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“Backwater idyll”

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Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa
Certificate of Excellence
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Backwater idyll”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2013

You arrive by boat to this Keralan paradise. We were welcomed on a hot afternoon with a glass of chilled nutmeg juice. The building is heritage, gently curving roofs and all creaking teak. It is set in a little garden of Eden... it feels like its own little tropical island floating between the river on one side and an enormous emerald-green rice paddy on the other (hence the name?). One of the owners took us around their gardens, and showed us all the wonderful things they grow: coconuts, bananas, nutmeg, black pepper, cinnamon, and a dozen other things I can't remember. They also did a toddy-tapping demonstration for us. The gardens were lovely and peaceful to wander in or lounge in. There are lots of places to lie down in the shade and read a book. They also have a massage hut, where you can have a great ayurvedic massage. Everything is engineered for peace, quiet, and relaxation.

The rooms are very simply decorated. We stayed in the granary room, which had a dark, cozy feel. But the real beauty of these rooms are the bathrooms, which are open to the sky. There's nothing like the bliss of showering under a canopy of tropical greenery.

The food was excellent and we were even able to get a cooking demonstration. All meals are communal with the other guests, so if you're not in a sociable mood, you may not like this. Most of the guests were pretty convivial when we were there, so it wasn't much of a problem for us. Ask if you can purchase beer. They might have a few bottles stocked.

Emerald Isle is a great jumping-off point for exploring the backwaters, a lot more so than an overnight houseboat cruise. At Emerald Isle, you are in the heart of the backwaters, and you can get up close and personal with river life. We met some locals this way, and were even invited into a family's home. You can walk everywhere or take a bike (but be warned that if you turn left out of the homestay, you will be carrying that bike over lots of bridges!). The most magical thing that we did in our entire time in Kerala was a dugout canoe ride with one of the workers from the homestay. We went just before sunset and set out down the river and then into one of the little canals to the sound of birdcalls and temple singing. It was absolute magic.

My only complaint is that the cost seems disproportionate to the actual rooms, which is the only reason I did not give this place 5 stars. However, when you consider what a unique experience you're getting, the cost is worth it in the long run. If I was forced to choose between this and the overnight houseboat (which we also did), I would choose Emerald Isle. You can really experience the rhythm of life here and meet the locals in ways you couldn't on a houseboat. We had some of our most memorable experiences there, and we felt warmly welcomed.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Laurel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EMERALDISLEkerala, Owner at Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Thank you for the beautiful review.

Pleased to let you know that we had won the “Lonely Planet Magazine”--Best Homestay of India ---2013.
Ref:- Page 127 of “Lonely Planet Magazine”-India of May 2013.

Award function is at ITC Hotel Mumbai on 7th June.

Our Facebook page is "EMERALDISLEKERALA"

Best regards,

Vijo Job & Vinod Job
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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250 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Amriswil
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2013

A warm welcome from owner and stuff. Nice and tasteful furnished rooms, a lovely garden, a relaxing atmosphere - it took us only minutes to feel comfortable in this heritage place. What a pleasure to have candlelight dinners with the other guests. And the Food - just very tasteful and well balanced for foreigners and served from friendly People - the Perfect Holiday Location! We stayed in this relaxing place for three nights. We recommend this place to all People who want to slow down for some days.
Recommendation: Instead of a trip on a houseboat in the Backwaters with a overnight stay, you better do a sightseeing trip in the Backwaters for some hours and stay one more night at this beautiful location.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Urs B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EMERALDISLEkerala, Owner at Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Thank you for the beautiful review.

Pleased to let you know that we had won the “Lonely Planet Magazine”--Best Homestay of India ---2013.
Ref:- Page 127 of “Lonely Planet Magazine”-India of May 2013.

Award function is at ITC Hotel Mumbai on 7th June.

