12 independent reviews for Kerala budget holiday, tailor made

Reviews for Kerala budget holiday, tailor made

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review 19 Feb 2023

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

Dewolokam Homestay

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

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?

Fanatstic

review 10 Feb 2023

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

All wonderful, staying in a treehouse in Tranquil lodge, Wayunad was a definite highlight. Also the safaris that we did in Kabini. Old Harbour in Kochi was very well placed, comfotable with very nice staff and a lovely garden restaurant and good swimming pool. Makunudu island in the Maldives was wonderful. Very peaceful, beautiful rooms, good snorkelling from the beach and very pleasant staff. Also very few biting bugs which is a big plus!

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

When in Evolve back, maybe do two boat safaris and one jeep as apposed to the other way round, we saw a tiger in the jeep but other guests saw them from the boat and itís a much more peaceful way to look at your surroundings. Also unless you are a huge eater maybe do half board. Evolve Back is very large and slightly impersonal compared to the small very personal places we stayed at the rest of the time. Also at Makunudu do not do all inclusive for alcohol unless you are a big drinker. We had three nights on the houseboat but two nights would be enough, especially, like us, the last night it spent back at the companies base which is definitely not peaceful.

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

The hotels certainly employ a lot of people in the restaurants, gardens and room cleaning so thatís got to be a positive so long as they get paid decently. There was a lot of food wastage especially at Evolve Back and the Maldives. Except for the house boat and the Maldives they were plastic free water using filtered. I imagine that the wild life reservation in Kabini is supported by tourism so thatís a plus. From the outside it seems that that Makunudu was the place that used a great deal of outside resources, diesel generators, masses of plastic bottles, juice cartons etc. PhillipKuttys Farm is a banana and coconut farm and they have a few house cows. A great deal of a what we ate (and the food was wonderful) was produced there, coconut oil, coconut cream and milk. Milk, butter, ghee and Yogurt as well as home grown vegetables and local fish. The houseboat must be a negative on local environment. So much diesel to run the boats and where does all the sewage go? There didnít appear to be a way of removing it from holding tanks at their base?

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

Pretty fantastic, it ran very smoothly with all our travel arrangements made for us, our drivers were all delighted and knowledgeable and took good care of us. All the hotels were great but the houseboat was dirty and generally tired. The heets were stained and threadbare. The food was good.

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Zelie & Andrew, Thank you for your valuable feedback, and we are so glad you enjoyed your trip to India and the Maldives - it was a pleasure to have you travel with us. Just to respond to a couple of environmental points you had raised: Evolve Back hotels monitor their food waste daily and in Kabini the average daily food waste per person is between 300 to 350 grams. Part of this waste is processed in their biogas plant and converted into gas for cooking, and food waste that cannot be processed in the plant is sent to a local piggery for consumption by the pigs. Houseboats on the Kerala backwaters are not static like those in Kashmir and are propelled by diesel engines - they are allowed to operate after regular checks for leakage & pollution by the Pollution Control authority. The government & tourism department jointly trying to implement solar powered engines. Toilets in the houseboats are bio toilets and the waste collected is removed in the collection centre in Alleppey, so as not to add to water pollution. Thanks again for your feedback and hope to catch up with you again in the future. With best wishes,

review 1 Nov 2022

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

The Homestays and getting to know our hosts. An excellent driver who was also a very good guide. Delicious food provided at Homestays

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

Avoid hotels, go for Homestays.

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

Very much so.

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

Will be happy to use this tour operator again. Very personal service resulting in a visit to Kerala tailored to all our requests.

review 7 Apr 2018

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

Cannot pick one. Awesome organic farm in Kerala was fantastic for kids- swimming in river, milking cows, home grown foods, fantastic service (dewakolam). A splurge yet incredibly memorable.

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

We went at the end of season/start of summer in India. Some benefits but some downsides to that- mostly benefits. We made sure to book places with a/c option as a way to manage. Suggest speaking with local travel company rather than doing via email. We almost missed a key element.

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

Yes- all places bookee were environmentally rfriendly sponsible as evidenced by their practices. All places were local small businesses.

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

Excellent.

review 11 Mar 2018

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

The whole holiday was amazing - it would be difficult to select one bit. However the food was excellent.

