Kerala luxury holiday

“A two week tailor made trip by Kerala experts in this luscious, laid back state, but also in luxuries that it has to offer. Travelling with personal driver guide. ”

Highlights

Fort Cochin | Kerala backwaters | Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary | Boutique hotels | Western Ghats | Mararikulam beach | Spice village | Ayurvedic treatments

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made to suit your dates, budget and requirements
Our top tip:
The mountains get cold at night, so bring layers. Although if romance kicks in, you won't need them.
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Solos:
Solo travellers welcome. Surcharge for own room.
Accomm:
Boutique hotels.
Included:
Accommodation, all transfers, some meals, chauffeur guide.
Meals:
All breakfasts, half board at Coconut Lagoon, all meals on houseboat. Budget £15/day for other meals.
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Tailor made holiday

The tour operator offering this holiday is a British company with an intimate knowledge of the destination. All their holidays are tailor made which means that they can create a unique holiday for your individual requirements. They offer a range of accommodation from guesthouses and homestays to the more luxurious hotels. Where possible they use properties that are heritage or characterful. Quality and value are the hallmark of these trips. They are licenced to sell flights from the UK and will search for the best airfare for your dates. If you book flights with them, then the whole holiday will be protected by ATOL. This tour operator is also a member of ABTA – this means that all their holidays adhere to the ABTA Code of Conduct, their finances, insurances etc are checked regularly and if you have a complaint that cannot be resolved there is an arbitration scheme available to you.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Kerala luxury holiday

By supporting locally owned hotels and homestays we are helping to provide employment for local communities. All of the hotels on this tour are extremely proud of their strong policies regarding the environment and ecotourism. CGH Earth Group who own Coconut Lagoon, Spice Village and Marari Beach have evolved over four decades into a chain that specialises in remaining true to the environment – one of their mottos is "Nature remains the Chief Architect". While staying at their resorts the staff will be happy to show you around their various environmental projects including water harvesting and water re-cycling, organic farming, biogas facility, composting etc.

The Malabar House hospitality team is committed to sustainability and social and environmental responsibility. They are the only operation (at the time of writing) in India that is certified by Green Globe 21, the worldwide environmental certification program for sustainable travel and tourism. The houseboat is locally made using traditional methods and natural materials and owned by a local company. All our houseboats adhere to stringent environmental rules and regulations that are in force on the Kerala backwaters.

This tour includes a visit to Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Periyar is a protected area, is committed to conserving the numbers of tigers and elephants within the reserve and practices community based ecotourism.

The ground handling of this tour is provided by our local agent and we supply him with more than 90% of his turnover. All of the drivers and staff are local people. Thus we have fifteen local families that are directly financially reliant upon us. Our drivers have a contract and are paid a monthly wage. This is very unusual in South India where most drivers are normally employed on a commission-only basis (not easy for such seasonal work). All of the guides we use are local.

Tailor-made holidays cater for couples or small groups and this means that our customers have the opportunity to interact with the locals. All of our customers are supplied with detailed information about their holiday. We supply general advice relevant to all customers as well as more specific facts about your particular tour. These documents offer our customers lots of advice and guidance including how to obtain an Indian Visa, which immunisations are recommended, how much to tip people, how to dress appropriately and how to behave in National Parks.

Reviews of Kerala luxury holiday

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 03 Jan 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


By far the most memorable part for us was the houseboat cruise on the back waters. Two nights on a barge - we loved the leisurely pace as we moved slowly along the rivers, giving plenty of time for watching birds and also watching life as lived alongside the river. Memorable in a slightly different way was crossing the lake in the Periyar National Park on a bamboo raft - we had to stand and nothing to hold on to! In many ways the whole holiday was memorable - we had a lovely time.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We wished we had taken one or more games such as Scrabble. Some resorts provide a good selection, but not all, and seldom is television available. We did a lot of reading.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We certainly felt that our holiday gave local employment, and most of the resorts clearly were attempting to reduce environmental impact and supporting conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This was definitely a 4-star holiday!

Reviewed on 10 Mar 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The backwaters trip and the stay at Serenity

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The Tea Bungalow is not the same standard as the rest of the accommodation, so don’t accept it as an alternative to the hotel in the itinerary.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes,all three.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Getting really far off the beaten track & to the real Southern India (Kerala & Tamil Nadu). Seeing lots of wild fauna & flora, including elephant three times. Having preconceptions & understandings of different cultures challenged.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The agent has a remarkable ability to understand what is really wanted out of a trip. Take time to make use of all the excellent information provided, & advice/feedback.