Our Facebook page is "EMERALDISLEKERALA"

Best regards,

Vijo Job & Vinod Job
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buxton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2013

How fortunate we were to stay here for 2 nights.The whole team were pleasantly attentive without ever being intrusive.
We chose the cottage rather than a room in the house and were thrilled with it.It had its own indoor and outdoor sitting areas and indoor/outdoor bathroom.
The grounds are magnificent-3 fish lakes and extensive gardens overlooking paddy fields with plenty of seats/hammocks scattered around to just relax or be astounded by the variety of birdlife.
In the short time we were there we kayaked,cycled and walked around the numerous little water routes and village paths-an amazing insight into day-to day life.
The chef was a gem turning out a seemingly unlimited number of delicious meals.My husband took the opportunity to spend time in the kitchen whilst our lunch was being prepared on 1 day and has returned with loads of new recipes.
This was ,I think ,my favourite part of an amazing,completely fascinating 16 day trip around southeren Kerala.

Room Tip: We loved the cottage.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank 190756Rose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EMERALDISLEkerala, Owner at Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Thank you for the beautiful review.

Pleased to let you know that we had won the “Lonely Planet Magazine”--Best Homestay of India ---2013.
Ref:- Page 127 of “Lonely Planet Magazine”-India of May 2013.

Award function is at ITC Hotel Mumbai on 7th June.

Our Facebook page is "EMERALDISLEKERALA"

Best regards,

Vijo Job & Vinod Job
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lewes, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2013

This beautiful ancestral home is a short country-boat ferry ride across the Pamba river from the nearest taxi drop-off point. As soon as you arrive, you are welcomed by your hosts and made to feel like a guest of the family. Life is comfortable, slow-paced and peaceful. The rooms are comfortable, clean and full of character with beautiful carved wood ceilings. Meals are delicious and authentically Keralan: fresh-tasting vegetable and fish curries, simply but mildly spiced, delicious flat breads and rice pancakes and wonderful home-made pickles. They are served in an airy, but mosquito-proofed pavilion in the garden. Everyone shares the same long table and talk tends to go on after the dishes have been cleared. Indian beer and wine is available. The island is a bird-watcher's paradise and good for walking in. Bikes can also be hired, although the possibilities for rides are limited. A highlight for us were the 'paddle-powered' country-boat tours where we explored a small canal near the homestay and had fascinating glimpses of daily life. Vijo and Vinod are excellent hosts and their extensive garden is a great place to enjoy from the vantage point of a shady hammock! It's a beautiful place!

Room Tip: The Granary has enormous character, but the bed is on a raised platform with two quite steep steps...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank uglboo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EMERALDISLEkerala, Owner at Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Thank you for the beautiful review.

Pleased to let you know that we had won the “Lonely Planet Magazine”--Best Homestay of India ---2013.
Ref:- Page 127 of “Lonely Planet Magazine”-India of May 2013.

Award function is at ITC Hotel Mumbai on 7th June.

Our Facebook page is "EMERALDISLEKERALA"

Best regards,

Vijo Job & Vinod Job
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
141 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

My wife truly enjoyed our 3 nights at this very authentic property...it was the highlight of our Kerala vacation. The location cannot be beat. Because it is located on an island...you have no traffic just a very authentic village.
We loved the village walk...the locals were friendly. We did a 6 hour Shikara boat backwater cruise which was perfect because we wanted to experience all the small canals in the area...not the big busy canals. The massages at this property are ok...but not the best we had in Kerala.
We booked the luxury cottage as we are not home stay type of travelers but wanted to have the experience. Vinod set up a private dining table for us on our porch which we truly appreciated....and served us a private candlelight dinner every night. Amazingly...we did not see a mosquito our entire stay here...because it was the dry season.
We did not have hot water half of the time. The bed was disappointing...as it was a foam OK...but when the cover sheet came off the foam..the foam had nasty perspiration stains.
Overall a very authentic experience which we will never forget...

Room Tip: Luxury cottage is the best
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DrBeach77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EMERALDISLEkerala, Owner at Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Thank you for the beautiful review.

Pleased to let you know that we had won the “Lonely Planet Magazine”--Best Homestay of India ---2013.
Ref:- Page 127 of “Lonely Planet Magazine”-India of May 2013.

Award function is at ITC Hotel Mumbai on 7th June.

