23 independent reviews for Kerala backwater holiday, India

Reviews for Kerala backwater holiday, India

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review 13 Jan 2016

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

We enjoyed almost every moment of our holiday in Kerala. The highlights included two sunset backwater boat trips, swimming in freshwater pools, an elephant ride, fabulous fresh homecooked meals, the beach and spice tours. We loved the wonderful homecooked fresh Keralan meals and the conversations around the table with the homestay owners.

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

Have a look at the map and the range of activities. We chose not to go to Periyar and we were very happy with our itinerary.

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

I certainly felt that this holiday benefitted local people.

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

This holiday was absolutely fantastic in every way. Possibly the best family holiday that we have ever had. Jos organised everything perfectly.

review 30 Oct 2016

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

The whole holiday was truly memorable and exceeded expectations from beginning to end. All the home stays, plus the boat, were very comfortable with lovely surroundings and wonderful home cooking. Our hosts were very welcoming and gave us insight into life in Kerala.

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

The first week in October proved to be a good week before the main tourist season gets underway. We were fortunate with the weather with only one rainy day while we were travelling. Jos tailor made our itinerary and we were pleased that we chose to spend two nights on the boat.

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

Using home stays rather than hotels meant that our money went straight into the local community rather than a hotel chain. The local guides, cooks and others employed by the home stay owners took pride in their work and there seemed to be genuine respect between the employers and the employees.

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

The holiday was excellent. I would certainly recommend it to others.

review 24 Feb 2016

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

Visiting around Munnar with time to see nature and lots of bird life, made more memorable as we had a knowledgeable driver who showed us many birds. The Kathakali Dance event in Cochi gave an interesting insight into the historical parts of the area and was well worth seeing all the make up as well as the dancing.

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

Mosquito repellant definitely needed in and around Cochin especially at night and if visiting prawn farms. Consideration of amount of tip if you have a driver/guide for several days.

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

Our benefits to local people were a visit to a prawn farm,taking a local boat ride,seeing the Kathakali dances, eating out in local restaurants and stopping to see a lady making rope from coir.. If we did reduce impact or support conservation we were not aware of it.

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

Programme was well put together and managed considering our rather short time in the area.

review 19 Jan 2016

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

It was all wonderful but I think the time we enjoyed most was at Vanilla County, Teekoy. We found Baby Matthew and Rani to be the most wonderful hosts and their staff were lovely. After arriving we had lunch then we were told to come quickly to see an elephant working in the forest nearby, so we all piled into a jeep and witnessed such wonderful teamwork between elephant and men as they moved tree trunks down a difficult forested slope. We also went on an amazing trek through the hills and swam in fresh water pools. Also, Rani's cooking was amazing! The converted rice boat was another highlight.

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

To take cool clothes, mosquito repellant and a good camera.

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

Yes, I think it benefitted local people, especially plantation owners who had found it necessary to diversify into opening up their homes.

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

It was an excellent holiday and a real privilege to accept hospitality from hosts at homestays. Our driver was also very helpful and kind (Mr. Shahul). The other thing we appreciated was visiting different areas of Kerala.

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review 1 Mar 2015

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

There were too many memorable highlights to select a single one, mostly the beautiful and friendly people of India, the contact and exchange with them will stay in our hearts

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

- Ask for trekking oppurtunities in Munnar, and explain what kind of trekking you are interested in - Some of Fort Kochis most interesting sights (Synagogue and Dutch Palace) are closed on Fridays - Try to get bikes while on a homestay in the backwaters, here traffic is relaxed enough to try for a European ;)

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

Yes, locals were involved nicely. We didn't ask how much they were paid, but it seemed very ok Environmental impact was not especially low or high, we were discussing the possibility for having Solar Panels with some of the homestay owners, which - given the sun situation in southern India - would be a great thing for them... but they are pretty expensive still in India...

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

It was a wonderful holiday, very well organized by our local host. Everything went seamlessly and especially the contact with the locals and the homestays was fantastic. There is not one negative thing I could come up with. THANK YOU

review 25 Apr 2014

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

Our final stop, for three days at the coast, in northern Kerala. As the road became smaller and smaller we felt sure the car had taken a wrong turn. Fewer and fewer houses to be seen and no sign of the sea. Then the road came to an end. From here you walk, we were told! Out with the suitcases and on with a search for a likely path, in which direction we were unsure. Then came our host, through the trees to guide us. A 10 min scramble but once down to the beach thatīs where we stayed. Remote is the word. Three km of empty beach except for a few fishermen, excellent curry three times a day and.....WiFi!

