I was told that the website is not true. I was given first floor rooms after a fuss.The bathrooms were dirty filthy cracked sinks and ceramic tiles. Air conditioning not very good, mosquitoes prevail. Nothing comes in 1 phone call. I would give only 2 star being generous. The management and the managers at the hotel are rude.
Travel operator: Kerala Travel Centre
Travel operator: Thomas Cook
Where do I start? This was the worst hotel Ii have ever been to.
We made the booking in May 2007 for a stay in December 2007 and reconfirmed 2 days before our arrival date.
We got to the hotel at about 12.30pm on the scheduled date and were told they don
Travel operator: Akshaya tours
on arrival , we were given a room at the back of the hotel, although the room was fine the balcony area overlooked the back lane and a small brick waterway,as we usually like to sit on balconies last thing at night and we worried about mozzies,we asked for a change of room,this was provided on the following morning,we were given a ground floor room overlooking the new pool, this was excellent.
we always found the staff very helpful,from the manager down to the room cleaners, the first choice rep jeff was also very helpful , he actually sleeps on site and was always about ,we saw him out at lighthouse beach a few times trying different restaurants so he could advise people where to eat etc,i also met him at the top of the lighthouse and had to give him some encouragement to climb the last few steps to the outside.
we liked the hotel bars and the bar staff (especially anvar)but the hotel charges 150 rupees for a big bottle of kingfisher whereas the bar/restaurants just outside the hotel charge 80 rupees, so we only had the odd couple of drinks at the hotel.
the breakfast wasnt that good,boiled eggs,cold beans sometimes bacon or chicken sausage,and potatoes,you could also have juices and cereals,coffee and tea .so we usually ate out at the nearby restaurants which are very cheap.
the location of the hotel is great ,it is only a 20 minute stroll to lighthouse beach or cheap tuk tuk ride,on the small beach outside the back of hotel the fishermen bring in the days catch which makes forgood entertainment.there are a few restaurants near the hotel and we found they all served lovely cheap food,
the entertainment at the hotel was ok people said but as we went out every night we missed most of it,the night before we left they brought an elephant into the hotel to bless us and take pics which was nice.
all in all it was an excellent hotel and we are looking to go back either jan or march 2008.
Travel operator: first choice
We asked to move on the but were told that the room was full. After repeated requests we were eventually
moved to a better room but with a bathroom from hell. Everthing leaked the bath had rust stains from one end to the other with a shower that didn't work. The
following morning we were awoken at 5.00a.m. with very
loud music from the neighbouring temple. Above our room was the conference room and on several occasions the staff insisted on dragging furniture about until midnight or at 6.00a.m. We again asked to move but
despite repeated requests we never did. The hotel plays musical chairs with the bad rooms. One couple moved 4 times because of one problem after another.
The breakfast was reasonable but the buffet evening dinner had few choices very little European coice if any.
Travel operator: Kwik Travel
Travel operator: First Choice
Three lovely swimming pools, but nothing much else to do in local area. Ideal if you are happy to sit by the pool everyday but unfortunately we would have liked much more to see and do. Lighthouse beach can be reached on foot (takes about 20 mins)
All staff were eager to please and trying to learn from any mistakes.
We went half board which we would'nt recommend as we found we were only entitled to the set evening buffet, but some reduction should we use other eating areas. The evening buffet didn't have much choice except hot spicy foods, european tastes not really catered for and the chef's outfits often looked grubby and stained .(four local restaurants just outside hotel)
The evening entertainment was very repetetive.
Travel operator: first choice
Our room was fine, spacious with a balcony overlooking the pool and a view of the sea. It had aircon, a ceiling fan and a fridge which wasn't very good at making ice so we got some from the bar, sorry - Coffee Shop!, and kept it in a plastic bag in the freezer compartment. The balcony had comfy chairs and we enjoyed sitting out there, being the tail end of the season the weather was very hot and humid so it was nice to stay in the shade.
Rooms were cleaned daily unless we asked the room boy not to bother, sometimes it was around 5pm before they got to our room by which time we are thinking about getting ready fot the evening. Like Claire and Niall, we also had a problem with the hot water for the first few days, it turned out to be 'operator error' we had been turning the tap the wrong way and so were having the coldest showers the hotel could provide. Once we were shown where we were going wrong and were patient enough to let the hot water come through everything was fine. We also couldn't get the safe to work, I found out later that we may have needed to get new batteries from Reception but we just stowed our valuables in our suitcase and used the combination lock.
We were more than pleased with the standard of accommodation, the food was excellent although drinks could be a bit expensive. But we do like to wander around shops and bars during the evening before deciding where to eat and sadly the hotel's location isn't ideal for this. We got a tuk tuk most nights to Lighthouse Beach but after a while this got a bit boring as there is only one row of shops and restaurants.
Some people did tend to reserve sunbeds early but the hotel has notices posted to say that if a person's belongings are around the bed for more than an hour without the person being present, they will be removed. They did seem to adhere to this.
We had an odd experience a couple of days before we were due to leave. There was a knock on our door at 7.15am, fortunately we were awake or we would have been much less polite. It was a young man who said he was our room boy (I couldn't be sure if he was or not) and he asked us to fill in a hotel comment card as he was leaving in a couple of days because his mother was in hospital. He wanted me to fill in the comments there and then which I thought was strange but did it anyway and returned it to him together with the tip we were going to give him on our last day. We heard later than a lady was doing a similar thing to some other guests, with a similar tale, at around 10.30pm. The hotel management said that it definitely wasn't their policy to issue comment cards in this way and they would look into it. Incidentally our room boy came around a couple of days later with a comment card for me to fill in, I think we must have tipped an imposter.
All in all it was a very comfortable and relaxing stay in a decent standard of accommodation.
Travel operator: First Choice
The staff were very friendly, but not very well organised. Priority was given to Air India staff, and conference guests. I would not recommend the rooms on the ground floor near the restaurant. People were walking past all the time, so we couldn't sit outside, and had to keep the curtains closed all the time. The rooms near the pool on the other side, appeared newer, and in a better location, although there was some building work going on nearby. They did eventually move us to an upgraded room on the 1st floor with a sea view. The safe didn't work, and there was rarely any hot water, but by this time we were having such a great time, we didn't care.
We arrived during festival time, and the Hindu temple next door was in full swing. This wasn't a problem for us, as that is what we came to India to experience, but some people complained about the noise. (Mind you, firecrackers at 0630 hrs in the morning, did wake us up one morning with a start).
We only had breakfast in the hotel which was fine. There are plenty of other places to eat.
We liked the fact the hotel was away from Lighthouse Beach (It was on Sumudra Beach which was a tuk-tuk ride away), as you could get away from the hustle & bustle, but saying that everything quietened down by 2230 hrs.
We have been told that the hotel is looking to expand next year, and it remains to be seen whether that is a good or bad thing.
I would definitely recommend Kovallam, and this hotel is fine if you get a decent room. Saying that, we didn't go away to stay in a hotel all the time, so none of this distracted from a fantastic holiday.
Travel operator: Jewel in the Crown
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