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“2 weeks in earthly paradise”
Review of Arakal Heritage

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Arakal Heritage
Ranked #35 of 68 Hotels in Alappuzha
Reviewed July 8, 2010

My aunt (61) and I (28) had initially planned on travelling around in Kerala, but having found Abi and Mimi's gem, we decided to spend our entire vacation at Arakal Heritage.

What really convinced us, aside from the absolutely beautiful huts (I loved the porch and - especially -showering in direct sunlight) and the magic short walk to the beach, was how the hosts did absolutely everything they could to custom retail our stay. Among many other things, Abi arranged for Krishnan, an extremely experienced yoga teacher, to come teach me in the yard among the palm trees every morning! We also travelled quite a bit with the family, as low season August allowed them to visit relatives etc. Also, the cooking, the cheerful suns, lovely company from other guests, etc. From our experience, Arakal Heritage provided a much needed peace and calm, but was also a amazing starting point for adventures around Kerala we would never have made without such attentive and warm local hosts.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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Thank juliemagnhild
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 - 27 of 41 reviews

Reviewed November 15, 2009

We spent one night only at the Arakal, but as we hit an unseasonal monsoon and it was mostly tipping down, this was probably enough. I can imagine that our stay could have been far more enjoyable with good weather.
Abi, Minni, Davis and Tom were a charming family and helpful, thank you Tom for the loan of your bike! The meals that Minni produced were wholesome, and comforting. We enjoyed them all. Minni also gave my friend a facial with which she was very happy.

However, we would have been happier to eat on our own rather than have Abi and Minnie accompany us every meal (including breakfast). If they would eat with us that would have been different but just sitting watching us eat and having to make small talk must have been as awkward for them as for us.
The beach was a 'working' Indian beach and had it's charms although we didn't really partake of much beach activity due to the weather. Anyway, a walk along the turd line was pretty off-putting had we any intention of taking a dip!

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jillmk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2009

We stayed here for one night only (single mum and 5 year old - it was above our nightly budget but we fancied a treat!) but really it worked out to be longer as we had lunch the day we arrived and the day we left too (we weren't asked for any more money for our extra meal but I offered it anyway as I felt it deserved). It is a truly lovely place. The rooms are really special (we stayed in the one with the tree growing through the roof of the outside area), perfectly clean, with bright bedlinen and hole free mozzie nets, and truly unique design. It's lovely to have the privacy of your own little 'house', and the ornate wood, ceilings, little details everywhere are beautiful. Food was really great, and loads of it. We were always presented with a huge range of things to choose from and try and Mini even had chocolate breakfast cereal for my son (something we didn't see much of in India!) Adult breakfast was especially good too - the best I had during 3 weeks in India.

Fair enough, if you want fluffy white towels and a swimming pool this isn't for you, but if you want to truly relax, lie on a deserted white sand beach or hang out in a hammock for a few days, whilst someone cooks you a delicious dinner, then go home to sleep in your own unique little house, it's a great place. Abi and Mini are lovely hosts, warm, friendly and very helpful. Their children are lovely too, fantastic manners and happy to play or leave you in peace if want them to. It may be a bit more expensive than a lot of places in Kerala (it's still not expensive by US or UK standards!) but this place is a truly unique experience and well worth the money. We both hope to go back, and stay for much longer next time.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
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Thank letsgotothebeachmum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2009