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

In Kerala go north. Away from the bulk of the tourist crowds. Take a long train ride. Unbelievably cheap. Enjoy the food. Curry for breakfast is the best way to start the day.

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

We booked through and used local people and that helped. Gramam Homestay was not only a beautiful place but Jos and his wife that run it and who organised our trip were the perfect hosts and brilliant organisers and co-ordinators.

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

It was just about the best holiday ever, though of course not long enough. Everything went like clockwork. The people we met were friendly. Kerala is wonderful.

review 25 Nov 2013

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

It's really hard to pick a single highlight, there were so many. For all the incredible sights, it was probably something quite simple - a sunset canoe ride around the lagoon at the back of the home stay is something I think that will stay with me forever.

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

Homestays are without doubt the way to see Kerala. These are some of the best places I have ever stayed - secluded, comfortable and beautiful with a feel of luxury usually only found for significantly higher price, combined with personal, friendly service that made you feel you were staying with friends.

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

Yes, all the accommodation was in homestays, benefitting independent businesses who in most cases were just families.

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

I had high expectations, based on previously exceptional holidays with Responsible Travel, though this exceeded every one. The itinerary was perfect, and once we were there, everything flowed flawlessly and we were made to feel that the whole experience was very tailored and personal. The accommodation, the food, the people... all fantastic. Even when things had to be changed, there was no stress. In our case, a general strike meant we had to be whisked out of our final homestay in the small hours of the morning to avoid being stranded, with Jos kindly putting us up again for the final day. If we had travelled independently, we would likely have missed our flight. If we had travelled with a large company, we would probably have been dumped at the airport 12 hours early. In this case, we felt we had all the benefits of independent travel (flexibility, time etc.) with the knowledge that Jos was looking after us and would take care of us come what may.

review 14 Mar 2012

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

What made this holiday for us was the homestays - the chance to get to know our hosts and also to meet other guests. We appreciated the care that was taken to look after us and the fact that every homestay was different. We were particularly glad that we had extended our holiday to include a train journey to the Kannur Beach House.

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

You can totally rely on Mr Jos Byju, who organised the holiday for us, and made all the bookings. We left ourselves very much in his hands as far as the planning of the holiday went, and did not regret it. All our requests were met, and everything went smoothly from start to finish. We enjoyed visiting the primary school, seeing the Western Ghats, and the warm welcome of the Brahmin family on our last night. It was a low-key holiday, strolling around the villages and meeting local people, which is what we had hoped for. We found that we hardly spent any money at all - this is definitely not a 'shopping' holiday!

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

Insofar as the holiday was organised by a local company and we were staying in homestays and eating local food.

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

Having read the information on the website, it was everything we had hoped for.

review 23 Mar 2010

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

Everything was lovely. We all had a fabulous time. The Homestay at Munnar was especially spectacular, the attention we received there perfect. The tea plantations were gorgeous and the backwaters at Alleppy beautiful. All in all, the activities met our requirements and the experience was amazing.

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

I would recommend a visit to Kerala India to anyone. Beware of the mosquitoes! We were well prepared with the necessary repellents and had no problems. Also reading about your destinations before visiting them obviously does help to get to know the culture and customs.

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

I do! We spent time with locals and even after our return are still in contact with them. Our children mixed and played with local children which was an enriching experience to all involved.

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

I would rate it 9.5/10. I am inclined to give it a 10/10, but there is always room for improvement!!!

review 22 Jan 2010

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

The people!!!! I met an Indian young person when I was eighteen, and have always remembered her and her family ......they had something special personality wise. Again in my thirties , I met an Indian person on a cultural trip in Denmark, and there was this gentleness and caring that seems no longer part of western society. Having been to India now, I realise it's another world where one is valued as a person and treated with the kindness and care you might expect to receive from close family in the "developed" world. I felt respected and accepted for myself. These were lovely people, it was enriching to live in such a society even for a short while.

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

Go, be brave, leave the well- trodden tourist trail, go up the mountains ...live with the families...it's much more in tune with the pulse of the country. Trust people to plan for you.. it's India ..they will not betray your trust. Be sensitive, in your dress and demeanour, this is a culture with values. Enjoy its diversity...landscapes spiritual beliefs, culinary treats ....

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

Well I really hope so....we had lots of interaction with local people...hopefully the small group aspect of this kind of trip, is less obtrusive than bus loads of tourists arriving en masse..

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

It was an amazing trip! We were so relaxed at Jos's house and enjoyed the lovely food and friendship at the various homestays etc. The boat trip on the backwaters was so comfortable, unique and memorable. Our driver was always there on time, courteous and efficient...a real gentleman. We are really glad we travelled in this way.

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