Honeymoon in Kerala (July 09)

#1 Dec 23rd, 2008, 23:12
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#1
Greetings everyone,

Planning for my honeymoon in Kerala during July 09, so been looking around for info regarding kerala and its tourist spots.

Have come up with a tentative schedule for 7 days. Looking forward to any suggestions about it.
  1. Arrive in Cochin: Overnite in Cochin
  2. Depart for Munnar: Overnite in Munnar (Experience the hills)
  3. Spend Day in Munnar: Overnite in Munnar
  4. Depart for Kumarakom. Check into houseboat. overnite on houseboat (Experience the backwaters)
  5. Depart for Kovalam: Overnite in Kovalam (Soak in some sun)
  6. Spend Day in Kovalam: Overnite in Kovalam
  7. Depart from Trivandrum
All this on a budget ranging from 25k to 30k INR for the package. Now keeping this in mind, please suggest suitable hotels which will enhance the experience:
  1. Heard a lot about Bolghatty Palace Resort in Cochin, Is it worth the price??
  2. Tall trees in Munnar has recieved good reviews, any other recommendations?
  3. In Kovalam, would prefer a resort with a private beach away from the gawkers, Any suggestions??

This has turned a huge post already so will sign off for now.

P.S: In case I avoid, the whole travel agent route and just book the hotels myself,
  1. Would it be economically feasible???
  2. How do I manage the transport between the different spots??

Now really signing off
Looking forward to your response,
Regards
#2 Dec 24th, 2008, 08:19
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#2
Good Day & welcome to IM,

Your itinery is good, just keep in mind you may have to depart Munnar reasonably early for Kumarakom so that you can inspect,and
choose a houseboat then board houseboat by lunchtime.

I take it you are allready aware that July is Monsoon time in Kerala.

I suggest you hire a car & driver for your holiday as you are on a
tight schedule.

Bolgatty Palace is not worth the money,time & effort getting there.Maybe as you are only staying 1 nght in Cochin,I suggest staying in Fort Cochin or Ernakulam,preferably Fort Cochin as you can have a look around for a few of hours.I also reccomend
the Munnar Inn which is located in heart of town,rooms are nice and reasonably priced.Tall Trees is nice but out of town.Isacc's
Residency in Munnar is also good.There will be more Houseboats to choose from in Allepey than in Kumarakom.You should be able to book Hotels yourself as most are online.

Happy Travels.

Rgds

vandy
#3 Dec 24th, 2008, 08:52
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#3
Hi Vandy,

Thanks a lot for your response. Have a couple of questions. Where can I book a driver and car from??

Secondly, whats the weather like in Kerala then?? I was told that in Monsoons, there is a risk of the road to Munnar being closed because of landslides. Is it true?

Again: Know of any good hotels in Kovalam with private beaches??

Regards
#4 Dec 24th, 2008, 22:57
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by mind_boggler View Post Know of any good hotels in Kovalam with private beaches??
As far as I know, no hotels in Kovalam have private beaches, and that includes those at Samudra Beach. The nearest you'll get is the Leela which has a great location and is likely to be very pleasant if you can afford it. The KTDC Hotel Samudra would be another possibility and a little less expensive. Both have good views of the sea, and grass areas where you can have sun loungers etc. I can't vouch for the quality of the accommodation though.
Bring me sunshine, in your smile
#5 Dec 24th, 2008, 23:06
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#5
I would like to offer a different opinion of the Bolgatty Palace. We stayed there 2-3 nights during our visit to Cochin and really liked it. It was pleasant, clean and relaxed (I find the service in the 5-star places in India like the Taj tad too obsequious and omnipresent to be relaxing). Particularly as it is your honeymoon - you will like it there. There is a serenity to the place that you do not find elsewhere in Cochin - with possible exception of Taj.

We did visit Fort Cochin - and it is definitely worth a visit. [I think you ought to consider spending a bit of time in Cochin.] All the same, we'd not want to stay there.

I guess it does depend upon your budget.
#6 Dec 25th, 2008, 00:02
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#6
thanks a lot for the info...i did hear some good things about bolghatty palace..but then also a few bad things so feeling a bit unsure..

from what i gather, its on an island..so thinking if its really such a good option if we want to go out and sight see in the evening. as in like, if go out for dinner then how do we get back to the hotel??

Another thing I have noticed about reviews of hotels in Kerala, some reviews make it sound like there is no better hotel while some make it sound like its a trash can..makes me wonder if they are really talking about the same place. any idea why that is the case??
#7 Dec 25th, 2008, 00:38
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#7
I do not know of the other reviews. We stayed there about 4 years ago.

It is indeed an island. There is hotel boat that can come and get you - definitely if you call; there might be set times too. There are public ferries as well that go to the Bolgatty as well as different islands. I do not remember if Fort Cochin is an island or just another part of Cochin, but we took a public ferry boat there. Was a nice experience.

The hotel itself has a nice feel to it. There were certain parts under renovation when we stayed. It is, after all, an old mansion. Since it is owned by the state, service can be suspect (a general statement about the hospitality of state employees). We, however, did not encounter any problems whatsoever.

It all depends upon expectations and your personal likes and dislikes. Some people are more complicated travelers who run into problems after problems, or so it seems. We definitely prefer certain calmness and serenity and enjoying what is there instead of complaining about real or imagined deficiencies.

All the same, this is but one data point. We definitely found it nice enough for me to bother responding in such detail. All the best with your decision.

PS: I remember we did go out to dinner at the Taj. Getting back from there was harder as it was on yet another island and there was no direct ferry. I think we got to Ernakulum (Cochin) and then changed there. Getting back to the hotel in the evening is no problem. We did not try it at 2 AM though.
#8 Dec 25th, 2008, 02:53
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#8
thanks a lot kmalik, u have been a great help...

one more thing, where can i hire a cab and a driver for the trip..any idea what would be a fair enough per day charge for it??
#9 Dec 25th, 2008, 03:25
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#9
You are welcome. I have no idea where and how to hire a cab. We did get one from the airport to the hotel. Unfortunately, I am not much of the bargainer, so I might ask the hotel to help.
#10 Dec 25th, 2008, 03:45
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#10
thanks a lot kmalik..u have really helped me a lot with ur advice.
#11 Dec 25th, 2008, 07:12
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mind_boggler View Post one more thing, where can i hire a cab and a driver for the trip..any idea what would be a fair enough per day charge for it??
Hi there,

For a car & driver try the Following;

www,cochinkerala.com - contact Jenny

Inspire kerala holidays

Drizzle Holidays - contact Reju

For a medium sized A/C car (Indica - Indigo - Ambassador) approx
1,500rps per day, this includes Fuel,Taxes,road Tolls,drivers
own Accom & Meals, also local sightseeing in Munnar is included
For a Larger car like Qallis or Innova approx 2,000 - 2,500rps

Personally I don't like the Ambassadors unless they are newish.

For Accomadation in Fort Cochin have a look at Old Harbour Hotel
they do have a web site.

Rgds & Merry Xmas.

vandy
#12 Dec 25th, 2008, 09:34
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#12
thanks vandy and merry xmas to everyone here too

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