An insider’s guide to the best homestays within a budget in stunning Kerela. From cozy cottages, lakeside cabins to self-catering homes by the beach, all these properties are unique, affordable and reflect the true vibe of Kerela.
The very mention of Kumarakom conjures up an image of charming backwaters,lush paddy fields and tiny dotted homes along the canal. You are never too far from the sea but close enough to enjoy the backwaters and even admire the tempting stretches of small islands clustered around the Vembanad Lake.
But to truly admire the beauty of this place one has to see an experience Kumarakom from an insider’s perspective and what better way to enjoy the backwater capital than staying in a home with a local. One such place that Nomadic and eco-friendly types will love is Sylvania which has an earthy, back-to-nature appeal to it.
A cluster of cozy cottages adorns the lake shore while majestic trees like nutmeg, cloves, coconut trees, jack trees, Cocoa surround the Sylvania Homestay. These dreamy cottages are uniquely designed and the walls have been built with palm trees to keep the room cool at all times. The folks at Sylvania also offer Ayurvedic treatments like massage and Panchakarma as well as recreational activities.
Rates: Rs 1750
No of Rooms:8
Ancient Mosques, Portuguese-inspired homes, hundred-year-old synagogues and Chinese Fishing Nets bring out the beauty of Kochi’s bygone era while the lines of boutique shops and restaurants along the streets showcase the cosmopolitan side of this island. Kochi, a busy port along the Malabar Coast has been the hub for traders and explorers for over 600 years and this historic place is probably the only place in India that offers such an intriguing melange of culture, history, and urban growth.
Cheena Vala Sunsets By:Tim Moffatt
A lovely place to relax and spend some time, Kochi is also blessed with some of the most charming heritage accommodation that is affordable and makes you feel right at home.The Peniel Residency is one such homestay that we absolutely adore not just because of its great location but also because the host and his family go out of their way to make sure everyone is well taken care of.
This locality is close to all the major attractions, so one can easily venture out on a walk on the streets and make their way through Fort Kochi effortlessly.
Rates: Rs 1,100
No of Rooms: 3
The Tea Capital of South India, Munnar with its verdant rolling hills, green carpeted slopes and heritage bungalows is the picture of perfection. Once the summer resort of the erstwhile British Government, Munnar with its lush tea plantations and picture-book towns is the perfect weekend getaway for every traveler and the fact that it also has one of the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, makes it an ideal spot for trekkers as well.
There are plenty of great and affordable homestays all around Munnar that have amazing views, serve traditional food and offer great facilities, one such place is Green View Cottage which has earned great reviews on Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, and Stefan Loose, for backpackers and couples looking for a quiet getaway.
At Green View, guests get to stay in the middle of the spice plantation where they can see the cardamom and pepper grow and harvested. The hosts also arranges daily sightseeing trips around Munnar and for the thrill seekers, various kind of mountain treks, such as soft trekking, medium trekking and mountain trekking, can be arranged.
Rates: Rs 1250
No of Rooms: 6
One of the most jaw-dropping locations in India for sighting animals from close quarters is the Periyar Reserve in Thekkady. The rich jungles of Periyar are home to rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna, and the people around the reserve who once resorted to illegal operations in the forests have now become forest protectors and earn their living by raising awareness and conducting tours around the reserve.
It’s not just Periyar that draws people to Thekkady, the small plantation towns like Murikkady full of spice, coffee, and pepper, the trekkers delight, Pandikuzhi as well as the ancient temples hidden in the deep woods and the tiny sleepy villages of Chellarkovil all add to the beauty and character of Thekkady.
While making your way up the winding hills of Thekkady, you will come across a stunning view of colorful homes nestled in the hills and in the middle of plantations that have for years now been the base for many travelers.
One such place that is situated right in the middle of the plantation is Hermit Lair, a beautiful bungalow surrounded by cardamom hills. The Hermit Lair is a quiet, characterful self-catering home full of heart and soul. Befitting its name, this peaceful retreat features spacious rooms with large balconies that look out to the stunning vistas of green hills and the rich forest reserve.
No of Rooms:4
One of the most important places that earned it’s glory in the maritime history of Kerela, Alappuzha has always been the hub for the famous boat races, backwater holidays and beach getaways because of its vast network of waterways. Step a little away from the city center and you will find yourself surrounded by small villages, succulent green paddy fields, canals with houseboats and toddy shops. Alleppey is aptly called “Venice of the East” and this watery kingdom with its endless number of houseboats and homestays does offer one of the most relaxing holiday experiences.
With so much to do and a great deal to explore, one definitely needs a great base to start with. Orchid Lake View is one such home located along the famous backwaters, that allows guests to relax by the waterways without burning a hole in their pocket.
They offer you tastefully decorated rooms embellished with French windows and all the essential amenities. You can also try catching a fish in the backwaters and cook it in the private kitchen you get along with the room. The terrace is open for your access giving you amazing views of the horizon. Since the owner stays on the property itself you get to experience the town through the eyes of a local who would gladly give you recommendations on your itinerary.
No of Rooms:6
We really believe that the best way to get to know a place is by living like and with a local, wandering the streets, taking your own time and probing all the nook and corners of the place. Find out more about such amazing homestays on our next blog and let us know if this helps with your vacation planning.
Happy Travelling !
By : Richa Devi