can be is said to be the Homestay Capital of India. Homestays come in all varieties.
This section aims to decipher between different homestays and give and idea as
to what to expect in each one of them.
Homestays (Kerala Home) : Kerala has a rich tradition of building large
family homes typically termed as "Tharavad" or "Tharavadu".
Such homes are rich with wooden period furniture and are well-maintained. Typically
these homes are situated in rural surroundings with lot of greenery around them.
Some are transplanted and re-installed in entirety and modified with modern fittings
(These are typically like an independent cottage or a mansion). Others are original
large family homes where typically there are more than one rooms and one stays
with the family.
Heritage Homestay at Alleppey has one such Heritage Cottage in Addition to
the Family Home. Tharavad Heritage Resort
at Alleppey is a good example of family managed Homestay. Tharavadu
Heritage Home is an example of family managed Heritage Homestay. River
and Rubber is a riverside home is a part of the 100-year-old aristocratic
Kanankuzhayathu family House (Tharavadu).
Homestays (Colonial Home) : Fort Kochi area used to have Dutch settlements
some 300 years ago and have a lot of Dutch Mansions converted, some of them are
now converted into Heritage Hotels or Homestays. Period Furniture, original look
& feel and color scheme are maintained to give a unique heritage feel of an
era gone by.
e.g. Old Couryard, Ki
Mansion, Ballard Bungalow are
few such examples of such Mansions
Stay : Plantation Stays are basically an experience based stays
situated in large plantations. Plantations grow Coffee, Tea and Spices (Cardamom,
Vanilla and Pepper). Such stays offer a lot of activities such as trekking, plantation
e.g. Vanilla County
near Palai is an example of such a farm.
Bungalows : Plantation Bungalows are Plantation stays but having accommodation
in a typically colonial era plantation bungalows.
in wayanad is a good example of a Plantation bungalow. Malabar
Escapes - Privacy in Idukki dist. is another such high end option.
Bungalow : Beach Bungalows are ones that offer accommodation on a beach
e.g. Karikatthi Beach House
at Kovalam is a good example. Raheem Residency
is a high end heritage Beach House at Alleppey. Villa
Jacaranda at Varkala is another well done up Beach Stay.
Stays : Kerala sports an extensive backwater Canals network and Lakes.
Some of the homestays are located right on the edge of such waterfronts. Some
go even a step further and are located right in middle of a backwater island (Accessible
only by Boat). What such stays offer is a feel of backwater village life coupled
with some very good views.
is a heritage home situated on a backwater Island near Kochi. Illikkalam
Lake Resort is a simple lakefront resort. Malabar
Escapes - Serenity, Casa Del Fauno
and Kovilakom Lake Side Villa high end and
more exclusive lakefront villas. Pooppallys
Heritage Homestay and Kuttanadu River Resort
are situated on a backwater canal. Aymanam Village
Resort is an example of a country side farm on a backwater canal with heritage
interiors. Kerala Gramam is an example
of a Kerala country home with a large lakefront.
Homestays (Mana) : Mana is the centuries old feudal Namboothiri (Kerala
Brahamin) Illam (house) , have a glittering cultural heritage in the field of
Kathakali (classical dance form) , Carnatic Music, Melam and Thayampaka (classical
percussions), Literature and Rig Veda.
Mana near thrissur is a prime examples of a Mana Home.
Centric Homestays : Most of the above homestays are high on charm and
views offered. Activity Centric homestays are more simple accommodationwise. However
these more than make up with the cuisine and activities on offer. Activities here
comprise Country fishing, trekking, plantation tours, Village visits, handicraft
centre visit and cookery classes. Yoga and Ayurveda also can be arranged upon
e.g. El-Paradiso Homestay
and Suresh Green View at Thekkady are good
examples of the activity centric homestays. Gowri
Heritage Residence is also a good example of such stays.
Homestay : Ayurveda is a ancient science
of medicine that is widely practiced in kerala. Ayurveda is a combination of massages,
medicine, meals and treatments which are applied based on individual constitution.
Some of the homestays specialise in Ayurveda. Homestays by definition have fewer
rooms on account of which the resident doctors (Often the owners are themselves)
are able to offer a highly personalised ayurveda stay.
Vihar Heritage Home near Calicut and Sangamam
Health Resort near Kottayam are prime examples of this category.
Stays : Homestays near bird sanctuary are a birders delight.
e.g. Periyar River Lodge is a good
examples of birding stays.
Retreats : These are typically located on a hill station offering an
adventure holiday (Trekking, Mountaineering etc.).
and Olive Brook are a good examples of
a Hill Retreat.
Retreats : These are typically set in a village backdrop with lot of
trees and greenery around it. These are recommended for a relaxed stay and a village
e.g. Aymanam Village Resort
is an example of a country side farm on a backwater canal with heritage interiors.
: Kerala offers exclusive backwaters cruise in Ketuvallams Boats (Traditional
Kerala Rice Boats) which is now generically termed as "Kerala Houseboats".
Houseboats are typically never spoken in the same breadth alongwith a homestay
but have ability to offer a memorable and personalised experience. Most guests
remember their houseboat stay for amazing backwater and lake views and Kerala
Cuisine. Visits to various points during the cruise offers one a quick insight
into the unique backwater lifestyle.
Out board Engine
Non AC Bed Rooms
come in 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom and 5 bedroom Variants. Houseboat
section lists the entire range of Houseboat options.
: A common denominator in all of them is Kerala Cuisine. Cuisine in Kerala is
mix of Veg ad Non Veg (Chicken, Duck, Mutton, Seafood) with a distinct Coconut
base. North Kerala has an entirely different range of cuisine which is termed
as Malabar Cuisine which has lot of varieties of spices incorporated.
for Whom ? Homestays should not be mixed with cheaper stays as some of the
homestays are even more expensive than a star category resorts. Homestays are
more exclusive and personal and therefore are recommended for those who are looking
for a complete experience beyond the standard amenities and services offered by
a regular resort. Homestays expose tourists to local culture, traditions, crafts
and cuisine, therefore are recommended for those looking for a comprehensive Kerala
is recommended ? Homestay Enthusiasts work out an entire itinerary out of
various homestays. However most others include one of two homestays alongwith
regular hotels/resorts for the sake change and different experience it offers.