3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was a 100% enjoyable experience. We are currently booking our next trip for Dec '13/Jan '14.

Reviewed on 19 Oct 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


In order - Meeting up with our English cousins, the food, the people, the colour, the accommodation, our driver

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go for it. RT (and the operator) did an amazing job. Everything was so steamlined. Not what you'd expect from an India holiday! Just be prepared for the humidity. Wear your bikini under light full-length clothes. A sarong is a must. Doubles as a skirt, sarong over bathers for the beach and a light bed-sheet.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, absolutely. Felt 'righteous'/good

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Out of 100 - 100. Out of 10 - 10 Out of 5 -5
It was the most perfect holiday in the whole wide world.

Reviewed on 23 Feb 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Being part of a celebration at a temple in Cochin and seeing the elephants parade in all their finery, accompanied by the deafening sound of drums and horns.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Let the representative at the company know exactly what you want, they will go out of their way to accommodate your wishes.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, particularly the homestays. I would like to know more about the environmental impact of the houseboats.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We would like to say that the service from the operator was very efficient. The itinerary they devised for us was exactly what we had asked for, the accommodations were excellent and all the arrangements for transfers worked without any hitches. It was one of the most relaxed touring holidays that we have ever done, Kerala exceeded our expectations.

Reviewed on 06 Feb 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The magnificent tea covered mountains at the Munnar hill station, and the indescribably beautiful Periyar national park with its many birds, monkies, and all sorts of other animals. The intense green landscapes, fantastically painted hindu shrines, and the bright red, gold, yellow, orange and every other color saris worn by women everywhere. It was a visual feast!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Bring lightweight sneakers with good soles for walking on slippery dirt surfaces or rocks- no need for hiking shoes. Bring binoculars! So many beautiful birds to see! Bring sunscreen and bug spray if you tend to be eaten by mosquitoes. The mountains really get cold at night, so absolutely bring a warm sweater and long pants and a light warm hat.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, there was evidence of organic gardening, recycling, and efforts to minimize waste. All of the people involved in the trip appeared to be paid fairly and to feel appropriately deployed in the effort.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Completely fantastic! We loved it! The most huge and beautiful tropical place that I had ever been to, I can't wait to return!

Reviewed on 14 May 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Definitely the 2 nights spent on the luxury houseboat cruising the Kerala backwaters!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't be persuaded to spend only one night on the boat and the second at a backwater resort. Make sure you spend at least 2 nights on the boat.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Largely it benefited local people in the obvious way that the establishments we stayed in and the activities we engaged in employed significant numbers of locals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was superb!

Reviewed on 16 Mar 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The whole trip was superbly organised and planned by the tour operator. But the highlight must have been our trek in the Periyar tiger reserve - alas no tigers but close up views of the wild elephants was really exciting.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Get help from some experts – the tour operator know a great deal about the region and are willing to spend time meeting specific requirements. They helped us turn our good trip into a great one.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We spent most of our time staying in CGH hotels who specialise in minimising the impact on the environment. I would like to think our stay also helped the local economy.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


11 out of 10 - can I say more?

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2010 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Staying on a farm in the backwaters and then 'Cruising' the backwaters in a houseboat watching the world go by. The food was amazing and there were many opportunities to have lessons which I am looking forward to implementing if I can source the ingredients. The people were so friendly and helpful. The drivers went out of their way to tailor our 'travels'. The diversity of experiences, cultures, scenery in such a small area.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take a plug as not all sinks have one. Children asked for pens but we ran out so take lots. Budget for tipping as it only seems fair to do so but it ends up being quite costly. Depending on how you book your travelling etc, check out eating and accommodation costs. For some reason, I thought these would be similar to South East Asian but it was more expensive.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I don't feel 'qualified' to say. We were in good hotels and whilst they employed local people there was a visible divide within the country. However, all the hotels we stayed in had policies about water usage and tended to use local products for soaps and cooking.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was a great holiday with a variety of experiences. Our tour operator clearly understood our needs and preferences and matched that up with their extensive local knowledge to produce an extremely well organised itinerary and memorable experience.

Reviewed on 01 May 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


So many highlights! Seeing stork-billed kingfishers while floating along the backwaters on a house boat, practising yoga on the beach at sunset, watching the Kathakali dance performers putting on their makeup before a show, mesmerising!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


If you have time, visit the area around Munnar. We stayed in a bungalow on a cardamom plantation. The views were stunning.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Most definitely. All the hotels employed local people. A few of the hotels recycled waste to use as bio fuel.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fabulous!

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