Our Facebook page is "EMERALDISLEKERALA"

Best regards,

Vijo Job & Vinod Job
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moss Vale, NSW, Australia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2013

This home stay was a delight. Set on an island, it is small (four rooms and a cottage) but very attractive. Meals are served outside and they are very good and the service attentive. We enjoyed an island walk, guided by the map provided. It was a hot day and it was a relief to find a tuk tuk for our return. Our room was attractive and included a pleasant outdoor bathroom. Free Wi-Fi was available.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Neill46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EMERALDISLEkerala, Owner at Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Thank you for the beautiful review.

Pleased to let you know that we had won the “Lonely Planet Magazine”--Best Homestay of India ---2013.
Ref:- Page 127 of “Lonely Planet Magazine”-India of May 2013.

Award function is at ITC Hotel Mumbai on 7th June.

Our Facebook page is "EMERALDISLEKERALA"

Best regards,

Vijo Job & Vinod Job
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2013

Emerald Isle homestay was our first experience of the Kerala backwaters and where we stayed for 2 nights in January. The owner Vijo welcomed us on the mainland and a short ride across the river delivered us to a place of paradise. A cool drink from the ever smiling Sam set the scene and we were shown to our room. The room was beautiful as was the whole place and had such a relaxed atmosphere, from lounging in the garden hamocks to watching the sunset over the backwater palms with a cool beer. The excellent dinner was prepared by the in-house chef and was superb and great value, Dining al fresco on the beautiful warm evenings was a great antidote to a snow bound UK. The location was excellent and gave us the opportunity to walk around the local villages, this gave us a fascinating insight into the everyday lives of the local people. All in all, a great place, where staff Sam, Tom, chef and owner Vijo made us very welcome.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PAUL C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EMERALDISLEkerala, Owner at Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa, responded to this review, June 1, 2013
Thank you for the beautiful review.

Pleased to let you know that we had won the “Lonely Planet Magazine”--Best Homestay of India ---2013.
Ref:- Page 127 of “Lonely Planet Magazine”-India of May 2013.

Award function is at ITC Hotel Mumbai on 7th June.

Our Facebook page is "EMERALDISLEKERALA"

Best regards,

Vijo Job & Vinod Job
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa

Property: Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa
Address: Manimalathara | Chathurthiakary, Alappuzha 688511, India
Location: India > Kerala > Alappuzha District > Alappuzha
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 153 Specialty Lodging in Alappuzha
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the beautiful waterways and backwaters of the Kuttanad region of Central Kerala lies Emerald Isle, an exotic haven of tranquility, seemingly remote from city life, yet barely 10 kilometers from Alleppey Town. Tucked away on this delightful island lies the Emerald Isle Heritage Villa, an ancestral Country House set in 9 acres of secluded grounds – your Retreat into a Paradise of Peace. Emerald Isle Heritage Home is situated in an island resplendent with exotic flora, breathtaking flowers, myriad birds and butterflies to make for a memorable holiday, affordable and unforgettable. A truly wonderful way to spend your time on the banks of the backwaters of Kerala! Our house, dating back 150 years, retains its original architectural features, mostly in teak, with splendid wood carvings. There is also a fine Ara, the timber storeroom used in former times for the golden harvest of rice – golden because the island’s lush green paddy fields turn gold at the time of the harvest. Our property stretches across 9 acres including lush green paddy fields and fish ponds. All meals are served in dining room. Please ask us if you want to have any special facilities like Ayurvedic treatments or houseboat rides. Emerald Isle is ideal for those wanting to relax, sun themselves or getting away from it all. The tranquil air here is salve to frayed nerves and everyday tensions. Read a book or taste the locally harvested ’toddy’ fresh from the coconut trees ! When you tire of lazing in a hammock, or sunbathing in the courtyard garden, you can take a walk around the island, go fishing or have a swim. Emerald Isle Heritage Villa offers peace, privacy and pure relaxation. There are only 5 rooms (All Air-conditioned) for guests and each has its own en-suite Open-Shower bathroom with all modern facilities. The en-suite bathrooms have been tastefully done and open to the sky above to give you a feel of being truly closer to nature at Emerald Isle! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa Hotel Alappuzha
Emerald Isle - The Heritage Villa Kerala/Alappuzha, India

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