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

We were very pleased we booked 2 nights on the Kerala Houseboat - this gave us the chance to get away from the busy waterways and into the narrow canals and really see life.

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

We preferred our nights in the homestays rather than the larger hotels. We felt we had opportunities to purchase both items and food from local businesses. We also appreciated the many opportunities we had to speak to local people, this greatly added to both our enjoyment and knowledge of India.

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

It was excellent! Our original plans were to book on a small group holiday but we found travelling on our own with a driver was a good experience that we would like to repeat. The drivers were supportive and thoughtful but not intrusive. Our hosts at the homestays were welcoming and informative.

review 15 Mar 2017

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

Spotting so many exotic and sometimes rare, birds. The journey through the Western Ghats. Meeting so many friendly Indian people.

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

Consider the distance between areas you want to visit. The roads can be in poor repair and traffic very busy. The journeys can therefore be long.

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

Yes because we eat out much of the time and opted for environmentally friendly options i.e. walked rather than use a vehicle; took a paddled canoe on backwaters rather than large house boat.

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

It was great!

review 2 Feb 2017

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

The variety of Kerala, the bird and wildlife, the friendly people, the wonderful fresh spices and delicious cooking, the houseboat, staying in homestays etc.

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

Have patiance applying for the visa

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

Yes, it was great not going to large hotel chains.

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

One of the best holidays we have been on. Everything was very well organised.

review 17 Jan 2017

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

Dewalokom hotel & farm beautiful gardens, lovely family running it and fabulous food. Scenery and friendly people also memorable.

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

Embrace India and the time you have there it's a wonderful country.

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

Yes and it was great to interact with local people, it feels a lot fairer and more respectful exchange.

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

Breath of fresh air. Wanted my children to appreciate how lucky they are to travel and to do this in a positive way for other people.

review 22 Dec 2016

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

Enjoying a homestay in the backwaters and cycling round the villages. Cruising the backwaters on a houseboat amongst the abundant bird life. Walking the woods of the Periyar Wildlife Sancturary in the company of expert guides. Early morning rise to watch the night's catch landed at Ajengo beach near Varkala. Inbetween times absorbing the atmosphere, the sights, sounds and smells. And the food is a wonderful adventure itself.

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

There will be minor irritations so be adaptable and phlegmatic. Engage with the helpful and knowledgeable staff of the local tour company and homestay hosts to get the most out of the available activities according to your own interests and find out what makes the place tick.

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

Benefited local people by supporting the tourist industry, but budget travellers inevitably have less cash to splash than more up-market tourists. Supporting homestays reduces environmental impact compared with high end resort hotels. Visiting the wildlife reserves supports conservation via the entry fees and ecological education provided by the expert guides. As a counterbalance it could be argued that some of the tourist cash might be spent improving the environment outside wildlife sanctuaries.

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

Excellent, without a doubt. Up there with the best, so though not reborn I'll nevertheless give it 5 stars.

review 13 Jan 2015

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

Most memorable - Kayaking through the Keralan backwaters, meeting villagers and experiencing daily life first hand! Extraordinary and an experience to cherish.

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

Research thoroughly the time you will need to spend in each location.

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

Yes, yes and yes !

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

10/10

review 28 Jan 2015

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

The jungle trekking.

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

Beware of guides who take you unplanned into shops.

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

I hope it benefited the local people. As to the environmental impact The local inhabitants could improve it greatly by not dumping litter all over the place. Hopefully the organised jungle treks help toward conservation.

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

The holiday was marred only by the aforementioned litter problem. The people were friendly and welcoming and the food was great. The hotels and homestays were also very good. I would also like to thank the suppliers, who arranged everything, for a first class service. I couldn't fault them.

review 16 Feb 2014

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

There's the obvious - trekking in Munnar, swimming in Varkala and the houseboats on the backwaters. But more than that meeting the locals, having the best food we've ever had and walking around lots of different villages, towns and cities really made this holiday.

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

Homestays and drivers are the way forward in India. The luxury of a driver together with getting to know locals by staying in people's homes was unbeatable.

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

Yes, everyone knew our tour company and it had a good reputation everywhere we went.

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

Flawless. Never used a tour operator before because we never saw the need but didn't regret it at all; didn't seem to add much to the cost and made sure we covered twice the ground in half the time, plus we had the benefit of all their experience.

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