Holiday review by Mr. Eric Stelfox

Name: Mr. Eric Stelfox

Date of trip: 14/03/2018

Number of people: 2

This was our first trip to Kerala and we found it a total contrast to the North and Centre of the country. Whilst it may lack the wow factor of the North this is more than compensated for by the friendliness of the people and the more tranquil life style. We felt that the visits to homes/farms for meals were particularly good and gave us the opportunity to see an India that was different from that experienced in high class tourist hotels (not that we had any complaints with the places we stayed).

  • Main Building at Jamtara Wilderness Camp, Pench, India © Jamtara Wilderness Camp

    Main Building at Jamtara Wilderness Camp, Pench, India

  • Brunton Boatyard, Cochin, India © Brunton Boatyard

    Brunton Boatyard, Cochin, India

  • Kerala Houseboat

     

  • Piloting the houseboat in the Kerala backwaters

     

  • Watch passing traffic from your Kerala houseboat

     

  • See shrines and temples as you cruise the Kerala backwaters

     

  • Planter's Room at Windermere Estate, Kerala, India © Mayan Dimensions

    Planter's Room at Windermere Estate, Kerala, India

  • Cottage at Spice Village, Kerala, India © Spice Village

    Cottage at Spice Village, Kerala, India

  • Swimming Pool at Marari Beach, Kerala, India © Marari Beach

    Swimming Pool at Marari Beach, Kerala, India

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Tribes Overall:

This was a wonderful experience and a great introduction to the wonders and charms of Kerala. Whilst there are a few negative comments below these did not detract from the overall experience.

Tribes Service:

We have given Tribes the benefit of the doubt that the issues raised in the unpublished comments were solely down to the local agent.

Guides:

We had several guides some of whom were excellent and the others very good. One positive characteristic was that none of them had the desire to show us that unique shopping experience only they knew of (unlike our previous trips to India).

Social & Environmental Responsibility:

All of the hotels/lodges went to some length to explain their green credentials and the positive impact they had on the local community.
It is very hard to judge what impact this actually has.


The places you stayed

Main Building at Jamtara Wilderness Camp, Pench, India © Jamtara Wilderness Camp

Jamtara Wilderness Camp

Pench National Park

Lovely lodge with excellent food.
Star Bed is a must do. We would suggest booking in advance as not much point in using it and then having to get up at 5 a.m. for a game drive.
Game drives are fairly full on. 5.45-11.30 in the morning and 2.45-7.00 in the afternoon. Saw tigers twice but both from a distance.


Brunton Boatyard, Cochin, India © Brunton Boatyard

Brunton Boatyard

Cochin

Lovey old colonial style hotel and would recommend eating out on the fish grill terrace.
The slight downside is that all the rooms face the river which can be quite noisy early in the morning. The hotel acknowledge this by providing earplugs. They are building a new ferry terminal right next to the hotel.


Kerala Houseboat

Kerala Houseboat

India

Go for 2 at least two nights to get out of the scrum in the lake. Beautiful boat with very attentive staff (3) to look after the two of us. A truly wonderful experience.


The Lounge at Windermere Estate, Kerala, India © Windermere Estate

Windermere Estate

Munnar, Kerala

A nice older style hotel with accommodation in cottages. Very pleasant atmosphere. Set Kerala menu for dinner. No licence.
We stayed in one of the lower garden cottages and there are a considerable number of steep steps up to the restaurant which would make it inconvenient for a less able or infirm person (we had to stop half way up for a breather).


Cottage at Spice Village, Kerala, India © Spice Village

Spice Village

Kerala

Another top notch property-owned by the same group as Brunton Boatyard and Marari Beach Resort.
The 50 mile restaurant serving local food shouldn't be missed.


Swimming Pool at Marari Beach, Kerala, India © Marari Beach

Marari Beach Resort

Kerala

Large spread-out complex on a beautiful beach (although it should be noted there are no facilities on the beach itself).
Disappointing to discover that our last evening, Good Friday, was a dry day. If we had known we could have made alternative arrangements.
The sea food restaurant, Beach Grill only serves fresh fish and is outstanding (get there earlier whilst there is still a good selection)