This place was written about in such glowing terms by previous Trip Advisor members, with giving Mini's food such pride of place that we thought we just must go. This was without a doubt the worst homestay/hotel we have ever had to stay in.
I really do not know who these people are who give reviews that are so completely rubbish. Mini's food was lazy, awful, unthought out, small amounts, and just horrible.
Firstly our room was dark, dingy, musty, thin hard beds, threadbare polyester sheets, awful scratchy mosquito net, nasty bathroom, broken shutters, no TV, bad lighting and generally awful. No change of any linen at all for our 3 nights there.
Location is okay - but unremittingly dull - there is nothing on the beach at all - no people, no sunbeds, no drinks, no activity whatsoever. This is charming for the first hour but dismal for anytime after. There is absolutely nothing to do at all anywhere - just this house and sand - we just walked anywhere to fill the time up.
The prices are utterly outrageous - Mini persuaded me to have one of her 'famous' carrot facials which she intimated would last an hour! It cost £15 and lasted 15 mins and consisted on her putting a carrot puree on my face, telling me to lie down for 15 minutes to relax - while she left - & then washing it off - she sure knows how to fleece her guests. We also stayed for one extra lunch - reheated awful curry which they charged another £15. Predictably their taxi was also, we discovered, almost double what it should have been.
At every one of her truly dreadful meals, she & her husband insist on sitting with you the whole time - it nearly drove us mad as you cant have a private conversation, and feel obliged to make unending small talk. They then bothered us on so many occasions with their children when we were on the balcony - they seem to think that their presence is going to enhance your holiday - wrong!
They are unfortunately a greedy and lazy couple. I had the misfortune of going into their bedroom to use the internet. It was dirty, with unwashed sheets, peeling walls, filthy floor, junk and debris everywhere - no wonder the guest rooms are so awful, they have no pride whatsoever in the way that they personally live, and this certainly shows in the way they treat their guests.
They showed no interest whatsoever in showing us anything of local interest, just take,take, take.
We then thankfully went to a marvellous hotel - Lotus 8 - by the Airport - oh boy was that perfect - 2 huge rooms, an enormous bed, sparkling white sheets, 2 huge TVs, clean bathroom, hot, tasty brilliant food and guess what - yes you are right, far less expensive than Arakal. We would never in a million years have booked an airport hotel, but were we delighted that we did - we fell into that bed, had brilliant room service, great TV and for the first time in 3 days were content!!

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Indialavinia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2009

we stayed four nights and generally enjoyed ourselves. the beach is great, miles of white sand though no shade and the occasional fisherman is still using it as a loo. the sea was ideal for swimming, no currents and a clean sandy bottom with only some low surf in the afternoon when the onshore wind gets up. The rooms (5 or 6) are seperate little houses with verandahs and lots of oldfashioned charm. We had an open air shower room with hot water and a good fan in the bedroom. The room was cleaned every day and sheets and towels changed at two day intervals. The family were friendly and helpful, and Mini cooked reasonable basic keralan curries. The place is somewhat insect plagued but coils and nets are provided. There isnt much to do locally, no cafe`s or nearby hotels, but Alleppey makes a good tuk-tuk excursion, and the village of Arthungall is 4km up the road and has an interesting pair of churchs to look round.
It is expensive for what it provides, but the beach and the generally relaxing ambiance
made it an enjoyable experience.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank peterthegas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2009

I completely agree with the spate of recent negative reviews. I booked 5 nights and left after one, forfeiting 6,600 INR in prepaid deposit. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. Definitely resting on laurels here. If you want a beautiful beach experience go further north to Kannur. And great homestays there too.

  • Stayed: December 2008, traveled solo
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2  Thank smacdvanbc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2009

I'd really like to write a glowing review of this place, there's so much to love about it but there are problems too.
The bungalows are great; they are ornate and individual and large enough for 4 beds (we have 2 young children). The shower is OK (warm rather than hot).
The garden is really nice - large enough for the kids not to annoy other guests with loads of hammocks.
The beach is stunningly beautiful and deserted. Unfortunately it is also a toilet for the local fishermen.
Food was (barely) passable. A decent beakfast, Omelette for lunch and a (limited) selection of curries for dinner. Fish curry one night (poor), prawn curry one night (OK), chicken one night (good). Given the price, the food ought to be far better.
The hosts are great. Abi And Mimi are friendly and hospitable but the children are the stars. Whenever Davis was around, he amused and entertained our children.
For the price, facilities are primitve - no wi-fi, no telly, no pool. The sea is pretty rough round here - fun for competent swimmers but not really suitable for little kids.
It feels like this place is resting on it's laurels/cashing in on the previous rave reviews.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank themightyal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Arakal Heritage

Address: Alappuzha 688530, India
Location: India > Kerala > Alappuzha District > Alappuzha
Hotel Style:
Ranked #35 of 68 Hotels in Alappuzha
Price Range: $71 - $121 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Also Known As:
Arakal Heritage Alappuzha
Arakal Heritage Hotel Alappuzha
Arakal Heritage Kerala/Alappuzha, India

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