again and again. He is a lovely soul full of information on the surrounding area and took us on a very interesting walk where he showed us all the different plants and herbs in the area and told us about the uses of the coconut trees. We taught him a couple of card games but his favourite was rummy, definitely give it a go with him! Thanks so much Gopal for a great time, we all loved it.

  • Stayed: December 2013
    • Value
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Thank Annahaber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2013

Our visit came towards the end of a very enjoyable two week trip run by Intrepid. We had descended from the Periyar area and had traveled in an MPV for several hours. That journey was fairly typical of the trip - interesting but a bit shut away from India - travelling between interesting areas in a variety of vehicles. The car dropped us at a pier on the Kerala Backwaters and our party of 12 climbed on board a long narrow motor launch and our luggage was heaped on the cabin decks. Immediately, the pace slowed to a gentle unhurried cruise along the canal - like river. We had plenty of time to take in the sights and by sitting on the cabin roofs amongst our bags, a glorious, unimpeded view of this delightful area. After an hour or so, we arrived at the private homes where we were to stay, where we were received with great courtesy and given drinks. After a short break, most of our party gathered at one of the homes and we left on a short walk, led by the householder. We saw how many of the locals live and gained insights into rice farming and the uses of conconut trees and fruits. The walk ended in a charming cruise back to the start, as the sun set, in a large local boat - rather like a huge canoe which was poled along the backwater canals by a local. When we reached the walk leader's house, we were served a typical local meal of tasty, not too spicy, curries and other dishes, served on banana leaves. This was one of the highlights of the 2 week trip.

Room Tip: A home stay is NOT a hotel.
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Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank dogtied
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2013 via mobile

So I have just stay at Venugopalan Nair's house in Backwaters - Kerala, and what an experience it was!
I'm traveling for 2 years and the main reason is to get to know the real culture and people of the places I'm passing by! Staying at the homestay was exactly what I am looking for, interact with locals and get to know how people live!
Mr. Nair, his wife and everyone were so nice making sure we were ok and kept feeding us all this delicious food! Such a different experience from staying in hotels! I felt that was a genuine concern on our behalf which was really sweet! I highly recommend you to come and enjoy this experience :)
Emma from Portugal

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
Thank emmaolmi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ayana's Homestay

Address: Vaishyom Bhagom | 255A, Padma Vihar, Alappuzha 688505, India
Location: India > Kerala > Alappuzha District > Alappuzha
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 204 B&Bs / Inns in Alappuzha
Price Range: $63 - $129 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ayana's Pampatheeram Home Stay is situated 14 Kms from Alleppey Town. You can reach by road or by boat at the Home Stay, which can be provided by us on request at an extra charge. Ayana's is a Community based home Stay where in you stay with different families, if you have a large group all close to each other, and experience the Traditional Kerala experience. The rates are per person basis per night, includes all meals for A/C rooms. We do have Non A/C rooms as well. We will be delighted to serve as our Guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ayana's Homestay Kerala/Alappuzha, India

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